next in line...

Joan Smalls is a big deal, and she's proven it -several times- in 2010!

(Joan Smalls for i-D magazine, 2010)

From the 30+ runway shows she did for the annual, international fashion weeks (opening for Yves Saint Laurent, closing for Gaultier and Dior), to the blue-chip advertising campaigns (Gucci and Givenchy), to the groundbreaking, new cosmetics deal with Estée Lauder, Ms. Smalls has been raking in the dough!!!

(Joan Smalls opening for Yves Saint Laurent, S/S '11 show)

(Joan Smalls for Gucci, pre-F/W '10 campaign)

(Joan Smalls for Givenchy, F/W '10 campaign)

(Joan Smalls for Estée Lauder)

Hailing from Hatillo, Puerto Rico, and somewhat resembling -and following in the footsteps of- her fellow IMG Models alum, Liya Kebede, Smalls has made a significant transition from commercial, girl-next-door to editorial, high-fashion mannequin.

Smalls' presence has been so strong during the past year, that even Kanye West had to give her a shout-out on his music single, "Christian Dior Denim Flow," in which he eloquently rhymes, "Make a phone call, out to Joan Smalls...," intermixing her name amongst a milieu of other top model beauties such as Veronica Webb and Chanel Iman; and as Mr. West suggested, the fashion industry has followed suit, with multiple phone calls out to Smalls and her management team, requesting her for numerous assignments.

We can't wait to see what she does next, and we wish her all the best!


www.google.com, www.nymag.com, www.vogue.com

digital death

In response to this year's World AIDS Day (Wednesday, December 1, 2010), the non-profit, advocacy organization Keep a Child Alive is dishing out 'Digital Death'.

KCA was co-founded in 2003, by philanthropist Leigh Blake and music prodigy, Alicia Keys, and their mission is to provide treatment, love and support to families affected by HIV/AIDS. Via its official website (keepachildalive.org), KCA says it "provides first class AIDS care through doctors, nutrition, testing, transportation, and treatment for opportunistic infections, which are all necessary for anti-retroviral treatment to be successful. KCA also provides the care and support to keep orphaned and abandoned children safe."

The 'Digital Death' campaign (as reported by the New York Times), is a movement in which celebrities sacrifice their social 'media' networking (read: digital lives), for KCA, until fans bring them back-to-life via specific dollar amount donations being raised nationwide. KCA says, "These artists will not be back online, on Twitter, Facebook, Blogs [etc]... until YOU buy their lives back and raise a collective $1 Million for Keep a Child Alive."

Join the fight against HIV/AIDS by texting the words 'BUYLIFE' to 90999 and reply YES to the text message; $10.00 (USD) will be charged directly to your monthly cell-phone bill.

* Video (Alicia Keys, Digital Death, December 2010)

Help Blake, Keys and countless others to give real life to millions affected by HIV/AIDS. For more information, please visit: buylife.org.

www.keepachildalive.org, www.buylife.org

Kanye West

Good ass job!

(Kanye West)

With the release of his fifth studio album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (November 22, 2010), Kanye West strikes the right chord, once again!

(My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, 2010)

It's been two years since fans have heard any new, official material from West; 808s & Heartbreak (2008), performed 'fairly well' on the music charts, granted it was the last album West released after the death of his mother, the late Dr. Donda West (R.I.P). Yet, Fantasy (now available for purchase on iTunes), is the much-anticipated album that -virtually- everyone has been waiting for, especially after West's much-hyped incident involving Taylor Swift, at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.

(2009 MTV, VMA's)

Without overtly addressing the aforementioned controversy (and not even touching on the subject of his mom), on Fantasy, West discuses topics ranging from [him] being considered the best rapper- dead or alive (Monster), relationships and religion (Devil in a New Dress), as well as decadence and bravado (So Appalled); the album also includes guest appearances from Alicia Keys, Swizz Beatz, Jay-Z, Pusha T, Fergie, Elton John, et. al. Overall, the sound of West's latest venture (the experimental crashing of sounds; the A-list roster of collaborations; and the deep-seeded message-in-the-music), is highly-comparable to -and could be an elaborate extension of- his second studio album Late Registration (released on August 30, 2005).

(Late Registration, 2005)

Upon the album's first week of sales, it debuted at #1 on the Billboard albums chart (selling 496,000 copies), and has since been certified Gold and Platinum in the US; also receiving a number of industry accolades and positive reviews from music critics.

Given the translation of his own music label (G.O.O.D), via Fantasy, Mr. West is literally getting out his dreams!

