Thursday, January 31, 2008

TRACE Magazine: True Beauty

The latest issue of TRACE has a range of beauties gracing the cover (and inside too!) It is definitely worth checking out. If you can't find it on the newsstands, don't fret because it is also available for free download on the Trace website. Oh lucky day!

Source: TFS/Simplylovely

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Eve Covers BUST Magazine - Feb/08

I let my subscription to BUST lapse a long time ago. Somewhere in between instructions for knitting a vibrator cozy and the ad for W.W.J.J.D (What Would Joan Jett Do?) t-shirts, I realized that I was not a hipster and had no business reading their literature. I was also to old to be seen reading it on the bus.

In spite I this, I still picked up the latest issue when I saw it at the grocery store last night. First of all, Eve is on the cover and while I probably wouldn't call myself a fan, she doesn't bug me.* Second, I have an uncontrollable impulse to buy most any non-smut magazine that has a Black woman on the cover. It's residual knee-jerk reaction to the long held publishing myth that black faces don't sell magazines. The only other Black woman I can remember gracing BUST's cover is Missy Elliott and that was about a hundred years ago.

I was pleasantly surprised. Not only does it contain the feature article on Eve, but there is also an interview with Reno 911's Niecy Nash, a piece on former Stiffed lead singer turned solo artist Santogold, and short pieces on dance troop Brown Girls Burlesque and Sia Amma, a Liberian born performer and activist.

I can't help but wonder if the editors are actually making a conscious effort to be more inclusive or if this is a one time only deal published to coincide with Black History Month.

*actually those paw print tattoos but me but that's another matter.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Grace Jones for UNIQUE Models

I think I mentioned before on this blog how it took me a decade to realize how truly revolutionary and beautiful Grace Jones is so I won't go into it again but these recent photos of her are just extraordinary. She just exudes confidence with a touch of kink. I've read elsewhere that she's planning on going back into the studio to record another album and I don't know if I'm more excited about that or the possibility of her releasing a few more mind blowing music videos to go with it.

Source: Unique Models

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Genevieve Jones in Vogue

Everyone seems to have an opinion about Ms. Jones and her rise from complete unknown to BFF of just about everyone in the fashion world. Personally, I don't really care about where she came from or how she got to where she is now, I just like her unique sense of style. I live vicariously through her lavish prints.

Source: The Fashion Bomb

Saturday, January 19, 2008

In Other Blogs...

Don't miss this great post at The Hiss This Minute:

I love fashion and I beautiful things but I stopped looking a long time ago at fashion magazines and runways for self-validation. I think it would be brilliant and sensitive and smart for more designers of Miuccia Prada and Dontatella Versace's ilk to open up their cabines to a variety of ethncities, in the way Prada has included Hye Park in the past and Versace had drafted the likes of Naomi and Kiara. But I wouldn't walk away from those shows feeling like...finally...validation...acceptance...proof that black girls are chic and sleek and complex "intellectual beauties" too. I already know this to be true, via the world that lives in my head, via the perceptions sculpted in my mind from seeing my mom and my aunts throughout the years, from my girlfriends in high school, from looking at my club running mates in my 20's dress themselves with individuality and brilliance....

Read more here

Chrystèle Saint Louis Augustin Appreciation Post

To me, Chrystèle Saint Louis Augustin was THE model of the 90s in spite of the fact that she wasn’t a household name like Naomi or Iman. I still remember the first time I saw a photo of Chrystèle. I was in college so I had no money and once again found myself at the bookstore flipping through fashion magazines that I couldn’t afford to buy. She was in an ad for Ghost, a half body shot of Chrystèle against a dark background. Her fair skin was practically glowing but what stood out to me, and just about everyone else, was that magnificent hair. As flawlessly beautiful as she is, her natural hair made her something more than just a pretty face, it practically had its own personality. She would say in Vibe Magazine that when she first started doing runway shows people “wanted to touch me, and I'm, like, `Wow, it's just hair. Calm down!' " Her hair wasn’t an accessory or a fad, it just was. Reading her comment on how she thought “straight hair was really ugly [and] suits the white girls but…[not] my hair,” was downright revolutionary thinking for me. I’d struggled for years trying to keep my hair in check, which meant dousing it in lye every few weeks with awful results. Chrystèle became my role model and gave me the final dose of courage I needed to chop off every last bit of relaxer in my hair and start over. Looking at old pictures of her always brings back those memories and makes me smile. If I could get motivated enough to copy her ridiculously toned abs, I think it would elevate me to the superhero status.

Photo source: modeldatabase, TFS, CSLA Livejournal

Friday, January 18, 2008

Kerry Washington in Allure 2/08

Yep. Another Kerry post. She has a fantastic sense of style and is so elegant and beautiful that I couldn't help but share this edition of Allure's "Fashion Stakeout" here. I love how uncomplicated most of her looks are. Very glad to see that she's getting more recognition on the style pages and I hope that it translates into better quality movie roles for her. That green Doo.Ri gown is one of my all-time favorites.

Source: Thank you Luxx for scanning these images & uploading to TFS!

Brazilian Models Protest Exclusion from Fashion Shows

About 20 Black fashion models in Rio protested outside of Oi (a major sponsor of the event) recently to demonstrate against what they felt was the exclusionary casting of runway shows for Fashion Rio. They claim that Black models were not given the opportunity to audition for many of the shows. Apparently only three Black models (all male) were cast for the event.

I've always been fascinated by racial politics in Brazil; how on the surface the country represents itself as a racial utopia when in practice the racial bias there is so clearly evident.

UPDATE: Youtube video of BBC newcast on the protest. One source in the video claims that in a country where 50% of the population is Black or mixed race, only 2% are Black. Many designers insist that no one is excluded and one insinuated when confronted with the complaints of black models that perhaps the models weren't cast because they were not 'good' or 'tall' or 'beautiful enough.'

BBC article: Race row over Brazil Fashion Week


Vogue Paris 2/08 : Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss

Naomi has been racking up the covers lately hasn't she? She covered Marie Claire (Spain) in December of last year solo and now here she is again on French Vogue with Kate Moss.

She was the first Black model to get a French Vogue cover though she later remarked that the only reason she got the cover was at the insistence of Yves Saint Laurent himself. I had high hopes for the cover when I first read about it on The Fashion Spot but I'm not wild about the photos. Naomi looks like she's holding Kate hostage, maybe that's why explains the "Wanted!"text splashed underneath the photo. Hmmm....I'll stop writing now before someone accuses me of never being happy with anything.

Inside photos and another FV cover (with Christy Turlington) to follow:

Photo Source: TFS/Vini

Monday, January 14, 2008

Liya Kebede and daughter Rahee in Cookie Magazine

I've read exactly one issue of Cookie Magazine. I bought it on a whim one day and quickly regretted it because I found the overall tone of it to be a wee bit too pretentious for my taste.

The only article I can recall was about the situation one posh mom encountered when she found that the other mothers in her child's playgroup were too low-class for her taste. The solution? Send your nanny instead! Between that and the ads for $1,200 strollers I felt a little embarrassed to have it on my coffee table and quickly threw it in the recycling bin.

That distaste aside, from the looks of this cover, I might have to don a trench coat and big sunglasses so that I can buy this issue next time I'm at the bookstore. I love Liya Kebede and these beach photographs with her daughter are too sweet to resist.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Naomi Campbell - French Vogue 4/91

Photographed by Pаtrick Dermаrchelier/Source: foto_decadent livejournal

Friday, January 11, 2008

NYT: Kerry Goes to Washington

I don't do too many celebrity posts but I loved these photos of Kerry Washington (shot by Bruce Gilden for The New York Times magazine) so much that I felt compelled to share them. Nothing looks more dramatic or sophisticated than a well executed black and white shot.

Here's is the accompanying article, if you are interested:

She played the wife of Idi Amin in “The Last King of Scotland,” but nothing quite prepared Kerry Washington for the “guerrilla artistry” required to shoot the Bruce Gilden photo essay, “Party Girl,” for the Style pages of this Sunday’s New York Times Magazine. For a day-and-a-half, the politically-minded and aptly-named actress jostled for photo ops and glad-handed pols across party lines, all while maintaining impeccable eye makeup. For this feat, she gets our vote. The Moment asked Washington to take the podium and give us her style platform.

How did the shoot go?
It was a unique experience. It was almost an anthropological study of the state of campaigns in this country. So much is about performance. There is a level of artistry that makes you feel like the worlds of fashion and Hollywood and politics organically fit together — though at times it feels like oil and water. At the amphitheatre where Barack Obama spoke, I ran into paparazzi who I know from doing what I do in this town. They were star struck by the photographer Bruce Gilden and wanted me to introduce them. It was this wonderful role reversal.

What did you think of the clothes?
Shoulders were a big theme this season in fashion. The suits were all very strong, smart and elegant. I feel like femininity — as an energy — is really present in this election. Our leader in the Senate is running, and everyone understands that we need more nurturing, caretaking and housecleaning energy in politics right now. It was really fun to bring a real feminine element into the political sphere.

Would any of the looks work on the Hill?
As with most high fashion, there are versions that could fly in Washington.

Once you’ve shown some cleavage, are you dead in Washington? If you ever ran for office, would your Hollywood wardrobe be held against you?
No, I don’t think so. Arnold has shown a lot of skin over the years.

Do you want to run for office?
I would love to work in D.C. in public policy, but I don’t know if a person who is great on the campaign trail is necessarily a leader. My dream is to be the next Jane Alexander. I want to do whatever I can to make democracy sexy — to make political awareness and fluency exciting and rock-star.

What should politicians be wearing?
There are a lot of fashion rules in D.C., but in some ways that’s important. When I was in junior high and high school, I wore a uniform. It’s amazing how much of your brain is free to think about other things when you don’t have to think about clothes. Men in positions of power have been wearing the same thing for decades, while we are thinking about the latest “it” bag once a week. It disempowers us and keeps us from engaging in larger issues. At the same time, I appreciate fashion as an art form and a social calculator. I’ve developed on-going relationships with designers like Jean Paul Gaultier, Oscar de la Renta and Alberta Ferretti out of mutual respect.

Do $400 haircuts and Brioni suits send the wrong message?
I think when candidates are honest, we can take it into account and keep moving. We have to be careful not to judge a book by its cover. Everyone should have an Oscar suit — why not? We should all feel good about what we put on the morning. We should feel empowered by what we are wearing and have freedom of choice and the ability to express ourselves. Personally, I have been gravitating towards sustainable fabrics and fair trade. I like American Apparel because it’s not sweatshop labor.

What about fur?
It has to be taken in context. Do you live in the Arctic? Is it new fur? Is it your grandma’s? I have a very, very old fur that my grandmother left me. I don’t know if I’ll ever wear it, but if I move to Chicago, maybe. Or I might make it into bunch of teddy bears for kids with cancer.

Your vote for the best campaign bandwagon attire?
I like a lot of things. But I have a “Women for Obama” pin that means a lot to me.

Will you publicly support a candidate?
Yes. I’m getting really close to that. Seeing Barack Obama live during this shoot was a transformative experience. Really, my politics are probably closer to Dennis Kucinich. I am a huge fan of his; however, Barack Obama is really what this country needs right now.

Red or Blue?
I’d say green.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

ANTM Winner Saleisha Cooper

America's Next Top Model peaked for me many moons ago. I was addicted to the first three seasons of the show but after awhile each new "cycle" stared to top the previous one in predictability and dullness. I probably only saw three episodes of the most recent season.

This is the most recent winner's Seventeen magazine cover.

I find it interesting that Saleisha's cover also just happens to be a cover for actress Vanessa Hudgens cover (which the editors point out pretty effectively with the massive inset.) It reminds me a little of the May 1996 Vogue cover that featured Nikki Taylor on the outside cover and Naomi Campbell on the inside flap.

Nevertheless, it is a cute photo.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Ten Years of TRACE Magazine

I haven't paged through this in person yet, so I am praying that when I finally have it in my hands, it will contain all the photos from their annual "Black Girls Rule!" issues.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Sneak Peek @ Naomi in Louis Vuitton S/S 2008 Campaign

Photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggot, Naomi joins other "supers" such as Eva Herzigova and Claudia Schiffer in the series


Artists to Know - Wanda Ewing

Thirtysomething artist Wanda Ewing was raised in Omaha, Nebraska. She received her BFA from the Art Institute of San Francisco in Printmaking. Her provocative, sexy, and hilarious images engage the viewer by putting a spin on the beauty standard as depicted by popular culture.

I love her work and my favorite series is the fictional Bougie magazine covers that she created complete with snarky article tag lines such as "Not Good Enough? 25 Ways to Get Ghetto Fabulous" and "Date a Man With No Job? Over My Dead Body!"