LDW Fashion

When my college girlfriend visited New York, I knew we were going to have the best time. It was Labor Day Weekend which meant an extra day on Monday to rest. I know seriously, I can’t hang. LOL. That weekend it would be four ladies, myself included, enjoying good vibes and food. We made reservations for Pera Soho, a mediterannean restaurant in downtown NYC. I suggested the place because of the lovely outside seating they had in their back terrace. I hadn’t been to the restaurant recently, but I still remembered the ambience and the flavorful meal. The evening was lovely and the food was delicious. My only complaint would be that we weren’t seated in the terrace area with the ambience I loved. The restaurant was running a little different because of the pandemic, but we were disappointed nonetheless because there were people seated in that area. We chose not to pursue our desires and settled with the outside seating on the street. It was still nice and the food was good too.

Now, let’s get into my look! I decided to give full on DIVA vibes because I don’t go out often, so when I do I just show up and show out. Deep down beneath the black and muted hues, I LOVE color. When working on personal styling projects, you can bet there will be tons of color like a rainbow explosion. I’m not kidding. I always felt like color exudes a mood and a vibe that is undeniable. If someone walks down the street, in a bright yellow outfit, you will not forget that outfit. So with that being said, my LDW look started with my fun and vibrant green iridescent Area pants.

I knew I loved these pants when I saw them. I’m familiar with the stretch lame’ fabric that the brand is known for and so I knew these pants would fit amazing when I first laid eyes on them at Nordstrom on 57th street. I couldn’t fade the price, but about a month later I saw they were on sale on the Nordstrom website and obviously that was the only sign I needed. A tailored fit with a stretch fabric to hold the booty, what more could a girl ask for?!

From there, I wanted to keep things simple because the pant was already such a statement. I layered a slinky stretchy bodysuit from Boohoo in nude underneath to keep a clean chic look on top. Then I remembered, I’m always cold. I have a lot of different jackets for various ranges of the cold. If you’re from NY you know what I’m talking about. The weather changes here more than I can make up my mind. Nonetheless, the weather often dictates to my outfits.

I had lots of jacket options, but somehow a warm burnt red cotton jacket by Sea popped out my clothing rack to me. It wasn’t necessarily the best option for keeping the look simple, but let’s be real I am not a simple woman in any way or fashion. I love the shape of this jacket as well as the puffed sleeve detail. I think its the perfect piece to throw on and take a simple outfit up a few notches. It’s super easy to wear for everyday and also easy to care for since its cotton.

Pairing my Area bag with the look was a no brainer to complete this whimsical and festive look. I finished the look with a gold strappy sandal from Topshop. I was comfortable, chic, fun, and vibrant for the weekend ! I hope you guys inspired from my look and venture into color for yourself.

Xoxoxoxoxo, Chanel$Bunny

Ways to Save Fashion

Fashion is something we all know and love. As brands grow to be more sustainable, consumers have more options to shop guilt-free. As we head into the Fall season and start to change our wardrobe, here are a few ways you can contribute to the sustainability of fashion.

These are just a few that we came up with. Do you have any that you’d like to share. Drop some tips in the comments. Thanks for reading.

Love, Chanel

Nature Heals

Ever notice people in nature give reasons for being there like how they needed a break or wanted to get away and clear their mind. I thought this must be a common coping mechanism for many people including myself when I’m feeling triggered or overwhelmed, but apparently we are few. The average American spends 24 hours a year outside! If you don’t do anything else today, get outside. Enjoy nature. Nature is amazing and I believe that nature is God’s gift to us all. Nature brings peace. I recently loss a loved one. I have really been trying to take it easy but also keep busy so that I don’t fall into an episode of depression. Balance is always something to strive for in life. Going on walks and spending time doing little things outside with my loved ones bring me a lot of peace.

Remember I told you guys about healthy ways I cope with my anxiety and one of them is practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness is disconnecting from technology and really getting in tuned with your surroundings. What do you see? What colors are around you? What is that bird doing on that rooftop? Take time to really observe and take it all in. You’d be amazed at how at ease you feel and grounded after doing little mindful exercises like that. Every day is different, but to take time and really indulge in your surroundings for at least 30 minutes a day is very powerful. I think a lot of us have traded mindfulness for scrolling mindlessly on social media and utilizing the digital world as an escape. This is unhealthy and doesn’t contribute at all to your higher self.

