Shades of Spring!

During the spring and summer months when the sun shines its brightest, we pull out our most stylish shades and allow them to speak the language of our style. Just as clothing trends and fads peek in and out each season, the shades that help us acquire our chic incognito looks do as well, which makes it all the more fun! This spring/summer season is all about bringing the retro soulful and sultry 70s back with cool shaped shades channeling that of Jackie O and incorporating them into our modern day interpretations.

I’m a bit obsessed with the fashions of the late 60s and 70s because they provided people with so much freedom and expression to define themselves through their personal style with color, texture, accessories, layering, patterns, color blocking….ughhh..I could go on forever! It was all about glamour and standing OUT in the crowd..I secretly wish I was around back then when it was all being born. Ok, back to shades… when I began my search for some cool shades that were both stylish and price friendly, the first place that came to mind was H&M. Yes, it’s true everybody and their mom may just have the same shades as you, but it’s all about how YOU wear them and the voice you give them to speak the language of YOUR style. As I perused around the vast selection of shades, I came across THESE! Nice big lenses, not quite a rectangle..but not quite a circle, tinted to add a bit of mystery= perfect for me…

H&M had to have over 20 different styles of shades when I went, all priced between $5.50-$7.50. Shortly after, I attended the Accessories Council Mother’s Day Top Picks event and scored these “I’m feeling a liiiiiitle fancy” shades…they are from Michael Kors’ new Calista collection, retail: $200..

Yes, these ones make me feel a little special. They are the perfect addition to a nice spring look,sure to turn heads!
Of course I’m never satisfied…well…a girl can’t have too many shades, so I kept on my hunt for more and came across these circle frame “Is that Jackie O?..nope” beauties that I could not resist!

These sent me for a loop! It was love at FIRST try on! ha… I scored these at Urban Outfitters for just $10! When I tell you that Urban Outfitters had a selection of about 30 different shade types, it’s probably an understatement! I mean…they must have pulled out Mom’s photos from way back when, and made shades of ALL types…it was simply amazing. I can officially say I’ve been to shade heaven.

..Those are all fine and dandy, but how can one approach a season inspired by such glamorous-ITY and not own a pair of the infamous “Cat-eye” shades? I know I wasn’t going to be the one caught without them! …I also got these from H&M on a recent random trip, $7.50!

Of course those around me have been hearing me babble about my latest style inspirations and one day on a visit to see my 87 year old great grandmother, she went into her draw full of things and pulled out these shades that were LITERALLY made in the 70s!!! I DIED A SLOW GLORIOUS DEAATTHHHHH!!!!!

They will NEVER leave my sight!!!

If you REALLY want to stand apart and make a statement without out saying ONE word, try these on for size!…

The celebrity eye wear designer, SB Shades creates some of the most innovative and expressive shades on the scene right now! He is the eye wear designer for Lady Gaga amongst many other of the fashion elite, and you know if he’s got them, he’s good! All I can say is, wear these and watch what happens! Check out an exclusive interview I did with SB Shades, and checkout his new collection “COEXIST” ,premiered at NY Fashion Week!

We all know that the momma wearer of shades is my STYLECON June Ambrose!!! To know her, is to know her shades! They are her signature… even when exercising! I had to post a few phots of her and the fab shades because she wears them effortlessly and faithfully!

(photos courtesy of June’s Twitter TL)…lol

Throughout the rest of spring and summer, I can assure you that several pairs of shades will be added to this collection..I just can’t get enough of them!

What shade styles are you feeling this spring/summer? I’d love to hear!

Sharontina B.

A Chat with Supermogul, IMAN!

All of you know that I absolutely ADORE Iman…supermodel, supermogul, CEO, super mom, super woman! What doesn’t she do??? Since 1975 when Iman was first discovered by fashion photographer Peter Beard, she has graced the covers of the most notable publications, strutted the runways of the most famed designers, and has continued to bring us products that beautify women, while maintaining versatility and keeping the essence of glamour and sophistication. In 1994, Iman launched  her self titled cosmetics line for women of color, IMAN Cosmetics, that is still at the front lines of being one of the BEST cosmetics lines for women of color. I recently won an IMAN Cosmetics “Eye-Con” palette, which is a palette that consist of 12 different shadows from their new Boho Chic collection, and can I just tell you how excited I am?! I can’t wait to dive in!

Iman also launched her Global Chic clothing and accessories line, exclusively for HSN, in 2007; a collection inspired from places all around the world. The value and quality of the pieces in this line are unbelieveable! They are cost efficient and they give you so much value and a look of sophistication and glamour, which is very important to Iman. I could go on forever talking about the accomplishments Iman has made over the course of her career, but I’d rather let you hear her take from her words!
I was sooooo thrilled when Iman agreed to do a Q&A for The Runway Times, simply honored! She is so humble and always so willing to help others and she could never know how much I appreciate her taking valuable time to do this for me. So, without further ado, here it is! …

When you began modeling in 1975, what do you remember being the most exciting part for you? (ie. Runway,  photo shoots, etc.)

I loved both but I have to say the runway was more exciting – to be doing Theiry Mugler, Claude Montana and Jean Paul Gaultier at the beginning of their careers was exhilarating! Those days fashion shows were pure theater… the hair, makeup, sets were all masterly created to bring the whole theme of that particular collection to life.

Have you noticed a major change in the fashion industry in terms of how models were viewed years ago and how they are viewed now?

Unfortunately, models are no longer muses! When I used to model, designers always asked me how I felt about the clothes or how I would style it. Our opinions mattered then but unfortunately now the girls are all told to walk the same hence making them more like mannequins. I think the designers are doing themselves a disservice, as there are truly great models around that could become a plus for the designers instead of only relying upon the stylists. Most models’ off duty clothes look better than most of what comes down the runway… sometimes!

Out of the many shows you have done throughout your career, which was your absolute favorite? Why?

Mr. Yves Saint Laurent when he chose me as his muse for his “African Queen Couture Collection”. He cut the fabrics from bolts on my body… I stood for hours on heels and sheer silk pantyhose and nothing else but it was a once in a lifetime experience and to top it all I did the campaign for it with the legendary photographer David Bailey. Unforgettable!

Who or what inspires you today in your roles as CEO of Iman Cosmetics, designer of Global Chic, and many of your other doings?

My inspirations come from diverse places and people, but travel is always where I gather and collect. I am a chic “hoarder”. Sights and cultures are key for my inspirations from beading in India to sunset in Lamu in Africa to how a girl on the streets of Harlem ties her turban!

What are some of your top picks for this spring season?

I love the 70′s deluxe revisited as I can remember wearing it at Studio 54′s heyday but I also love all the colors… it is so uplifting!  I loved Marc Jacobs, Rachel Roy, Rodarte,DVF, Suno & Duro Oluwu .

AHHHHH! I’m still extra excited, this was a honor and I thank Iman so much for her insight into today’s fashion scene! I hope you all enjoyed and like always, thanks for reading.
Sharontina B.