Month: February 2015

Spring 2015’s Most Wearable Trends

Sometimes translating what’s seen on the runway to your closet can be confusing. When I first got into fashion, I’d view the looks and think “Who the heck is going to wear that?” But I’ve learned to not take them so literally; yes she’s wearing a million and two feathers, but that doesn’t mean you have to also. The trick is to see what the correlation is across the board, how many designers showed a specific thing? Colors, prints, certain silhouettes, these are the elements that people like me look for during these shows so we can inform the masses about them. This season I was really excited to see a lot more trends that, for the average woman, are totally do-able. I’ve compiled a list below with pictures, and a few tips, to help you make these trends all your own. So, without further adieu, here are this Spring’s most wearable winners:


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Shirtdresses

This season designers put a more personal touch on this classic shape by adding drop waists, double high slits, and more. No matter which style you choose, you’re sure to be the most stylish cutie at the park.


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Yellow

Now, hear me out before you strike this one off your list. From amber to saffron and canary to marigold, there’s a shade of yellow that looks great on everyone. The trick is figuring out your skin’s undertones, then all you have to do is find the hue that compliments it best. C’mon, live a little! You deserve some sunshine in your life.

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Gingham

Fall gave us plaid, but this Spring is all about it’s charming cousin. Blacks and blues have a more pleasing aesthetic than red. You want to go to picnics, not look like a picnic table.


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Black and white

This one’s not too cutting-edge, but what sets this season’s take apart from other interpretations of this classic color combo are the interesting varieties of textures, patterns, and silhouettes.


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Culottes

This Spring 2014 style is here to stay for another round. Pairing them with a blazer, tailored button-down, and high heels will have you workplace ready. Tell those wool slacks and boots to vamoose, and show off those calves. You’ve been working on them all winter and now’s the time to show those babies off.


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Blue and white

Black and white may be a little too rigid for your taste, and I totally understand. This understated version just might be more your speed, take it for a spin when you’re in the mood to make a statement without wearing too much color.


spring7

Kimono-style Trenches

Precise tailoring can look very smart, but that wasn’t the message sent this season. Slouchy, lightweight trenches were spotted all over the runway. A style that you can wrap yourself up in, made from luxe fabrics weightless enough to get caught in a spring breeze. What’s not to love?


spring8

Head-to-Toe White

When winter rolls around we immediately gravitate to black and gray, they’ve become a uniform of sorts. But with spring on the horizon, I can’t think of a better way to give that gloomy old wardrobe a much needed facelift than by hightailing it to the complete opposite side of the spectrum. Mixing textures, layering multiple pieces, and pairing various shades are a few styling tricks seen this season that have given this crowd favorite a nice refresher.


spring9

Medium-size Obi Belts

This has to be one of the season’s most flattering trends. Tying on an obi belt and knotting it on the side is your first-class ticket to a whittled middle section. Cinched waists were seen all over, From New York to Paris, and in a myriad of ways. Alexander McQueen’s Sarah Burton took the delicacy of geishas and paired them in stark contrast to samurai strength. While Alexander Wang opted for a more sporty approach, with perforated neoprene types, casually tied atop sharp blazers.


spring10

Flats, Slides, and Sneakers

Thank Heaven above comfortable shoes are here to stay! No matter if you’re a sneakerhead, love a good minimal two-strap sandal, or live for slides— there’s something cute and comfy out there waiting on you.


spring11

One-shoulder Cuts

Your shoulders have become the sexiest part of your body overnight. This twist on Spring 2014’s off-the-shoulder trend is perfect for a night out with that special guy (or your bff for sushi if you’re single like me #foreveralone).


spring12

Roomy Denim

No matter what season it is, jeans are always a given. But this season showed cropped, baggy cuts which I find quite intriguing. The baggier, the better! You should keep your tops slim, that will create a cool contrast. And though it’s not quite spring yet, now would be a good time to start weening yourself off that favorite pair of skinnies you can never seem to go without. Yes, I know you love them, but change is good.


spring13

Polo-style Shirts

Ralph Lauren polos were a staple of ’90s fashion, now the style is back and better than ever. Mr. Lauren sent his iconic shirt down the runway in bright, bold colors and paired them with maxi skirts, guaranteeing that you’ll literally be the most comfortable person on the planet.


spring14

Military Greens

At ease soldier, and say hello to Spring’s new neutral. A nice gradient of military green has made several appearances on the catwalk this season. From Rag & Bone’s utilitarian parkas to Marc Jacobs’ desert fatigues, designers have inspired our inner heroes to pay a visit to the nearest army-surplus store.


spring15

The Fabulously Fancy Apron

There’s finally a new layering method for the more daring fashionista. Rocking a skirt, short or long, over a dress will give you a visually stimulating look while adding a couple extra doses of coolness.


