Wednesday, February 18, 2009


A friend asked me for a tip on how to stay fly on a dime, and I started to think about how this global economic crisis is forcing people to think creatively and strategically about everything including fashion and style. My tip is to revisit our closets, you know, that corner with stuff that you've been meaning to go through. Create three piles, one for clothes/shoes/accessories that you will keep, discard and donate.
Keep the statement pieces, no matter how atrocious or outlandish the statement; trust me, these are the ones that make good vintage in the future. Keep the staple pieces, you'll always be able to use a nicely tailored white button- down. Keep the pieces with possibilities, if an item can be used (or converted) for multiple purposes it should definitely stay. Discard the clothes/shoes/accessories that you'll no longer use to stores like The Salvation Army, Beacon's Closet or Buffalo Exchange. Pay it forward and you can get paid. Many second-hand stores will issue cash or a store credit in exchange for your wares. Donate the items that you will no longer wear to charity (I like Dress For Success, Real Simple offers some advice on how to donate clothes) or to any neighborhood drop box.
Find creative and DIY ways to incorporate the keepers into your current closet and update with a trendy bargain find from H&M or from . . . stores like the Salvation Army, Beacon's Closet or Buffalo Exchange! One Fashionista's trash is Recessionista's treasure.
Head over to In Her Shoes (hot, hot new blog!) to check out more recession proof tips on staying fashionable. Style mavens such as AfroBella, Najwa Moses, Lizz Fields, Candace Purdie-Montgomery of Essence, Tia Dantzler, Latisha Daring, Ashaka Givens and Samantha Smikle have shared their tips for staying fashionable in times like these. Share your budget friendly fashion tips. What are you doing differently?


"Value" is in and "too Dubai" is out. Zing.

I don't think anyone is going to want to look overly flashy, overly glitzy, too Dubai, whatever you want to call it. I just don't think that's the moment. But I do feel an emphasis on quality and longevity and things that really last.
- Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of American Vogue

I fully intended to post pics of Dubai's fashionable residents, but have yet to do so . . . not just because it is infinitely harder to take snapshots of random folk here (it's super taboo), but because, aside from the select few, I haven't been particurlarly moved by Dubai street styles. The focus is less on creativity and interpretation of current trends, and more on bling. I could not stop staring the first time I saw a woman, clad in an all-black abaya, with the biggest, goldest, shiniest, most blinged out man-sized rolex I have ever laid eyes on. The combination of the watch, with the huge Gucci bag, lots of makeup (and henna), sky high stilletos, diamonds all over and sunglasses to rival any in Posh Spice's collection is quite typical . . . and understandably so. Many of the Emirati women have to cover up, from head to toe (and sometimes even eyes), in long flowing black abayas, and so they can only make a real fashion statement with their accessories. I'm not mad at them at all. . . but the excess carries over to other women who are not required to be covered. And so, and please know that I'm generalizing here, you'll find skimpily clad women with a big watches, big hair, big bags, big sunglasses, big jewelry and tons of makeup. Many look quite nice, but not particurlarly fashionable.
I'm not untainted. I have certainly opted for the big statement bag in place of the inconspicuous clutch--even when the clutch works better with my outfit. I'm just sayin', I don't want to feel out of place.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Nationality: South African
Hair: Brown
Eye Color: Brown/Green
Place of Birth: Cape Town, South Africa
Height: 5'6"; 168 cm
Measurements: (US) 32-26-35; (EU) 81-66-89Dress Size: (US) 6; (EU) 36
Shoe Size: 38.5 (EU) - 7.5 (US) - 5.5 (UK)
Mother Agency: Boss Models - South Africa
Wow. I am blown away by her features. What do you think? She looks a bit like Jurnee Smollet, no? For more on Carmen Solomons click here and here.

Friday, February 13, 2009


Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week is here! Are you psyched to see the collections?

Of course, I'm bummed that I wont be able to actually sit under the tents (or for that matter, just be in and around NYC during Fashion Week) this time around, but I'll still keep an eye out for you. Some good friends are going to view the Vivienne Tam collection in my place, so I'll be sure to share their thoughts and pictures with you.

I plan to be at Bryant Park for the Spring 2010 collections, especially because, after 15 years, that will be the last time the park will play host to New York Fashion Week. Starting in 2010, Fashion Week's new home will be at Lincoln Center.

