Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Disco Africa, Hallowood, and the ugly problem with Blackface

As I've said before, I love halloween, and, obviously as you can see from this blog, I love fashion. So you would think I would be excited when the 2 collide at a who's who of fashion halloween party, right? 
I mean look at these gorgeous costumes! These photos were taken by Zhanna Romashka. 

Well, unfortunately, these are the best looks of the night and the rest are anything but fabulous. 

Here is Stefano Gabbana (yeah...of Dolce and Gabbana) next to a blackface wearing Allessandro Dell'Acqua. Yeah, really, blackface. 

I first read this story from the Jennine Jacob, founder of the Independent Fashion Bloggers (IFB), article, Off Topic: Fashion Insiders' "Disco Africa" Insensitive to Both History and Current Events, discussing the now infamous Halloween party held in Italy this past weekend. 

Fashion Bomb Daily  (FBD) went in even further detail, showing a plethora of the professional and Instagrammed photos from the party.

Writer of FBD, Claire, explains blackface, saying "Blackface is antiquated, has been deemed controversial across the board, and is racially insensitive. It is steeped in a negative history, pointing back to a time in American history when blacks were considered 3/5th of a human being–unfit to represent themselves, so white actors took the lead (at first), painting their skin brown and propagating some of the most pernicious and dehumanizing stereotypes of black people at the time (minstrel shows characterized blacks as lazy, superstitious, and buffoonish)."

Claire further says "That this whole party was full of people in blackface shows a startling predomination of ignorance, abetted by fashion designers and insiders we admire. We are not moving forward people, we are moving backwards."

Even the Huffington Post is sounding off. The 1st sentence of Julee Wilson piece says "When will people understand that blackface is highly offensive and unacceptable? Not anytime soon if this past weekend's fresh crop of racially insensitive getups is any indication."

The tragedy in all of this is that these are the tops of the fashion industry, the heads of the design house we respect and admire. If they feel that this behavior is appropriate, no matter where they are from, Italy or not, then maybe we should feel it appropriate to cease in purchasing from these design houses. We can only get so angry, rant and rave on social media, and then when it isn't a popular topic, forget that it even happened...or, we could put our money where our mouths are and stop supporting those who think that this behavior is ok.

What gets me further riled is that these are fashion's bigwigs, supposedly the most creative minds in the industry. Yet they couldn't think of a costume that would reflect that creativity? I mean c'mon! There are so many beautiful ideas that come to mind when I think of Africa. The animals alone would give you plenty to work with. Be a giraffe, a cheetah, an antelope, a friggin lion! The zebra and bird above are stunning, right?  

But no, instead, offend an entire diaspora (and God knows how many others) and further stereotypes? Yeah, that sounds like a good idea...well done.

Sidenote: I really hope there is at least one month I can go without writing one piece on race. 


Monday, October 28, 2013

The Coolest Site Now Hype on Thrift Stores

Society is really starting to appreciate the awesomeness of thrift stores, and no one is more excited about it than me. Getting a deal on recycled, up cycled, and preloved fashion will not only fill your closet with super fab finds, it saves you a literal ton off of retail prices.

Refinery 29, one of my favorite style, beauty, and culture sites, recently posted an article on the best thrift shops in Los Angeles. You can check out the article here.

No Sweat! The Glamorous Update of the Sweatshirt

Lately the sweatshirt has receiving a lot of fabulous attention, and has been given a glamorous update. From wallet friendly finds to higher end companies, you can find this trend across the board. This comfy staple is making a huge and very current comeback, out of our gym clothes and into parties, events, and even work.

Here are my top picks for this trend: 

High End:
These sweatshirts are by Matthew Williamson and will run you $825

Lanvin created this beauty, running $2180

Mid Range:
MSGM Floral Sweatshirt, running $315

MCQ By Alexander McQueen Swallow Sweatshirt, $325

Jo No Fui sweatshirt, about $480

This sweat dress is by ASOS -$116

Easily Accessable:
This is the Neiman Marcus For Target Proenza Schouler High Low Sweatshirt, currently unavailable

Topshop Quilted Sweatshirt, $76

I Jeans by Buffalo from JCPENNY, $37

Forever 21 Faux Fur Sweatshirt, only $24

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sam Edelman Pewter Snake Sadi Pumps

I've been craving a pair of iridescent shoes since the Fall Worthy Trends guide. I've also been wanting a pair of Sam Edelman heels, after hearing so many good things by fellow fashionistas. Well, today, both wishes were fulfilled while walking around down town in Philly with my gal pals.

Say hello to my new, extremely gently used Sam Edelman Pewter "Sadi" Pumps.
Oh Sadi, sweet Sadi! These gorgeous heels fit like a dream!

With a heel high enough to be noticeable but low enough to be functional, and of course witha pointy toe (a trick I use to make my super curvy legs look longer and leaner is wearing a pointy heel...trust me on it an try it out.)

The iridescence on these are perfect, not obnoxious and not blah, but perfectly shiny and very classy. I could trendy up an otherwise boring outfit, jazz up a LBD

These bad boys originally sold for $108. They are on sites like Lyst right now for upwards of $59. This girl didn't pay half of that. Score, sold, and now I have a super classy way to rock the trend. And even when the trend fades, these babes will still work, in their timeless shape and uber chic snake pattern, I will be able to rock these until the heel falls off!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Modern Interpretation: Hocus Pocus

Hocus Pocus, first screened in 1993, is about 3 revived witch sisters who crave the life of children to keep them young, and how they are thwarted by an unlikely crew, including a zombie and a talking black cat. Trust me, it's more awesome than it sounds, especially when the fabulous Sarah Jessica Parker and iconic Bette Middler are in the cast.

In honor of the 20th anniversary of one of my favorite Halloween childhood movies, here it is, your modern interpretation!

Mary's free spirit would be perfectly suited in this For Love and Lemon's outfit

Winifred would be thrilled to wear this gorgeous Just Cavali ensemble.

Sarah (yeah the character is ALSO named Sarah) would look stunning in this Badgeley Mishka dress.

Dani would look all grown up and super adorable in this ASOS ensemble.

Allison's look gets a major update with this Heirloom sweater.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

What She Wore: Movies with Friends

When you think of snake printed pants, what comes to mind? You may think of rock stars and celebs, people going out, partying, and things like that. But you probably wouldn't think of something as mundane as going to the movies with one of your best buds....well I did. Here's how I worked it:

I recently found these gray and white python print Seven For All Mankind skinny leg jeans at the thrift for...you guessed it, $7. (Clever Thift Store Clerks) I didn't have anywhere to wear them, so I just pulled them out to spice up what could have been a normal outfit. 

I subdued the unique look of the pants by adding the 3.1 Phillip Lim by Target high-low gray tank layered over a black tank (it was chilly and by now you should know I love layers.)

Accessories wise I added my snake hoop earrings, my Michael Kors Men's chronograph, my gunmetal Marc Jacobs cuff and ring, and those fabulous suede Diane Von Furstenburg boots with a black denim jacket. And I was good to go. 

What cha think? 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Haute Halloween

I like Halloween. I think it's a fun time for everyone to take part in getting together, running the streets, sharing candy and, of course, dressing up. 

But I really don't like the creepy stuff. The whole dead thing, zombie thing, devil thing is just too weird and dark... and takes too much effort. 

Nor do I like the "animal ears and lingerie" or "sexy (school girl, cop, doctor, etc)" option too many "ladies" have taken. Not a good look and doesn't take enough effort or creativity.

Leave the goblins and the ghouls for the haunted houses (and the lingerie and bunny ears for the bedroom) this year and choose instead a chic-er option. These are in no particular order. All of these ladies are equally stunning.

Michelle Obama
Got a red gown? A flat iron to do some flips in your hair? Done and done. Barack not included.

