These are LOOKS! I am obsessed with Zoë in this spread. *inserts heart eye emojis*
She's giving me so many vibes, and I love it! Beauty. Ethereal. Goddess. Queen. Chill with just a touch of ostentation. Mother Nature. Fierce. Zoë killed this spread! I'm literally gushing over these images.
In the spread's interview, Zoë talked about her show Big Little Lies, movie Rough Night, her role models and inspirations, her mom's (Lisa Bonet, in case you didn't know) feelings on Bill Cosby's scandal, her style, her love for New York and more! Check out the write up in it's entirety here.
Get into some more images from Zoë's dope spread below! & be on the lookout for this issue to hit newsstands.
Photo Credit: Allure
Zoë even got to play dress up and channelled Twiggy! She also had some words to share regarding her ideas on beauty and not taking yourself and fashion too seriously. Get into it below!
Video Credit: Allure
Ahhhh! Zoë is so cool, man! I love her. Don't you?!
You know, they say time flies. I didn't believe it until my time came.
It has officially been a year since I became an alumna of my illustrious institution, thy noble tri-color, Clark Atlanta University! Though I'm glad that I have achieved this milestone in my life, I'd be lying to say I don't miss the environment, the safety net that college afforded me. & life is completely different!
May 16, 2016. I remember it like it were yesterday. Getting up at 4 am, all in preparation for the longest ceremony of my life, but it was all worth it. My smile had never been so wide. I attribute that day to being the happiest day of my life to date. I was surrounded by so much love and positivity and light and laughter; I spend everyday trying to get back to that level of happiness. I was so high on life and optimistic for what was to come, ready to blaze a path and embark on my new career in the fashion industry. But, my goodness, I wasn't prepared for all that actually followed.
This year has been full of ups and downs, to say the least. Shortly after graduation, I was knocked quickly off of my high horse. Applying to countless jobs, hearing no after no, feeling stagnant, working jobs where I felt unappreciated and underpaid, working just to pay bills, working a job I hate, dealing with people's advice that meant well but didn't really help and so much more all took a serious toll on me. I went through bouts of depression and struggled with my self-worth, but I knew there had to be more to life than working for someone else just to pay bills and rushing through my days just to get to an off day. I'm at a position where I'm teaching myself to fight for my dream, to take charge of my own life.
Here are some things I've learned and relearned along the way.
Parents just won't understand the journey.
They mean well and definitely want the best for us, but the truth is that generation gap is real. What worked for them back in their day is plausible advice, however, it's not necessarily applicable to our current situations. I don't want to and can't settle; my dreams won't allow it. I've always been a creative, and my parents would've loved for me to go the nursing or political route. Seeing me struggling to find a job, I was met with advice to just take any job or that this is how life as an adult is or to basically suck it up and deal with a job I hate. I was always trying to get my parents to understand my perspective, but that generational gap and different outlook on life would be the issue in getting through time and time again. I had to realize that they just won't understand, and it wasn't my job to make them; my job is to do the best that I can to do better, achieve more than the generations before me did and make my parents proud. They have to respect the hustle, right?!
Adulting is hard, but [my] life is so much more than work and bills.
Bills, responsibilities, sacrifices, having to punch "the man's" clock everyday...I am over it! We can all agree that we long for the days when we didn't have a care in the world. Adult life is stressful! If I could just stay tucked away in the safety of my bed all day, I would. But, you know, bills have to be paid.
Between the stress and the mental breakdowns and the anxiety that the world brings, you need something to look forward to, something to keep you going and motivated. I had to relearn how to wake up everyday and choose happiness, choose to make the most of each day, choose not to fall victim to a less than desirable situation or negative thoughts. We thank God for waking us up each morning, but the real work is in finding something meaningful to dedicate our days to once your feet hit the floor. Your passion is fuel.
Take risks and work with what you have!