Being in nature actually has been proven to have health benefits. Having trees and greenery in you neighborhood or even bringing some plants into your home can make a world of difference for your health. Neighborhoods with more greenery and trees have lower crime rates and the locals are less likely to be stressed. Did you know plants lower anxiety and stress by reducing your blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones? It’s amazing all that God has given to us and yet we take it very much for granted. Promise me you’ll go outside for at least 30 minutes today or go for a walk in your neighborhood. Put your phone in your purse and really embrace all that nature has to offer you.

Nature heals and if we really think about it we are a part of nature as well. Our genetic makeup wasn’t exposed to all this technology and advancements today. We are made up of 70% percent of water so that should already tell you a lot about who we are as human beings and what we need to survive. I feel for people who don’t like water, those who won’t even sit with with feet half way in. Nature can heal us, if we embrace it and allow it. I love nature because it doesn’t ask for permission to be is just does. It’s beautiful on its own and doesn’t mind going unnoticed, it will still go through it’s life cycle. There’s something to be said about nature in all its beauty. So much abundance and I know that if God created it, it was surely for a reason. While I’m here on Earth I will always find solace and peace in nature. If you haven’t tried practicing mindfulness yet, make it a thing to do this weekend. Then let me know how you felt about it.

Stay well. Stay blessed loves.

Xoxoxoxo, Chanel$Bunny

Shop the Look

Denim Shorts R13, Tank Nordstrom, Denim Button Down Vince, Sneakers Nike , Hair by Master Bey AList Hair Salon U Street DC

Designer Highlight : A’Kenya Phillips

Hey Honey Bunnies! You’re just in time. Grab a snack and settle in. We’re chatting with the creative and founder of custom clothing brand, Lilith & Mary. Kennie not only a creative, she is an author, designer, as well as dancer. C$BNYC is thrilled to finally have time during this quarantine. We are praying for the world, and letting God take care of the rest. Now let’s jump into this convo with the lovely Kennie!

C$BNYC – You’re an amazing creative. You write, you design and even create custom pieces. How did you get started?

A’Kenya – Thank you love. I started off as a writer. I’ve been writing since I could remember honestly. I’ve always loved creating a new life for myself especially since I grew up a really lonely and depressed child. Always been a black sheep so it was my way of being wonderful without outside opinions. I would write for the girls in my class, a child’s version of erotica since I was always draw to the erotic and sensual (weird, I know but I’m a Pisces lol). Then I got to HS and lost a writing contest so I stopped for about 4 years until a tragic breakup kicked me in the ass. I started it as a blog but I was tired of looking for a job after graduation so I needed something more productive to do. One novella, two poetry books, and 4 anthology shorts later, I felt I needed to incorporate more visuals as well as explain why my image and energy is so sexual. I want women to tap into themselves completely and authentically. Too often we live in everyone else’s truth and we die unfulfilled. We shove ourselves in boxes so we aren’t judged or lonely only to settle for relationships and circumstances that don’t make our hearts sing.

C – A lot of people who don’t know you would describe your work as risqué. Art is subjective so I’m sure when you create you have your vision in mind. What would you describe your work as and how do you think that society can benefit from it?

A – My work is definitely risqué, but it’s deeper than that. People are socialized to look at expressing your sexuality outside of the bedroom as taboo and inappropriate, but what they don’t realize is that line of thinking can limit them in all areas of life. Simply being unapologetic about who you are and how you feel can allow you to tap into your personal power, creativity, and devotion and love for self. I would describe my work and my brand as a self-helping, inspirational, beautiful, artistic lifestyle. Even when people are more reserved, they find the message helpful because it gives them the confidence to listen to what they want.

C – There’s a lot of controversy with sex toys and masturbation. I know this is something you strongly support. Why do you think these things are beneficial rather than problematic?

