Category Archives: Fashion

BUILDING A LEGACY OF STYLE

St. James & Company owner, Cabral Miller (standing) and model at a recent shoot at the Newark-based boutique.  (Photography by Rachelle Clinton)

As you know, from time to time I pen pieces for a variety of media outlets that cover some of my favorite lifestyle topics (fashion, beauty, culture, etc) and more. I recently was tapped by Heed Magazine (an online magazine whose mission is “focused on expressing the positive, diverse and spiritual perspectives…as it relates to current events, politics and pop culture) to profile a very special place– St. James & Company, a family owned and operated men’s boutique in the heart of Newark’s burgeoning arts district.

Owned by the Miller siblings, Utenzi and Cabral Miller, St. James & Company is a beautiful example of Newark’s drive and passion to revamp and rebuild its tattered reputation– building a legacy to be proud of.

Read the article about Cabral Miller and St. James & Company here.

NYFW F/W 2014: Asaf Ganot (Refined Ruggedness)

As per the request of Mr. Socialite—I am going delve into the world of menswear and its accoutrements more. Hopefully you won’t mind too much.  It can actually be quite interesting. Besides…I have a weakness for a well dressed man (I think that is how I got snagged by Mr. Socialite in the first place).  I don’t know what it is…maybe it is the confidence—that swagger—that he exudes knowing that he looks debonair. He knows he’s a dapper don in that immaculately tailored suit and commands the attention of every room he walks into. That is the power urbane gentleman …and in the end what makes him sexy.  New York-based menswear designer, Asaf Ganot, depicted that this season at his presentation during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.

With the former cathedral turned event space of Hoffman Hall at the High Line Hotel serving as a backdrop, the Asaf Ganot Fall/Winter 2014 collection was a glimpse into the appeal of all things manly.

Known for his signature aesthetic, Asaf Ganot marries luxe materials and impeccable craftsmanship. His collection fused contemporary menswear with cutting edge construction capturing the true essence of luxury. Drawing inspiration from Asaf’s travels and experiences and translating that into a vision of the modern man, he created a sophisticated assortment of looks that are both rough and refined and radiates an air of confidence.

Featuring quilted leather jackets, cashmeres with Donegal patchwork, cable knits finished with leather detailing, rich tweed suits complemented by shearling trimmed coats in a deeply rich palette of obsidian, ash and stone contrasted with shiraz, beluga blue and regal purples, the line was a blend of rugged looks paired with classic Italian made menswear fabrics that with the power of today’s technology was enhanced to ensure comfort and function without sacrificing style.  The knits were treated with unique washes in faded and tie-die finishes resulting in pieces that appeared to be worn by salt, air, snow – that of an active lifestyle of a worldly, strong man of style.

I definitely saw a few pieces that would be the perfect addition to Mr. Socialite’s wardrobe and the well-dressed man in your life too.

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NYFW F/W 2014: Saunder (Film Noir Meets the 80s)

Despite Mother Nature’s relentless fury– in the form of epic snowfalls and freezing temps that the Olympians in Sochi could only dream of– New York played host to another installment of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. Acting as correspondent for one of my favorite fashion blogs, Fashionista NY Girl (by fellow bloggette, Heather Epstein), I found myself headed to the savvy neighborhood of Chelsea and the tres chic, High Line Hotel. The High Line Hotel, a former seminary turned boutique hotel, served as an impressive backdrop to the SAUNDER Fall/Winter 2014 Collection.

Known for eclectic looks inspired by designer, Emily Saunders global jaunts, this season, SAUNDER not only drew inspiration from abroad but from the 80s BBC miniseries ‘The Singing Detective.’ For my complete commentary on the collection, check out my piece for Heather’s blog here.

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CONTEST ALERT: “Pin it to Win it” with Rafaella!

Just in time for the holidays!

It’s contest time ladies!

RAFAELLAthe women’s sportswear division of Perry Ellis, want to give someone a very special holiday gift through their “Pin it to Win it” Contest.

It’s really simple to enter….

All you have to do is create a Pinterest board with your 4 favorite Rafaella items and enter it on the Rafaella Facebook page on the contest tab.  A winner will be chosen once a week and will receive the items they pinned (pending availability).
The contest runs through the 21st, last winner will be announced the 23rd. They will be contacted by the information they provide on the entry form.
The full rules are listed below. The official hashtag for the contest is:  #holidaycontest
GOOD LUCK!

 

BLACK IS THE NEW GREEN : Black Soy Beans, the Curvy Socialite & Dr. Oz

We live in a society that is obsessed with being fit, healthy and young. I’m not going to lie; I am not immune to it. To be honest who doesn’t want to look and feel their best? There are entire industries built around our quest to achieve our fitness goals (hello…the beauty and fitness & wellness worlds make billions of dollars every year). Think about it…you can get liposuction during your lunch hour, extensions to make your hair look longer or fuller, Botox to hide the wrinkles and let’s not forget the magic creams and pills that will make you look younger, have the cellulite disappear and give you the energy to run ten marathons.

Some of these miracles in a bottle actual work…others not so much. And many times these fixes are super expensive. But what if there was something out there that could help you curb your appetite, regulate your blood glucose level and decrease your cholesterol… all this for around $2? I can feel you looking at me sideways through your computer screen. Yes there is something out there that it cheap and healthy that can NATURALLY help you do all these things…enter the BLACK SOY BEAN.

Black Soy Beans? Yeah you read right. Not your normal edamame (salted green soy beans you get at many Asian restaurants as an appetizer); black soy beans are a naturally low carb, high fiber, high protein and a great addition to a healthy diet. How do I know? Well for 3 days, I did an experiment in preparation for an appearance on the Dr. Oz show (airing on this afternoon and replaying on tomorrow—click here to view the preview). For three days I ate a half of cup of black soy beans a half hour before lunch and dinner and recorded my results (two days prior to that I ate normally as my control).

And here’s what happened….

  • I felt fuller longer. With black soy beans being such a high source of protein and fiber, it took longer to digest which means you are actually fuller longer.
  • As each day progressed, my portions got smaller. The soybeans were curbing my appetite. Based on my food log (and that of Karen…the other guest who did the experiment with me), Dr. Oz surmised that I ate 35% fewer calories a day by the end of the experiment. And let me repeat, I DID NOT FEEL HUNGRY.
  • Also, at the end of the experiment, I lost 2.5 pounds (and I wasn’t even trying).

Now for the purposes of the experiment, I ate the black soy beans separately prior to my two largest meals, but you can easily add them to your favorite dishes that call for beans. Check out some of the suggestions from Dr. Oz’s website below.  But I will warn you. They can be a little bland. I personally love them with hot sauce (and for those who know me personally I like everything with hot sauce) but a pinch of salt is fine too.

Black Soybean Chicken Caesar Salad (pictured). Click the image to see some tasty recipes as suggested by Dr. Oz and his team.

I’d love for you guys to give it a try and share with me some of your thoughts. Who knows…you may end up liking it and adding it to your grocery list like I did.

 

Also, if you like the necklace I wore on the show, you can get it and other great pieces at Shop Lately! Click the image to visit their site!

Also, if you like the necklace I wore on the show, you can get it and other great pieces at Shop Lately! Click the image to visit their site!

 

 

ANN NAHARI LAUNCHES LINGERIE BRAND; CHRISTINA MENDEZ CHOSEN AS THE FACE OF THE DEBUT COLLECTION

Ann Nahari, the California-based luxury plus size fashion brand, recently launched a new lingerie division under the name Ann Nahari Intimates. The full figured fashion house teamed with famed plus model Christina Mendez as the face of the new division.

As with its ready-to-wear collection, Ann Nahari Intimates is designed by Sumiyyah Rasheed. Originally launched in 2000 under the brand name Full Figure Design, the new lingerie division is a complete revamp and rebrand of the collection for the Ann Nahari woman.  “We have upgraded the whole collection with better fit and fabrication,” says Ms. Rasheed. “The new collection reflects both sexiness and comfort with styles that are on trend.” 

After testing the collection with a small market in the southern California area to rave reviews, Sumiyyah decided to roll out the lingerie collection, which was designed to complement the ready-to-wear collection for the brand.

Here are a few of my favorite pieces from the debut collection..

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FASHION = FUN!: Desigual Spring/Summer 2014 (NYFW)

Fashion, intentionally or not, can evoke a feeling when you wear or see it. A good designer or design team understands that and plays to that feeling be it sexy, pretty, professional, relaxed or in the case of Spanish brand, Desigual, FUN!

Courtesy of WWD

Acting as a fashion correspondent for Alexandra Shook‘s sophisticated fashion dispatch, Delayed Missives, I had the pleasure of attending the Fashion Week debut of Desigual, who brought a breath of fresh air to the catwalk with smiling models who skipped down the runway blowing kisses to the crowd. For my full commentary of the show, check out my post here.

 

Courtesy of WWD

SHOPPING NEWS: Eva Mendes teams with New York & Company for new collection

Eva Mendes has always been on my personal best-dressed list since she first began making the rounds at major red-carpet events.  She had this chic yet sexy and confident style about her—a sophisticated feminine swagger.

I’ve always picture Eva as that girlfriend with the perfect closet. Everything she puts on just looks great on her. Not only does she know how to dress for her body type but Eva has an innate style sense that can’t be taught.  Ok, so not all us are blessed with the ability to step into our closet and walk out a style icon, but thanks to Ms. Mendes and New York & Company, at least we can look like we did.

Back in February of this year, Ms. Mendes announced that she was collaborating with the affordable fashion retailer on a new collection. On Wednesday, Eva debuted the vintage-inspired line at store’s flagship in New York City.

Recently, Eva Mendes recently spoke about her foray into fashion design. “The challenging part of this process was knowing that I had women, especially my sisters, counting on me to make them look good,” Mendes tells the Huffington Post. “I take this very seriously … I can’t wait to get feedback from women about what works for them and what doesn’t. I hope I don’t disappoint them!”

Full of stylishly flirty pieces, the Eva Mendes Collection features dresses, skirts, blouses and accessories with an ultra femme feel. And every piece is under $100 (except for the coat which comes in soft pink ad camel). The collection launched on Thursday (September 19th– this blogger’s birthday). Many of the pieces are already sold out. Shop the collection here.

For the line’s launch on Wednesday, Eva Mendes wore a white draped bodysuit, black brocade pencil skirt and necklace.

Eva’s favorite dress from the collection is this front tunic style that is priced at $69.95. “I adore this dress,” she said, in the collection notes. “The silhouette is simple, flattering, and feminine.” It’s my favorite too…bought one for myself as a pre-birthday gift.

Another super cute piece that can be paired with jeans, slacks or a skirt…this polka-dot printed blouse for $49.95

This isn’t the first venture into the design world for Mendes. She launched a home décor line, Vida, with her former beau George Augusto.  In 2008, Eva launched a line of bed linens with Macy’s. She later teamed again with Macy’s to launch a line of dinnerware in 2010.

Want learn more about Eva Mendes’ inspiration behind the line and see more of the collection, check out this video from New York & Company.

SPRING’S ALL A BLOOM– Katie Gallagher Spring/Summer 2014 (NYFW)

If you ask any member of the fashion press or blogosphere why they love Fashion Week, nine times out of ten they’ll answer that the love the chance to see the hottest styles and trends for next season. I think Mother Nature wanted in on the action as well with blazing sunshine and intense temperatures the day I ventured to the newly opened chic club/lounge, the Raven for the Katie Gallagher presentation.

This season I was a guest blogger for fellow fashionphile and blog diva, Heather Epstein of Fashionista NY Girl. Check out the full post about the Katie Gallagher presentation on Heather’s blog here.

From the Katie Gallagher Spring 2014 Collection (courtesy of Style.com)

LEANNE MARSHALL Spring 2014 Collection (NYFW)

I checked…her hands indeed were a subtle shade of coral.

Notoriously hands-on when it comes to getting her pieces the exact right shade, Project Runway winner (Season 5), Leanne Marshall saw a return to the bright colors and whimsical shades that  her line has become known for. While Fall/Winter 2013 saw her experimenting with darker silhouettes and was better described as after-five than black-tie, Leanne’s Spring/Summer 2014 collection embraced the formalwear which has become her brand’s staple.

Full of movement and intricately layered, Marshall added a few more modern touches to her usual flowy  cocktail and tea-length dresses while weaving bolder colors in with her usual pastel palate. Her full-length gowns were updated with regal lace overlay and almost origami-like accents, while her non-traditional offerings added a well-needed punch of color to the collection. True to form, Leanne found a way to sneak in at least one extra layer or ruffle into every piece while managing to defy gravity, as models almost seemed to float down the runway.  Silk and jersey was the star here, no doubt locally sourced as is the standard for the always eco-chic designer.

Here are a few of my favorite looks.

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Written by Guest Blogger Amaris Acosta of Black Latina & Fabulous, which covers topics including life, relationships, pop culture, fashion and beauty– all from a fabulous Black Latina perspective.