(G.O.O.D Music, logo)

Happy Listening,

www.google.com, en.wikipedia.org, www.kanyewest.com

H and Him

Alber Elbaz's vision goes Mass-Market, and the future -he sees- looks bright!

Just a few months ago (in September 2010), mega-retailer H&M (HENNES & MAURITZ), announced its latest tie-in to the world of high-fashion, and the revelation was a big one... offering Elbaz, and the design team over at french fashion house Lanvin.

* Video (Lanvin, H&M, November 2010)

According to the company's website (hm.com), Lanvin is "...one of the most influential brands of the 21st century. Designed by artistic director Alber Elbaz, and menswear designer Lucas Ossendrijver, the collection will go on sale on November 23 in around 200 H&M stores worldwide."

The collaboration includes both women's wear and men's wear, following the official release of the Lanvin x H&M film and fashion show video. Margareta van den Bosch (creative advisor at H&M), says, “We are thrilled about Lanvin’s collection for H&M, it is such an exciting moment. Lanvin will bring to H&M a luxurious French tradition that is also modern and playful. It is very much a Lanvin collection, using their cut and tailoring, with lots of focus on form and details for both women and men. The launch in November is going to be full of wonderful surprises.”

Photo (Natalie Portman wears a Lanvin x H&M design, 2010)

* Video (Lanvin, H&M, November 2010)

Moreover, Elbaz shares van den Bosch's 'warm-and-fuzzy' feelings about the project, “H&M approached us to collaborate, and see if we could translate the dream we created at Lanvin to a wider audience, not just a dress for less. I have said in the past that I would never do a mass-market collection, but what intrigued me was the idea of H&M going luxury rather than Lanvin going public. This has been an exceptional exercise, where two companies at opposite poles can work together because we share the same philosophy of bringing joy and beauty to men and women around the world," he says.

Previous H&M design collaborators have included Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney, Comme des Garçons and Sonia Rykiel.

www.hm.com, www.youtube.com/hm

beauty and the beat

On Thanksgiving Day, Beyoncé... is yours... and yours... and yours, too!!!

In celebration of Mrs. Carter's upcoming DVD release of her recent I AM...WORLD TOUR, she is -once again- teaming up with ABC television, to present a 90-Minute Thanksgiving Night Special (tonight, November 25th, 2010 at 9:30pm - 11:00pm ET); check your local listings.

The artist's label (Music World/Columbia Records), announced the upcoming release of Beyoncé's full-length concert film, lensed during her record-breaking, international concert tour. Tonight will be Beyoncé's second, consecutive primetime special for the network, which seems a worthy successor to last year's highly rated "I Am...Yours" Thanksgiving special.

Beyoncé's record label further states, "the I AM...WORLD TOUR DVD puts home viewers in front row seats for the most electrifying show on earth.

"Produced, directed and edited by Beyoncé for her own Parkwood Pictures, the I AM...WORLD TOUR concert film is an immersive entertainment experience, weaving together peak concert and tour footage from different shows around-the-world, including cities in Europe, Asia, South America and the US, to create the ne plus ultra Beyoncé concert experience, seen from the artist's perspective. In addition to offering rare behind-the-scenes glimpses into the dynamic personal world of Beyoncé on tour, the film features dazzling performances of more than twenty #1 hits transformed for the stage, guest appearances by superstars Kanye West and Jay-Z, spectacular staging, costumes, lighting and production values."

For a preview of Beyoncé's I AM...WORLD TOUR, please visit: http://www.beyonceonline.com/us/iamworldtourspot/us.

* Beyoncé's full-concert film DVD will be exclusively available only at Walmart, on Friday, November 26, 2010; Deluxe DVD/CD Edition --including the concert DVD, a live audio CD, an exclusive documentary and a 40 page four-color booklet-- will be available everywhere on Tuesday, November 30, 2010; Blu-ray version of Beyoncé's I AM...WORLD TOUR will be available, Tuesday, December 7, 2010.



What to wear for this season's festive events... Take a look at a few suggestions we've made, here:

"Screen Siren"


who runs the yard?!

Homecoming 2010 & Fashion At Morgan + Russell Simmons = a great fall season of football, fashion and philanthropy!!!

Not that we're super-thrilled about the antics on the playing field, we just love the antics of the dressing-room a tad bit more... and we're always excited to hear about what goes down on college-campuses during the festive homecoming season! One campus, in particular -MSU (Morgan State University)- has always seemed to provide fun and excitement (along with structured academics), to its style-savvy students, and this year, they did not disappoint.

(logo, Morgan State University)

2010 marked the fourth, consecutive year that FAM- Fashion At Morgan (MSU's premiere fashion and modeling club), has spearheaded the annual, homecoming fashion show; except this time around, FAM welcomed aboard two other campus groups, ABC (Absolutely Beautiful & Confident modeling organization), and iConic Modeling Empirical, to help coordinate the event. And, on Monday, October 18th, FAM (along with ABC and iConic), presented "Three Worlds Collide" (a juxtaposed fashion-collaboration), to a sold-out audience, with more than 600+ fans in attendance.

(photo, MSU Homecoming Fashion Show- FAM model. October 2010)

(photo, MSU Homecoming Fashion Show- ABC model. October 2010)

(photo, MSU Homecoming Fashion Show- iConic models. October 2010)

Providing further insight into the 'back story' of the three student organizations, here's a news article from MSU's official, student newspaper The Spokesman, written by Krishana Morgan:

(clip, MSU Homecoming Fashion Show. October 2010)


We definitely can't wait until the spring, to see what these talented students show the campus next!


Speaking of shows, it's not often that a multi-million dollar media mogul let's his guard down and invites you into his home... that is, unless you're Russell Simmons- and you're feeling groovy, baby!

Simmons, the godfather of hip-hop music, has teamed up with Oxygen television network, to present "Running Russell Simmons," a new, reality-TV series centered around the many 'hands' that help shape Simmons's multi-tiered, multi-faceted business.

(poster, Running Russell Simmons. November 2010)

Premiering this month, the show will take viewers inside the world according to Uncle Russ (Simmons), proving that a famous life is not as easy as tabloids make it appear (celebrities wining and dining and receiving numerous perks), but attaining such a life requires hard work, and a consistent team of assistants; yet, the spin to Simmons' show is that ALL of his assistants are... female!

Take a peek here:
* Video (hulu.com, Running Russell Simmons, clip, November 2010)

Happy viewing...

www.morgan.edu, www.fashionatmorgan.org, www.maxmilliphotography.blogspot.com, www.msustudentcenter.com, www.facebook.com (Steve Lewis Photography), www.google.com, www.hulu.com


Opening the secret closet of the military and exposing the skeletons for what they really are, the U.S. court system is rallying together to FINALLY put a rest to the modern-day question: "Should gays be allowed to serve in the military?!"

At the beginning of last month (October), U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips made a historic ruling, stopping the military enforcement of a 17-year-old 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy; temporarily suspending the ban on gay men and women not being allowed to serve in any branch of the U.S. military.

Yet, the 1993 policy -really- hasn't been laid to rest...

According to yahoo.com, as it currently stands -under D.A.D.T- service men and women who acknowledge being gay or are discovered engaging in homosexual activity, are subject to discharge (even in the privacy of their own homes- off base).

About 115,000 troops and 44,000 military spouses were surveyed about the policy, and surprising results show that most people DO NOT mind being in service with homosexual men and/or women; Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is in favor of getting rid of the ban, while Arizona Republican Senator John McCain is against it.

The House has already voted to end the policy; but the world awaits Sen. Harry Reid, et. al's scheduled vote(s).

www.google.com, news.yahoo.com, www.associatedpress.com

Stand Up To Cancer

Raise your awareness of Breast Cancer, so that we may all be able to Stand Up To Cancer...

(pink, breast cancer ribbon)

Wikipedia.org, reports that Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM), (also referred to in America as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM)), is an annual, international health campaign organized by major breast cancer charities every October, to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention and cure.

The disease, itself, as stated on cancer.org, "is a malignant tumor that starts from cells of the breast. A malignant tumor is a group of cancer cells that may grow into (invade) surrounding tissues or spread (metastasize) to distant areas of the body. The disease occurs almost entirely in women, but men can get it, too."

In a mass-effort to help put an end to cancer, Stand Up To Cancer (a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF)), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, has developed an initiative to "accelerate groundbreaking cancer research that will get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives." SU2C's website standup2cancer.org, further states, their "goal is to bring together the best and the brightest in the cancer community, encouraging collaboration instead of competition. By galvanizing the entertainment industry, SU2C creates awareness and builds broad public support for this effort."

* Video (SU2C, 2010)

So, whether you're a survivor, or you know someone who is or has been affected by the disease, LET'S ALL CHOOSE TO STAND UP 2 CANCER!

STYLE 101:

www.google.com, en.wikipedia.org, www.cancer.org, www.apsh.kpjhealth.com (self-exam photo), www.standup2cancer.org

NYFW: The Collections x Spring/Summer 2011

STYLE 101: reviews the designer offerings for Spring/Summer 2011, and we must say, we are READY for the warm months...


