Lifestyle

#NEWYORKFASHIONWEEK RECAP FEB 2019: BEING A STUDENT OF MY CRAFT AT THE SHOWS & SEASONAL STYLES TO BE ON THE LOOK OUT FOR

WRITTEN BY SHARRA GREENE | PHOTOS BY MONICA KRYSTEL ROSE

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So this year for fashion week, I spent the days taking in runway shows, attending showcases, and capturing content with my boo Comfort, Style Blogger and Writer of CNK Stylebook (check her site out, her content is BOMB.) Comfort and I met a little over a year ago, as we were both doing press coverage for a charity fashion event in May 2018. I always love attending events with Comfort because we’re both about our business and constantly thinking of ways to grow our brands while having a dope time in the process.

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This year’s NYFW experience was a little different than my experience back in September, being that I spent most of last year’s fashion week running around backstage, styling and perfecting designers’ collections before they hit the runway, with the exception of attending a BOMB group show sponsored by Fashion Bomb Daily on my last day. But this time, I got the opportunity to get dressed, flick it up, and just take it all in while in the audience. Though I’m sure it won’t be long before I’m right back in full stylist mode chaos, this trip was just what I needed.

We watched severals shows, with a few of my favorites being Ron Ramos, who brought sexy suiting in vibrant colors to the runway, Out of Order, the brand that brought us some of the dopest streetwear I’ve seen in a while, as well as a live showcase by Landeros New York, in which models sported lush outerwear in rich colors and fabrics, slick patent leather pieces, and cool trousers, an aesthetic that was unmatched. For some of my fave show moments, check out my events & NYFW highlights on my styling page’s instagram.

Me and Comfort grabbing drinks before a show, of course my drink is almost gone by the time we started taking pics lol.

Me and Comfort grabbing drinks before a show, of course my drink is almost gone by the time we started taking pics lol.

One thing that I always try to do while attending a fashion show, is to be a student of my craft and really soak in the designer’s creativity by paying very close attention to detail. Everything from the color story and fabric range of a collection, to the models chosen, down to the way the stylist or designer has accessorized each look, really helps me be a better stylist. Studying the details, both big and small, allow me to see where fashion is going, in terms of trends, specific silhouettes, and just the overall culture.

I’m always on the look out for new styles that I want to try for myself, as well as some that I want to introduce to my clients and try on models. A few trends that I see emerging and making their way around for the upcoming seasons are dramatically oversized outerwear in eccentric shapes, suits and co-ords being done in vibrant colors such as magenta, royal blue, lime green and citrus, as well as patent leather separates. All of these are dope looks spotted on the runways to incorporate into your wardrobe for a look that’s ahead of the curve.

Shop our Looks  :  Comfort  and I both channeled slight 70’s vibes for our Day1 looks. Comfort is wearing a  two piece plaid set  and  white ankle boots  from  Nasty Gal , and a thrifted DKNY blazer (shop a similar one     here  ) I am wearing a  ribbed fringe sleeve mini dress  by  Akira ,  PLT   studded belt  and  snakeskin thigh high boots ,  double disc earrings  from  Forever 21 , vintage clutch,  bangles and ring I got forever ago.

Shop our Looks: Comfort and I both channeled slight 70’s vibes for our Day1 looks. Comfort is wearing a two piece plaid set and white ankle boots from Nasty Gal, and a thrifted DKNY blazer (shop a similar one here) I am wearing a ribbed fringe sleeve mini dress by Akira, PLT studded belt and snakeskin thigh high boots, double disc earrings from Forever 21, vintage clutch, bangles and ring I got forever ago.

I always leave fashion week with a new found sense of creativity, and feeling so inspired. Whether working behind the scenes doing what I love, or watching it all take place, it’s always the best time for me to network, build connections, and get inspired. I already can’t wait to do it all again for September! What were some of you guys’ favorite designer collections this NYFW? Let me know in the comments!

Sharra,

“The definition of walking art.”

MAKING A MARK IN FASHION DESPITE THE "YOU CAN'T SIT WITH US" MENTALITY THAT PLAGUES THE INDUSTRY

WRITTEN BY SHARRA GREENE

Pioneer and Curator of Ebony Fashion Fair, Eunice Walker Johnson sitting front row during a fashion presentation.

Pioneer and Curator of Ebony Fashion Fair, Eunice Walker Johnson sitting front row during a fashion presentation.

As expressive and beautiful the phenomenon that is fashion can be, there’s also such a strong sense of secrecy and exclusivity concerning the industry. Anyone who wants in has experienced this in one way or another. From authorities in fashion refusing to hire people of a certain look, race, religion, or social class, down to giving no front row seats at shows for those who aren’t deemed “good enough” over trivial matters, even down to how secretive individuals can be when it comes to sharing their “recipe for success” , the “crabs in a barrel” attitude that often exudes from many of those who are apart of the industry is virtually impossible to miss; and if you let it, it can leave you feeling discouraged, disheartened, and underrepresented. Thankfully, we’re living in a time where those who came before us have walked so we could run, and it’s becoming easier to still show up and kill it in this industry, in your own right.

