the power of movement: danze

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I've always been in intrigued about the power behind basic movement and the emotion someone can invoke simply from the way they move their body. Something as simple as walking down the street, sitting straight in a chair can change the way clothes look on a body, and can also change how people look at you. Recently I've been trying to be more aware of how I move, when I move, and how I feel when this movement happens. This editorial, courtesy of Amica Italy's March 2010 issue, is obviously inspired by movement and has prompted me to wonder: although are clothes are beautiful, how beautiful can they be if we don't walk with the confidence in them?

The question may be a bit insignificant, but this editorial isn't. It's beautiful.


a.r. trapp for jcrew.

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I just got home from New York to find an email in my inbox about A.R. Trapp's Troubadour sunglasses made especially for J Crew's Spring/Summer offering. I've never been one to collect shades unless their absolutely worth it, so take this posting as my official stamp of approval. These are totally worthy of my face, but I'm not so sure about the $395 price point. The price by itself is making my palms sweaty and my head ache. That's like buying a new pair of reading glasses WITH my prescription. Should I splurge?


dear white people...

Dear White People,

Look, I like you guys. Actually I love you. You're generous with alcohol, and other unmentionables, and you never seem to mind splitting a tab or leaving a big tip. I'm friends with many of you. With that being said, over the last couple of months I have run into many 'white folk' who are starting to give you all a questionable name. I am black. I am also a bit Creole and Mexican American thanks to my mother's ethnic background resembling the United Nations. It is 2010. We have a mixed race President, racism went out twenty years before fanny packs, and I can walk into a room full of your kind and not end up hanging from a tree (yes. I went there). So why is it, white friends, that there are still so many of you that just don't get it. Why, as a predominately African American woman, am I having to deal with racial shit? Especially considering I'm perhaps the most minded mild tempered black woman any of you will ever have the opportunity to meet. What makes me the target of so many little annoyances?

Instead of mentioning all of my concerns with our relationship in one (or several) paragraphs, I have decided to list what concerns (read: ANNOYS) me about the several culturally retarded people I've had the pleasure of coming across in the past few weeks.

I know they say one bad apple shouldn't ruin a bundle, but damn.

1) Do not...and I repeat...DO NOT EVER call me anything but a Black woman.
I speak proper English. I know, don't look so surprised! It happens. I was lucky enough to be raised by a man who didn't and still doesn't tolerate ignorance, so growing up every time I even THOUGHT about speaking like I didn't have a brain cell to depend on my Dad would show up out of thin air and give me what I affectionately call: The Stare of Eternal Death. Basically white people, just because I speak in grammatically correct and complete sentences, wear clothes my size, and "don't have a weave" (that you know of), do not make the grave mistake in thinking you can call me anything other than a strong black woman. I am not Mercedes down the block with the bamboo earrings, and Air Jordans (although I have a lot of both products lol), but I will thrown down and show out in the most stereotypical way possible if anyone even THINKS about calling me: White Girl, Off White Girl, Oreo, or any other dumb ass name your pea brain can take the time to muster up.

2) No. I will not be your token black friend.
Just because you have ONE black friend...that doesn't mean you aren't racist. Sorry. If you sit with me, talk with me, and share my food with me, please please don't ever tell me you dislike black people. I know the confusion of me being a decent person and not discriminatory towards ethnic backgrounds could lead you to believe I'd be Ok, even sympathetic, towards the views you have of my race. I know this could be very troublesome, and I'm sorry for that. But just know, you telling me you dislike black people doesn't make me less of a black woman. It actually makes my inner Harriet Tubman come busting out. She will most likely have a shot gun, a bottle of moonshine, and want to brand the black national anthem to your forehead.

3) Black jokes are only funny once. And sometimes....not even once.
White People, have you ever seen the movie "Guess Who" with Bernie Mac and Ashton Kutcher? Of course you have. Do you remember the part where good ol' Bernie eggs dumb ass Ashton on to tell several stereotypical black jokes? Could you tell that during these said jokes the wheels in Bernie & Co's heads were turning BEGGING for any excuse to murk that Anglo Saxon retard. Well, eventually he gave them a reason, even riling up the poor old Grandpa who, I'm sure, wanted to go Huey P. Newton on that ass.