I’m so ready to start my Spring shopping, and I hope this brought some clarity to the ever perplexing world of Fashion Week trends. Shake it up a little (or a lot), a new season is the perfect time to try new things. Wear prints that you’d usually stay away from, a color that you’ve sworn off forever. You just may be surprised to see that they can definitely work for you. 2015 is the year you push your style limits, now go forth and be chic! ❤


You Can’t Sit With Us: The Real Reason Behind Why the Fashion World Has No Time For Kanye West

Naeem Khan Spring 2015 RTW lela rose spring 15  Naomi Campbell

The purpose of Fashion Week, for those of you who don’t know, is to initiate the two major seasons—fall and spring— in which designers present their new collections for the fashion press, retail buyers, and other influential people in the industry. This year’s festivities were jam packed with furs, embellishments, feathers, and a new appreciation for the color orange. There were a lot of hits and a few misses, but no designer struck out nearly as bad as the monstrosity that is Kanye West. By now you’ve probably heard all the hype, or lack thereof, surrounding Kanye’s Adidas Originals Collection.

I honestly don’t even know where to begin. I’m still recovering from his post-Grammy’s rant about Beck not respecting true artistry, even though the man plays literally thirteen instruments and was the only writer on his latest album versus Beyonce’s twenty-five (and I feel that we should put an asterisk by Bey’s name on that list, because who really believes that woman writes her own music? Not I). But I digress. I guess now’s a good time to warn you guys that I’m about to go on a little bit of a rant of my own, but I promise you it’s absolutely justified.

Kanye West is full of shit, everyone knows that. But the gravity of just how much shit he’s actually full of didn’t quite hit me until I saw this line, and the shenanigans that followed. Everyone who is anyone has weighed in on the it.

The Washington Post said, while it was his best effort so far, he ” didn’t dazzle the eye.”

Refinery29 called it “meh.”

And an Uber driver called it ” a bit frumpy.”

But there was no criticism that echoed louder than that of fashion icon and creator of New York Fashion Week, Fern Mallis. “I’m kind of over Kanye,” she told the New York Post. “I mean, I’m not a fan of his music, and the attitude and the agenda is not my style.” Well, in true Kanye style, he responded to the criticism like the asshole he is. He defended himself, his (booty ass)  collection, and his “vision” on Twitter in a nine-series hissy fit.

“To Fern Mallis: I just want you to understand that attempting to do [a] clothing has been very difficult”

“And I have encountered countless amounts of bigotry along the way. I have millions of ideas, and I represent a new generation just trying to express themselves in a broken world.”

“I don’t call myself a designer as I was not allowed to go to Saint Martins – because I was too famous by the time I realized I wanted to design. Fame is often looked down upon in the design world, so it’s actually been something I [have] had to overcome.”

“All we have are our dreams, and you can step our dreams and ideas all you want, but we won’t stop fighting.”

“We want to innovate and we will win someday. If you wanna have a drink with me, book a table at the spotted pig when I’m back in NY.”

ye

Who the hell does this idiot think he is? I mean really. Fame has been his cross to bear in life, is that what he’s saying? And it’s been his dream to have piles upon piles of ratty dish rags, holey socks, and Salvation Army rejects sewn together, draped over fifty or so models, and walked down the runway in a seemingly zombified stupor? And who are “we”? What is he even talking about? Look, I’m not bashing him because he sucks as a designer; I’m bashing him because he sucks as a human being. It’d be one thing if he was just bad at making clothes, but it’s an entirely different thing to be horrible and have the audacity to be an ass about it.

Fashion is something I live, eat, sleep and breathe; that is why this maniac’s buffoonery has me so heated. There are people in the industry, many of which, who have devoted their whole lives to fashion. Individuals who have came from and started with nothing, worked tremendously hard, and made it against odds that we couldn’t even begin to fathom unless we walked in their shoes. This isn’t a game to them, it’s their lives’ work. And to have some crazy, egotistical lunatic bastard come in and desecrate the very thing they’ve devoted their entire beings to makes me want to scream. There are so many other worthy (and real) designers out there that would’ve appreciated that opportunity, and he just squandered it. And to add insult to injury, he fires shots at the very woman that created the platform which gave him the opportunity to show those fugly, post-Apocalyptic pieces of whatever. And we’re just supposed to let it slide because, like he explained to the crowd after arriving late (yet again), he’s “only human”.

