ALL NYFW Shows Go LIVE! Cash Cow or Crutch?

Well hello there,

Did you know that starting this season (which is in like…6 days), all shows that will be presented during Mercedes Benz New York Fashion week at Lincoln Center will be live streamed?! It’s a dream come true for those that either don’t have the clout to get into the shows, or those who can’t get to new York City for some reason or another (I’m generally a mix of those two, so don’t feel bad if you fall into that group). IMG has partnered with Rightster, a worldwide media content distributor, to bring live streamed shows of EVERY designer, plus on-demand videos from each of them. Talk about exclusivity! But for who? I can play the devil’s advocate here on behalf of the taste makers that new York Fashion Week was intended for; the buyers, stylists, socialites, and fashion innovators that get these collections where they need to be.

I would think that those groups of people just listed are either livid, or they don’t care at all in the context of this decision. Livid, because I could see how it may seem like their exclusivity is being taken away from what was once such mystery, “What really happens on those runways?”. Before, the world didn’t have as much insider access to fashion week as they do now, but with the coming of innovative technologies and the blogger culture, it’s almost instinct to share! And with that growing instinct are the consumers, enthusiasts, and the like demanding it. The ones that don’t care are probably those who are very welcoming of change and evolution. They don’t feel threatened, and they shouldn’t.

New York fashion week

Photo: Style.com

I personally think it’s a great idea. I loved when Maybelline took the initiative over the past few seasons to live stream select shows, and I’m sure they did too after seeing such a great reaction to their generosity. There are so many people who share a love for beauty and fashion and only dream of being able to attend shows at NYFW, but with the reality, everyone won’t get that chance and at least this is a shot at letting them get one step closer. We live in a fast-growing media culture, so I feel like this was essentially inevitable. I know one thing, since I have school all week and can’t be in New York to attend shows at the same time, I will be watching those live streams and loving every minute! I thank IMG and Rightster for understanding my complicated, busy-life situation. HA!

What do you think about this collab? Do you think IMG has taken the magic and mystery away from fashion week by making it fully accessible to everyone? or do you think this will end up providing a better ROI for the designers presenting? I’m really interested in knowing where others stand with this one!

Starting on Feb 7th, IMG+Rightster will live stream all shows on the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week website and on their Facebook. Don’t miss out this time. Why? Well, because now you don’t have to. Your personal invite has just arrived.

 

Sincerely,

with style,

 

 

Style on Capitol Hill: The Obama’s Inauguration Day Fancy

Good evening, folks!

This is a quickie because my 1st day of school is tomorrow and I have homework already, but I just HAD to write this post NOW while all my style excitement is flowwiinnggggg!

Okay, so today was a very special day as the 57th inauguration took place to swear in President Barack Obama for his 2nd term, and as history was made yet again, millions watched on to be a part of it. Today we also celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and I personally feel that his dream for equality has become more true today than it ever has before. I am humbled to be able to have witnessed such history TWICE in my lifetime, and it’s something I will remember forever and ever!

Okay, enough with the mushy stuff, let’s get to the point of my post. The styyyylllleeeeee! It’s the one thing everyone drools over, especially when it comes to the beautiful First Lady! At the private swearing-in ceremony this morning, Michelle Obama chose a blue Reed Krakoff dress with a sweater to compliment the look of simplistic sophistication. It seems that the family followed suit with the sea of blue, except for the spunky Sasha that is. Malia is wearing a dress from H&M, my kind of girl!

Inauguration 2013 swearing-in ceremony

Fast forward to the main inaugural ceremonies, and Michelle Obama dazzled in her grace in a subdued and beautifully navy structured coat by Thom Browne, which kept her warm over a dress by Thom Browne as well. Her statement belt, that she is known for wearing for a little pop, is by J.Crew and so are her shoes. The girls were super posh in their hued coats, Malia’s by J.Crew, and Sasha adorned in Kate Spade.

Michelle, Sasha, Malia Inauguration 2013

 

Michelle Obama Reed Krakoff 2013

 

Michelle Obama in Thom Browne Inauguration 2013

 

Sasha and Malia style Inauguration 2013

And last but not least, the inaugural ball! The WORLD really just wanted to know which designer Michelle Obama would choose. Many predicted that she’d choose a newer designer, or one that may not necessarily be considered a household name, but to everyone’s surprise she went with Jason Wu, again! Jason Wu designed her 2009 inaugural gown, and he sure didn’t disappoint this time either. Within minutes, phone calls were being made to figure out who designed her amazing red gown, and Jason Wu gets the credit!

