Cinched

Cinched tailored waists hit the runway hard this Fall/Winter season 2018. With women’s health awareness at a high, waist trainers get ditched for something less permanent and stylish to wear! Guys can even rock the trend too! Yes that’s right. See Dior double breasted sport coat below.

Designers like Jil Sander, Roberto Cavalli, Michael Kors, and Altuzarra showcased tailored waisted garments on the runway in power suit silhouettes to make their woman feel all the more feminine. It was the perfect juxtaposition of masculinity and femininity for the current trend of increasing percent of women starting their own businesses. This is a look for you boss lady!

This F/W season you can mostly find this trend on sport coats. A piece borrowed from the boys and chiseled away at the waistline. I adore this Cavalli leopard print blazer. It’s super chic and fun with a refined and structured shape. Based on your body type you can rock the trend with cigarette pants and skirts or a fluid trouser.

Any great fashion will speak to the zeitgeist. I think we are seeing this trend with many women who are finding out they can start their own business. They are no longer confined to the corporate office policies and so they want to dress the part but not sacrifice feeling sexy and feminine. Nothing makes a woman feel sexier than instantly shedding a few inches off your waistline by wearing something. I mean it almost sounds like magic but that is the power of a tailored garment.

Belts are a great idea to DIY your own tailored waist. I recently fell in love with the idea of a belt as an accessory for pretty much any piece. Try your favorite chunky cozy faux fur coat with this Free People leather belt to accentuate the waistline for a completely new feminine look.

How about this beauty from &Other Stories . It’s the perfect pop of color and sprinkle of glam. Pair it with an oversized cardigan to let the belt really shine as a statement piece but to not appear like you’re trying too hard.

Chain belts are another favorite of mine and have been around for years. This one from Asos combines the maximal trend with expressive wording across the belt. It’s a super fun piece and a great addition to any wardrobe.

So you see the cinched waist trend is super easy to wear. You can personalize the trend for your lifestyle and that is super important in fashion. How do you plan to rock the trend this season? Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Can’t wait to hear you guys feedback.

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A New York Minute

 

As I began to grab inspiration for my next project, I wandered out to enjoy the warm Fall day as the sun kissed my skin and greeted me along the way. I went to the Soho part of Manhattan. I work in the area and know it well but I hardly get to take time and enjoy all it has to offer. It’s therapeutic and stimulating for me to see different concepts and ideas, to allow someone else’s vision to capture my imagination. It was a fulfilling day indeed. The Moncler House of Genius pop up was an exquisite unique retail experience with designer collaborations numerically ordered throughout the span of the 5,300 square foot retail space on the corner of Mercer and Spring Street.

The atmosphere was a retail shopping experience in a creative museum like gallery with small souvenirs available to purchase if the three thousand dollar coats weren’t in the budget. Gem Drops: The visuals are Instagram worthy for sure. If you happen to be in NYC and want to visit the space, they will be there until the end of 2018.

Later in the afternoon I met with an old friend for some good ole Brooklyn thrift shopping. I had never been to L Train thrift and wanted to since I moved to NY because it seemed like one of the popular places for thrifting. It was a great time and such a pleasure to get up with an old friend. There was a huge selection of stuff to weed through that filled two large floor spaces. There was even an area designated to try things on with a huge mirror in the center floor just so you can come out and have you and your friend judge the pieces. I was really out to get things for the shoot but I couldn’t resist things for myself as well. With prices like $25 for fur coats and $6 chiffon blouses I don’t know too many that would resist. I purchased a sequined evening tank, a purple chiffon top. My friend bought me a corduroy jacket in a stunning indigo color to match his. #youcantsitwithus I can’t wait to wear it with my high waisted oversized trousers and a bootie for a look.



The day ended with us heading to the bar at Dinosaur BBQ. In true fashion we drank beers and I couldn’t resist an order of the smoky sweet wings. It was a lovely day.

Love, the strongest drug.

Living in NYC without family and working a hectic schedule in retail makes it difficult to stop and feel the love. So when my sister and mom told me they were coming up for a day to celebrate my birthday I was elated. It felt like forever since I have seen them and been embraced by their unconditional love. It was only a few hours drive from Washington, DC to Brooklyn, NY and so I was anxious counting down until I saw them. When they arrived I was at work so they met me down in soho. I took a lunch break the second they arrived and gave them a mini tour of soho and sent them off to lunch at one of favorite happy hour spots, The Cupping Room. Just that hour alone with them gave me enough energy to finish through the rest of my shift.

Later that night we met at my place and decided we would go to West Village for fun, just a 20-30 minute drive from my place. I got dressed while my mom and sister did their usual routine of inspecting my place and even brought a few new things spruce up the place. The Uber arrived and off we went to my Friday night birthday celebration.