The point is this: Although I'm known for being overly racial, making light (sometimes) of the color of my skin, I'm not down for IGNORANT RACE JOKES. It's alright to make light of a awkward situation, I do it all the time, but don't think it's alright to create ignorance by obviously breeding it. It's not cool, and Harriet will come out and set that ass straight.

4) I like things other than Hip Hop ya know....
I love hip hop music, but just so you know, Kanye West, Jay Z, Tupac, Biggie Smalls, Mos Def, Kid Cudi, Ja Rule, Oj Da Juiceman, Lupe Fiasco, Lil Kim, Trina, and any other hip hop personality are not at the forefront of my mind when I reach for my iPod. Of course I love debating about the state of hip hop music, and even conversing about not only the aforementioned artists, but also underground acts. Yes, I bow at the throne of Run DMC, Public Enemy, and NWA, but I also enjoy loads of other artists. Please do not get impressed with my collection of Simon & Garfunkel vinyls or my extensive knowledge of all things pertaining to Bjork because it will only piss me off. Is there some contract that says I can't love Goldfrapp if I happen to live by Nas? And furthermore, where is this asinine creation, so I can BURN IT.

Nor will I teach you the mechanics behind hair weaving. That is not my job. Read a goddamn book or Google that shit. Do not ask me questions about why I don't wash my hair or manage my hair as you do. It's none of your damn business what I do in my spare time, nor will I be be the talking head for a entire gender of people. Forget it.

6) Barack Obama
Just because I'm a person of color does not mean I voted for Barack Obama. I did, but that's besides the point. The point is that although Barack Obama is HALF black, that doesn't make him less of a black man. Also, just because he happens to be President of the United States, does not make him nor I the advocates for an entire race of people. He is human. I am human. We triumph and make mistakes like everyone else. I am not Barack Obama's keeper, and I'm not his public relations coordinator either. Don't think for a second that it's alright for you or anyone else to bash him around me or any other person of color. It won't fly. Try it and find out why. For example:

a- If you happen to be sitting near me and exclaim that Obama resembles a monkey: I will bitch slap you.
b- If you call him a dictator, fascist, socialist, or communist: I will bitch slap you.
c- If you call his wife ghetto: I will bitch slap you.
d- If you question why his daughter wears braids in her hair and wonder when she has time to wash it: I will bitch slap you.

Don't talk shit if you have no CLUE WTF you're talking about. Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Ann Coulter will end up getting you bitch slapped.

There. I've said it. I know that I may lose a few friends, piss of some of my uncle's wives, and start a riot, but I don't care. Some things just need to be said. And if I pissed you off I'm sorry. I know that every white person is not the same, just like blacks, Asians, Hispanics, and all the infinite amounts of races and ethnicities I'm blanking on right now. I finally feel free. Hope I haven't offended any of you, that's the last thing I want to do. I just want you to be aware of what comes out of your mouth and consider that insensitivity has a voice if you give it one. I am not sensitive, I have very thick skin, but there just comes a time when you have to let it all hang out regardless of who's feelings it may hurt. I'm tired of shutting my damn mouth and putting a minstrel smile on my face to keep some form of peace. Deal with it.

See you at the bar Saturday!

Love Always,

warby parker.

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I'm pretty good at finding whatever it is my heart desires on a daily basis at affordable price points. To say I'm a decent bargain shopper would be an understatement - I'm a damn good one. If you haven't read the title of this blog, you might want to take a second and hit the refresh button. I can't afford to love the designer clothing I want to wear all the time (thank you Sallie Mae), so finding them at a lesser price is very important. After all it keeps me from living in a refrigerator box....

My latest find comes courtesy of my friend/coworker/drinking buddy Sam who happens to be a card carrying member of the "I Wear Glasses because I Have to, Not because They Look Cool" club, just like yours truly. After years of suffering at the hands of contact lenses and only wearing my glasses when I was feeling too lazy to stick a my finger in my eye, I've finally decided ditch the lenses and embrace my inner nerd.