Another thing that (for in an attempted to cut back on using such colorful language) grinds my gears, is the fact that many of these celebrities think that money and the strength of their names are the only things they need to successfully launch a career in fashion. Somehow they think that it’s super easy, and won’t take too much effort. Wrong, wrong, wrong! I was a pre-med student studying to be a brain surgeon before I got into fashion design, and ultimately merchandising and journalism. Learning how to trace a drop of blood through the heart, while balancing on one leg, in roller skates, with one eye covered, and trying to chew bubble gum is easier than trying to design an entire line from start to finish. You have to have a concept, why are you making this? What are you making? For who? What are your demographics? Geographics? Psychographics? What’s your brand’s message? Why should anyone buy what you’re making? What are your target consumers’ average disposable income? What types of things do they do for fun? Where do they vacation? Where do they usually shop? What’s their marital status, do they have children?These are the questions they should be asking themselves, the same questions Mr. Kardashian obviously didn’t ask himself. And what kills me is that, as an artist, he’s pretty damn familiar with all of these concepts. I mean, it’s how he’s able to market himself as a musician and make money.

*sigh*

Let’s examine the specimens, shall we?

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ye3

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adidas Originals x Kanye West YEEZY SEASON 1 - Runway

As I look at what sits before me, I can’t help but be confused. The pieces are frumpy, impractical, boring, full of holes, and just plain ugly. The only piece that  kept me from flat-lining  slightly piqued my interest was the military jacket Kim was seen wearing in the audience, but there was really nothing special about it. None of the pieces are aesthetically pleasing, and that is my main issue with them. As a consumer, I don’t buy ugly clothes. I also don’t buy clothing that isn’t well-made, or doesn’t fit properly. These pieces are comically over-sized. Why? No one seems to know.

In an interview with Style.com writer Dirk Standen, Kanye was asked if he’d seen what people are saying about the line, he replied:

| ” Oh, no, they just need to have the clothing. Anyone that has a negative comment just needs to have the clothing in their life. I don’t need to read that because it’s not going to inspire me in any way. I don’t need any more negativity in my life [laughs] to make me work harder. I can’t possibly physically work harder. I have to tell myself to go to sleep.” |

After reading that, all I could do is just sit and stare blankly at the computer screen. I sat there for quite some time, but once I got myself together I had a lot to say (and much of it was riddled with inflammatory language). First off, from a business standpoint, I don’t see how what he’s saying makes since. If I had just released something to the public (a line, a blog post, a sweater collection for kittens, ect.) I would want to know how people felt about it, and what their thoughts were. I’d actually be hanging off the edge of my seat in anticipation. As an entrepreneur, I know that it’s imperative to offer a product that will meet the consumer’s needs and get them motivated to buy it. If I willingly choose to disregard what the public, possible consumers of my product, has to say about it, what kind of message am I sending?

The message Kanye’s transmitting is clear: He doesn’t give one southern fried f-ck about anyone but himself. You don’t need to read what people, who may have been interested in buying this crap beforehand, have to say because it won’t inspire you in any way? Because you don’t need to work harder? Well, their comments and critiques should inspire you Kanye. They should inspire you do a hell of a lot better because what we saw on Thursday was total bullshit. And you most definitely need to work harder, give up sleep entirely if that means you’ll make something that isn’t as vapid and boring as your wife. Stop trying to paint this false picture of you enduring bigotry, because that isn’t the case at all. You aren’t being oppressed, you’re being rejected. And, by the looks of things, I’d say it’s justified.

I’m all for fashion being walking art, and Kanye is definitely within his right to create what feels true to him. It isn’t even the fact that the clothes are ugly. I mean, they are but it’s much deeper than that. His emotionally-charged antics, rude behavior, and total disregard for others is sickening. He loves to be the center of attention, yet he isn’t mentally or emotionally fit to handle criticism. He can take shots at his ex (see: Amber Rose), devalue the hard work of other artists (see: Beck, Taylor Swift), and go on a full rant at the drop of a hat (see: Jimmy Kimmel). He has absolutely no qualms with giving his two cents about others, especially when it isn’t warranted.  But he completely loses his shit when people tell him his clothes are ugly and he has no talent as a designer, both of which show a strong correlation towards the truth.

