Retro Inspiration: Music

I love fashion.  I think we know this by now.  I find inspiration for my style of dress in many places.  The obvious ones are fashion magazines and blog sites.  I also find inspiration when I do my YouTube searches for live recordings of my favorite artists.  It just so happens that a lot of them were making music way before I was a twinkle in my mother’s eye.  Some were making music way before my mother was twinkle in anybody’s eye.  Either way, my greatest source of retro inspiration is the music itself and what the artists wore.

This video posted on YouTube showcases Tina Turner in a look that I love.  Enjoy!

Treat Yo Self

HEAR YE!! HEAR YE!!! This right here…

Now, I am not talking about once a year.  I am thinking more along the lines of once a month.

I am a single mother AND a PhD candidate.  I don’t think I need to go into much more detail for anyone to understand that there are certain things that I need to do for myself.  I am on a budget, so I have had to be pretty creative.  I gift myself a monthly massage or mani/pedi.  I am working on the whole falling back in love with my hair thing and I like makeup.  SO, I extended my monthly gifts to (drum roll) BEAUTY BOXES!!!!!!

I gave myself a budget of $40, which was my previous “me time” monthly budget after massage or mani/pedi.  I have to be creative with that kind of budget but it has really worked out well since I have started subscribing to beauty boxes.  Added bonus? I don’t really have time to go to stores to shop for new items (which also leads to overspending) and online shopping comes with inconvenient shipping costs.

I chose to subscribe to My Brown Box and Nappturalite Radio BOOMbox.

My Brown Box is a subscription service that focuses on beauty products for women of color.  At $20 which covers shipping, this is a great deal.  I received three full size products which, when added up individually, cost more than the monthly charge for the box.  I have been TOTALLY pleased with what I have used so far.  The samples are of a decent size; enough to actually get an idea of the quality of the product.  The selections seem to be really thoughtful:  BEAUTIFUL, versatile shades and good quality products.  I am not a lipstick everyday person, but I received a shade that is rich and luscious AND that has worked it’s way into regular rotation.  Check our their blog at http://www.mybrownboxblog.com, too.  I enjoy the fashion posts.

BOOMbox is a subscription service that focuses on hair and body products for naturals.  Nappturalite Radio is a long running radio show that revolves around black hair and natural lifestyles.  At $15 (shipping included), this box packs a punch.  You get a free music download (AND I AM ALL ABOUT INDIE MUSIC) and mostly full size hair products.  This month, I received a gorgeous HANDMADE headband!  I also, received a moisturizer that may save me from always having to make homemade moisturizer for my son, who has eczema.  Like My Brown Box, two or three products individually add up to the total cost of the box and the samples are sizeable.  Check out nappturaliteradio.com for the latest radio show.

So there you have it!  I think beauty boxes are a great way to TREAT YO SELF in a less costly way.  Also, it’s cool to share the products and samples with friends and family!!!

Gaultier Spring 2013 Couture: A girl can dream

When I think of Jean Paul Gaultier, I think of cone bras and safety pin dresses.  His work often conjures up images (from my teenage obsession “Fashion TV”) of women in black dripping in power.

As a womens wear designer, I like his point of view.  People call it S&M, but I think there is more depth.  I think it’s a rebellion against patriarchy and tradition.  Yes, it’s sexual.

I found myself trying to play catchup on fashion and came across his Spring 2013 Couture line on style.com.  It was what I enjoy about Jean Paul Gaultier in a way that I don’t recall ever experiencing.  This line is regal in a way that I don’t think he has done regal before.  (Or maybe I need to dig deeper in my mind and the archives of fashion websites.)  It is still powerful and edgy, but with a slight shift in perspective.  It’s JPG, just different.

from style.com

from style.com

jeanpaulgaultier2013spcouture2

from style.com

jeanpaulgaultier2013spcouture

from style.com

These pieces are the kinds of creations that get filed under “a girl can dream.”  They take me back to my childhood fantasies of my grown up self.  One day, maybe.

Lovely vintage

Imagine walking into a consignment shop and seeing a pair of gorgeous handmade velvet (REAL VELVET) pumps.  These pumps are so beautiful.  Handmade.  Olive green velvet with satin accents.  Leather soles and lining.  The size and style information are handwritten in wonderful penmanship.  I could not walk away from these shoes.

Then, imagine walking to the front to buy said shoes and being told that you have given the store so much business that you have earned a gift credit.  Gorgeous handmade vintage pumps…FOR FREE!  (At least that is how I thought of it once the credit was applied.)

vintage Delman pumps

vintage Delman pumps

I also picked up some tan leather platform stilettos and a cute leather flower ring.

Love second hand shopping.  Between Goodwill and consignment shops, I should have no problem finding a dress and pearls to go with these beauties.

Michelle Obama: Galactic gladiator…and I love it!

Today marked the second Inauguration of Barack Obama as President of the United States.  It falls on the day that we celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  It also falls on the first full day of this conference I am attending…fun times.

I used the morning coffee break to catch up on the “goings on” across the country and in DC.  I felt proud, encouraged, challenged and a little bit envious.  THEN I saw Michelle Obama!  Poised and regal as ever, Mrs. Obama was channeling something a little different today:  galactic gladiator.  I think of Star Trek and The Matrix with elegance.  The queen of the day who is ready for any battle that comes her way.  I am sure I am flexing my geek muscles, but I don’t care.

From the bangs to the metallic jacket and THOSE BOOTS!!  The aubergine gloves and jeweled belt were amazing touches.  It’s an inspiring look.  And more than a look, it’s a message.  Powerful.  Intellectual.  Strong.  Individual.  Intentional.  It’s a message in a beautiful, glowing package.

michelle-obama-thom-browne-inauguration2-h724

from glamour.com

It’s a jacket, but it’s so beautiful

This jacket is…

I love florals.  I love florals in the way that makes the Christian Dior Fall 2010 Haute Couture line a permanent memory.  It was colorful, lush, and grand.

When I think of florals in fashion I think of the many interpretations; my mind wanders from the beading of Naeem Khan to the sweet prints of Tracey Reese.  I particularly ENJOY an edgy rendition of florals.  I particularly love a floral presented in a way that makes me say “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like that before.”

Enter the floral corded moto-jacket from 3.1 Phillip Lim.

IMG_4779

from June Ambrose’s Instagram account

I was casually Instagram stalking June Ambrose (as I am known to do over lunch) when I came across this pic.  It was so beautiful I had to take a screen shot.  The colors.  The texture.  The zippers.  The shape.  THIS IS A WORK OF ART!  And did I mention it’s silk.

I have daydreamed about this jacket.  Yes, I daydreamed about wearing this jacket with black leather skinnies with black leather stiletto boots.  And a black pencil skirt and pearls.  And a black maxi dress with orange, mint, lavendar long beaded necklaces.  Funny, I only wear it with black in my daydreams.

Either way, it’s gorgeous.

IT’S MEN’S FASHION WEEK IN MILAN

Hey Gucci!  Hey Balmain!  Hello fellas dripping in luscious, luxurious, perfectly cut clothes!

I love men’s fashion weeks of the world.  I love menswear.  I am that person who believes fashion is art.  I am that woman who thinks that just as much technique and vision goes into designing for men as for women.  I am that woman whose style is inspired by menswear just as much as womenswear.  But I digress…

With it being fashion week and with it being time to prep for spring, I have taken it upon myself to pick one of my favorite looks that I think will hold up well as a long standing fashion staple.  (FYI GQ.com and style.com make it very easy for a busy person like myself to keep up with what is going down the runway.)

So far a fave that I think would work for most body types and most budgets is this casual gray suit sent out by Michael Basitan.  It’s classic.  It’s incredibly sexy.  You can switch out the shirt for a v-neck T or even a light-weight henley or a white tank or a red T-shirt or…IT’S VERSATILE is the point.  It’s gender bendable.  It’s a look for men or women.

from gq.com

from gq.com

Loafers.  Heels.  Converses.  Black leather accessories.  Or OOOOOOOH…AUBERGINE ACCESSORIES!

Me likey!