PAT KERR by Kristen Brown
* presented at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center- New York, New York: September 12th, 2010.

Debutante-worthy ladies clad in Missoni, YSL and Louis Vuitton, shopped and mingled amongst each other, in-between sips of freshly made 'mint juleps' (garnished with fresh mint leaves); this was the essence of Pat Kerr's offerings for next year.

Mannequins set the mood for what was to come, donned in the finest elegance; Pat Kerr's gowns were finished with lace petticoat, textures and varied silhouettes, everything was natural and romantic (synonymous with Southern flair).

...the bride has arrived!

* presented at the Trump Hotel (Soho)- New York, New York: September 12th, 2010.

Floral arrangements by Kenji Takenaka created columns along the warm, peach-lit room; regardless of the rain (which created a dreary horizon), the view set the mood for the Trump Heiress' collection of Fine Jewelry.

Styled by Junko Yoshioka, the models gracefully strut as the romantic lighting picked up the clarity in the jewels. Marbled fabrics mixed with old-Hollywood glamour and floral-esque textures supported the vintage style of the jewelry.

Timeless, yet fashionable, every woman needs to have a piece of this collection.


LUIS VALENZUELA by Kristen Brown
* presented at The GreenShows at the Metropolitan Pavilion- New York, New York: September 12th, 2010.

If anyone could master Victorian-style frocks for 2011, Valenzuela succeeded in doing so.

Deconstructed men's wear transitioned into off-the-shoulder, voluminous tops with dramatic button and lining details of a corporate employees' favorite separates.

Accordion-cinched fabrics created futuristic texture from head to toe. Luis Valenzuela provided the crowd with innovative -and progressive- styles and shapes.


AURALIS by Kristen Brown
* presented at The GreenShows at the Metropolitan Pavilion- New York, New York: September 13th, 2010.

'Kitten Coffee' lifted the exhausted attendees, while old-school hip hop spun us to our seats.

Designer Auralís Herrero-Lugo's mood was organic... and as the lights dimmed, Brazilian drums got the crowd thumping their feet as amazing separates flowed down the catwalk.

If, in September, you craved beaches, colorful sundresses and sturdy lace, one only needs to seek Auralis' looks from Spring/Summer 2011; these effortlessly sexy frocks are meant to be picked up by you AND next summer's light breezes ;)


* presented at The GreenShows at the Metropolitan Pavilion- New York, New York: September 13th, 2010.

We've past the grunge and 80's period... so, what's next for this vintage-inspired world? The answer -of course- is Ms. Joann Berman!

Say hello, to the revival of amazing pop-retro-inspired dresses and separates injected with loads of color and natural flavor!

Berman's tapestry-style fabrics, African-inspired textiles and petal-scalloped skirts flounced down the runway, while the models swung their high pony-tails and strut to the sound of playful beats.

We can certainly tell -from this show- that in order to wear a piece from Berman's collection, you need to be prepared to have a good time!


* presented at The Plaza (Hotel)- New York, New York: September 13th, 2010.

"Rebellious Luxury," is the term that designer Sang A Im-Propp uses to describe her line of high-end accessories. This season, she showed tons of lizard, alligator, and snake skin concoctions; all very exotic!

She told us that she likes to mix the proportions of men's and women's aesthetics and toying with the juxtaposition of "uptown meets downtown" (high & low).

Moreover, graphic artist HyeWon Shim's featured installation helped to bolster Im-Propp's vision of form and function.

Im-Propp travels a lot to Europe and she says, "Bags are an extension of who we are," emphasizing that each, unique bag is also a reflection of the world's different types of people.


* presented at The GreenShows at the Metropolitan Pavilion- New York, New York: September 14th, 2010.

'Eco-Couture,' has proven to not just be a thing for us pre-dispositioned-earth-friendly-inclined-human beings, it has grown from plain 'ole recycling to full-out high fashion!

Enter breakout designer Natasha Gindin, who showed a wonderful, well-crafted collection for next season's warm months... organic cotton hand-dyed with natural indigo, hemp webbing details, and fabulous shapes and colors that all bear Gindin's signature "LAVUK" trademark; effortless chic.

Not only was Gindin's inspiration partly drawn from the 19th century's "Art Forms in Nature," by Ernst Haeckel, we also found that most of her inspiration came from within- as Gindin herself leads a perfect example of 'living green.'


* presented at the Metropolitan Pavilion- New York, New York: September 14th, 2010.

