Category Archives: Fashion

Be Beautiful. Be Interesting. Be You.

The essence of being pretty isn’t about being perfect. It’s about being and feeling our most beautiful inside. Traveling to that Zen place of acceptance and inner harmony – The secret of doing that is to accept our imperfections. I prefer to think of them as character elements that make us interesting.

Today, we have more options than ever: We can go from looking casual to looking glamorous, from looking sophisticated to looking outrageous, from fitting in to making a statement. Beauty and style isn’t the only domain to define ourselves – Our splendor should radiant the truth of who we are. Instead of feeling inadequate “I have to live up to the standards of society” – See yourself as a creator of your beauty. The divine lies within us all – Give birth to the beauty within.

Be Beautiful. Be Interesting. Be You.

 


Disclaimer: The cover is a mock creation of Cameroonian photographer Mario Epanya. Vogue Africa does not currently exist.

 

Until the next time – I adore you for reading my blog,

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Wondrous Wednesdays at the White House

Today is Wednesday and The Obama’s have the prescription for success when it comes to social engagement. I am looking forward to an invitation to participate in one of the Wednesday events!

 

Obama welcomed the Democratic chairmen of congressional committees and the ranking Republicans on those committees, along with their spouses, to a packed East Room for dinner. About 200 people joined Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and their wives. Obama joked to his guests, that such events were among his only ways to lobby them, yeah I am sure to get that ‘ginormous’ budget passed! The new administration wants to increase agency spending by 8 percent, something fiscal conservatives including his own party caution is not prudent in the current times we are living in.

 

Obama’s approach adopts the Keynesian economic theory: Keynes argued that the solution to depression is to stimulate the economy (“inducement to invest”) through some combination of two approaches: a reduction in interest rates (We are near the bottom of the curve on interest rates), and government investment in infrastructure. Investment by government injects income, which results in more spending in the general economy, which in turn stimulates more production and investment involving still more income and spending and so forth. The initial stimulation starts a cascade of events, whose total increase in economic activity is a multiple of the original investment. I wonder what Obama’s father would advise if he were alive today, since he was an economist. I am still formulating my ideas around this proposed budget and will comment in future blog posts.
 

“It’s hard to move around out there sometimes so I’ve got to bring the world to me,” Obama said to laughter. They dined on mushroom crisps, steelhead salmon, and saffron couscous. What a great menu! As Obama took the soft-handed approach, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel laughingly warned nearby Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, who has been a critic of Obama’s spending plan: “Don’t be a jerk.” Rahm Emanuel is true ‘gansta’ with his comment!

 

Let’s turn to First Lady Fashion. My favorite segment of writing my blog posts. I adore her look at the Arlington Cemetery on Tuesday for the military women. The sweater, belt, blazer combination coupled with the striped blouse is a definite copy for me as I assemble my pieces together for work and church in the upcoming weeks. Who needs to buy a magazine or go to a fashion show for the latest trends, just look to First Lady Michelle Obama to know what’s HOT!!!

 

 

 

The fancy palazzo pants today inspire thoughts of a genie in a bottle. Work your magic First Lady! You are what the Fashion industry has been wishing for!

 

 

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Stevie Wonder in Performance at the White House

The Obamas honored Stevie Wonder on Wednesday night during a concert in the East Room of the White House held to celebrate the musician being awarded the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

The president candidly discussed the importance role that Wonder played in his own romantic life with the First Lady, calling it “the essence of our courtship,” explaining that if he had not been a Stevie Wonder fan, Michelle would never had dated him, let alone married him.

FLOTUS opened the event, and explained that she grew up listening to Stevie Wonder’s music with her grandfather. Years later, she said she “discovered what Stevie meant when he sang about love. Barack and I chose the song, ‘You and I’ as our wedding song.” A chorus of “awws” from the crowd. FLOTUS continued, that Wonder’s music has been connecting with fellow artists and fans for 40 years, adding that he recently performed with the Jonas Brothers, “thrilling a new generation of young girls, including our own.”

He called Stevie Wonder’s music “the soundtrack of my youth,” saying he found in it “peace and inspiration, especially in difficult times.” He then mirrored his wife’s comments, saying: “I think it’s fair to say that had I not been a Stevie Wonder fan, Michelle might not have dated me. We might not have married. The fact that we agreed on Stevie was part of the essence of our courtship.”