Whether you’re an aspiring tastemaker, blogger, designer, model, or even if you’re just a lover of fashion culture, I’ve found on my journey just how important it is to unapologetically offer your 2 cents, despite voices in the industry constantly trying to control what is perceived as acceptable and appealing and what is not. You never know how your perspective will positively influence and inspire others along their own journey. Here are a few ways to keep making your presence known…

IF YOU CAN’T JOIN THEM, CREATE YOUR OWN

This has been the approach that some of fashion’s most iconic trailblazers and legends in the making have taken, and are still taking. When we abandon our need to be accepted by everyone we feel is important, that’s often when our true calling makes itself known. As a young black woman who’s building a career in fashion, it’s no secret that throughout history, there have been many doors closed for people who look like me. However, I’m so blessed to be pursuing fashion in a time where those who came before me have knocked down some doors and tossed me the key, in a sense.

Ebony Fashion Fair Curator Eunice Walker took initiative to highlight blacks in fashion during a time when the mainstream tastemakers in the industry were ignoring us. After having a dream of writing for Vogue deferred, Editor in Chief of Fashion Bomb Daily, Claire Sulmers (if you read here often, you already know she’s my fav!) utilized her growing online presence to create “her own Vogue” in so many words, creating and maintaining a unique space for multicultural fashion to be celebrated. “First you ask, then you take.”, she says.

Eunice Walker Johnson’s Ebony Fashion Fair exhibit, highlighting black up and coming designers of her time.

Eunice Walker Johnson’s Ebony Fashion Fair exhibit, highlighting black up and coming designers of her time.

From Instagram born, profitable fashion brands to influencers who found their tribe, went viral, and never looked back… we live in an era where when we can’t join someone’s movement, we can create our own and be just as, if not even more successful, and a lot of industry vets are upset about it. But there’s honestly no going back… due to the way we receive our information (internet, social media, etc.") There’s an array of ways to consistently contribute your perspective in any industry, especially fashion.

Seeing a lack of representation in fashion that moves you to want to act on it? Instead of wasting time begging and waiting for certain opportunities, be the change and create your own. It can start with establishing your own movement, whether it be via an online presence, creating in-person groups and organizations, etc. Through experience, I’m learning that it gains momentum when you continue to create your content, share your style, share your opinions, and continue to show up and speak up despite whoever’s trying to silence you. You’d be surprised how people identify with your voice when you use it.

SPEAK UP, NEVER BE AFRAID TO PLUG YOURSELF

Me introducing myself to legendary stylist Misa Hylton at the  Convos with Claire networking event  in December 2018.

Me introducing myself to legendary stylist Misa Hylton at the Convos with Claire networking event in December 2018.

With fashion being such a competitive industry, it’s important to know how to plug yourself. This is probably the biggest lesson I’ve learned thus far when it comes to my business. When I first started styling back in 2014, I was not as confident as I am now, which probably caused me to fumble a few bags in the process. It didn’t help that I’m naturally introverted, believe it or not. But over time, I’ve learned when to break out of my shell and handle business because if I don’t speak for my brand, no one else will.

When you walk into a room hoping to make your mark, Ive learned that it’s important to remember that people don’t read minds. They’re not aware of the gifts you possess, and until you speak up and let them know, you risk missing out on building meaningful connections with others and further establishing your brand. If you’re looking to get better at representing yourself, practicing your elevator pitch and testing it out at networking events or when you meet new people, can help you level up when it comes to leaving a lasting impression.

SUPPORT A MOVEMENT BEFORE IT’S “MOVING”

Everyday, I see SO MANY dope brands and creatives in fashion who offer a fresh point of view and quality work getting knocked off, ripped off, and overlooked. I’m sure you’ve heard of the saying “nobody is messing with your movement until it’s moving” but it can be challenging to gain momentum when people don’t support you just because you haven’t “made it” yet in their eyes, whatever that means. That’s why I’ve recently been making a point to support my fellow small business owners, minority owned businesses, and an array of other groups in fashion who constantly seem to get put on the back burner.

When you choose to support a label, or brand before it has completely taken off and gone mainstream, not only do you establish yourself as a trendsetter and not a follower, but you also gain leverage by supporting at the beginning stages because it often leads to strong partnerships and relationships with the owners of these companies that many others missed out on because they simply jumped on the bandwagon later on down the road. Consider taking on ambassadorships or even simply purchasing from more of the brands that are slept on, it can help you make your mark in the long run, in more ways than one.

Hope you got something from this post! New fashion week coming to the blog very soon! Stay tuned!

Sharra,

“The definition of walking art.”