Just writing him off as a narcissist would be an injustice to humanity. Kanye’s tomfoolery is the product of his own tarnished self-image. How many normal functioning adults, who are secure with themselves and confident in their abilities, do you know of that kirk out on people for the smallest things? Not many, right? Kanye isn’t sure of himself, and his arrogance shouldn’t be mistaken for confidence. He clearly is bothered from the negative reviews he’s gotten, because if he wasn’t, Twitter would have nine less incomprehensible and angry tweets. He cares what people think about him, and he desperately wants to be accepted by the fashion industry. The ego, the over-inflated since of self, and the delusional behavior are all part of the show. It’s a game of smoke and mirrors designed to make you believe he’s something and someone he isn’t. He’s been running the same act for so long, and now he’s at a place where he believes his own deceptions.

Mr. Kim K’s torn and tattered, Matrix-chic clothing line is a direct reflection of who he is as a person and who he is inside. Ugly, lackluster, and incomplete. It almost makes me want to pity him, but I know he’ll do or say something ridiculous to make me regret that. I usually don’t post much about celebrity nonsense, but I felt it necessary to give my thoughts on this. I’m tired of Fashion Week, and fashion in general, being treated like a public spectacle. With every passing year it’s becoming less and less about the artistry. I’m bothered by the fact that Kanye’s relevancy, not his fashion prowess, is what got Anna Wintour seated front row at his show next to his hollering child. These events aren’t about the designers anymore, everyone’s main concern is who sat in the front row at who’s show and what were they wearing. I’m praying for the day when designers are more selective of who they allow to attend their shows. Only the press, buyers, other industry leaders, family, and a few friends should be allowed to attend. No socialites, no reality tv cameras, no good girls gone bad, no individuals who have ninety-nine problems (a b-tch not being one of them), no mom-agers, no crying babies, and definitely no airheads who really believe that they invented the selfie (I’ll let you guess who said that one).

But i seriously doubt that day will come. Fashion is a business, and the main purpose of any business is to make a profit. As much as I hate the thought of it, these designers invite celebrities to their shows to create a frenzy surrounding their lines. It’s been that way for years and it’ll probably remain that way for many to come. Think of how many celebrities have become the faces of major brands. Rihanna for Balmain, Beyonce for H&M, Kendall Jenner for White Sands. Effective marketing at it’s finest, and I’m all for that in terms of ad campaigns. But where do they draw the line? What would possess Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing to make KimYe the new faces of Balmain? What was Anna Wintour  smoking  thinking when she allowed them to be on the cover of Vogue? Sales, plain and simple. Relevancy has replaced talent, and that has become the biggest tragedy to date.

Iconic Style: Janelle Monae

Janelle Monae has to be one of the entertainment industry’s most fascinating oddities. Here’s a girl, from Kansas City, Kansas, that has done the exact opposite of what’s been considered the norm and her career has excelled tremendously. I first heard of Ms. Monae after the release of her 2010 single “Tightrope”, and I’ve been a loyal fan ever since. Her music is a harmonic fuse of fantasy, funk, and soul. Her talent is unmistakable, her humble demeanor is intoxicating, and her vibrant spirit is the source of inspiration for many young women like myself. A few weeks ago, I was given the amazing opportunity to attend this year’s Trumpet Awards. Jamie Fox, Tommy Hilfiger, and the Isley Brothers were all honored for their career achievements. Janelle Monae was also an honoree, and when I found out she was going to be there I almost died from excitement. My she-ro, my icon, my source of inspiration was going to be sitting in the same room as me! I was going to see her onstage, hear her speak, and breathe the same air as her! I was literally in groupie-mode, and wasn’t ashamed one bit. That was such an awesome experience.

jm trumpet

One undeniable, and obvious, factor that sets Janelle apart from her peers is her appearance; she clearly isn’t drinking the kool-aid that most people in Hollywood are gorging themselves on. She’s modest. And sexy. Simultaneously. In an interview with Essence Magazine, she explained why she chooses to maintain such a demure sense of style. She says it’s her attempt to:

| “ redefine what it means to be sexy and what it means to be a woman. Showing my skin is not what makes me sexy… I like skirts and dresses just like everyone else, but I had a message I needed to put out there. It was up to me to show people and young girls there was another way.” |

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Janelle Monae isn’t my style icon because, somehow, she’s managed to take two colors from the entire spectrum and created a style that is not only exquisite, but all her own. She isn’t my icon because she looks fabulous on the red carpet. And she isn’t my icon because her hair is bomb as hell (And natural. Natural girls say woop woop!). Janelle Monae is my icon because she does not, and will never, compromise her body image to fit in the world around her. She notices what her peers are doing, and she continues on with her message. She has proven, time and time again, that she can be trusted as a role model for this generation’s women and young girls. She’s true to herself, and she inspires millions of young women everywhere to do the same.

JM2

What sets her apart from her booty-baring constituents is her ability to garner the right kind of attention. Through her music, she encourages her listeners to be more socially aware; you will never catch her referencing male genitalia to various cold-blooded reptiles. *super shade to Anaconda* Her style is a regal execution driven by a love for mixing and matching interesting fabrics, all-over prints, and intricately constructed pieces that stop the show. Janelle Monae is a breath of fresh air in a business where sex sells and modesty is viewed as boring. With every public appearance and Instagram upload, she is tearing down the walls of warped ideals involving beauty and female sexuality. I personally invite you to hop on and ride the wave. And to Ms. Monae, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your excellent work and for inspiring an awkward, off-beat late bloomer like me.

Makeup Faux Pas You’re Probably Committing: Part One

There are times when I’ve looked at old Facebook pictures and and thought, “What the hell was I thinking?” I have tons of old photos where I’ve showcased how not to properly apply makeup. Among the losers are: horrible attempts to fill sparse brows, raccoon-chic eyeliner, and lip gloss applications that pop just a little too much. Below is the first installment of makeup faux pas we’ve all committed at least once in life, and (hopefully) have ditched. And if there are some you may still be doing without realizing it, keep calm because I’ve included some easy tips for fixing them.

wrong foundation

1. Wearing the Wrong Shade of Foundation

We’ve all done this, I certainly know I have. This usually happens more frequently when you’re trying to find the right shade of drugstore foundation. Those swatches on the shelf are so helpful. Yeah, no!

Fix: Choose two shades that come closest to your skin tone, apply each of them to your jawline, and then go outside to natural light and look in the mirror. Use your own judgement to see which one looks most natural.

dry skin

2. Applying Makeup on Dry Skin

Applying foundation to dry skin is an absolute no-no! Doing so only accentuates flakiness, and those dead skin cells left behind will sit on top of your face instead of blending in.

Fix: Exfoliate once a week, then apply a rich moisturizer afterwards.

wrong blush

3. Wearing the Wrong Shade of Blush

Blushes should compliment your natural blush tone, not make you look like an embarrassed cartoon character. And your nickname may be “China doll”, but that doesn’t mean you have to look like one.

Tip: If you’re wearing a bolder lip, make sure you pair it with a subtler blush. I guess Ms. Aguilera didn’t get the memo.

over bronze

4. Applying Too Much Bronzer

Over-liberal bronzer application has to be one of the biggest makeup blunders MUAs everywhere complain about. Your bronzer is supposed to give you a natural, healthy glow, not make you look like a bronze metal.

Fix: Don’t apply it all over your face. The only areas you should be focused on are your forehead, temples, and nose. And don’t forget to apply some to your neck as well.

brushes

5. Not Cleaning Your Brushes

Skipping out on cleaning your brushes not only keeps your makeup from looking fresh, but it can also cause break outs.

Tip: Wash them with a mild shampoo or instant brush cleaner, and replace your sponges regularly.

switch

6. Not Switching Makeup Seasonally

Have you ever noticed that your makeup always seem to run from time to time? This usually happens during the warmer months and right now, since it’s cold as bricks outside, it may not seem like such a big deal. *flips winter the bird* And while the weather may be terribly unforgiving, this next tip is pretty handy when we get ready to transition into Spring.

Tip: Switch formulas during the Spring and Summer to waterproof pencils and mascaras, as well as cream shadows to stop your makeup from smudging or running. You worked so hard on it, it’d be such a shame for it to melt away.

Hopefully you’ve seen the error of your ways and are taking the necessary steps to correcting what you’re doing wrong. Reading over many of these tips have definitely set me straight, and i vow never to commit these blunders ever again. I hope this helped you guys, and be sure to stay tuned for part two! 🙂

Stay beautiful my loves ❤