The award was presented, and after a long ovation, Wonder spoke. “President and Mrs. Obama, I’m so excited to know that I was a part of” – he said, pausing for some laughter from the audience. “I needn’t say more.” POTUS, standing to Wonder’s left, sported a broad smile, and then looked down to his wife in the front row.

You got to love our President…”Give it up for Stevie Wonder“! He did not say it once, but twice! I am so proud to be African American.

No long commentary today, the PBS special speaks volumes.

Stevie Wonder in Performance at the White House. If you missed it…Here it is! Enjoy! Watch the full broadcast of “In Performance at the White House – Celebrating the Music of Stevie Wonder.”

http://www.pbs.org/inperformanceatthewhitehouse/video.php



The second performance of the evening after the opening performance by Stevie Wonder is Esperanza Spalding. She is an upcoming jazz artist, she “kills” it! The girl has incredible vocal and bass/string skills. I am instant fan!


To throw a shoe or not to throw a shoe? – That is the question.

During President Bush surprise visit to Iraq this past weekend – in the middle of the news conference with Mr. Maliki, Iraqi television journalist Muntadar al-Zaidi stood up and shouted “this is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, dog,” before hurling a shoe at President George W. Bush which narrowly missed him. Showing the soles of shoes to someone is a sign of contempt in Arab culture. Shoes are considered unclean – signifying the lowliest and dirtiest part of the body. The reality is: I do not care what culture you are from, throwing shoes at someone is not welcomed by anyone, this act of disrespect spans all cultural boundaries, not just Arabs. Just put yourself in their shoes – the person that is having the shoes thrown at them. I know Bush policies have not been popular, however he should have been shown some respect.


Let’s move on to the Secret Service. Where the deuces were they? And why didn’t they have his back? What kind of weak nonsense is this? It’s not cool that the President had to duck from danger. Just like the WTC terrorist attacks the second shoe should not have been thrown and someone should have taken Bush off of the stage when the first shoe was thrown! The attacks that are dressed in sheep’s clothing, Americans are never prepared for…shoes, planes…what is next….hamburgers? The guy was lucky that it was Bush and not Cheney standing at the podium, Old Quick Draw McGraw would have fired around that podium and blew his head off.


With his second shoe, which the president also managed to dodge, Mr Zaidi said: “This is for the widows and orphans and all those killed in Iraq.” Mr Zaidi, a correspondent for Cairo-based al-Baghdadiya TV, was then wrestled to the ground by security personnel and hauled away.


First Lady Laura Bush probably has been hurling stuff at him forever, that’s why he has able to do a Matrix move and dodge the shoes.


“If you want the facts, it’s a size 10 shoe that he threw,” Mr Bush joked afterwards. I am surprised Bush didn’t say: Na, Na, Na, Na, you missed me, you missed me, your momma drinks whiskey!!! Al-Baghdadiya’s bureau chief told the Associated Press that he had no idea what prompted Mr Zaidi to attack President Bush, although reports say he was once kidnapped by a militia and beaten up.


This was definitely a courageous act on the part of the correspondent; his convictions underscore our unfavorable standing in the world today.

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Michelle Obama has a body pride I love

michellewhitehouse1I love the fact First Lady Elect Michelle Obama is fashion forward with her choice of clothes. I adore the fact she doesn’t mind showing off “what her mama gave her” and wearing clothes that accentuate her daring shape and not opting for the traditional conservative look of the most recent first ladies that have come before her. It is interesting to read that designers are excited about the marketing prowess of designing signature pieces inspired by the soon to be first lady. Will these pieces and lines be targeted for the African American woman? Or will the designers tactfully market the pieces and lines inspired by Michelle Obama for the American woman? It will be interesting see what fashion models will be wearing these newly created Michelle designs. Will these models look like me? While reading the WSJ- Saturday, 6 December 2008 – the article entitled Over-40 Finds a Muse. Talks about how difficult it is to dress women over 40, I am not 40 yet, however I do work in an industry where business appropriate clothing is the standard. Not in the office I tend to be trendier opting for designer jeans, fitted t-shirts and fashion forwards blazers and accessories. So why it so difficult to dress the woman over 40? After years of unsuccessful attempts to satisfy middle-aged women — a high-spending but difficult-to-please demographic — the U.S. apparel industry is rejoicing that it has finally found its muse – Mrs. Obama.

maliamom2Women over 35 spent an estimated $53.2 billion of the $109 billion in women’s apparel purchases for the 12 months ended in September, according to market researcher NPD Group. By comparison, women from the ages of 18 to 34 spent only $37.3 billion (girls from 13 to 17 spent the rest).

Apparel makers appreciate that Mrs. Obama — unlike many Hollywood celebrities on the fashion industry radar screen — has realistic proportions. I love this! She is a shapely woman, yes and she looks good in a dress! And she dresses in accessible mall brands, like J. Crew and White House Black Market, as well as in higher-priced designer labels like Maria Pinto and Thakoon. This pretty much signifies my style, I’m a JCrewaholic and at times I may splurge and spend a little bit more on some of my clothing pieces. “One thing I love about her is that she isn’t a stick figure and not a plus size,” says Mr. Mizrahi. “She has a body pride I love.” You have to love Issac Mizrahi from Broooooklyn!!! His comment is spot on!

New York designer Elie Tahari invited retail buyers to his showroom this past week to unveil his latest sartorial confection: a $598 purple-floral sheath that he has named “the Michelle dress,” after Michelle Obama. Elie tahari is another favorite designer of mine….I go way back with Tahari – to the early 90’s when my girlfriend was a pattern maker for Tahari, I would shop at the WFC for suits to wear to work. Nowadays, I shop occasionally at Eie Tahari as I find their pants do not fit my shape. I’m a pants suit fanatic. There pants are not cut for the African American woman. I do however, have two suits from Elie Tahari that I did not wear for an entire season because I’ve gained too much weight and the pants do not to fit my hips and “ass”ets in a business appropriate way. I did win a raffle drawing at Elie Tahari and I have balance left to splurge on a clothing item. My most recent purchase was a pair of shoes and a sweater from Elie Tahari.

In closing, the 44-year-old future first lady’s immediate influence on fashion “has nothing to do with fashion trends,” says Mr. Tahari, who plans to put the dress in ads this spring and in stores in June. “Her style is all about the woman being noticed, not just the dress.”

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What do First Lady Michelle Obama and CNN Contributor Amy Holmes have in common?

They both wear J.Crew. J.Crew is an American brand that began in 1983 as a mail order catalog. The 1st store opened in 1989 at the South Street Seaport location in NYC. This is the location I shop at often, because it is conveniently located near where I work. J.Crew is one of my favorite places to shop. The clothes are stylish and affordable. As an African American woman it is a challenge to find clothes to fit me in a business appropriate way. I am 5’7″, I own a pair of hips and a big future behind me, which at times makes it difficult to shop for clothes. It is good to see American personalities wearing real-world, easily accessible American clothing brands.


I hope their stock rebounds as a result of all the media attention. J.Crew bought “Michelle Obama” keywords on Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, built a page on the jcrew.com Web site that promoted her outfit, and told call-center representatives how to handle queries about Mrs. Obama’s fashion. Gmail users type an e-mail message containing the word “Obama,” they often see a J. Crew text ad promoting the “Tonight Show” outfit.


Their stock is at an all-time low…mid-day trading was at $10.51 on 11/17/2008 down from their high on 6/19/2007 at a closing price of $56.63 (DOWN -538.82%). The IPO was launched on 6/28/2006 to a closing price of $25.55 (DOWN -243.10%). The IPO was the third-biggest apparel retail IPO ever, the shares rose nearly 28 percent in their trading debut after pricing higher than expected.


On November 20, 2008 UBS analyst Roxanne Meyer said in a client note Monday that New York-based J.Crew has proven not to be immune to the weakening economic environment. The company has “solid” product execution but there have been more promotions during the quarter than planned, Meyer said. “Although we think product is appealing, we believe J.Crew’s heightened exposure to basic ‘classic’ items and to the New York-metro area will weigh on sales,” Meyer wrote. “Promotional levels have been high in the third quarter, which we see as incremental to current guidance.” The promotions have been plentiful as of recently, I guess this is a tactic to sustain momentum in this hear economy.

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