A – From just a basic standpoint, sex toys and masturbation are extremely essential because they allow you to discover your body and exactly how to turn yourself off, they allow you to express love to yourself, which seems silly, but psychologically speaking, it tells your brain that you love and honor you first. You give love and affection to yourself. It isn’t a need that you have to go seek out in others who haven’t proved that they love and honor you. From a spiritual standpoint masturbation helps activate your sacral chakra. Your loins hold energy that not only creates physical life, but allows you to manifest the life you envision on the outside. We always say sex is sacred and special in terms of sharing our bodies with others, but never think about what that power can actually do. When you focus on the life you wish to give birth to while aroused you’re more likely to conceive.

C – What are some things keeping you sane during this pandemic?

A – I have to be honest cuz I don’t like to be fake positive or whatever, staying sane is hard like omg so hard. Especially when you struggle with mental illness and a family who you can’t connect with. I do enjoy binging my holy trinity (Netflix, Hulu, & Prime Video), I’ve been dancing nude, sitting outside in the grass, and being a mama to my new kitty.

C – I know you’ve been designing more. Is that where you’re creative energy is flourishing the most right now?

A – Yes! I’m not much of a seamstress or an artist but I get these visions of things I would like to wear or some extra dramatic costume like piece I wanna wear to the grocery store but can’t because it would cost a million dollars and I’m not there yet lol. I’ve been researching old burlesque costumes and following for exotic dance wear companies and it has me soooooo inspired. I live for a good camp moment. I wish I could live it everyday so why not fill my closet with it lol.

All photography is the work of Kennie through her different mediums of creativity. Follow Kennie on Instagram @Lilithnmary

Weekends In Brooklyn

The day started meeting up with my girl friend Jacqueline near Atlantic Barclays. She was a bit hungry and so we decided to stroll and search for a place to eat. Since NY has been opening back up, many restaurants are open to dine for outdoor eating. It was a beautiful day so of course I found inspiration all around.

Beautiful flowers spotted while strolling in Brooklyn

Mural of Kobe and Gianna Bryant . R.I.P

Eventually we came across what seemed like a good spot to dine, BK9 . They were still serving brunch at 3pm and I have to say the menu looked delicious, but I didn’t have much of an appetite. I decided on the chicken and waffles and a Rhum Sangria. Jacqueline ordered from the dinner menu because the restaurant was very accommodating even though they weren’t serving dinner at the moment.

Seated outside at BK9
BK9 Menu
Chicken and waffles and steak at BK9 😍

The owners of the restaurant that spoke to us were very friendly and kind. They told us they started the restaurant with their friends. They’re nine guys from Brooklyn all from different Caribbean backgrounds which influences the menu heavily. From a selection of Barbadian beer to Jamaican Sorrel, they were not playing with their menu offering. We enjoyed our food and headed off to the next location wherever we would land. I think we more so had to walk off the food. Lol

Dancing the food off LOL

From there we stumbled into a vintage shop. I mean it was really a hidden gem. The owner Loretta was so happy we came by and it seemed as she was probably going to leave for the day had we not stopped by. Her shop Almost New is magical and she even told us of how designers come by to shop and she name dropped Marc Jacobs as one of them. She wasn’t thrilled about photo taking because designers often knock off the designs. She has a plethora of pieces and she can literally tell you the time period of each one. The store is a small quaint little shop but it is packed with the most beautiful and well made fashions from a time ago. I will definitely be going back to see Loretta.

It was a nice day to be out and exploring. I can’t wait to show you guys the goodies I bought! Stay tuned.

Xoxoxoxo, Chanel

Shop the look

Vince band tee, Revolve legging pants, Nordstrom sandals, JW Anderson tote bag

Friends with Benefits

Today was the perfect kind of Monday. I woke up and stuck to the status quo which usually includes saying my morning prayer, working out at home, and enjoying my homemade ginger tea. I swear it never gets old and its the perfect recipe for a great day. I was having lunch with a friend at a cute little cafe in Brooklyn, The Buren. The weather was lovely and so we enjoyed the small outdoor seating area. It was a cute and cozy location for my friend and I to catch up and share ideas. The perfect photo-op opportunity as well! LOL

At The Buren Brooklyn

Keep in mind The Buren is a cafe’. I would honestly go back for the coffee options. The location is the perfect chill spot to clear your mind or bring your work and get some things done. If I had to rate the food I would give it a 5 out of 10.

Chicken Sandwich, Avocado Toast, Mimosas

I ordered a chai latte with coconut milk. Okay, first of all I live for a creamy chai or matcha latte with right amount of sweetness and froth. This drink was all of that. I definitely could’ve just ordered a large size and been content, for what it’s worth. SN: Have you ever had a dirty chai latte? OMG. So good. I honestly couldn’t tell you the last time I had coffee. I think it was Jacqueline and Lizzy’s birthday dinner we were celebrating at Bar Pitti. Yes, it was ice cream with coffee poured over. Divine! Totally worth stimulating my nervous system. (So… bad do not follow me!)

At The Buren Brooklyn

Ok so I know why you’re here reading this blog. Either one because you love me and two you love me and want to know who I’m screwing, hence the title, “Friends with Benefits”. I’m so glad you came. No pun intended. Ashley is definitely one of my friends with benefits and not the only one. LOL. I am so grateful for sis because she benefits me not in the way some people may be thinking, but she is a great friend with many benefits. She’s honest, always tries to be her full self, and wants to grow and be better. I am truly inspired by my friends and thankful for the value I receive by being connected to them.

A graffiti mural in Brooklyn

I think to truly have a relationship with someone means taking time to communicate, building and pouring into one another. A lot of times we forget to make the real connections with the people we have closest to us and can’t fathom where we missed the steps. Part of me feels Drake when he said “No new friends”, but then part of me doesn’t want to put up walls and block people out just because. “Balance.” ! Basically, long story short; The family, friends, and people you currently have in your life are the relationships you have that you can either choose to build or choose to do nothing and be stagnant. But what doesn’t grow will surely die.

A graffiti in Brooklyn

Feeling inspired by Chanel’s #ootd. Click the links below to shop the look.

Vince blouse Isabel Marant Skirt Chic Frugality purse Maliko Studio sandals Diva Trap ankle Bracelet H&M earrings

Birthday Babes

Dinner at Bar Pitti

Jacqueline and Elizabeth are two of my lovely friends that I met while working at Barney’s on Madison Avenue. They both are stylish women and a blast to hang out with. I made reservations at 6pm at Bar Pitti in the city. The choice was fabulous and my first time going there. The pasta options were delicious. We ordered dessert to finish off our meal and it was even more delish. I would highly recommend this restaurant for dinner if you’re in New York City area.

Tirimisu, Sorbet with Coffee on top, Lemon Sorbet
Up Close of my Dessert at Bar Pitti
Elizabeth, Jacqueline stylish and beautiful

After dinner, we decided to take advantage of the beautiful night and walk through Soho. We knew it would be quiet and empty since everyone was staying home because of the pandemic. We were practicing safety precautions and wearing our masks as well. I didn’t expect to see all the stores covered with wood as a safeguard to protect their assets. It was strange to see but I’m glad we did.

Art drawn on wood put up by stores in soho to protect their stores during the protests
In the New York subway station

The message is clear as day. The violence and oppression against people of color will not be tolerated.

I opted for a fun get look for the night. A little Hollywood and a little western inspired. Click the links below to Shop my look. Thanks for the support. I really appreciate it! -Chanel

Ganni Western Cowboots Frame Poplin Shirt Dress Wandler Bag LilithnMary Corset Top Hermes bracelet Kenneth Jay Lane earrings

Brooklyn Fun

I had a beautiful start to the weekend with my good friend who’s name is also Ashley and boyfriend Chuck. We started the day at L Train Vintage, a cool spot in Brooklyn that has amazing vintage clothing. It was nice to be out and about since the pandemic and actually be able to shop in a store again. The fitting rooms weren’t open yet due to the virus though. I told myself I wasn’t shopping and just there for moral support for Ashley who was buying denim shorts. My boyfriend got some cool pieces as well. Long behold, there was a beautiful sequin beaded top that I could not resist. Luckily I have the best boyfriend, and he bought it for me. So technically I didn’t shop. Lol.

