I love looking at pictures of women of individual style. In a society that is determined to promote a certain "Kind" of beauty, these women whom I greatly admire inspire me with their grace, elegance and willingness to stand out in the crowd. Here are a few reasons why I'm inspired:
1. These women are NOT afraid of color! In fact, they embrace it, from their garments to their eclectic accessories, their ensembles pop with the vibrancy of color.
2. They are not afraid to buck the status quo. Whether it's rocking a natural do or mixing patterns and prints, the woman of individual style is not interested in following the trends. Instead she starts her own trend and people follow her.
3. Women of individual style realize that fashion is fleeting, but style comes from within. The woman of individual style is no slave to the latest fashion craze. Instead she chooses to be fashionable on her own terms, mixing high-end with low-end, vintage with newer pieces, ethnic designs and accessories with mainstay pieces such as the LBD (little black dress), other solid pieces, or combining prints and patterns with bright colors or neutrals. Whatever suits her fancy. She plays by her own set of funky, fierce and fashionable rules.
Finally, women of individual style are not afraid to take risks and to be true to their stylish selves. This to me, is the epitome of Cultural Chic.
Disclaimer: Cultural Chic holds no claim to the above photos and is not affiliated in any way with Essence Magazine, Essence.com or its subsidiaries. Ownership of all photographs is retained and remains the property of the original photographers.
Hey everyone! Hope you all are having a great summer. Time seems to be going by so fast and catching up on the creative stuff is a bit hard. Still, I'm always looking for means of inspiration for my own work.
First off, let me apologize for being so late with posting about this event. That said, a few weeks ago, I was privileged to attend the Curls Unleashed Product Launch sponsored by the makers of Root Stimulator Hair Care. It was a free event held at the prestigious N'Namdi Center.
Many beautiful ladies were there rocking their natural do's as well as light refreshments, demonstrations of product, hair and scalp analysis, and live entertainment. I was privileged to meet the D's own Monica Blaire (she was truly awesome) and Brandi Keeler, winner of 2010's I love Detroit Video Contest. What a treat!
George N'Namdi's gallery was the perfect venue for such an event. The artwork was eclectic and interesting and the size of the gallery made it easy to move around from one area to the next, even though there were quite a few women (and men) present in the place. My friend and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
This event was the epitome of Cultural Chic.
Here are some more pics. Enjoy!
Hey all of my Loverlies! Hope everyone had a great weekend and a wonderful Mother's Day.
Well, I've launched my Kickstarter Project, Cultural Chic: A Body of New Work. I think I told you earlier that my project proposal had been accepted by Kickstarter. All I had to do was set up my project page and develop all of my gifts for those who donate to help me reach my goal of $2500.00.
Cultural Chic is evolving and I want to feature more of my own work as well as the works of other designers, both fashion and interior.
A girl needs some help, however, and creating a whole new body of work without the proper tools is next to impossible. My goal this year of 2012 is to leave the 9 to 5 behind and to work from the gifts that God has placed inside of me. As creatives, we all know what it's like to not be able to do the thing you love most, which is create. Since reaching the "50" mark, I've determined that I'm going to spend as much of the second half of my life doing what I love and loving what I do.
I'm looking forward to having just what I need in order to add some beauty and style to the world.
If you want to help, just go here and check out my project. Tell me what you think and if you are so moved, donate any sum you see fit. You can donate as little as $1.00, $5.00 or $10.00, $1.00 being the bare minimum anyone can donate. Oh, and just so you know: Kickstarter is an all or nothing endeavor. I can never get less than what I'm asking for, but I can always get more. :0) My deadline for raising funds is June 11, 2012. If I raise $2,499.00, I get nothing.:0(
So, thanks in advance for your support and visit the link below for more details or to make a donation.
Love you all and keep creating!
Rarely does a mall catch my attention (my youthful days as a mall rat are long over), but I just had to share this little tidbit with my Cultural Chic family.
The mall by the sea, opened in December of 2011, is located in the Casablanca Corniche, a very prestigious and prosperous area in Morocco. Over 2 million people have visited the Morocco Mall and it is listed as one of the top 5 malls in the world of it's class.
The website, http://www.moroccomall.net/moroccomall, is chock full of photos of beautiful people inside a huge, airy shopping plaza. Purchasing your Louie Vuitton or Prada goodies becomes more than just a shopping spree, it is a major life's event. There's clearly something for everyone; from Grandma on down to the kiddies, a visit to Morocco Mall is sure to be a memorable excursion to end all excursions. The epitome of Cultural Chic.
The Runway's newest darling is African born model, Ajak Deng. Hailing originally from the Sudan, Deng is an Australian transplant and is currently the favorite on the runways for the House of Lanvin and Louis Vuitton.
Rising from a traumatic childhood, Deng's mother died in a refuge camp in Kenya and she fled Sudan at the tender age of 12. The remainder of her family moved to Australia in 2005. Deng is in good company on the catwalk, her mentor is supermodel Alek Wek, whom she met when they did shows together. In an interview in Vogue Australia's March 2011 issue, Deng talks of realizing her dream when in 2010, she walked the runway for Valentino's couture show.
With her deep, chocolate skin and rocking a striking platinum blonde TWA, Ajak Deng is a unique and refreshing addition to the fashion industry and is the epitome of Cultural Chic.
The additions of strategically placed pops of color always add an air of excitement to any interior.
This beautiful abode located in Costa Brava, Catalonia, Spain was designed by Barcelona-based studio DNA Barcelona Architects.
Discovery, discovery, discovery! One of the things I love most about being a fashion and style blogger. You are constantly searching for other creatives to showcase and give a special shout out to. And every once in a great while, you find something that is especially unique in it's style and concept. Such is the Shadowplay Jewelry Collection.
Shadowplay is the baby of designer Heather Goldberg. Her inspiration comes from such natural entities as spiderwebs, oceanic aragonite, and those things mystical and not readily visible to the naked human eye. Delicate hand dyed yarn finely interwoven with Swarovski crystals make up the ethereal quality of Goldberg's creations.
Shadowplay is a culmination of Goldberg's "desire to create beautiful, one of a kind, hand-crafted pieces with consciousness to materials and their origin in mind." The calming beauty of crystalline waters. Hints of color from glistening stones on the ocean's floor. These are the elements that inspire the quiet elegance of Shadowplay.
Hello all of my lovely readers. Hope the new year is prosperous and blessed for you all. Well, I've been featured yet again. Just in case you didn't get the previous memo,:0), The lovely and talented Danielle Gray of Gray Livin' has featured me on her website in the "Artistic in Mind" category. I can hardly tell you how honored I am to have such a showcase for my work.
So all of you creative types and those who are not so creative make your way over to Gray Livin to check out my interview. Smooches!
Hello all. Hope you're having a wonderful week on this happy hump day, Wednesday. Today's spotlight segment features a really good friend of mine, Detroit Artist, Sabrina Nelson. Artist extraordinaire, Sabrina's paintings and collages are indicative of her eclectic personality. She is an artist, mother, daughter, activist, and all around promoter of the art scene in the "D."
Currently a teacher at the Detroit Institute of Arts, Sabrina epitomizes Cultural Chic to me. Her style of dress is a mirror into her talent and lends itself to her ability to be a walking billboard of inspiration. She is vibrant, vivacious and "crazy" talented, and I am proud to showcase her on Cultural Chic and to call her friend.
Editor's note: The bold and colorful sign that Sabrina is standing next too in the above photo is regarding the upcoming Tony Award winning Broadway musical, Fela! opening at the Detroit Music Hall February 14 and running through to March 4. Fela! is a celebration of the life of Fela Kuti (1938-1997), a Nigerian multi-instrumentalist musician and composer, pioneer of Afrobeat music, human rights activist, and political maverick.
Julianne Moore has always impressed me as an actress. Now the actress has stepped out of the realm of the silver screen and into the art arena. Channeling the persona of various muses painted by the great masters of fine art, Moore possesses an uncanny resemblance to these women who have been immortalized on canvas.
The photographs were taken by famous fashion photographer, Peter Linderbergh, for a vintage issue of Harper's Bazaar. Moore's facial expressions change to fit each category of time. In the photo portraying the Seated Woman With Bent Knee by Egon Schiele, one can detect the simmering emotions so often hidden beneath the surface in the women of that day. In John Currin's The Cripple we see a woman's ability to smile in the midst of adversity and pain, revealing insurmountable strength and beauty that reaches deep beyond the surface.
These photos have an eerie precision--from the poses right down to the detail and/or simplicity of the garments. They are indicative of the "fashion imitates art" trend that is still prevalent in many of today's elaborate fashion photo shoots.
Greatness is a potential that lies in all of us. The Creator of the Universe placed it there. But many of us go through life never tapping in to that potential that is meant to catapult us to extraordinary heights--whether it be in our careers, our businesses, or our dreams and aspirations as artists and creators of beautiful things. I have found that the way to really comprehend who it is you were meant to be in this life, ergo your purpose, is to ask and seek your answer from the ONE who put the greatness inside you. God has a plan for all of His children. One child in particular who achieved his purpose in life was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Here was a man who realized that he was destined for Greatness, not in an arrogant sense, believing himself to be better than anyone else. It was in the sense that he knew that God had a plan for him and he spent his life acting on that God-given plan to bring justice to all people on a global level. And though his life was cut tragically short, I think it's safe to say that Dr. King certainly accomplished more in his short 39 years than many of us would given 3 times that long.
So let's take up the helm and strive to find our true purpose in this life. Let's ask the questions, what has God put forth in my destiny? How can God impact the world through me? What can I do to keep the Dream alive? Who can I love on today? How can I give someone else hope in what seems like a hopeless situation? Seeking your real purpose in life can be kind of scary, simply because we have no idea what the journey to our purpose entails. But if God gave you the vision, be sure that HE will make the provision. It is up to us to ask the right questions and make the effort.
The epitome of Cultural Chic, Esperanza Spalding caused a flood of controversy after winning the Grammy last year for best new artist, beating out the likes of Justin Beiber and Drake. She suffered some pretty mean spirited comments on Twitter (mainly from Beiber fans) and was kind of ignored by the likes of Ebony and Essence. But those of us who know real talent when we see and hear it could not have been happier with this twist of fate in a world of mass produced music(?)
Not only do I love Esperanza's music, but her style is fabulous as well. So glad I stumbled upon her performance at the White House Evening of Poetry, Music, and the Spoken Word on May 12, 2009. For those of you who might have missed it, like I did :(, here is a video of Esperanza's performance of "Tell Him."