An American in Paris

Paris Fashion Week (The Highlights)

Yves Saint Laurent- FALL/WINTER 09

Soo, my first time in Paris (ever!!!), and I'm not only turning 30 years old... BUT, I'm also attending Paris Fashion Week... WOW! God is awesome.

On Monday, March 9th, 2009, I arrived in Paris, France (ready for action)! I settled into my hotel room and set out on a mission to throw myself into the parisian culture. Mission Accomplished! I spoke a little french (un peu)... and made my way to the metro... mind you, I never travelled in Paris before- but I knew what my destination was, and that was the Palais de Tokyo, where the YSL fashion show was being held. I rode ligne 2 metro to Place de Clichy and transferred to ligne 13, riding that to St. Lazare, and finally (lol), transferring to ligne 9 metro and riding that to Alma Marceau!!!

Now I know that there could have been an easier way to get there, but hey... for my first time in Paris, I think I did a pretty good job of getting around :-D

Upon asking a few people to help point me in the right direction, I found my way and boy was I in awe... I'd attended several fashion weeks in NYC, but this was more raw and organic being overseas and seeing fashion in the flesh... the paparazzi of course were on the scene, and as I approached the Palais de Tokyo, I could see why the paparazzi were buzzing about- I mean, c'mon this was the YSL show... Claudia Schiffer, Audrey Marnay, Kanye West, Anna Wintour, and the list goes on and on... STYLE 101 to the max!
(Kanye & Amber Rose)

I met with a friend who had access to the event, and once inside it felt like I was in a dream... the complimentary champagne, the sights the sounds, it was all HEAVEN (well, a slice of fashion heaven), at least, to me... and I will never ever forget that feeling!!!
(Claire Sulmers- Ms. Fashion Bomb)

The YSL show was classic... very quiet and intrinsic, with the music rattling a bit of subliminal jazz through the speakers. Pilati's color palette for Fall 09 was -majority- all black with racy leather accentuation.
(Chanel Iman)

My favorite piece was this 1-piece leather bikini worn by Caroline Trentini... KILLER!

After the show, my friend Claire told me that she had scored an 'exclsuive' interview with Kanye West... OMG!!! HOTNESS... check it out on her blog (www.fashionbombdaily.com).

Moreover, as we descended the grand staircase exiting the building, we had no idea we were being videotaped by CNN (we just found this out recently)!!!
Embedded video from CNN Video
(check for us at 2:54-2:56, walking down the stairs- me in the white scarf, and Claire in the brown jacket & white top)

(Joe Z and I, after the YSL show)

The mere fact that I was even in Paris, and then to be at the YSL show was unreal to me, so I must say that God's limitless Blessings continue to astound me everytime- Thank You Jesus!

Alexander McQueen- FALL/WINTER 09

Merci, Bercy... In typical Alexander McQueen form, his Fall 09 show was held in a very peculiar place, the Bercy sports stadium. The outside of the building is very interesting, with grassy knolls ascending the edges of the exterior (sounds weirder than it looks, lol)... but inside, the stage was set to a T.
(on my way to McQueen)
(McQueen invitation)
(me standing on the McQueen runway)

As we anxiously awaited the show to start, the mood was dark and somewhat seedy... with fire-engine-red lights glaring down on the runway. The red lights seemed to set ablaze a 10ft. tall pile of junkyard treasures... which -once the house lights were turned on- revealed chess pieces, rubber tires, everything AND the kitchen sink (as the liner notes for his show explained).

Before the models trumpeted out, pre-recorded human sex sounds looped in the background music... but when the show started, the music transitioned into throwback hits from McQueen's past, including "Spin, Spin Sugar" by the Sneaker Pimps, and "She's a Bitch," by Missy Elliot. The collection was "re-worked" as McQueen's liner notes stated, "trousers are transformed into jackets," "gowns into coats," etc.

But the idea that I ran away with was recycling, especially given the world's tragic economic status (but McQueen's recycling was done in the form of fashion). The theme explains the "junk pile" of everything plus the kitchen sink that literally lay in the middle of the runway (which ironically, the pile of treasure included tons of vintage stage props from all of his past runway shows).
(Sir Alex)
(McQueen finale)

The show ended with a note of sci-fi sentimentality, as the last two models walked out wearing HUGE feathered creations (birds of couture, I call them). The finale music was a pounding, human heartbeat that faded into a flatline and then picked back up with "Ben," by Michael Jackson (very interesting)?! Ben was actually a 1970's film about a young boy and a pet rat (the rat seemingly had intentions to overtake human society).

We all know that McQueen is too genius of a man to just make a song choice at random, lol... so I believe that "Ben" was appropriate for McQueen to show us how animals can be adversely affected by humans- he dramatically depicted a 'white-winged bird' and then showed how it can become black and tarred, like how sea birds can get caught in oceanic oil spills...
(McQueen's free-flying bird of couture)
(a beautiful sea-bird caught in an oceanic oil spill)
(McQueen's free-flying bird, never more)

Overall, my first Fashion Week in Paris was beyond imagination and truly a BLESSING... and I "Thank You" for following me on this journey!
(me @ the Louis Vuitton flagship store in Paris- on the Champs-Élysées)

Stay tuned for so much more to come...


Mr. Obsessive: Spring 2009

The wind of change is blowing with hurricane force, engulfing all in its path.

Change is apparent in every aspect of today’s society and now fashion is beginning to reflect that change -being both exhilarating and frightening- yet, the thrill of the unknown (read: change) is what motivates us to experience life. This season’s garments are to be free-spirited and unafraid, embodying defiance in the face of conformity.

Spring ’09 Men’s Wear: English Gentlemen

The Bowtie
(Tyson Beckford in Dsquared2, S/S '09)
Ties are dreaded by many men as the “noose” that keeps them on a tight leash when doing business. However, the tie’s brother ‘the bowtie,’ is both formal and fun. Pairing a bowtie with shorts or jeans and an oxford shirt will give any man that studious -dressed up but dressed down- appearance that will leave on-lookers coveting that style.

The Sweater Vest
(Vest, Dorcas & Tirzah)
Often associated with the Cosby’s or someone’s grandfather, the sweater vest, is cool in a ‘geek chic’ kind of way. When paired with the right garments e.g., a simple v-neck tee shirt & jeans, the sweater vest creates a simple and clean look that is key for this season.

The Turtleneck

Back with a vengeance, this soft cotton creature is excellent for layering in spring's cool weather. When worn properly, there’s a level of sophistication that ‘the turtle’ adds to an outfit; neither prestigious nor dowdy, this is one piece of clothing that is sure to remain a men's wear staple.

Spring ’09 Women’s Wear: Dancing Queen

The Mini-Dress
(Jourdan Dunn in Louis Vuitton, S/S '09)
Yes, I’ll admit that the mini-dress has been around for some time, but the current versions that hit the streets, are rich with patterns and textures, and many celebs, such as Solange Knowles, have been seen wearing their own frilly and textured styles.

The Jumpsuit
(Jumpsuit, BCBG Max Azria)
The jumpsuit is making its re-appearance on many of the top designer runways, offering the kind of uniformed concept that only a ‘1-piece’ could. While the idea of a jumpsuit may seem a bit farfetched for some women, it certainly is a look that has caught on with true fashionistas.

The Boyfriend Blazer
(Boyfriend Blazer, Polyvore)
The eighties is like a bothersome ex that you can’t get rid of (yet there is still some appeal), and the boyfriend blazer gives you that same feeling. Infectious, bold and demanding, the boyfriend blazer should be a staple in any girl’s closet.

GOD is in the details...

This has nothing to do with religion, but everything to do with GOD and spirituality.

I can't tell people what to do or what to believe in... But I can share some of my life experiences and people can take what they want from it.

Like I was telling a friend, there was a time in my life when things weren't at their finest point, I was doing drugs like cocaine, xtasy, heroin, too much weed and partying non-stop and got kicked out of one of the best schools in the world for f*ing up... and I have no shame in sharing my history!

It was at this point in time when I did not believe in God and was arrogant about it because I thought it was cute or chic or cool (that was the drugs talking, lol)... And a lot of people I was hanging around, they thought it was cool to 'dis' God as well... But guess what, God had to show me who was the boss!!! And my ass deserved to get whooped for being a fool back then.

All the vainglorious things that I thought I was doing on my own and all the "clout" that I thought I had- God took it away from me, quicker than you can count to 5... Literally (ask my real friends)!!! This was all about 7-8 years ago... but the point that I'm making is still relevant today...

The point is, that everything that "I" thought I was doing was right or what I thought I was doing was cool by not believing in God, but that was not cute! And God had to show me my faults. BUT (oddly enough), after God broke me down... God then had mercy on my soul and turned me around and rehabilitated me, God placed me on solid ground (period/point blank). And trust me, I know that it sounds sooo cliche and holy-roller-ish, lol... But it's the honest to God truth :)

I eventually re-enrolled in college, I founded my own fashion organization(s), I got a college degree, and now I teach kids what fashion is all about and how they too can accomplish and express themselves- against all odds... All because I started to realize and re-believe that God is real... The proof is in the pudding (check my facebook stats, lol...)!

And now, I'm 30 years old... I've travelled the globe... I've attended Paris fashion week... witnessed an Alexander McQueen show... made new friends... And just so much more!!! Not because of my own merits or actions, but because of GOD in me and all around me- placing me around other believers, inspiring me to believe and to work towards inspiring others to believe as well.

Too often we see the glitz and the glam (and we get blinded by it), or we see people doing wrong and we think that since they're doing "whatever it takes" to get to the top, then we need to do what "they" are doing too... WRONG! Do not be deceived as I was... You can have all that this world has to offer you and be all that God has for you to be- without doing what "they" do and without compromising yourself.

There will be tough times to make you stronger and there will be times when God will make you do some peculiar things in order to survive... But it's all good as I have learned. This battle in life that we all face (struggling with self-acceptance, drugs, peer-pressure, disease, being gay, being straight, financial woes, family neglect, being a foster child, teen pregnancy, being Black, being White, confusion, government, and all that s*it), it's not ours to worry about... It's the Lord's!!! God knows your struggles and your hurts and pains... And if I can offer any solace or condolences... Just know that you are already Blessed and things will work out for you :) ...just smile!

It's not about who has the most money or who's working the hardest to be at the top (because being at the top for some people is a lonely and unhappy view)... And it's not about who can say the most hail mary's or scream the loudest HALLELUJAH in church- and it's not even about if you go to church...

But what it is about, is you being in a quiet place (at home or wherever), getting down on your knees and just opening your mouth and speaking out loud to GOD -our creator... the God who made you, who made me, who made the birds and the bees and the trees... And that's how you know that God is real (it's that simple, you don't need a conduit or a filter), just look at the actual birds and bees and trees... neither man nor aliens nor the big bang theory created this world, God did- so just pray and believe, and God WILL answer you, and God WILL forgive you of whatever you feel guilty of, and God WILL show you things that will get you to where you need to be... I'm a living witness. NOBODY has/knows all the answers in this world, but rest assured that God sits high and looks low- so trust and believe that!

And it's like an old lady told me a while ago... God already pre-approved you to be here on this earth (no matter what your circumstances are), so why do you keep trying to seek approval or acceptance from other people or other sources?? That statement hit me like a rock... Because we are ALL made in God's image... So let's believe in ourselves and believe in the Lord and celebrate God, without needing other people's approval!!!

And fyi- even if you don't believe in Jesus, just try looking at Jesus from an objective standpoint, as a regular person just like you and me (take away the mysticism), and just see his story for what it is (even if you don't think it's real)- He was a man from humble beginnings, worked his way through life, had a powerful gift, helped others, struggled in dealing with who he really was, and was persecuted (killed) for just trying to be himself... Hmmm, that sounds a lot like you and me, right?! Lol... He is us, Jesus!

So, all in all... I just wanted to share that with you on this wonderful day- we're ALL blessed to be alive, so praise the Lord!!!

God Bless You... and thanks for reading!


Avon L. Dorsey II.