February 25, 2011

Celebrating Black History Through Fashion - The Pussycat Bow Blouse

With pussycat bow blouses making a serious comeback (I mean, I had one on just yesterday), I was excited when I received this photo submission from local knit designer, Andrea of LadieLoops!

It is a photo of her mom circa 1979.

Even better than the photo is Andrea's words about her mom:

"Looking at it, you're not able tell. But at the time, my mom was a single mother of five children (ages: nine, eight, six, five, and two). Having five young children limited the places and things that my mom was able to do. So, hardly ever did she go many places. She was not able to tell me exactly where she was going here but, I'd hope that it was some where super fancy, as her pussycat bow blouse and blazer wasn't an everyday ensemble in our household.

I'm proud to say that my mom went on to college and earned three degrees - becoming a successful and inspirational woman."

Thanks, Andrea, for sharing this photo. And kudos to you AND your mom for being amazing women!

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February 23, 2011

Celebrating Black History Through Fashion - Retro Class Photo

This photo was submitted by personal trainer, Renisha James, of Renewed Fitness. It features her mom, Renee, and dates back to the early 1970s.

I absolutely love the simplicity of her style.  She's a classic beauty.  The neckerchief adds the right amount of color and is the perfect accent to that flawlessly coiffed afro!  She surely would've given my mom a run for her money.

Here's what Renisha had to say about her mom's photo:

"As you can see, she was a total fox back in the day and this is my most favorite picture of her, EVER! Her afro says it all and she always tells me that it took her at least 20 minutes in the morning each day to get it "just right". I really like that she chose a bright pink scarf to accessorize her look. A little mascara on her lashes and some pink lipstick and she was ready for her pictures. Everytime I look at this pic, I'm proud to call her my mom. She was a senior in high school, so she was about 18 years old, which would make this around 1972. "

Thanks for the photo, Renisha!

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February 22, 2011

Luxury Garage Sale: The PopUp Consignment Shop

I never thought I'd hear "luxury" and "garage sale" in the same sentence. You may find a diamond in the rough at garage sales. But, typically, luxury items are found at estate sales. So, when I received word about the Luxury Garage Sale shopping event, I did a bit of research.

Luxury Garage Sale , founded by Brielle Buchberg and Lindsay Segal, is based on the concept of consignment.  However, these two ladies will come to your home to help you scour through your closet for valuable designer items or simply pick up whatever you've set aside.  Then they take all matters into their own hands. This includes authenticating, researching, pricing and photographing the item(s).  From there they decide which platform (i.e. eBay, auction houses, antique markets) to sell the items.  If the item sells, Luxury Garage Sale gets 35% commission.  And if it doesn't?  They will return the merchandise or donate it to charity. You decide.

The Luxury Garage Sale Shopping Events are popup shops that allow consumers to purchase all of the designer and vintage items Luxury Garage Sale has acquired.  Since this was their first event, I didn't know what to expect.  But when I was asked to check my handbag upon arrival, I immediately thought "wow. there must be some really good stuff in there".  And boy was I right! There were new and slightly used designer items by the likes of Chanel, Christian Louboutin, Fendi, Tory Burch, Missoni, Carolina Herrera, J Mendel and Burberry.  Even the items that weren't made by easily recognizable designers possessed amazing quality and detail! 

I was most impressed with the outerwear. There was a highly-priced - but highly worth it - Snow Mink Fur Coat by J Mendel (see photo above) for which I would've sold a kidney. From afar, it appeared to be a regular cable-knit sweater. Then I realized fur was used to create the cable-knit-like design. I'd never seen anything like it! I'm pretty sure my kidney and bank account are glad it wasn't in my size.

Some of my other favorites included a heavily studded leather jacket, a fur coat with a green leather drawstring waist as well as a velvet and wool full-skirted coat with oversized collar. 

There was also an amazing selection of accessories and shoes.  Everything was in excellent condition, with some appearing to never have been worn.  Not to mention, they were all competitively priced.

My one and only gripe is that the clothing was not available in a wide range of sizes.  Most of the items ranged from X-Small to Medium.  With consignment, I know it's out of the owners' control. However, I'm holding out hope that the next time around there will be more in Large and X-Large.

Click HERE to learn more about Luxury Garage Sale. Be sure to subscribe to their newsletter to stay abreast of the shopping events, which Lindsay says will occur 3-4 times a year.

I'm SO looking forward to the next one. Aren't you?!

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RAHMBO for Mayor ...Or at least for a t-shirt

With the mayoral election occurring today, I find it most appropriate to share with you the latest t-shirt design from the ever fabulous and always cheeky Shrink Boutique.

Meet "RAHMBO"!

"One of the most interesting and colorful characters in politics right now, Rahm Emanuel is featured in this t-shirt designed by us, Shrink Boutique. With Chicago being our original home, we wanted to rep for the city and celebrate one of the most exciting candidates Chicago has had in many years. Love him or hate him, you can at least show your love for f-bombs when rocking the RAHMBO tee."

Whether he wins or loses, you must admit he deserves an 'A' for effort. Visit ShrinkBoutique.com to purchase the tee.

And don't forget to rock the vote today!

**please note, this is not a Rahm Emanuel endorsement. this post is all in the name of fashion.**


February 17, 2011

TAX FREE Shopping at 900 North Michigan Shops - THIS WEEKEND ONLY

As if we need another excuse to shop!

Click the image for your Tax Free Access Pass.


February 16, 2011

Celebrating Black History Through Fashion - Church Fashion

Church has always been the place where we dress to perfection...

This set of photos was provided by fellow blogger and shopaholic, Chandra of MoMoMod.com.

The beautiful couple hugged up in the first picture (dated in the late 1980s) are Chandra's parents. Dad is looking suave in his bow tie but her mom is stealing the show! I simply adore the lace gloves and pillbox hat. Now, I see who is responsible for inspiring Chandra's love for hats and fascinators.

The picture on the left shows Chandra (on the right) with her parents and sister. I love how the girls are wearing nautical-inspired dresses. With nautical being popular in fashion right now, it's pretty amazing to see how trends come full circle every few years.

Clearly the ever popular phrase "You can't know where you are going, unless you know where you have been" applies to life AND fashion. What do you think?

You still have time to submit your family photos for the "Celebrating Black History Through Fashion" series. Click HERE for details.

Click HERE to see past entries.

*Please note, copyright of images included in the Celebrating Black History Through Fashion blog series belong to the individual that submitted them, unless otherwise stated. Images are not to be used without written permission.

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February 10, 2011

Celebrating Black History Through Fashion - Vintage Love (The Johnson Family)

This set of photos was provided by the lovely Tayo of Tembis Boutique. She starts off by saying, "Of course, being a vintage lover, I love these pics..."

The top two photos show Tayo's mom, Momma Johnson, who's hanging out at a concert on the left and posing at an art gallery on the right. Tayo adds, "So everyone asks how/why I love vintage clothing? Simply put, I get it from my momma." Besides the gorgeous fur and funky afro puffs, I love the emotion her mom is evoking in the first photo. She's clearly having a great time. And that pantsuit on the right?! Lovely.

The bottom two photos show Tayo's grandmother, Granny Johnson. Tayo explains that Granny Johnson "loved wearing hats and pantsuits and showed me how to mix my colors". Don't you just love how she's cocked the hat to the side? She clearly had flair. Go 'head, Granny!

Thanks, Tayo, for submitting such amazing photos.

You still have time to submit your family photos for the "Celebrating Black History Through Fashion" series. Click HERE for details.

Click HERE to see past entries.

*Please note, copyright of images included in the Celebrating Black History Through Fashion blog series belong to the individual that submitted them, unless otherwise stated. Images are not to be used without written permission.

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February 8, 2011

Le Voyeur: AKIRA's Spring 2011 Fashion Show (THIS Thursday!)

AKIRA is known for having the most fabulous and highly-attended fashion shows in Chicago. So, it's safe to say that this is a "can't miss" event!

Le Voyeur will be held at one of the most beautiful venues in the city, the Lyric Opera House. Julian On the Radio from B96 and CELEBTV's Kelli Zink will host the event and FORD models will be rocking the runway.

The show will feature Spring looks from designers such as Seychelles, Chinese Laundry, Michael Antonio, Sebago, Lacoste Live, Ben Sherman, Hudson and of course the in-house label, AKIRA.

Tickets are $25 for general admission and $75 for VIP (complimentary drinks all night and gourmet appetizers). All proceeds will benefit the Young Professional Chapter of the Lyric Opera House.

Click HERE to purchase tickets.

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February 7, 2011

Celebrating Black History Through Fashion - Swagger (The Estes Brothers)


I've decided to kick off this year's "Celebrating Black History Through Fashion" blog series with a picture I discovered last year.

This photo is dated in either the late 1920s or early 1930s and features four distinguished and dapper gentlemen. And the best part of it all? They're family! My great grandfather, "Papa Jacob" (second from the right), and his brothers define confidence and  true swagger. Although I never had the opportunity to meet any of them, this picture gives me a strong sense of pride and appreciation to be a descendant of such great men. 

No wonder I'm so into fashion. Clearly, it's in my genes...

You still have time to submit your family photos for the "Celebrating Black History Through Fashion" series. Click HERE for details.

Click HERE to see past entries.

*Please note, copyright of images included in the Celebrating Black History Through Fashion blog series belong to the individual that submitted them, unless otherwise stated. Images are not to be used without written permission.

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February 6, 2011

"For The Love of Color" - A Tribute to Eunice Johnson

When I first received word that EBONY, Fashion Fair Cosmetics and Macy's would be hosting an exhibit in honor of Eunice Johnson, I was determined to do whatever it took to view it in person.  We all know that Eunice Johnson was the wife and business partner of the late John H. Johnson (Johnson Publishing Company) as well as the brains behind Ebony Fashion Fair, the world famous traveling fashion show featuring models of color and the greatest American and European designers.  So, to be allotted the opportunity to view some of the couture designs that were included in these shows, since its inception in 1958, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

The "For the Love of Color" exhibit in Chicago features 15 amazing vintage designs from Eunice's collection of over 7000 items.  It includes designers such as Oscar De La Renta, Valentino, Naeem Khan, Sarli and Emanuel Ungaro.  Haute couture at its finest!  The level of detail and craftsmanship on each piece is simply breathtaking. 

Amazing detail courtesy of Oscar De La Renta

Attending the EBONY reception* gave me a chance to not only view the exhibit, but to also celebrate it with some of Chicago's tastemakers while partaking in cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and great music.

Linda Johnson Rice wearing vintage Tod Oldham from her mom's collection

Amy DuBois Barnett (EIC of EBONY) and Afrobella with Rodrigo Sierra

After viewing the exhibit, you will leave with a greater appreciation for fashion and a burning curiosity of what else could possibly be in the 7000+ collection.  Rodrigo Sierra, Chief Marketing Officer of Johnson Publishing Co, admits it was a difficult process to narrow it down to 15 pieces.  And when I spoke with Linda Johnson Rice about how crazy the size of the collection must be, she immediately laughed and confirmed it is indeed craziness! Let's just hope we will get to see the rest of the collection one day.  With that many items, a museum inside of the Johnson Publishing Co. headquarters would be ideal.  Wouldn't you agree?

The exhibit in Chicago ends February 7th.  However, if you're not in Chicago, you may still have the opportunity to check it out in a city near you! The remaining cities and dates are below.  You can also visit Ebony.com for more details.

With the overlapping dates, it's safe to assume that the designs on display will vary from city to city. So, be sure to come back and tell me all about your experience.

*A special thanks to Afrobella for the reception invite, and to Ebony Magazine and Macy's for such a wonderful event.

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