September 2011 archive

Fall Fashion: Five Curvy Girl Must-Haves

Happy Thursday! Today I’m featured on Essence.com with my girl – friend & fellow fashionista Gabi Gregg of Gabifresh.com – sporting our favorite trends for Fall 2011. Huge shoutout to our photographer Brandon Haynes of B Haynes Photo for these amazing shots. Here are a few items we think are must-haves for the season…

1. Cropped Pants

Contrary to popular belief, there are cropped pants to fit every shape and size. I got my colored ones from Forever 21 Plus, and I love them!
2. Leather Jacket
For me, this is a staple in the fall & in the spring. A good leather jacket works wonders for any outfit that needs a little extra edge. My favorite one is actually vintage – got it for $15 at a thrift store!
3. Wedges
Wedges are my best friend. I love the height of heels, but I hate the pain. So I opt for wedge heels on the regular. Scored these Julian Louie for Aldo pair (blogged about them HERE) earlier this April. Wait, there’s more!
Check out the FULL PHOTOSHOOT at Essence.com!

LoveBrownSugar Feature: ESSENCE October Issue

Happy Monday loves! I’m back after a quick posting hiatus (needed a break after the NYFW madness). I hope you all enjoyed your weekend. I want to give a great big hug and THANK YOU to all the lovely folks who have been tweeting me and posting to my Facebook wall about my big news! In case you haven’t seen it, here it is!

I had the honor of contributing a fashion piece to the October issue of Essence Magazine! (Yes! The Power Issue with Michelle Obama on the cover!) 
 This is such a huge accomplishment for me and I have to thank you all, my loyal followers (old & new) for your continued support. I’ve always dreamed that my face would grace the print pages of Essence and now they have! And close to Michelle Obama’s at that! *faints*

In my advertorial, I wrote about how to pull off fall’s trends in style if you’re full figured.

For the full spread, please go out and pick up a copy on newsstands now! I would so appreciate the support! And if you see me, feel free to give me a shout @LoveBrownSugar on Twitter!

Before I end this post, I must say that having attainable goals in mind and putting them down on paper is one of the best things you can do to be successful. I wrote a post about this (“My Resolution: Not To Have Any”) at the beginning of the year, and also created a vision board for my bedroom, and that was the best thing I could’ve ever done. I have a post brewing up about my process and what I’ve learned from all this so far. Coming soon!
What are some goals you have left for 2011?

3 Lessons Diane von Furstenberg Taught Me

My third day under the tents had to be one of the most rewarding days of my entire life. I guess for the past few days I’ve been trying to find ways to truly sum up my sentiments in a blog post. But words can’t express how completely honored I was on that day, to be in the Theatre at Lincoln Centre for the Diane von Furstenberg Spring 2012 runway show. It was an absolute dream come true, and I’ll explain why…

My first DVF show – Spring 2001 (watched it on TV!)

DVF has been one of my inspirations probably since 7th or 8th grade when I first caught the “fashion” bug. One day I came home after school, flipped on the TV and landed on the Metro channel. In NYC, the Metro channel was the only channel to broadcast runway shows just days after they had gone on at Bryant Park, where the fashion week tents used to be. On that particular day, I decided to skip the afternoon cartoons and tune into this fascinating thing called a runway show. That’s the day I discovered DVF. Her show started playing on the TV and I was mesmerized. At the time, folks like stylist Robert Verdi and current Editor-in-Chief of Essence Magazine, Constance White, were giving expert commentary on the shows. That’s the moment I fell in love with fashion.

As an esteemed and respected woman of society, and an entrepreneur, I’ve always looked up to Diane von Furstenberg and I’ve been enchanted by her style and grace. Her ability to make clothing that makes women feel good about themselves is uncanny. I mean, after all, she’s the original creator of the wrap dress! It doesn’t get more feel-good than that. And her overall mantra of being well-rounded is something that has inspired me tremendously. Here are three life lessons anyone can learn from DVF:

1. Stand For Something

In a time during the 70’s when women’s independence was a high priority, DVF stood out and made clothing that was not just beautiful but tailored for the working woman. She made clothing for the women who “had it all” – successful careers & families – but still wanted to be elegant & feminine. And as an aspiring entrepreneur, that’s what I want one day. Everything DVF represents is about empowering people to be more than just the status quo. Now as the President of the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers Association), she pushes important initiatives in the fashion industry like increasing diversity on the runway, discouraging unhealthy practices like anorexia, and keeping underage models out of the industry until they’re mature enough to join.

2. Change, But Remain The Same.

Although DVF shows a different collection each season, she has a signature style and aesthetic that remains the same at its core. She has something that works well for her and she uses that to her advantage. When she struck gold with the wrap dress in the 70’s, she could’ve stayed there. But she kept moving, she kept innovating. And season after season, women of all ages, shapes & sizes buy her pieces because they’re timeless yet intriguing. With the fashion industry saturated, it’s difficult for designers to make timeless clothing that’s classic but still exciting. DVF manages to do that.

