The Ins and Outs of Personality on the Runway

Hey! Glad to see you back,

For today’s Freestyle Post, I decided to write about a realization I made a while ago (as I’m sure many others may have), the In’s and Out’s of personality on the runway. Most people that stake claim to “loving fashion” more than likely take a liking to runway. It’s sort of the big shebang in the fashion industry where designers get to showcase their designs that once only resonated as ideas, but now come to life for onlookers to interpret, criticize, and… wear of course. We know that with the seasons’ change, new trends are introduced in addition to styling techniques and projections from forecasters, but what about the muse? The model.

I’m no model connoisseur, but I am keen on the history of many and being an observer, I have realized that models’ presentations have changed drastically over the years. Let’s think back for a minute to 1987 (No, I wasn’t to be born for another 3 years, but that’s why I love the Internet), Oscar de la Renta’s spring/summer show, which included Supermodels like Iman, Veronica Webb, Yasmin le Bon, Paulina Porizkova, Dalma Collado and more, was a lively show full of models with various backgrounds, looks, and personalities that all had a chance to shine on that runway. It wasn’t taboo to twirl and turn until the model’s heart was content, it was encouraged! They did just that, as they still kept in mind that the ultimate goal was to model the beautiful dresses and gowns to be marveled over. Take a look at some footage from that show below. The quality is not so good, but hey…it was over 20 years ago!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0cAh2js8Uc[/youtube]

As you can see, the models seemed full of joy, grace, and simply did their own thing. If you go even further back to the early 70s, specifically the fashion event that changed the face of American fashion in the light of our European counterparts, The Runway Battle of Versailles ’73, we see that this marked the change that allowed for models to be more expressive on the runway and move away from the very robotic old European way of modeling. This is a perfect indicator of the fact that the fluctuation of expression on the runway has been occurring for some time, but that the constant wave seems to continue it’s pattern of “In and Out”.

Throughout the 90s, the notion of “fun on the runway” was popular, and I believe it is what allowed models the chance to prove themselves and create signature aspects of their work to later gain them the title of Supermodel. Think Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, and even Tyra Banks, they are known for their quirks and namesake signature walks, turns, and smiles on the runway, but what has happened to that element of character and life on the runway?

Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, and Tyra Banks

90s models, they brought character to the runway!

 

Today’s runway seems to be on a downward sloping trend toward the “Out” end when it comes to models being “themselves” on the runway. Yes, I understand that it is about the clothes, but as a consumer and lover of the visual imagery that runway shows bring, personality brings the lively theatrical element back to the runway. It’s fun, unexpected, and personable! I guess they don’t want that? Besides the Victoria Secret fashion show and Betsey Johnson’s fashion week shows, traces of smiles, excessive but properly executed spins and twirls, and “I’m not just  a number” odes are nonexistent. The sad truth. Now, the runway has went back to its robotic ways, everyone is the same. Yeah, there are one or two models every season that get a little more shine and gets bumped up to supermodel status overnight, but it’s just not the same. Not like back in the day where it wasn’t really based on hype, but when models earned their credibility and star status by becoming trusted muses of famed designers who cherished the ground they walked on. In a Q & A I did with Iman a couple years ago, she stated “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.” See, it’s not just me, guys! I would love to see life resume on the runway, smiles and winks and extra hip dips, all of that!

 

New York Fashion week

Today’s runway! They all look the same!

 

I’ve had the pleasure of attending a few runway shows at New York Fashion Week, so I’ve seen it with my own two eyes, and although the shows are exceptionally beautiful with aesthetic genius, I can’t help but wonder why after  the light tricks, runway illusions, and apparel designs have left the runway, people lend a little hand clap and rush off quickly to their next destination. I think the missing element is the character and life models used to be encouraged to bring forth on the runway, the things that people can feel and want more of. That’s what it is. It troubles me to think of how long it will take for the trend to head toward “In” again, or if it will land at a plateau where only a few designers and models will continue to employ this entertaining style of runway, while the rest continue to line up by who can be the most robotic. Is anyone else with me on this one? Do you want to see personality return to the runway or are you cool with today’s norm of the unwritten uniform policy?

Let’s have a conversation!

TyrasLilSis’ Top 11 of ’11!

Well, 2011 has been quite a special year. There have been many surprises, both good and bad, opportunities for growth that I would never have expected to come my way, and of course the learning lessons that continue to help me grow personally and as a brand. I can truly say that I have had FUN this year! LOADS of FUN! From the people I’ve gotten to mix and mingle with, to the events that I’ve been given the pleasure of being able to attend…it’s just been 362 (and counting)  days of greatness that I know has only paved the way for another amazing year to come.

My year has had highlight after highlight, each sort of topping the other, but I told myself that it would be a challenge and kind of fun to narrow it down to 11! I thank all of you who have been on this journey with me, the journey of my growth that intertwines with yours, because if you think about it we are really all on the same journey with different road maps detailing different routes. Many of you have inspired me to reach higher, dream bigger, and NOT take no for an answer and I truly thank you! There are way too many people to name, but you know who you are and I hope that I inspire you just as much as you do me. So, with much fighting myself, I’ve come up with my “Top 11 of ’11” that includes the special people, events, and happenings that made my year extra special! Here we go!

1. Getting baptized on my 21stbirthday! I couldn’t even imagine a better gift than receiving the Lord into my life in that way. It made me a happy I’ve never felt before, best birthday ever!!

2. Becoming an intern for Crystal Wright! This was my first real internship and a great professional development experience where I learned a great deal about various industries, business relationships, business communication, and so much more!