First up, we head to Oppabar, a bar and karaoke joint with a cool ambience. Not to mention the fine ass dark skinned guy checking ID’s at the door. I read how the soy garlic wings are pretty major from there so I placed an order with fries. My sister got the calamari which was pretty tasty and my mom just munched from our plates. The bar was pretty good on the pockets with happy hour everyday, which we missed by the time we got there, and also special deals like $6 dollar patron shots. In celebration of my birthday, we had three rounds of patron shots with salt and lime.

I also had a cocktail drink that was made with gin called Herbal Aztec. I’m not a huge fan of alcohol but I guess the drink was good. It was strong but not too much. The bill came out and wasn’t too bad. We then decided it was time to dance. Speaking of which I didn’t find the karaoke at Oppabar nor was anyone there singing already so I didn’t take interest to inquire about it even though on the bar website, karaoke was advertised as a major deal every Friday and Saturday night.

The thing I’ve always loved about New York is that if you don’t know something there’s always a way to find out. We stop to take photos of course and after I ask another bar door man where can we go to dance. He suggested nearby Cafe Wha and off again we went. Cafe Wha, another cool spot, with a nice ambience and good vibes.

The place has live band performances and food and drinks. We were able to enjoy the show for just $15 dollars and we came at the perfect time just as the last show ended people cleared out and there was no line. As we went in the band was on break getting ready for the next set. This time my mom ordered fish tacos and raved how much more flavorful they were compared to the food at Oppabar. My sister ordered a strawberry martini and I in my true form ordered a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. The show soon began and we were in for a treat. I do not remember the songs they performed but I do remember we all laughed, danced, and had the best night.

The service was great and they were so friendly. It felt like we were in one big house party. I’m glad I was able to show my family a good time in a short amount of time. They plan to come more often now that it was a successful first visit from them to me this time, usually the other way around. Which is significantly more of a hassle because I hate the long, and most of the time delayed bus travel via Greyhound from New York to DC.

The time we spent was so rejuvenating and refreshing. There is nothing like the unconditional love from family. I felt life breathed back into me, not that it ever left but I was beginning to feel tired. Seeing them was energizing and put the hustle all back into perspective. Why I was here in New York? That I was doing amazing and not a complete slack. I was a queen that came from queens and have the support of a lifetime. I can do anything with love the strongest drug.

I’m wearing a LBD by H&M which has a choker style and flared sleeves. The body is fitted so you can size up. I wore a vintage jacket passed down to me especially since the weather in New York finally feels like Fall it felt so right. I paired the dress with my Helmut Lang stretch leather boots to add coverage and class, not to mention how comfortable to walk in they are. I didn’t want to take away from my minimal look nor be mistaken for 12 for the one hundredth time so I slicked my hair back into a low bun and Whala! A 26th bday weekend lewk. #styledbymoi

Anxiety

26 on the 24th of September. I had to subtract the years to compute the math. I was a little overwhelmed. What made this year so different from the one before? You know they say 25 is one of the big ones, but in true anti-norm girl fashion 26 was the one that did it for me. I had always knew who I wanted to be and for as long as I can remember tried to keep that vision in a safe place. Here at 26, I was not living up to the life that I created for myself in my head. I was a slave to my own thoughts, a victim of my own doubts, and ultimately living in a twilight zone. I knew that in order to be successful I had to be me consistently. All the while I had the resources all around me I never thought to apply it to my life. I even earned my business degree to add more value to my existing skills and be more marketable. All this valuable time spent on tasks and activities that were to better myself were just bullet points on a resume.

Don’t let anyone make the last decisions in your life. Friends and family are supposed to be proud of you and give encouraging words of praise when you are doing good things. The point that’s missing is what are you doing? And why are they proud of you for doing it? A lot of times parents baby their children and this doesn’t always create the best outcome for the child socially in the world because they look for this in people who don’t give a shit about them. Work smarter not harder is a major gem. I know any honest and passionate about what they’re doing person doesn’t want to cheat the hustle. That is not what I am saying. I am saying figure out the business that you want to create or be a part of and then create a goal to progress yourself and the business in some way. You should be challenging yourself in new ways. This leads to another major key which is challenging yourself in a healthy and ethical way. Life is crazy I know this, but it doesn’t have to be. Just as you woke up this morning, you have to take that same energy and go do the things you need to do in order to be productive and beneficial to your business. First things first you need to be in the right state of mind and body. Make sure you are getting enough rest and eating a healthy balanced meal three times a day. I’m no fitness guru so I can’t tell anyone to go to the gym. I do know that working out makes you feel great and relieves stress. I miss it but it is something you make time for and I won’t right now. This feels great. I am 26 and I don’t have to be nice or submissive. I am a grown ass woman. Something ironic about growing older is that you start to care less of what others want and think! You really can own who you are. It’s like “Yeah mfer you talked sh^t about in my high school but look at your ugly self now.” LOL The 25 year old me still hasn’t worn off. Petty as hell. But on some real…

I have come so far and I am so blessed. No one can steal my joy or happiness because GOD knows my heart. I just want more of whatever is in store for me and I hope to acquiesce in more life, more love, and blessings. So you see this is my true thought. My anxieties. I’ve shared my soul, but when I come back to reality I know that I am such a GODdess and the world is mine for the taking. I have to learn to practice patience and experientially saying that growing older is the cure. Thank you Universe for another year to grow.

VFILES

VFiles took us back to an era that many of us found joy in. Time traveling back to our fondest memories of going to a concert with friends, screaming your lungs out and swearing that your favorite artists looked right at you when they serenaded the crowd with their latest hits. As we sat in our seats at Barclays center waiting for the show to start, we soon realized this was not just about the clothes. It was also about a culture, a very strong VFiles culture and yes ladies and gentlemen hip hop and music continues to be a huge influence in this mix of fashion.

If not for anything else, I love that Vfiles is a conscious brand connecting with their tribe to sustain the business of fashion. There is an undeniable energy that flows through Vfiles and can be attributed to their sponsorship of new creative talent. Believing in the youth!

All of the designers created sustainable collections, which was a smart thing for VFiles at a time where sustainable processes of a clothing brand is a huge topic for the consumer. Each designer in the line up of the show had a strong message that was loud and clear. The collections felt like something never seen before. It was quite entertaining to watch the production and sad to say that doesn’t happen often in fashion these days.

Key trends from the SS19 shows were shiny fabrics, denim, plaids, and bright saturated colors. Hats and headwear continue to be prevalent since the Gucci X Rihanna ski mask photo-op situation, but I digress.

Singing artists performed in between each of the collections. I’m not sure if the bad sound jobs were intentional or lack thereof. Those who weren’t invited got RSVP tickets to the show through the Eventbrite app. A smart move because the shit went viral. Excuse my French. As a girl who will work for food I love being on set and #nyfwshowsnacks. It was disappointing that there weren’t any hot dogs to go along with the Sprite sodas given at the show. It was the Barclays Center, after all.

My favorite designer of the show was the first to walk but the last to leave my mind. Elena Velez revisited World War II and recreated “iconic style lines in non traditional materials”. The collection was breathtaking. She used rugged raw materials to create something so delicate to the the eye; so feminine! It was a brilliant concept. Her inspiration was bringing war to modern day society and literally creating the scenario of how fashion and society would change. Military influence was a major influence in the collection as well. When John Stuart Mill said “War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things…”, I understood.

The Barbie pink look was my fav from VFiles Yellow Label designed by Paul Cupo but I must admit the Vfiles brand collection was my least fav. I loved the the technical work displayed by Windowsen even if it didn’t have much ready to wear appeal. Shuting Qiu created this futuristic utopia with her psychedelic collection that was a mix of a lot of I’m not too sure but I loved every bit of it.

The headwear pieces, a collaboration with London bred milliner Leo Carlton, were the perfect accessory to balance the almost dizzying statement pieces. The makeup was also amazing!

Lil Kim finale at Vfiles #nyfw #ss19

My favorite look from a fashionable duo. @Nightspace

What was so special about Abloh’s first collection at Vuitton?

Masculinity has not died. It is not frail nor weak but is resilient and strong. It exists and does not have to borrow from femininity in order to do so. It is equal but opposite and deserves its praise alike feminism. Virgil is a creative artist who has shown us that there are no limits to a creative career in the business of fashion. Whether a collaboration with another designer (see. Off White X Jimmy Choo) or picture this interior decorating your new home with one of Virgil’s Off White X IKEA collaboration home pieces.

No doubt Virgil has a creative taste and wants to make his mark all over the design industry. We can appreciate femininity but with his SS19 LV collection this certainly was a nod to masculinity. Another concept for Virgil’s collection was the timeless classic film, The Wiz of Oz. The designer’s message was to encourage creatives to follow the yellow brick road just as he did to find his success. The show was beautiful with models from all different ethnic backgrounds helming the runway.

His debut collection featured relaxed tailored suits in all the colors of the rainbow, military inspired chest bags, and even astronomical capes along with accessories and knits that meshed well with his consumer’s taste. There was the perfect mix of menswear sartorial looks and sporty luxe that any man would appreciate. We’re sure to see a NBA athlete running the town or a Hollywood actor or two on the red carpet in one of Virgil’s Louis Vuitton numbers.