What do you get when you cross Vietnam with the Eiffel Tower?? Give up?! Well, the answer is simple... You get 'The Vietnamese Princess in Paris,' which -by the way- isn't just one princess, but TWO... in the form of the unforgettable Sachika Twins!!!

Identical twin designers, To-Tam and To-Nya Sachika, have presented their vision of luxe for the modern woman via a few housewives, a few sequined dresses, a star-studded front-row, a silk burnout wrap dress, a silk gazar skirt with jeweled appliques, and Ice-T's wife, Madame Coco!

And, what better way to summarize Sachika's aesthetic, than by putting it in their own words, "no matter her age, shape, or size, we believe true beauty lies in the confidence in a woman's step, the focus in her eyes, and the subtle challenge in the tilt of her chin."


* presented at Industria (Studio 4)- New York, New York: September 14th, 2010.

Not just a personal favorite of the First Lady of the United States of America, Jason Wu is also a go-to-favorite of iconic fashion house TSE.

Since 1989, the cashmere label has been groundbreaking and innovative in its design aesthetic, so strengthening the brand with Wu (and his subtle, wearable avant-garde approach), was a natural touch- no pun intended!

Wu's inspiration was pulled from the idea of illusions, and abstract expressionism. His offerings for the warm season, included a KNOCKOUT white cotton satin and chiffon drape gown (with lace up back), crocheted sweaters, linen trench coats and skirts, sweater dresses and hand knit silk tunics... partially styled by Akari Endo-Gaut (for TSE), and former VOGUE staffer, Elissa Santisi (for Jason Wu for TSE).

We TSE yes!


* presented at 87 Lafayette Street- New York, New York: September 14th, 2010.

Genius designer, Austin Sherbaneko said it best, "I am the one wolf," and that's exactly the type of courage and guts it takes to superbly wear any of his exquisite designs.

Sherbaneko's label explores the states of improvisation from which self expression is discovered, and it's hard not discover one's lust for the warm months in deconstructed denim and distressed leather!

The presentation of Odyn Vovk (pronounced oh-din vah-k), was subdued in a dim lighting and accompanied by live music; a projector screen also provided a short film displaying a male model's Gallic -yet dark- exploration through open spaces.

As Duran Duran would imply, Sherbaneko's passion for tailoring is hungry, like the wolf!


* presented at The GreenShows at the Metropolitan Pavilion- New York, New York: September 14th, 2010.

There were no sharp pleats here, only soft and well-constructed, un-abashed feminine pieces!

Pleet, presented a handful of beautiful models that wore her collection with pride... there was accentuation of the waist (the mid-section is key), and a pseudo rockabilly style that resounded throughout the entire evening.

For a night out on the town, if we had to choose... we'll take "Pleet's Please!" THANKS ;)


* presented at 'The Theater' at Lincoln Center, New York, New York: September 15th, 2010.

When decoding the Spring/Summer swim wear collection of Gottex, designer Molly Grad says, "It's a fusion of technology and luxury, created to accentuate the female form."

Et voila, a brilliant and -literally- dazzling arrangement of what we like to call 'techno-swim' was presented, replete with sparkling sun-visors, Lucite and crystal embroidery, silk bolero's, and encrusted tulle.

Your shore will be the bells and whistles of the ball if you're decked out in these hot 1-or-2 pieces... surf's up!

* presented at the Audi Forum (250 Park Avenue), New York, New York: September 15th, 2010.

Upper East... Upper West... blah, blah, blah. It doesn't matter what side of town you're from when deciding to attribute a style to Loris Diran's signature looks, because all of his designs will lift you UP and take you higher!

And, for Spring/Summer 2011, Diran proved just that with his high-velocity designs that presented both a rough & soft feel to the collection.

Cross-ribboned detailing, polka dots, luxe weaving & wefting, and gorgeous models galore... Diran delivered the goods this season, and we can't wait for what's next :)


* presented at the Red Bull Space (40 Thompson Street), New York, New York: September 15th, 2010.

If there were a present-day contemporary designer who embodied a similar -early design- aesthetic to monsieur Helmut Lang (for this season), it would have to be mademoiselle Althea Harper.

Her exquisite craftsmanship was slightly reminiscent of Lang's 1999-2001 years of design; sheer panel jeans, and circular cut-outs.

Harper's models (painstakingly posed to perfection), were given a final 'touch-up' by the collection's stylist, before guests were greeted by shades of grey, white, lilac and sparkly silver. This was definitely a collection that we enjoyed!

Thanks for reading!!!

Be sure to log-on to: www.style101magazine.com, for monthly updates on each of the designer collections we previewed at the Spring/Summer 2011 shows.

STYLE 101: