SB Shades @ the Soho Grand

by MissK
(STYLE 101: correspondent)

Stevie Boi NYFW Party

To end off my fashion week experience the STYLE 101: crew hit the Stevie Boi party at the Soho Grand. It was filled with people from Baltimore to New York, all there to support home grown talent. If you don't know Stevie Boi...

(read more here)

Naeem Khan- New York Fashion Week F/W 2010 Collections


On the very last day of New York Fashion Week, my team and I were in for a treat as we witnessed one of the final designer showcases... we were blown away by the high-octane collection of Naeem Khan!

Gilt by association, could have been the motif for Khan's designs, as his collaborator Ranjana Khan presented a plethora of Swarovski Crystals and brass rings, chrome and leather bibs, silk ribbons, river pearls and black onyx.

The excessive jewelry only complemented Khan's collection, as he gave us glamour with a twist; circular metal paillette 'motorcycle' jackets, trumpet gowns, and chenille blazers.

Due to such an unrestrained and wowser collection, we here at STYLE 101: have given Khan a new nick-name, "goldfinger."

More information on Khan can be found at www.naeemkhan.com

*extra, extra... (read more here)
STYLE 101: correspondent MissK weighs in on Naeem Khan

Old Money, Young Lives...

Just imagine being the daughter of the first Black millionaire, or first female millionaire for that matter... well such was the case for famed Harlemite A'Lelia Walker, daughter of Madam C.J. Walker.
(Madam C.J. Walker)

Keeping in step with Black History Month, we chose to spotlight the younger Walker, because her story is often times untold, yet it is one of the most important Black stories of the 20th century.

A'Lelia Walker became the inheritor of not just millions of dollars (when her mother passed away), but she also inherited the legacy that Madam C.J. Walker left behind. It goes without saying, that the elder Walker formed her own haircare business for women of color, at a time when there was no such industry and Black women had to fend for themselves -literally, in the world and in the beauty department. During the early 19th century, segregation and racism was omnipresent, and Black people were considered less than beautiful, not to mention less than human, but Madam C.J. Walker changed the game with her intuitiveness to help her fellow brethren.

She formed the Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company to sell hair care products and cosmetics, and The Guinness Book of Records cites Walker as the first "female" who became a millionaire by her own achievements.

After Madam C.J. Walker's death in 1919, her daughter carried on the tradition of hospitality; opening her home to writers and artists of the emergent Harlem Renaissance.
(A'Lelia Walker)

A'Lelia was dubbed the "Mahogany Millionairess," because of her lavish lifestyle and love for the arts. She travelled the world and became a famous business woman who was a driving force behind the Harlem Renaissance. At the height of the movement, she converted a floor of her 136th Street townhouse near Lenox Avenue (which was designed by Paul Frankl), into "The Dark Tower," an underground literary scene for notable artisans such as Zora Neale Hurston, Carl Van Vechten, and Langston Hughes; Hughes even called her the "joy goddess of Harlem's 1920s," because of her societal influence.
(A'Lelia Walker)

She entertained at her townhouse as well as at Villa Lewaro, a Westchester County, Irvington-on-Hudson property, that her mother owned and named after her. Italian tenor Enrico Caruso suggested that the home be named after her (LE-lia WA-lker RO-binson), because it reminded him of homes in his native country; A'Lelia also entertained at her pied-a-terre at 80 Edgecomb Avenue in Harlem.

Due to the enormity of her contributions to the Renaissance, it's only right that we share her information with the world... because there were, and are a number of Blacks who have either made or inherited millions of dollars and their accomplishments should never go unknown.

* She had no biological children, but in 1912, legally adopted Mae Bryant (1898-1945), who became known as Mae Walker. In November 1923, A'Lelia Walker orchestrated an elaborate "Million Dollar Wedding" for Mae's marriage to Dr. Gordon Jackson. Mae Walker, a graduate of Spelman Seminary in Atlanta, divorced Jackson in 1926 and married Attorney Marion R. Perry in September 1927.

She was named president of the Madam C.J. Walker Company in 1931 after her mother's death. Mae Walker Perry was president of the company from 1931 until her death in 1945. Her daughter, A'Lelia Mae Perry Bundles (1928-1976),[6] succeeded her mother as president of the company.

A'Lelia Walker's great-granddaughter, author A'Lelia Perry Bundles (1952- ) is Walker's biographer and author of On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C. J. Walker' ' a New York Times Notable Book and recipient of the Letitia Woods Brown Book Prize from the Association of Black Women Historians. Bundles, a former producer with NBC News and ABC News and an executive with ABC News, is at work on the first major biography of A'Lelia Walker.

* Information taken from www.wikipedia.org, www.beinecke.library.yale.edu

Polo Ralph Lauren- New York Fashion Week F/W 2010 Collections


The Polo show has long been a favorite of many fashionista during New York Fashion Week, and year after year, the house continues to deliver the goods.

For next year's cold months, Lauren reworked his signature estate-girl and gave her a more urban look. The accessories are always big at Polo, so this collection did not disappoint... there was a showing of aged leather belts, animal-print messenger bags, and velvet heels.

For evening, gorgeous tiered dresses are de rigeur for a Polo girl, and Chanel Iman looked every bit the part of a walking ad campaign!

Overall, a safe bet for your buck.

*all collection images courtesy of FirstView

More information on Polo Ralph Lauren can be found at www.ralphlauren.com

Trias- New York Fashion Week F/W 2010 Collections


This collection drew on a strength that's both inner and outer, yet vertical.

Like seeing the forest through the trees, Trias gave a beautiful rendition of nature meets technology with his lichen and lilac shades, and luminous balances of light and dark.

Fabrications included silk-faille skirts, box-pleated Lycra, and hand-knitted Ombre tights.

Such a delicious showing for next year's cold months!

More information on Trias can be found at www.joaquintrias.com

Japan Fashion Week- New York Fashion Week F/W 2010 Collections

by MissK
(STYLE 101: correspondent)

Japan Fashion Week

2.18.10- I experienced something unbelievable!! I stepped into the preview of Japan Fashion Week in Tokyo. It took place in Soho, in a beautiful venue on Mercer Street. As I entered into the spot with my girl Cayla, we were amazed at that layout...

(read more here)

Brian Reyes- New York Fashion Week F/W 2010 Collections


The note-takers and rule-breakers were aligned on February 17th, for the showing of Brian Reyes. His designs have always been on the cutting edge of a fleeting and fickle fashion industry, and he's always managed to strike a chord between finding his own voice and pleasing the powers-that-be.

This season, Reyes' collection glowed with textured fabrics, plunging necklines, midriff tops and a fabulous chubby, blue fur!

It appeared as though the models were stuck in that seasonal transition between summer and fall, where you just don't want it to turn cold outside but you know it's inevitable... The hair was a bit tousled and the skin was radiant.

A triumphant showing for a slumping season.

More information on Brian Reyes can be found at www.brianreyes.com

Antavenues- New York Fashion Week F/W 2010


As a recent installment to their seasonal, off-site presentations of fashion designers and cultural taste makers, Antavenues has taken a step towards showcasing new and/or unfounded artists at their events.

Comprised of various backgrounds and disciplines, art has long been the highest form of expression and a way to visually share one's self -and thoughts- with the world. Through concepts and emotions, it allows a person to tell a story and pinpoint his/her views on the human condition. Such is the case with ROBIN GAYNES-BACHMAN, a mild-mannered woman who loves 'working in the reverse.'

Her creations center on deities and their attributes, using glittered-vinyl as her medium. Bachman says, "I've been doing vinyl paintings with glitter, for several years now," and she got her start back in 2001, painting life-size deities in oil.

Check out some of her work below:

More information on Robin Gaynes-Bachman can be found at www.robingaynesbachman.com

Malan Breton- New York Fashion Week F/W 2010 Collections


High-voltage and high-wattage converged on the 17th, as reality became real-life for once Project Runway contestant Malan Breton.

As part of a group showing for Fashion Week's STYLE 360 event, Breton gave the world his vision of Bollywood meets film noir.

The front-row included former Project Runway winner Leanne Marshall, socialite Tinsley Mortimer, and Real Housewives of New York star Jill Zarin.

Breton's show featured a melange of ancient and modern Indian references, even down to a traditional dance performance halfway throughout; he opened with two birds being flown above the runway, and towards the end of the show, former American Idol contestant Anoop Desai serenaded the models and Breton, as he did a final walk with Countess LuAnn de Lesseps.

Overall, the collection was as electrifying as the crowd, and the sumptuous colors and fabrics shone very bright for Breton's future.

More information on Malan Breton can be found at www.malanbreton.com