Music (hearts) Fashion (hearts) Music

When speaking of 'love affairs,' one of the greatest -in regards to mass media- is that between music and fashion.

Since the height of popular music-video culture, there have been numerous links between supermodels and rockstars, fashion labels and rappers, and so on and so on... thus breeding an ever-evolving fashion-music baby. A prime -if not the ultimate- example of this cross-collaboration, sprang forth from the RUN-DMC classic "My Adidas," in which the group eloquently waxed about their shoe of choice (the Adidas Shell-toe), circa the 1980's.

And in recent times, this fashion-music baby has been cradled by other artists such as Beyoncé (House of Deréon)

...and Kanye West.
West, especially receives kudos, because his fondness for fashion has led him to some of the most 'elite' collaborations in style history: designing accessories and shoes for Louis Vuitton, and his 'own' sneaker via Nike... not to mention the future release of his own clothing label, Pastelle!

(Marc Jacobs points out Kanye's 'Louis Vuitton, Don' sneaker)
(Kanye poses in a golden pair of Nike's 'Air Yeezy')
(Kanye sports a 'Pastelle' bomber jacket)


Artist Spotlights...

Senetra Bridgett
(Arte Nes Music)


This soul music artist (also a member of ASCAP), has an undying love for both music and fashion. It was at MSU where she joined the group FAM (Fashion At Morgan), and walked many a runway shows, eventually receiving a degree in fashion; for a while she also resided in New York and signed with a modeling & acting agency. Since 2008, Senetra has combined the worlds of fashion and music very poetically... no longer focusing solely on the catwalks but on the catalyst of high range sounds and melodramatic tracks. She says that her music, "speaks of real life experiences of love [loss] and passion," as she takes listeners on a musical journey. Popularly known -throughout the MD, DC & VA areas- for her eccentric style and powerful [vocal] range, Senetra exudes passion in every song she performs, and this passion can be heard on Senetra's new, hit single "Tears," currently burning its way through internet radio.

Jaimz Deen
"The Crisis" (album coming soon)


"PROTEST! FIGHT! OPEN UP YOUR EYES!" ...these are the words of burgeoning artist Jaimz Deen (a musical rebel with a cause). I became aware of Deen via sifting through the ton of new music artists featured on Myspace, when I heard a new electro/pop/R&B sound that was all too un-familiar from the mundane music we hear all day, everyday. In checking further into Deen's music page, I instantly became a fan and wanted to hear more! Fast-forward two years later, and Deen is set to bless the world with his debut album, "The Crisis." The lead single "Jesse Strange," speaks of a young man who grew up in a unique situation, "isolated from other children, [in the] foster care system, immediately disgusted by the state of the city he calls home." As this young artist continues to gain control of his own destiny, be prepared to hear music that encompasses fantasy and mystery battling human torment, as -in his own words- "Jaimz Deen is the quintessential urban anti-hero..."


Every so often, a female model or celebrity is blessed enough to exclaim the following words: "I'm on the cover of a magazine!" Yet, the chances for a Black woman to be able to utter those words are slim to none.

As trivial as this pursuit may seem, it is a dream that is longed after by thousands -if not millions- of women around the world. Every girl wants to feel beautiful, and with you or your likeness appearing on the cover of a magazine it validates you. In regards to popular culture -more specifically fashion- VOGUE Magazine is considered to be the best, not only is it one of the world's oldest fashion publications (established in 1892), it is also viewed as the "ultimate" testament to fashion, portraying the highest ideal of women's beauty; what you see on the cover and within the pages of VOGUE is generally de rigueur!

But given America's love/hate relationship with segregation and racism, Blacks have never really been considered "in" ...so it's with that notion that it then becomes a mark of distinction (read: arrival) for a Black woman to be placed -not only within the pages of, but- on the cover of VOGUE Magazine.

Although VOGUE has long been a champion of using a great number of Blacks on its covers (more so than most other fashion publications), their dramatic choice to place "back-to-back" Black women on the cover has raised the eyebrows of many this year; most notably was VOGUE Italia's "A Black Issue" in 2008 (which followed the heels of the fashion industry's scandal of not using enough Black models).
(Sessilee Lopez covers VOGUE Italia's "A Black Issue," July 2008)

I always believe that when people see themselves looking good, they in-turn feel good and they ultimately do good ...so it's refreshing for Blacks to be able to see reflections of themselves on the cover of a most prominent magazine, because they aspire to be more like 'those' positive images, rather than mirror the too-many negative images we have all seen in the media.

US VOGUE's March 2009 cover featured a glowing Michelle Obama, the First Lady of the United States of America (an achievement within itself)...

The April 2009 cover featured a radiant Beyonce' Knowles...

And the May 2009 cover (albeit a group photo), featured the lovely Mrs. Liya Kebede (a now 3-time US VOGUE cover girl), along with Ms. Jourdan Dunn...

* Liya Kebede's 2 other US VOGUE covers:

As aforementioned, throughout the 20th/21st centuries, VOGUE has had a longstanding history of being more ethnically diverse when casting its models, and for Black women that's been a great thing because its proven that a 'majority's' ideal of beauty has at least shifted towards a more culminating representation of all human skin tones.

VOGUE (Black) covers throughout the years:

Ultimately, the fact that VOGUE has not only responded to but has also addressed the fashion industry's snubbing of Black models, proves that this publication does deserve an applause... even if it still has a long ways to go in becoming 100% ethnically diverse.

I'm just thrilled that for the past few years, VOGUE's perennial muse has been none other than Liya Kebede. She has appeared on the cover of virtually "every" VOGUE magazine brand worldwide- from Paris to Portugal, and her beauty and personality is so stately, elegant and real... she's also one of my longtime favorites (meeting her in-person was a dream for me)!



Okay, so... as much as we love celebrities and celebutantes, we don't necessarily love the 'hate' that comes along with the territory. Granted, these 'special' people have some of the best trappings in the world -personal drivers, black & red cards, maids, millions, etc.- that doesn't give everyone the right to have access to them 24/7 (albeit they're in the public eye whether by choice or by default).

Such is the case with model/actor Dorion Standberry (BET's "College Hill," Season 5). Between the dates of June 21st-22nd, 2009, Standberry's Blackberry became an alleged hackberry, as his cell phone was reportedly stolen- with explicit 'personal pictures' and celebrity contact information being leaked onto the world wide web. The 'photos' of Standberry have caused a media uproar and are too racy to feature on our blog... but in response to the chaos, Standberry appeared on several internet and radio talk shows to rally against the culprit(s). His twitter status recently read, "I dont think ive ever been this hurt in my life!! Its nothing worse than feeling exposed and unsafe...GOD WHY!!"

We recognize that everything happens for a reason... but as of yet, there have been no forthcomings or solid specualtions as to who the alleged hacker or cell-phone-thief might be, and from the looks of things, only time will tell; but be assured that Mr. Standberry is not pleased with the situation. On the air with V-103 Atlanta, Dorion said, "I'm embarrassed... I'm not in the best mood right now," sounding annoyed and disheartened, he further went on to apologize for any hurt feelings people may have because of this scandal. He says, "It's not my fault, it's some loser that don't have a life... some hater that's trying to stop my [progression] in life!"

Fortunately -outside of any drama- STYLE 101: had the opportunity to talk to Dorion, fresh into his 'College Hill' success, while still a student at Clark-Atlanta University last year. We appreciate Dorion's talent and creativity and will continue to show him love and support, as he has done the same for us.

(March 2008)

Stand Tall Dorion, and God Bless You!

STYLE 101: