Fashion is Art

Fashion is an artistic space. It’s very existence depends on creatives and intelligent people who want to share their message through the art they create. Fashion is an expressive thing and like art translates different meanings to different people. It is important to have diversity and individuality in fashion.

With more and more people interested in fashion, it can become difficult to keep up with the latest trends but what about classics and individuality. Has the true art of fashion died? Is everyone just trying to be someone else? Has it become too complicated and watered down with theories and opinions from people who attend the most prestigious schools and were lectured about the greats and think only their opinions matter? Is the pressure of a volatile retail business trickling up to designers and forcing them to sacrifice their creative ingenuity? Is playing it safe the new fashion? Or has it just become one superficial bubble of social media influencer and celebrity bullshit?

(Sb. I love a classic look but hate sacrificing comfort. This classic midi Delora dress from Alice and Olivia by Stacy Bendet is a must have. It’s a classic style by the philanthropic designer and I now know why. It is the most comfortable dress you could imagine. There’s so many fun prints, colors, and even fabrications to choose from in this dress each season. It makes getting dressed a no brainer! XOXO)

A client exclaimed to me one day that she read an article in The NY Times about tights and that they were for women who took the train and couldn’t afford a driver or a car. Since when? I reassured her that whomever wrote that article was completely outside of the fashion world and was clearly just trying to gain an audience but they would gain none.

Let’s see Wang, Gucci and Wolford to name a few fashion retailers including tights in their assortment. My favorite are fishnet tights decked out in rhinestones. I believe Area produced a fabulous pair but if you are savvy and creative this is a total DIY opportunity.

Alexander Wang

Gucci

Wolford

It dawned on me. Fashion was not only becoming more popular to the masses but even those who had no clue about style and creativity had an opinion. Its not that I don’t think fashion is for everyone. I don’t think fashion should be exclusive. The problem arises when fashion becomes a standard or a theory that people use to try and divide people. Fashion is one of those things that should bring people together like an exhibit at the MET, or NYFW at a cool location, or a benefit dinner that celebrates an icon. Fashion is art and art is for everyone. It is a free space but should also respected as such.

To me fashion has always been therapeutic and somewhat reviving. All the hard work put into creating something so beautiful and the end result making it all the more worth it. Someone scrolling through Instagram at style influencers cannot really tell me much. I guess I’m a more traditional passionate creative.

Fashion for the creatives.

Xoxo

CHANEL$BUNNY

Dress worn throughout by Alice and Olivia

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.

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!