Michelle Obama Jason Wu Inauguration dress 2013

 

Minutes after revealing Jason Wu as the designer of this red masterpiece, an original sketch from Jason Wu’s headquarters was released and it gave us an even more intimate look at the design details and specifics behind this lucky dress.

 

Jason Wo sketch Michelle Obama inagural dress

This gown definitely lived up to its original design details, constructed out of a mix of fluid chiffon and luxurious velvet; making use of the duchess satin belt that is reminiscent of the First Lady’s style signature. The diamond studded hand-made ring at the close of the halter was made by Kimberly McDonald and she’s wearing Jimmy Choo shoes. Stunning.

I LOVE the first family. They represent me in so many ways and I’m able to see a mirror reflection of my family in them. The Obamas have a love for one another that is contagious, warm, and sincere and so many aspire to be just like them. I can’t leave this post without a nod to my main man’s style. Obama had SO MUCH SWAG today, that I had to look away! He showed so much confidence today, as he should, and I simply loved his choice of a white bow tie at tonight’s inaugural ball as he did 4 years ago at his first inauguration. He did thaaaaaat!

Obama inauguration 2013

 

I thank God that I’m alive to see history continuously being made, spoken from our forefathers and brought to life by today’s dreamers.

 

Sincerely,

with style and humility,

 

 

 

The Destination IMAN Launch party, What A Flight!

Hello loves,

I’ve had such a full past 3 weeks, I mean one amazing thing after the next. So much so that I have had to literally pinch myself to make sure it’s all like…real. Last month after being introduced to Iman’s new site, DestinationIman.com, I wrote a post about all the things I loved about it, but I had NO idea that a mere month later I’d be at her launch party, mixing and mingling with the fab who’s who of the fashion industry and the stylish alike. No idea. When I got the invitation, I was like, “wait, whaaaa? Me? Is this real life?” ha! I had a little moment, and I thought to myself, “wow”. To some, an invitation to an invite only party, of only one of the biggest fashion icons in the world, may not mean anything, especially if you’re used to attending events of that type, but to me it was everything! I mean, I thought back to barely two years ago when I started talking to Iman on Twitter, to meeting her in person for the 1st time last year, to now partying with her and being known to her on a first name basis. (insert the ‘can you believe this?!’ face) Ok, let me rewind a few days…

I attended The Independent Fashion Blogger’s Conference on Wednesday, September 5th, where Iman was the keynote speaker. When she arrived in this flawlessly tailored magenta-esque suit by Rachel Zoe, the room fell silent in awe, and then quickly digressed and rushed up to take photos of her. I was about 2 rows of people away from her as I tried to get a photo of this suit amidst oohing and ahing, and all of a sudden, there was a break down the middle of the crowd. I looked, and Iman was pointing at me like “Sharontina?!” I just smiled, and she embraced me in the biggest hug and proceeded to nose pinch (yes, y’all…she gave me the long lost auntie treatment) lol. She swung me around so that the photog could get a photo of us, and then whispered to me, “See you at the party this Friday?”. Me: “Wouldn’t miss it!” as I thought to myself, “OMG!”. Girls in the crowd were looking at me with smiles that had a hint of confusion on them, and later mustered up the nerve to ask, “Like…how do you know Iman?” and “Omg, Iman seemed really excited to see you, how do you know her?”. It was endless y’all, and I just smiled and said, “It’s a long story, but it all started from Twitter”, and ended it with a smile.