Beaded vest from L Train Vintage

Next, we got hungry from all the shopping so we grabbed a bite at Sisters, a Brooklyn bar and eatery, just some blocks away. The ambience was beautiful. It had a open rooftop for the most amazing sun light to come through. It was such an LA vibe as soon I stepped into the space and between me and you I’ve never been to LA. My friend did though and she agreed so much. It’s funny how we can tell how a place is or imagine it without ever having been there. Anyway, the food was yummy. I’m trying *keyword trying* not to eat meat so I had the Veggie Burger with fries and Brussels sprouts. I also had a frozen margarita that was def not shy on the alcohol. I enjoyed the outside seating because the day was beautiful. Most restaurants in New York are open for outside dining and/or takeaway.

Veggie burger, fries, Brussels sprouts and frozen margarita

After, we headed back to my friend’s place which has the most amazing rooftop. We hung out on the rooftop for a bit and caught some vibes. It was the perfect way to end the day but it didn’t end there for me. My night ended unexpectedly at a barbecue where I gave into a beef shush kabob. It was so yummy but my stomach was not happy the next morning. All in all I had an amazing start to my weekend.

Being that the weather has been so hot, I decided to keep it light and airy with my outfit. The warm tones I chose complimented my skin tone so well. My satin skirt from Vince worked perfect for exploring around Brooklyn because of its elastic waistband. Not only is the color divine, but the comfort of the skirt is unmatched. Keeping the brown tones consistent with my look, I paired my skirt with a nude Zara racerback tank, which actually is a set to be worn with matching biker shorts. I love breaking looks apart as well as mixing and matching to maximize my wardrobe. Lastly my shoes, were the perfect touch to complete my feminine but still comfy roaming around in the Brooklyn heat. I love a good cheetah print and they were the perfect print to add a pop to the otherwise minimal look. They were also super comfy. I got them for a decent price during a big sale Nordstrom was having. They’re BP label which is a Nordstrom brand. Would you wear this summer look?

Click the Links below to shop similar styles to my Fun in Brooklyn #ootd

Vince skirt Zara ribbed tank Nordstrom sandals

16 Black Owned Fashion Brands (Direct links of organizations you can donate to included)

In the height of the moments of riots, looting, and peaceful protests for the prolonged injustices and racial violence against black people in America, I am praying for peace. Peace to be still so that I can continue to walk in my purpose that God has set out for me. I am no longer living selfishly and abusing myself by working tirelessly without a purpose. We all have a legacy to fulfill and its solely up to us if we do or do not. I’d rather look back on my life years from now and say “Wow” instead of “What if”. I’m trying to be more mindful and for some funny reason the word “mindful” somehow always comes up some place in my life. I encourage you to write your dreams down on a piece of paper, have faith, do the work and actually allow things that take time to manifest. As a fashion stylist and fashion lover, I am definitely being more mindful of places and brands that I am shopping. I don’t know about you guys, but I personally love shopping cool brands that inspire me. This is why I am always really happy as a black woman in fashion to also shop a black owned brand. I’m sharing with you guys some of my favorite black owned brands right now. Check them out. Don’t forget to drop a black owned brand in the comments below! I know I didn’t get them all here ya’ll. Stay blessed loves! -Chanel

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ms_blm_homepage_2019 https://www.naacpldf.org https://action.aclu.org/give/now https://www.knowyourrightscamp.com/legal https://www.blackvisionsmn.org

UNBOXING : Chic Frugality

When 2020 started, I set networking as a goal for myself. I wasn’t expecting God to really challenge me by throwing in a whole pandemic. Wooh Lordt! So of course, I had to get crafty and clever and find new ways to network without being face to face. Recently, I decided to take Ronne Brown’s Prerequisite class to 1. help me build structure for my fashion business and 2. to network with other women who wanted to own their life and have freedom. Since doing so, I have found new and better ways to form content, learned valuable information to grow my business, and I’ve made new connections with business owners like me! Jessica is one of the amazing #Girlceos that I met. She is a boss babe and has a vintage thrift shop business called @ChicFrugality. She recently had a virtual sale on Instagram and I couldn’t resist snagging a few pieces to add to my wardrobe. I purchased THREE bags that I am so excited to incorporate into my existing wardrobe. This is also my beginning stages of practicing with iMovie so bare with me. Enjoy!

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ms_blm_homepage_2019 https://www.naacpldf.org https://action.aclu.org/give/now https://www.knowyourrightscamp.com/legal https://www.blackvisionsmn.org