Point, blank, period! We sometimes get so caught up in what we don't have and where we should be that we forget to appreciate what we have in front of us. Not everything needs to make sense; not everything has to align to a plan. The time and circumstances will never be perfect. This realization was especially hard for me. You have to just go for it! It's so important to utilize the gifts God gave us. I've learned that instead of asking God to bless us with more, we should ask for the wisdom to do more with what we already have. Take what you have and be a good steward over it, and it will grow into something you never imagined. Faith makes you take a risk. God expects us to do something uncommon with what we already have. He can't get involved unless you change how you think and act.
God got me!
Such a simple phrase. I've learned to take my hands off of things that I have no control over. It's okay for me to not have it all together right now. God has a plan for me, and it's a plan for success, not failure. I have to be patient in this time of transition and trust God. I find solace in the fact that everything will be alright; things will turn out exactly how they should. My part is just to give God something to work with, in the words of one of my favorite Youtubers Vicky Logan! Just like I'd expect someone to meet me halfway in a myriad of situations, I have to meet God halfway and not sit around waiting for things to change. Bottom line: God got me!
This year has been full of breakdowns and breakthroughs, lessons relearned and realizations discovered. In the words of Lauryn Hill, "Life is peaks and vales, but I think it's learning and mastership." I'm learning something new everyday, about myself, life, my craft, etc. As I reflect on this past year, I'm glad I'm not where I was. I'm making plans and making moves, putting my happiness first and living for myself only. I'm looking forward to what's in store, to seeing what dopeness I create in the near future.
Tis all. xoxo
Because I am, quite frankly!
Photo Credit: Vogue India
So, as if Pepsigate wasn't enough, Kendall Jenner is under fire yet again for her latest cover with Vogue India for their 10th anniversary/ May issue. I guess we have no choice but to assume that no Indian models were available...?
At this point, Kendall must be saying yes to every opportunity that comes her way. I get it, girl. Keep the coins coming in, but DAMN! Did she not learn anything about inserting her white ass in situations where it doesn't belong from the Pepsi backlash just over a month ago? When was her instinct supposed to kick in and say "hmm, maybe this isn't the right move for me. Maybe I should move out of the way so a young woman of Indian descent can get some shine." But nope! Clearly we give Kendall (and anyone else, for that matter) way too much credit, hoping that common sense, empathy, divine intervention, SOMETHING will kick in, but again we are sadly mistaken.
There is a clear problem that the fashion industry has concerning diversity. It's no secret. Vogue, in general, is no stranger to being under fire for being tone deaf, lacking color betwixt its pages and being insensitive to whitewashing other cultures. The problem here is that Vogue India had to have sought out Kendall and wanted her for this cover. When I think of an anniversary issue for a publication, it's supposed to celebrate all that the publication represents, the beauty of the culture it's immersed in and the people that support it. Nothing about Kendall Jenner screams Indian culture. White privilege, maybe. Classic white America, yuup. Oblivious to the effect this has on herself and others, oh yes! The thing that really gets me is that of all of the beautiful Indian women and models that could've been featured, Kendall was picked. It's hard enough being anything other than a white, size 2 model in this industry. To add insult to injury and take the representation out of the equation entirely is not okay. When a brown looks at the pages of a magazine and sees everything but herself and her skin put on a pedestal, that's problematic! Publications have to stop whitewashing culture. You can't insert yourself and attempt to make yourself relevant in brown culture, then try to pass things that you learn from those respective cultures as your own. We're tired of it!
The really funny thing is that we were JUST here with Gigi Hadid and her Vogue Arabia cover in March, where she was styled and photographed in a hijab and was accused of using her Palestinian roots here for convenience.
Photo Credit: Teen Vogue
There is a process to any fashion shoot. You create a theme; you screen models; you pick clothing; you assess what works and what doesn't, all the while strategizing how this shoot is going to affect people, culture, etc. I'm 100% sure that the images in both spreads were beautiful. However, taking these opportunities away from brown women and instead using white faces for popularity points made it ugly very quickly. Those working behind the scenes of these shoots CHOSE to have white women be the forefront here. They CHOSE to take away that representation and further perpetuate the toxic, and entirely untrue notion that Eurocentric beauty is the standard.
What's the point of having so many different branches of Vogue in various cultures if you keep putting white bodies between the pages? In efforts to pay homage to different cultures, what is and isn't okay? Where is the line drawn between cultural appreciation and appropriation?