12 WAYS TO SLAY ALL OF 2019 (FEAT. FELLOW STYLE BLOGGER LYNN SHAZEEN OF STYLE ME SHAZ)

WRITTEN BY SHARRA GREENE & LYNN SHAZEEN

The new year is finally here and me and my fellow blogger bae, Lynn Shazeen have created a list of 12 style tips to help our readers slay 24/7, 365. What’s better? They’re all super simple and easy to apply! If you listen to my podcast, you’ve probably heard of Shaz. But if you didn’t already know, Lynn Shazeen of Style Me Shaz is a stylista, blogger, and content creator, who curates looks and advice for “luxe baddies on a budget”. She combines her eye for great pieces with her talents for hunting down affordable places to shop to bring her audience bomb digital content that they can apply to their own personal style. Check out the tips we came up with for 2019.

SEE WHAT SHAZ SAYS…

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Wanna see what advice Shaz is giving style lovers for the New Year? Head on over to stylemeshaz.com for the first 6 tips… See mine below.

 

7. INVEST IN LONG, LAYERING PIECES

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Long outerwear is definitely my secret weapon. It allows me to get away with shorter, skimpier pieces while still keeping warm and still having a chic look, appropriate for any occasion. This year, especially, while it’s still Winter, invest in long kimonos and duster coats. It will automatically widen your wardrobe options because you'll be able to layer them over your sleeveless tops, shorts, and mini skirts during any season.

Shop My Look: I am wearing a snakeskin print top and maxi faux fur coat from Boohoo, faux suede mini skirt from Missguidedblack thigh high boots from Miss LolaHouse of Rehab quilted crossbody bag, and earrings that I bought from who knows where forever ago.

8. STEP UP YOUR LBD GAME

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Not saying that yours has to be as poppin' as RiRi's but every girl should have a little black dress that makes her feel like the baddest thing walkin'. This year, step outside of the popular spandex dress trend and opt for a black dress that has more detail to it. Whether it be a corset shape, lace or fringe detail, or flirty ruffles, explore different silhouettes to make your "classic" black dress stand out. Also, adding on belts with gold accents and eye-catching designs can instantly make your look appear a lot more expensive. Here are a few LBD picks that I’m eyeing right about now: black vegan leather zip front dress, viktoria black matte sequin dress, vegan leather shrug your shoulders mini dress, fawn black feather skirt bodycon dress.

9. SPICE UP YOUR SWEATS & DENIM

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Casual doesn't have to equal boring. No days off can still apply to an everyday slay. During those days where you only feel like throwing on your fave sweatshirt, hoodie, joggers, or plain jeans, you can instantly elevate the look with statement earrings and a BOMB printed handbag. Pro tip: Nareashawillis.com and Houseofrehab.com sell some BOMB statement sweats.  

Shop the look: hoodiejeansbootsbagearrings.



10. DO AN ACCESSORIES HAUL

Model Amanda Nell, #styledbysharra. Photo by  Travis Curry .

Model Amanda Nell, #styledbysharra. Photo by Travis Curry.

Sometimes we don’t realize just how important the finishing touches are… Planning (or not planning) even the smallest details can really make or break an outfit. Instead of waiting til the very last minute to throw on accessories from home to complete your look, try doing a shopping trip beforehand that focuses only on the details: earrings, bags, hats, bangles, watches, rings, etc. You’d be surprised how much stocking up on the extras can shift your style.

Though you want to make sure that you buy pieces that speak to your style, when shopping, reach outside your comfort zone and explore a few different jewelry shapes, bag colors, and textures, and styles that you normally don’t gravitate to. It’ll add in an element of surprise when you get dressed. A couple of my current fave places to grab bold accessories are houseofrehab.com & olayemii.com.


11. FIND YOUR “RIDE OR DIE” PAIR OF HEELS

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 Your "ride or die" heels are the heels that will be there for you through everything! They go with just about any look in your closet, you can dress them up or down, and most importantly, you can wear them for a long time without your feet hurting! My black thigh high boots (above) are my go to. They've been with me when I worked at a boutique and had to be on my feet for hours at a time, on movie and dinner dates, and even handling business in NYC.

      To find YOUR ride or die heels, it's important to know your heel tolerance (how long you can wear them without wanting to pull em off your feet), what heel shape fits your foot shape best (for my deep arch sis, you probably can do stilettos like me, if you have more of a flat foot, you can try platforms with a chunkier heel), and also what type of fits you wear most of the time (that way, you know whether to do an open toe, thigh high boot, ankle boot, etc. Here are a few of my current fave places to shop heels: Miss Lola, Jessica Rich, Steve Madden.

12. SHOP FOR YOUR SUMMER WARDROBE, NOW.

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Even though it's January, It's never too early to get a head start on your summer wardrobe. The smartest way to shop is to buy summer clothes in the Winter, and vice versa. Instead of just keeping an eye out for cute summer pieces, start creating full looks from all of the summer pieces that are on clearance right now!

Which tips will you be applying this year? Comment below! Stay tuned. New content coming very soon to the blog! Happy New Year, loves!

Sharra,

“The definition of walking art.”