Buying the right pair of glasses is infinitely more difficult than I expected it to be. It reminds me of my constant search for the perfect pair of jeans that will not only cover my ENTIRE behind, but also happen to make me look like I'm a size 2. Yes, it's that hard to find the perfect pair of frames, especially at a price that doesn't make me gag. So when Sam introduced me to the concept and website of Warby Parker I was not only impressed but eager to shop.

It's extremely rare to find boutique frames that come WITH your prescription for only $95. That's not only rare, but damn near impossible to find. Warby Parker not only shows you the frames on real people, they also give you the option to virtually try the glasses on yourself - a concept that is much appreciated, seeing as when it comes to something as personal as everyday glasses, you want to know what you look like in them before you press 'add to bag'.

I've already begun choosing which frames best suit my round beautiful face. I'm in love with the round frames that are black at the top and clear at the bottoms. They look like my Raybans, and I am in love. Thanks a million Sam!


have the roles been reversed?

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I can't explain how many times I've asked myself this question, so I've started to ask everyone BUT myself:

Are the roles reversing as far as men and womens fashion is concerned?

I'm a big fan of Scott Schuman and his website the Sartorialist. As far as the concept of the style blog goes, he's at the forefront of the pack photographing everyone who inspires him regardless of status. Where I get a kick out of seeing my favorite fashion celebrities and how they wear their clothes (thank you Jak&Jil), I'm fascinated more by everyday people because, let's be honest, their just like me. Basic in every aspect other than what they have on their backs.

Very recently Scott took several photos of men in skirts, and although for the everyday man that concept is a bit emasculating, these several men pulled the look off (in the manliest way possible). With menswear on the everyday woman quickly becoming popular in the last few years (hello boyfriend jeans!), I've decided to ask the one question that's been bugging me for awhile now: Are the roles reversing in men's and women's fashion?

Furthermore, where on one hand I love looking like a well dressed man who happens to have a vagina, I can't help but wish the fashion industry was more diverse in the trends they set. For instance, edge does not equal leather all the time, and bohemia can be achieved without looking homeless. I wish that more people understood that you don't have to look one way or another, that there is such a concept as treading the line. Schuman also posed a invaluable question on his website that concerned whether women preferred dressing like the Celine woman (menswear on crack) or the Louis Vuitton woman (Joan Cleaver circa 1950). The Celine woman is what every woman wants to be right now. Strong, independent, and on a mission with a sense of purpose, while the Louis Vuitton woman is said to be what men want women to be: sexy, sophisticated, and lady like.

I'm quite torn about this one...


walk like a man: chloé fall 2010

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I've never been a fan of the color brown. I don't know how this happened, but I've also never fought the disdain I've had for that color and the other members of it's family. I'm more into the darker side of things; coal grey, navy, and my absolute favorite: black. Black blends well with everything, not to mention it makes me look like a size 4 when I'm standing at the right angle. The Chloé Fall 2010 collection is not only making me reconsider my banishment of brown- especially camel brown -it's also made me realize that menswear is coming back in a big way. In a little while I won't be alone in my love for fine tailoring and clean lines. Maybe this means I won't have to search the little boys section of JCrew for the perfect blazer, or catch a few side eyes when I wear my Paul Smith brogues around town.

Thank you GOD! [images via style]


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I've never been one to pay any attention to trends in beauty during the various fashion weeks. I pay more attention to the clothes themselves, because in reality I'm a very basic girl. I barely ever wear makeup, and if my hair is in anything other than a hair tie, it's straight, no curls or anything else very fancy. So during the shows for Spring 2010 I couldn't help but become surprised by the attention I gave to beauty details, especially the hair style that prevailed throughout this particular season: the classic braid.

I was so inspired that I myself have been wearing the braid for several days now (a la Alexander Wang), and loving every second of it. Some of the styles are so easy to do and maintain, you all should give it a try and tell me how it goes!

BTW: NYC in 5 days! Eeeek!


celine fall 2010.

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I would dress like this every single day of my life if it would mean I wouldn't get mistaken for a lesbian or cross dresser. Anne Pinguet has had my heart for awhile. She's a fabulous example of how menswear can look amazing on a womanly body. I think of her every time I wear a blazer or my many pairs of oxfords. I'm very masculine in what I love. Well, maybe not. I'm a fan of clean lines, great tailoring, muted colors. I've never been a fan of the brown/green family of colors, but toss me anything navy/black and my eyes will start shooting sparks. I so adore this...[jak&jil]


come and get it.

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I've never done a giveaway via this blog before, so please excuse the lack of creativity and gusto. With that being said...

If you read my blog even a little you should know by now that I reside in a little city called Pittsburgh (for now.). Pittsburgh Budget Cars (a company that offers used cars in Pittsburgh) has kindly offered to give one of my readers a $25 Macy's gift card in return for whatever I want. So what do I want you to do? Well first...

I talk a lot about fashion, one because it's beyond intriguing to me, and because I believe your preferences in the way someone looks says a lot about that person. My motto is that we are shaped and fashioned by whatever it is we love, and here I talk a lot about what moves me and why. Well guys, I'm tired of talking, so to win this contest I'd like you to do the following:

Tell me your favorite designer, artist, musician, writer, photographer, or anyone in a creative field that inspires you. I also would like for you to tell me why this person rocks your socks, and how they've contributed to you becoming the person you are. You can be as brief or as specific as possible. The person who moves me to tears wins!

Sound good?

The contest will end on Tuesday March 30, 2010 at midnight EST and I'll be announcing the winner the next day. So spread this around to your friends, blogging buddies, coworkers, even your janitors.

Love Always,


reinventing the tshirt by: eighteenth

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Where in theory I'm drawn to outrageous designs and color galore, in reality I'm just a jeans and tshirt girl. On any given occasion you'll find my closet filled with flats, cardigans, skinny jeans, and my staple item: the v neck tshirt. It's often times very hard for me to find 'the perfect tee', partly because I'm extremely picky about fit, color, texture, and price points. On the one hand I've been known to pay good money for quality, I've never been partial to paying an obscene amount of money simply for a name. On the rare occasion I can find a tee that bares originality and comes a decent price, I'm known to buy as many as possible.

New York city based brand Eighteenth just released pictures of their forthcoming Spring 2010 collection dedicated to reinventing the classic tshirt. Drastic asymmetrical cuts are complimented by the soft jersey of the tee's in basic black and white. Perfect for the summer months (the designs are amazing and you're skin can actually breathe in them), Eighteenth is available right now online at Anica and will soon be ready for purchase online and in store at Oak, Bona Drag and Des Kohan. The price points are affordable - especially against heavy hitter diffusion lines such as T by Alexander Wang draining pockets - and the quality of the clothing is beyond superb. So you'd better get to it, because if you don't...I will. Believe that.


long live mcqueen.

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I'm pretty sure this collection is on every blog/website/Twitter and Facebook account catered even remotely to fashion. I'm a slow poke at posting this collection only because it's very hard for me to look at this final Alexander McQueen collection and fathom that someone this talented isn't with us anymore. Although won't be seeing his vision come to life on anymore runways, his past work speaks volumes to just what type of artist Lee Alexander McQueen was and will always be. I, for one, am pondering who could ever live up to, not only his standard of craftsmanship, but have the balls big enough to put artistry before trends, fashion before sales, and imagination before money.

I think it'll be fun to see someone try to live up to this.

be spectacular.

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"Peace & blessings manifest with every lesson learned..." -On & On

louis vuitton fall 2010.

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Marc Jacobs put the lady back in ladylike for Louis Vuitton's Fall 2010 presentation. Maybe this will compel some of us to actually look like women instead of trash can inhabitants or drag queens - not that there is anything remotely wrong with looking like you just woke up from behind a dumpster, or people questioning what's between your legs - I'm just happy someone decided to go classic instead of the trendy. Sometimes it's better to recycle and reinvent visions instead of constantly outdoing ourselves when we invent new ones.

Sometimes I think I have a baby Joan Jett living alongside a baby Joan Cleaver inside my brain. If this doesn't make sense, it's alright...I don't get it either.

Sidenote: Although I think the overall collection is ahhhhmazing, those A - lines aren't flattering on everyone. Especially not those blessed with enough ass to feed a small country (ahem: me). It's a nice thought though...

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