We absolutely adore all the colors of the rainbow and his collection was a friendly reminder that there are heterosexual men who enjoy the art and beauty of fashion.

An ode to unconventional beauty standards.

We have come so far and of course Newton’s Third Law supported they try to push us back. Now, We celebrate blackness! It’s like a Black Renaissance. In the grand scheme of it all, it is a beautiful moment but as living proof I have got to keep it real. I am so damn OVER the “I love blackness when its easy on the eyes” idea. I say idea because it is a false narrative and cannot exist in this way. In fact it is dangerous. Even sad that it mostly comes from our men.

MISOGYNOIR

Recently, Charlamagne from the Breakfast Club radio show, was under fire for a thoughtless comment he made about rape culture concerning he and his wife’s relationship. He apologized and said he would think more about the bigger picture before he speaks or something to that extent. He even called his wife and put her on speaker phone during the show just to have her testify. I can’t.

Just a couple Saturdays back, the Curly Girl Collective held their annual natural hair festival, CurlFest, in Brooklyn, NY at Prospect Park. It was nothing short of amazing  #BlackGirlMagic filled with love, positive vibes and good energy. I don’t care what anyone says, get a group of natural hair back girls together and its nothing but compliments, big laughs, and all around a good time (don’t forget our brown sugar and shea butter sweetness smell that fills the air).  The Breakfast Club hosted the founders of the Curly Girl Collective and Curlfest on the radio show the day before in NYC. During the show, Charlamagne yet again opened his big mouth without thinking. He made a comment about him not liking natural hair when its a small bush, he likes when its a big one.

One outside of the culture might possibly get away with personal preference, but I doubt it. So as a full fledged natural curly girl, what Charlamagne said does not fly and I’ll tell you why. Lets dissect the issue. Now just recently, black girls going back to their natural hair and wearing it that way has been a phenom. It’s empowering and beautiful and so many other things all at once that varies from each natural hair girl one to another. It is not an easy process especially when you are brave enough to do the Big Chop. Then once you realize what you’ve done, you have to care for your new found glory.

What they don’t tell you is how frustrating it can be. Learning what products work best when all your life you’ve used chemicals and products that weren’t for you and now you have so many options to choose from but they still aren’t necessarily for you either. The key is finding what your hair needs and doing just that on a routine basis. Natural hair helps with discipline. Its a sticktoitness that forces you to look yourself in the mirror and tear down all the lies and see beauty in you. Your hair becomes a product of you so you have to remember that its your crown and your duty.

I could go on forever about the beauty of the natural hair journey. It is so complex and profound, but it exists and I am sure will do wonderful without my further appreciation. So back to the the subject matter. Charlamagne was dead wrong for what he said. He had every opportunity to celebrate black women and the natural hair movement but instead he chose to make sure he got his one comment of disapproval in for the interview and that spoke volumes. First of all, what he said was completely unnecessary and unrelated to the topic they were on. This negative emotion is just one way that Black men choose to exert their insecurities onto women especially ones who are on their way to complete self acceptance and happiness. The things we say are a reflection of ourselves so I don’t blame Charlamagne’s bald head ass, but I do know that he is not the only one. It is not okay.

There is no room for negative opinions in the natural hair community. For so many years, black girl natural hair was ridiculed. Now girls all colors jocking our style and spreading the culture. Check Kim Kardashian or Kylie Jenner and see how they rock black girl style fresh off the runway and make money off it too. Times have changed and the hashtag #curlfest on your social media will be just a hint of the simple fact. The hope is that one day every girl every where will find joy in the body and skin that was given to her. Women all colors shapes and sizes are beautiful queens. The rooted epiphany will always be that individuality is what makes us beautiful and comparison is just a thief of joy. So whether I choose my itty bitty fro, whether I take time and make my hair real big, whether I rock straight back corn rows, my natural true beauty lies within and exudes to my outer surfaces. You have no right to tell me what you like in me. I know it’s just a glimpse into your sadness but that is not my issue. As a friend Travis once told me for all the haters, “Tupperware, you can have it!”

Let me just say I am completely comfy in my skin. Sometimes I may not feel as beautiful as the day before but I always come back to me. If this happens to you too then we’re not alone and I hope that you always come back to you. If you have not found your inner beauty and search for it everywhere but within, I suggest that you start there. You can always email or contact me on IG @styledbycsbnyc via dm if you need an ear to listen and help. I cannot promise that it is easy but I can promise you that you are worth it.

Celebrate the unconventional beauty in the universe!