What do you all think about this? I would love to hear your takes! Leave me a comment and let's make this a conversation.
*inserts heart eye emojis*
These girls never miss, in my opinion! I LOVE me some Chloe and Halle Bailey!
Photo Credit: Instyle
These ladies are so effortlessly cool and eclectic and fun; plus, their music is dope! No wonder Beyonce didn't hesitate to take them under her wing.
In their interview with InStyle, Chloe and Halle dish about Tyra and ANTM's influence on their smize and posing game and their rise to fame, from YouTube to Parkwood Entertainment.
Along with their deal with Parkwood comes mentorship from the Queen Bey herself. They share that she's always encouraging them, especially to stay true to themselves. One piece of advice she delivered was "Don't try to lessen yourself for the world; let the world catch up to you."
Now that's a lesson for all of us to take heed to and marinade over. Teach us Bey!
They reflect on their creation process, their musical muses, past projects and finding their identities through through the music. They also dove into crushes, favorite pastimes, celebrity friends, where and from whom they draw their inspiration and occasional sibling spats. To read up on the interview in its entirety, check it out here! & enjoy the images from their spread below!
Photo Credit: Instyle
Oh, the first Monday in May!
It's a special day for any fashion enthusiast. I'm always so excited for the Met Gala to come around every year. The themes are always so much fun, and seeing celebrities' interpretations is always entertaining.
This year's theme honored Rei Kawakubo and the essence of her designs for Comme des Garcons. Rei is known for bringing dramatic, edgy, over-the-top, exaggerated, big and bold looks to her runways and presentations. These aren't your average, everyday looks and pieces; Rei creates MOMENTS! Needless to say, I was so excited to see the attendees dress according to this theme!
I tuned into E! News's carpet coverage of the Met and browsed the top fashion sites to make sure that I saw all, or close to all, of the looks from the night's events. Check out my favorites below!
Photo Credit: Vogue, GQ, WWD, Twitter
So, a recap: Rihanna KILLED the Met Gala. She actually executed the theme in perfect fashion and looked flawless! I'm still in awe! My top looks of the night came from Rihanna, Rita Ora, Janelle Monae, Zendaya, Zoe Kravitz and Solange. Honorable mentions go to Cara Delevingne and Nicki Minaj.
As great as the looks of the night were (and others tried their hardest but just couldn't get it quite right), I couldn't help but be a bit disappointed. The Met Gala is all about the costume, the drama, having fun in committing to the night's theme. Though some did come through, the Met carpet looked more like prom night. Too many of the looks left me so bored and uninspired. It also didn't help when watching the E! News coverage that the correspondents were gassing the SIMPLEST of looks. Giuliana Rancic made the furthest reach when discussing how attendees weren't carrying out the theme in the way she would've thought. She tried to equate people just showing up in whatever they wanted to with them channeling the make-your-own-rules and risk-taking vibes that Rei Kawakubo brings to Comme des Garcon.
Don't reward mediocrity with oohs and ahhs. I really wish fashion and red carpet correspondents would be honest and real about what's coming down the carpet. The fashion industry is cutthroat; this commentary can't always be cute!
I would LOVE to attend the Met, to get the opportunity to play dress up for a night. I would go all out EVERY year; people wouldn't be able to tell me a thing! So to see Kim Kardashian-West show up in a fast fashion dress; Bella Hadid to show up in a bejeweled fishnet jumpsuit; Kerry Washington (though I love her so) to show up in a dress Michael Kors claimed to have designed to show off her post-baby body but was so unflattering; and all of the other blah and oh no moments of the evening, I was just outdone! I mean, if you're going to attend, don't play with it! & I am yet waiting for the men to show out in something to break up the monotony of a black suit or patterned jacket, but that's another story for different day.
If there was a night to go all out, THIS was the night! All in all, the Met Gala '17 was cute. We experienced a few moments that we'll be talking about for a while, and I'll be waiting to see what Rihanna wears next year! LOL
What did you all think of the Met Gala? Who were you favorite looks of the night? What would be come cool themes for coming years? Leave a comment and let me know!
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