I truly believe that applies beyond fashion. You should be known for something. And although in different stages of life, we grow & adjust to new circumstances, the core of your being should never change.

3. You Can Have It All

Some people seem to believe that it’s close to impossible unless you have 3 nannies and a 7 figure salary to have it all and be truly happy. I beg to differ. Aside from my own mother showing me that it’s possible (with four kids, a bustling career, a husband & a great life), I’ve heard DVF talk about it as well. Though it’s always important to take time out for yourself, it’s not completely impossible to have success in multiple areas of your life. It takes skill, and prioritizing but if DVF can do it, so can we!

 What about you guys? Is there anyone in the fashion industry who has inspired you? Soundoff below!

Solange Premieres Rimmel London Global Conference

Solange Knowles showed up to the Rimmel London premiere in the UK donning a gorgeous mustard floor-length cocktail dress. I love the length and the asymmetrical detailing. And can we talk about that hair? My gah!

I’m also in love with the hot pink lips and neon orange nails. Gorge! Kudos to Solo’s stylist Charles Wade for keeping her decked in the flyest gear. She took NY Fashion Week by storm and now she’s lighting up the red carpets in London. Love it!


BONUS: Check out this video of Solange DJing that I stumbled on over at Blake Von D’s site, from our Fashion’s Night Out Blogger Crawl! She compliments my fave blazer that I was wearing that night. Love her!

Under The Tents: NYFW Day 4

Day 4 under the tents was one of my faves. I got a chance to see some of the best collections of the season that day. Starting from the top, here’s what went down:

10:30AM: Rachel Roy Spring 2012 Presentation

At the top of the morning, I had the pleasure of attending Rachel Roy’s Spring 2012 presentation and I was more than pleased. Aside from the celebrity cameos (Kim Kardashian stopped in, I interviewed Joy Bryant, bumped into Ryan Leslie and more!), the collection itself had me gagging. I mean, the clothes were impeccable. They were still feminine & fun but so well-tailored and sophisticated. An amazing collection indeed.

Joy Bryant was there too. Rocking a super cute cutout Kova & T dress. Her and Rachel looked adorable.

I also ran into one of my former interns Chelsey of ChellyWellz Shop at the show. Gotta love NY. Such a small world.

After the show, I bumped into the lovely Tukie B. She’s June Ambrose’s assistant so you’ve probably seen her around. She rocked an easy-going look with a loose white top and boyfriend jeans. She has her own signature style, just like June.
Soon after I bumped into celeb stylist June Ambrose, rocking an impeccable outfit per usual.

4:30PM: Chris Benz Spring 2012 Presentation

The colors, the construction and the silhouettes at Chris Benz had me in awe. Last season, his collection was one of my faves so I knew I would be in for a treat. There was a laid back coolness to all of his pieces, which I loved.

I also ran into Jordin Sparks! She’s even more beautiful in person.
6PM: Betsey Johnson Spring 2012

 While waiting for the Betsey Johnson show to begin, I ran into some of my faves. Angela Simmons rocked out in a dressed by Virgos Lounge and shoes by Giuseppe Zanotti. 

Me, Jess (Angela’s cousin & former reality star on Daddy’s Girls) and Kanayo (Angela & Vanessa’s stylist) sat together for the show. They’re hilarious. Love these girls!
And of course head barbie in charge Nicki Minaj was front & center at Betsey Johnson. Her and Betsey are like BFFs.
8PM: Sammy B Designs

Next was on to the Sammy B Designs collection show where celeb-spotting was in full effect. Everyone from Tika Sumpter to Fabolous to the Love & Hip-Hop cast was in the building. And Angela Simmons walked the closing look down the runway.
Angela Simmons & Tika Sumpter catch up after the show
Had a blast!

LoveBrownSugar Chic: NYFW Day 4

For Monday’s look I opted for sophisticated chic in a little black dress with delicate accessories and leopard print shoes. That day I had shows like Rachel Roy and Chris Benz, so I knew i wanted to exude clean lines with a pop of animal (hence the leopard print shoes and python bag).

You guys may remember this one from my What’s In Her Bag post last month. It’s become my go-to carryall ever since.
Dress: Zara Collection. Handbag: RACHEL Rachel Roy (gifted). Shoes: Steve Madden. Ring: H&M. Serpent Bracelet: Stella & Dot (gifted). Watch: Michael Kors.

Photography by Erfu Wang

Under The Tents: NYFW Day 3

On day three under the NYFW tents, I had the experience of a lifetime. If you follow me on Twitter, you probably heard me gagging about it the entire day. I finally got a chance to experience first-hand a DVF collection viewing. As one of my top three favorite designers, words can’t express how amazing this was for me. I mean, I was geeked! I’m bubbling over with excitement just thinking about it, but let’s start from the top of the day.

My first stop was at the Stone Rose Lounge at Columbus Circle for The Daily Style Sessions. There I met up with good friends Misha of The Fab Chick and Annika H. to sip cocktails, enjoy free beauty treatments and pretty much…lounge!

After that I headed to Lincoln Center to wait for the DVF Spring 2012 show to begin. Can you see the excitement on my face? Lol!

Inside I ran into this super cute girl who’s hair was bigger than mine! She’s from China and she’s a designer who met DVF in China and was personally invited by her to come and watch the show. How amaze is that?
Sat across from Nicky Hilton…
…and Rachel Zoe! Above is supermodel Joan Smalls rocking the runway as well.

Overall it was an awesome show – quite possibly the most exciting 15 minutes of my fashion week.

After the show I ran into super model Selita Ebanks and….*drumroll please*

…DVF!!! I was so absolutely honored to be in her presence, she’s such an inspiration. And she chatted me up about the collection like we were BFFs – love her!

Find out more about why she inspires me in this post.

Under The Tents: NYFW Day 2

Yesterday I wasn’t exactly “under the tents” the entire day. Instead, I attended the majority of my shows downtown in the Meatpacking/Chelsea area for offsite shows like Helmut Lang and Kaelan, and presentations like Duro Olowu and Erin Fetherston at MILK Studios. Surprisingly, I loved the quiet calm of the downtown area over the hustle & bustle of Lincoln Center. Here’s what I got into:

11am: Lincoln Center for Jill Stuart S/S 2012
Jill Stuart showed a super fun collection of brights with color-blocking & super feminine frocks for Spring 2012. She even threw a few hot pants in there! Loved her show.
1pm: Pier 57 for Helmut Lang
Sticking to their classic black & white, with a few pops of neon in between, Helmut Lang showed an amzing collection of tailored cropped blazers, silk draped dresses, jumpsuits and skirts. And I was LIVING for the shoes! Ugh, in love…
3pm: Drive-In Studios for KAELAN Presentation
Around the corner at Drive-In Studios, I hit up the KAELEN Presentation and was pleasantly surprised! They showed a really impressive spring collection complete with mesh and really amazing draped pieces.
I need all of these looks in my closet. Today.
4pm: Eyebeam Studios for Christian Siriano
There aren’t enough words to describe how amazingly beautiful Christian Siriano’s spring collection was. It was just countless beauty, one after another. I gasped, I nearly cried. His collection was brilliant!
While there, myself and friends Nicaila of CailaKSpeaks & Kai-Lee ran into Corinne Bailey Rae!
 How fab! And she was wearing Christian Siriano of course. 
5pm: Backstage at Milk Studios for Duro Olowu S/S 2012
Model Georgie Badiel gets makeup done at Duro Olowu
 I’ve just discovered Duro Olowu, and can I tell you I’m in love? His collection was so fresh and grounded in his Nigerian roots. I loved it.
You guys know I love prints, so upon seeing the collection it was love at first site.
I ran into the lovely Taren, natural hair youtube vlogger for Taren916. Per usual, her curls were on point! Natural hair girls, check out her channel. She gives great tips!
Anna Wintour popped by the Duro Olowu S/S 2012 show. I think this is the closest I’ve ever been to her. She’s just a tiny thing. But very chic of course.
Shortly after, Solange showed up to greet the designer and check out the collection.
In all her full ‘fro glory!
7pm Milk Studios for Erin Fetherston Presentation
In the same venue (Milk Studios), Erin Fetherston was giving her S/S 2012 presentation. Like her, it was girly glam meets uptown sophisticate. Loved the bright colors, the sequins and the construction.
Last night I also hit up the Cocktails & Couture event and met up with my fave bloggers. Sadly, my camera died so I don’t have any pics. Look for a post about that soon!

LoveBrownSugar Chic: NYFW Day 2

Yesterday for my daily rounds at NY Fashion Week, I rocked a printed dress that I recently snagged at the thrift. Definitely one of my best finds in a while, so I had to show it off plus it’s comfortable (necessary considering all the running around I did):

I cinched the dress at the waist with a leather belt and wore it with my favorite Layla Joy Charlotte Wedges (blogged about them HERE), my vintage Coach satchel and gold & silver accessories.

Scored this silver ring from a street vendor in NYC. And the silver cuff is a “gift” from my older sister (aka I took it one day and forgot to give it back lol – that’s what sisters are for!)

Photography by Ugonna Igweatu

LoveBrownSugar Chic: NYFW Day 1

I wanted to be comfortable and light on the first day, so I opted for loose silhouettes and wedge heels.

 I wore a vintage floor-length vest, vintage boyfriend jeans, an H&M top and Forever 21 wedges.
For accessories, I wore my vintage Coach satchel, my trust Michael Kors watch, an H&M statement ring, and Stella & Dot serpentine cuff.

Photography by Erfu Wang