Billie Holiday
Lady Day is easily done with a few sparkly pieces, sultry makeup, pearls, and of course the trademark flower in her hair.

Audrey Hepburn from Breakfast at Tiffany's

Black dress? Check. Black heels and gloves? Easy to find (can we say thrift shop or costume shop?) Updo and glittery gems? Check. And voila.

Princess Diana
Same as above, but a few more glittery gems.

Carey Mulligan in The Great Gatsby
The glitz and glamour of the roaring 20's! Grab a sparkly frock, add some finger waves and a dark lip and boom. Great Gatsby Glamour.

Georgia Sykes (Smokin Aces) vs Domino Harvey (Domino)
I personally got stuck on these two ladies. I mean they both are gun toting, leather jacket rockin bounty hunters, so they earned a spot together. Dark jeans, moto boots, leather jackets, and a tight tee, all things you probably already have. Add a wicked smoky eye and a few water pistols and, ta da, a bad mamajamma of a bounty hunter.

Olivia Pope from Scandal
America's favorite side-chick has the most awesome wardrobe. Grab yourself an ultra feminine suit, a sophisticated blouse, a pair of ladylike heels and your good to go. 

Anne Hathaway as Catwoman
Okeydokey you probably don't have a full black leather cat suit (no judgment if you do). But you may have a long sleeve tight black tee, black skinnies, and black boots. Add cat ears and cat eye glasses and me-ow!

Joan Halloway from Mad Men
Channel the sophisticated sultry 60's in a Mad Men inspired look. Grab one of your pencil skirts, tuck in a blouse, pull up your hair and add a few lady like details to capture this look.

Got a Black Dress? Then you have a costume!

With Halloween less than 2 weeks away, it may actually be time to find a costume if you're participating in the festivities. But if you're anything like me, you may not have the time to actually shop around for a costume (nor do you want to spend the money on something you intend on wearing once.)

Not to worry, the best costume is already in your closet! With this one staple, the Little Black Dress, you have many options. With a few accessories you can make a great costume (that you actually may want to wear again!)

So pick a dress and match it with Ine of these iconic black dress looks:

Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's (aka the movie that made the LBD an essential in every woman's closet. Thanks Givenchy) Have a long dress? Add some if your sparkliest jewelry, black gloves, and a tiara (because let's face it, most of us have tiaras just laying around) and voila! 
This next one is actually more my fave. Grab a wide brim black hat (they are HUGE this season) to add to your knee length LBD and your biggest black shades. Either of these looks are stunning.

For those who for the sake of the holiday must be borderline creepy, Morticia Addams. All you need to do is grab your long sleeve black dress, straighten your mane, apply your reddest lip. Cada mia.

Or Wednesday. Platt your tresses and layer a long sleeve knee length dress with a white collared shirt. Scowl not included.

The perpetually fabulous Coco Chanel is always fun for fashion buffs. Grab a cute derby hat and pour on the pearls over a long sleeve elegant frock. Che magnifique!

For those of us cool enough to remember the Spice Girls, here for your consideration, Victoria Beckam, Mrs Posh Spice herself. Note: this look may only work in conjunction with 4 other willing Spice Girls.

The ever creepy Lydia ( Winona Ryder) from Bettlejuice is pretty simple to pull off. Grab the longest black dress you have. Slide into some black tights and booties. Add a light smoky eye, pointy bangs, and trick or treat!

For those who are more adventurous, make up savvy or have black toile just hanging around, may I suggest the Black Swan. Both creepy and beautiful.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

For Sale Right Now: Thursday Night Shoe Sale

So...I hit the jackpot for my fashionistas! I would wear each and every one of these but none of them are my size. So they are all listed right now on ebay (look for seller "godsgirlalese".

These are Elie Tahari "Lake" sandals in a size 8.

These are Ralph Lauren, size 9.

These BCBG Max Azria's are a size 7.5. 

And these Steve Madden's are a size 8.

All come in gently used condition and there are plenty of pics of each.