Designers are miffed about the move, given that it's so far from fashion row and the garment district, but Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the Council of Fashion Designers of America and IMG (who runs the show) agree that the designers will have much more space at Lincoln Center.

Click here for Fall 2009 New York Fashion Week Schedule.


Letoya Luckett, formerly of Destiny's Child, on the Grammy red carpet.
The 51st Grammy awards came and went with much fanfare and drama. Of course, all of music's greatest wore fashion's finest on the big night. But, Letoya Luckett's colorful ensemble is the most memorable. It seems that fashion's response to the gloom and doom of this financial crisis is to counter with cheery colors. One look at the outfit above and I feel all sorts of endorphins being released. Letoya's sateen fuschia minidress is pretty great in and of itself, but her accessories took the outfit up just a notch. Similar finds are below . . .

Tom Binns' "Dumont" crystal necklace on, Christian Louboutin's "Rolando" python pump in aqua, available at Barney's and a colorful Angel Jackson "Rainbow" clutch, from on

Chromotheraphy, more commonly known as color therapy is a science that uses colors to promote physical and mental health and harmony. Letoya's outfit is a sign of what's to come. I predict that lots of bold, bright, fun colors will be on the runway for Mercedes-Benz Fall 2009 Collection Fashion Week!

Click on the label below for vintage Style Trends and Award Shows posts.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


I'd like to interrupt the regularly scheduled programming to let you in on this random tidbit.

. . . I've come to realize that I'm more superstitious than I'd like to think. So, while checking out my horoscope for January and February on I was pleasantly surprised to see that, amongst other things, Susan Miller thinks it is high time for me to start a blog if I don't already have one, or to update an already established blog.

Weird, right? I had to look over my shoulder a lil' bit and say a prayer just in case evil spirits were trying to communicate with me. But, then I thought about it a little more and concluded that since everyone and their mother has a blog, any astrologer who references a blog is probably going to touch on familiar territory.

Notwithstanding my cynicism, I think she's right. This blog has been up and running for years now and I still have yet to develop a logo. A year or so ago, during a particularly inspired 2 hours, I came up with the idea for--and created a mock-up of--my ideal banner. I even re-registered (which I had in 2001, but let it lapse) . . . But, I'm woefully tech unsavvy, and am surprisely lax about this whole logo/website thing and should just pay someone to do it, but am secretly liking the blank, unadorned canvas that is this site.

But, guess what? Thanks to the artistic talent of this woman, whose Soul Baby Slings are definitely going to be featured here, I've discovered a really cool way to spice up this space. It's quite easy even for the technologically challenged--like me.

So watch out world. This blog is about to look a little better . . . at least for a while ;) Let's see how long this lasts.

P.S.- It won't be a big change, and hopefully you might even notice it! Baby steps . . .

Photo: Clutch Magazine


Michelle Obama wears Jason Wu (it's his lucky year!), she also wore Jason's dress to the Inaugural Balls. Photographed by Annie Liebovitz at the Hay-Adams Hotel.
The much anticipated Vogue cover featuring First Lady Michelle Obama is here! The Washington Post reports that this is the second time that a First Lady is featured on Vogue's cover.

Starting with Lou Hoover, Herbert Hoover's wife, first ladies have been photographed for Vogue, but those photos have often appeared inside where they are well placed, not quite hidden, but not quite having the oomph of being featured out front.- Washington Post
I expected nothing less for our history making First Lady. But, history aside, Michelle is far more fashionable than many of her precursors so the Vogue cover is only appropriate. It's the least they can do.
I don't love the pic, but I generally don't like the pics of Black women (that aren't models) that Annie Liebovitz shoots for Vogue covers. Remember this one? I'll lay off from the criticism, as it must have been hard to capture the essence of such a multi-varied woman on the eve of the most memorable inauguration in modern history, not to mention that this is, after all, the First Lady--the shot couldn't be too Vogueish.
P.S. - Maybe I'm too harsh on Annie. The pic below was taken by her and featured in Vogue's June 2008 issue. It's quite nice!