3. Attended my first ever New York Fashion Week show at Lincoln Center! (This was soooo on my 2011 dream board!) Cynthia Steffe Fall ’11 collection

4. Getting my FIRST job in my field of study as a Marketing Specialist at the Free Library of Philadelphia! This has been such an important building block of my development as I continue to study marketing and learn the industry! In this job, I have been given so much freedom to develop workshops and teach other professionals, something I didn’t think I was skilled enough to do at first…so grateful!

5. FINALLY meeting the legendary woman who is all things elegance and class, and who I call my “Fairy Fashion Godmother”, Iman. Meeting Iman at FNO 2011 was such a memorable moment, a night I’ll never forget!

6. I attended Tyra bank’s book signing for her new book Modelland and later co-hosted a LIVE chat with her on the Google + hangout feature! ! MAJOR!!!!! Such a great experience to be able to work with Tyra again, check it out below!

7. I attended The Makeup Show NY! SO MUCH FUN! I got a chance to connect with some of the pioneers of the beauty industry and meet so many amazing people that continue to inspire and guide me as I grow! Here, I got to meet one of my biggest beauty inspirations, Sam Fine..long overdue but our meeting couldn’t have happened at a better time or place! Check out the posts Pt1 and pt2

8. I attended the IFB conference NY! This conference was such a great learning experience; so many great speakers that spoke about branding, blogging, business, and much more! I will probably frame the notes I took at this conference, they will be referenced for years to come! You can read about the my experience at the IFB Conference HERE

9. I visited Essence Magazine headquarters! So surreal! I attended an event with The Fab Network, an intimate panel discussion with Essence insiders on all things about the magazine industry! I learned so much valuable information and I plan on applying to intern at Essence this summer!

10. Meeting Mikki Taylor! Too many words to describe the experience, so check out “A Commander In Chic Evening with Mikki Taylor…. simply AMAZING! Mrs. Mikki Taylor is a gem that has blessed me so much in the little time I’ve gotten to know her!

11. Fashion week spring 2011! It was a whirlwind of events, celeb spotting, picture taking, just…fashion frenzy craziness! I got to meet one of my stylecons, June Ambrose, saw the fab Tracee Ellis Ross, Andre Leon Talley, Wendy Williams….the list goes on and on! I got to go backstage with the Mehron  makeup team as they prepared for a show, Bloggers Night out, and of course the famed Cocktails and Couture party! It was INSANE and I loved every rushing NY minute of it!

These photos could go on forever, NYFW spring ’12 was just EVERYTHING! I even got a few pics taken and was featured on Typef.com and a few other blogs! FUN!

Well, my 2011 has been AMAZING and this list is just a piece of the amazingness that has happened to me this year! I KNOW 2012 will be even better because I’m DOING what I need to make it that way! I pray that your 2012 is very prosperous and that you achieve all you wish and dream of..and of course work for! Kisses and hugs from 2011, into 2012!

xo,
Sharontina B.

Summer Summer Summer Tiiiime!

Well, I think it may be safe to say that the weather will stay nice for the most part at this point. Of course we keep getting these crazy storms and tornados every where, but we can always bring about a smile thinking of the fun summer months to come!

Anywho, a couple of months back I bought this dress from H&M and have been waiting for the weather to get nice enough to wear it. I tried it on in the store and fell in love with it, only to get home and see it in a different light (literally) and notice it was practically see through! I manipulated some pieces, tucked here and there…and voila! Love it…

..but I love the back lace detail even more… and yes, I wish my bra straps were hidden like I had them… smh..



Earlier in the day, I had fun playing in my makeup while I tried to do the best smokey eye I could…hey, I tried… I’m happy with it 🙂

My little cousin let me experiment on her too..hehe…

So yea, I can’t wait until the spring stops these rain fits and the breeze and sun work together more often. I’m excited!

What’s your spring/summer MUST HAVE(s)? I’ll list all of mine in a post coming soon!

Thanks for reading,

Sharontina B.

You’ve Got Style, Pretty Little Liars!

So… I’m pretty new to the show “Pretty Little Liars” , but I’ll say that I really enjoyed the premeire tonight. It kind of reminded me of Gossip Girl…but with a different twist, the cast seemed a little bit more……innocent (for lack of a better term).  Anywho, these pretty little liars have got some style..or so I thought. You be the judge, let’s meet the cast…

Aria Montgomery played by Lucy Hale

Aria from tonight’s episode 1/3/11

Pictured above, Aria is wearing:
-Shorts: Free People
-Tank Top: Forever 21
-Cardigan: BCBG
-Boots & necklace: Vintage

Emily Fields played by Shay Mitchell

Emily from tonight’s episode 1/3/11

Pictured above, Emily is wearing:
-Shirt: Patterson J Kincaid
-Jeans: Seven
-Shoes: Converse
-Earrings: Lucky Brand

Hanna Marin played by Ashley Benson

Hanna from tonight’s episode 1/3/11

Pictured above, Hanna is wearing:
-tank: Juicy Couture
-shorts: Juicy Couture
-Robe: Oscar de la Renta

Spencer Hastings played by Troian Bellisario

Spencer from tonight’s episode 1/3/11

Pictured above, Spencer is wearing:
-Jacket: Necessary Objects
-Jeans: Banana Republic
-Shirt: Wallpaper
-Shoes: Charles David
-Necklace: Urban Outfitters
So…what do you think? Do these pretty little liars have style?
Visit http://abcfamily.go.com/shows/pretty-little-liars for EVERYTHING “Pretty Little Liars”! (Photos courtesy of ABC.com)
Thanks for reading,
Sharontina B.