Iman wearing rachel Zoe at IFB con

Iman wearing Rachel Zoe at the IFB Conference

 

Sharontina and Iman at IFB Con

After the hugs, and cheek pinching, and smiles, Iman and I pose for a pic at the IFB Conference

 

Now, let’s get to this party of hers that I still can’t believe I attended…..like…really. First, let me admit that I was a little nervous before the party. I know it was just a party, but it wasn’t “just a party”! In my own mind, I was still saying to myself “wow”, and then upon learning who some of the attendees were going to be, I was like ‘Okay, I grew up being influenced by/watching these people on TV…what do I say to them besides “Omg, Hi..I love you!”?..ha! I didn’t want to sound like a weirdo creepy fan, but didn’t want to come off nonchalantly as if I attend parties and hobnobbed with Iman and other fashion forerunners when I had spare time (tuh! in my dreams..). It was an interesting pre-party conversation with self going on, but nonetheless, I was going to thoroughly enjoy the experience.

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Beauty masters Oscar James, Valente Frazier, and moi–Fun!

When I arrived, as I walked into the entrance of the posh ‘Electric Room’ of the Dream Hotel (which made me feel like I was entering a sexy ass cave that was dimmed and lit ever so gently by flickering candlelight) Iman, Oscar James, and Valente Frazier were walking out, and Iman caught me with an “Ohh, look at her!” as her, Oscar, Valente gave me their “uhh ohhh” looks, (I got a little dressed up…lol). T’was a fab greeting, and it instantly made me feel like I fit right in. I entered, and the room was filled with a bunch of gorgeous people, dressed in their own unique definitions of style, existent through color, texture, accessories, or the lack thereof. Soon Iman returned and called me over to her to take some photos with her. (PAUSE)…how would you feel taking pics next to a freakin’ SUPERMODEL?!? You would have thought I never took a picture in my life, and for those of you who follow me on social media, you know it’s all I do! I did the most basic pose….aka….stood still and did nothing, it’s hilarious now looking at the photos haha…

Sharontina and Iman, Destination Iman launch party

 

Sharontina and Iman, Destination Iman Launch party

My ‘no pose’ pose..hehe

 

After being photographed with Iman, I’m chillin’, bobbing my head to the tunes, and in walks June Ambrose………………..*HOLD THE PHONE*. BOTH of my STYLECONS ‘at the same damn time!?’ Naw…. this wasn’t real life, nope. After realizing yes, it was in fact real life…I was like ‘Okay, let me calm down and just be natural’. June walks over to where I was standing and started talking to another attendee, all the while I’m staring directly in her face wondering of she’d recognize me from the last time I saw her at our first meeting. As she’s chatting, she kept glancing over at me, then she stops talking, points at me with squinted eyes like… “are you….!”….and I’m all, “Yes!” and she embraces me in a hug, hahaha…it was hilarious! And of course I had to get an updated photo…

Sharontina and June Ambrose, Destination Iman launch party

June and I, Destination Iman launch party

 

Like 5 mins prior, I’d asked June’s fabulous assistant, Eli– (most known for being June’s right hand and for his 1-liners on Styled by June, ie. “I can either be your best girlfriend and we can take pregnancy tests together, or I can be that yeast infection that never goes away” (talking to June’s new assistant, Rachel))– to pose for a pic, and after taking a pic with me, June said to him, “That’s TyrasLilSis Eli!”, He was like “Omg, why didn’t you say so!’…I’m like “Umm…. I don’t know?” LOL! I had no clue that he knew who I was….thanks Twitter.

Sharontina and Eli Wasserman

Me and ‘my friend in my head’, Eli

…and then of course Mr. Jay Manuel walked in and I lost all coolness (he didn’t see it though). Truth be told, I was in true fan mode, but I put on my ‘I’m supposed to be here, I really am!’ costume, and it all worked out… hehe.

Mr. Jay Manuel and Sharontina, Destination Iman party

Mr. Jay Manuel and I, I was totally psyched…

Joan Smalls and Iman, Destination Iman launch party

 

‘The Crew’, Oscar James, Emil Wilbekin, Iman, June Ambrose, and Jay Manuel; all powerhouses at what they do!

 

This party was awesome, the perfect mix of beauty, fashion, conversation that entertained, and photos galore! I was so happy to be included in the celebration of the launch of DestinationIman.com, as I love the site and it’s design, functionality, and personality and it’s barely over  a month old! I wrote a whole post about it, because like I say all the time, I support what I like. I also have to give a major shout to Dana Randall, CEO of Built By the Factory, the phenomenal company who partnered with Iman to create such an amazing website. Plus, Dana is fashion forward and has the most gorgeous hair I’ve ever seen. She’s FAB.