P.P.S. - The story is written by Vogue editor-at-large Andre Leon Talley. I have a pic of Andre wearing a fabulous reversible fur coat--braving the cold--on inauguration day. One of my girlfriends took the pic and he was gracious enough to take a pic with her as well! Good to see that others don't chicken out at the sight of him. I don't think I'll post it though, because he's my homie (in my head) and it wasn't the best shot of him. I don't want the bad karma!
Click on the label below for vintage Cover Style and Politics of Fashion posts!

Update: Check out the full Vogue story and additional pictures of First Lady Obama here.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Left: Blame it on Rio, $120.00, Right: The Python, $150.00
One of my favorite young designers is bringing us more of her fab designs. Remember Naana B.? Naana's been a busy bee since our last feature. In addition revamping her website and creating the Vixen collection, from which the snakeskin purses above are from, she designed two coutoure gowns for attendees of the inaugural balls and is set to launch a line of evening gowns and day wear in Spring '09. Log on to for the latest. Tell her I sent ya!


The word "tastemaker" is overused and cliched, but alas, there is no better word to describe Ursula Stephen.
The descriptor is quite apt in her case, as she literally precipitated the craze surrounding the little black bob.

Her handiwork is most prominently featured on Rihanna, but this celebrity hairstylist also counts Michelle Williams, Keyshia Cole and America's Next Top Model winner, Saleisha, amongst her clientele.
I tried to catch up with Ursula, and not-so-secretly tried to score a salon session with her, but this busy style maven is not available to work with hoi polloi the likes of me. Just kidding, she has not yet opened a salon, but intends to do so in the future. She found some time to graciously answer my questions. Keep reading for more of my interview with Ursula!
StyleChile: When did you become interested in doing hair?
Ursula: I've always been interested in hair. When I was a little girl I would always play in my moms hair- no matter how much she yelled at me. The best was when she went to the salon. Because she would need me to put the rollers in that night- Heaven lol.
StyleChile: Who were your influences?
Ursula: At that time, every salon stylist was an influence on me. I grew up going to the salon. Either to get my hair done or whenever my mom went to get her hair done. So I would always admire the stylist. I wanted to be just like them. Even at that age I could admire their craft.
StyleChile: How do you manage to stay fashionable?
Ursula: Staying fashionable? -ha! I don't know. I've always had a love for fashion. And I feel the two-hair and fashion, go hand in hand. I'm always flipping through fashion magazines. They give me inspiration, and keep me in the know!
StyleChile: Do you have any tips or words of advice on hair care for today's fun, fashionable, females?
Ursula: Love your hair!, baby it! Its not as strong as you think. Although you wanna keep up with all the trends be sure to incorporate a HAIRCARE routine.
StyleChile: How do you stay inspired?
Ursula: My inspiration comes from so many things. Fashion mags, old movies, old hair mags, sometimes just walking around the city. My imagination is wild!
StyleChile: Tell us how to best obtain your services?
Ursula: Well at this point in my career its definitely not easy-smile. I'm moving around so much. However a salon is definitely in my future plans!
StyleChile: Of what achievement at you most proud?
Ursula: Wow!, well my Gucci ad is definitely one of them. I just became a spokesperson for Motions- definitely proud of that! But most of all I'm just happy that my work is out there for the world to see and appreciate- it's a blessing!
StyleChile: What are some of your favorite hair trends this season?
Ursula: Besides short hair. Lol. I'm loving the mid-length mushroom haircut with round bangs. And I like the snatch backs. Either sleek or a little messy.
StyleChile:What's your favorite hair care product?
Ursula: I love leave-in conditioners, right now L'anza is one of my favorites.

P.S. - my thoughts and prayers are with Rihanna as she deals with the unfortunate pre-Grammy incident involving boyfriend, Chris Brown.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


Left: fromt he Icon collection, sporty and chic--Classy, $89.00. Right: from the Kiki collection, vivid color and rubber banding--NW Emilian, $89.00.
This is exciting! I've always been a fan of the uber comfortable New Balance...perfect for running or not. I've always known about New Balances, but have got my D.C. homies to thank for really putting me on to the line. No one wears New Balances like a guy from D.C.!
This collaboration with Nine West is touted as the perfect combination of fashion and performance and I think they may be onto something. The sneakers arrive in select stores by March, but you can pre-order today! Select your favorites from the Icon, Sheer, Kiki and DNA collection.


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