I took many more pics that I’d love to share, but if I keep adding them to this post, the scroll bar will be so small that it will annoy you, like it does me.

Check out more official Destination Iman party photos here and check out my Instagram to see more that I snapped while in awe of the whole experience. A night to remember indeed.

 

Sincerely,

with style~ Sharontina B.

 

The Runway Battle of Versailles ’73: A Story That Needed to be Told

Just like everything else in the world, fashion has a history. A very elaborate history that is often told through stories passed from generation to generation, “he say, she say”, carrying the tradition of those old fables you learned as a kid. Only this time, the tortiose and the hare are substituted with real people trying to make their dreams come true, back stories of the lives of once struggling designers and models trying to make a name for themselves, all while doing everything in their power (on purpose, or not) to leave their mark in fashion. Even as we marvel at the stories we’ve heard over the years, and get even more giddy as we learn of new tales of old stories, we all know that all stories don’t get their chance in the limelight and that many times, they are the ones that deserve it the most. The events of what has been named Versailles ’73, is one of those stories, and it’s finally being told.

Versailles '73

Last evening I had the pleasure of being invited to a private screening of Versailles ’73, a documentary, directed by Riley Draper, about an event in fashion that was so monumental and life altering (for some), that someone….forgot to tell the story. Neither here nor there, the story of Versilles ’73 is now being told in a exciting and attention grabbing documentary, with intention to either make you feel like you were there, wish you were there, or say to yourself, “…and why did it take so long for them to tell this story?!”.  I asked myself all three of those questions, and with much purpose. To give you a brief synopsis without telling the whole story (I promise, no spoilers…although I want to soooooo badly!) Versailles ’73 tells of an EPIC–people usually use this word for non-epic moments, but this is one that’s deserving– fashion show that would put five well known French couturiers against five, then less globally recognized and respected, American fashion designers in an initial effort to raise money to repair the Palace of Versailles. I emphasize the word initial because although that was the primary purpose of the show, the end result of what happened that night would forever change fashion, the lives of the designers involved, and the models that served as muses that night; especially the African American models who came onto stage and dazzled the predominantly French audience like nothing they had ever seen before.

Versailles '73 on stage

Bethann Hardison and Daniela Morera with designer Stephen Burrows,  Versailles '73

Bethann Hardison and Daniela Morera with designer Stephen Burrows, Versailles ’73

Versailles ’73 is an electrifying account of the magic that took place in Paris on that November evening in 1973 , and only those involved could tell the story with such excitement, accuracy, and step-by-step detail, captivating the audience in such a way that it pulls you to the edge of your seat! Just talking about it has me excited again, and being able to hear the story told by those who were actually there that night makes it all the more thrilling. The model muses include Pat Cleveland, Bethann Hardison, China Machado and Carla Lemonte just to name a few, and the five designers that would ultimately prove American fashion were Anne Klein, Stephen Burrows, Bill Blass, Oscar de la Renta, and Halston. These designers put ready -to-wear on ‘the map’, and took fashion in a new direction, away from the elaborate haute couture that only the noble and, well, rich could wear, and opened everyone’s eyes to a new way of dress, that was fit for all. If I go on, I will tell the whole story and you’ll be mad at me, so take a look at the trailer to get a piece of what Versailles ’73 was and is all about and why this story needed to be told. Thank me later after you see it!

This story needs to be told, heard, and appreciated. It will make you laugh hysterically, gasp in shock, and clap in glee as the story unfolds! I hope you all get to see this remarkable documentary, and that you share it with others.

There will be a public screening of Versailles ’73 tonight at 7:30pm ET at Temple University’s Center City campus, 1515 Market Street room 222 organized by the Philadelphia Collection. Mikki Taylor, Editor-at-large of ESSENCE Magazine and Author of Commander in Chic, and fashion Philanthropist and style maven Cameron Silver will also be doing a Q&A after the screening, so come out! It is open to the public and free of charge, hope to see you there!

ps, the models and some attendees of Versailles ’73 recently had a reunion, don’t they look FAB?!

Models of versailles 73 now

Models and attendees of Versailles ’73 in 2012, beautiful!

Visit Versailles ’73 for more info.

Sincerely,

with style~ Sharontina B.