Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Chanel and Jourdan in January 2009 Vogue

Most of you have probably seen this spread already but I felt like posting them anyway. I know some of your are tired of seeing black modeldom's chosen ones in fashion magazine but I like the editorial and think both women look great. Chanel shows a bit more range of facial expression and Jourdan's mature gaze suggests that she's been doing this for ages even though her career only really began a year ago.

As far as American Vogue shoots go, this one is pretty typical. Lots of shots of surprised looking models levitating against gray backdrops and segregated by race. While it does stand out that this is the longest editorial featuring black models that I can recall seeing in eons, Vogue's placing it in the "Change! Yes You Can" issue immediately after a feature on The Obamas is a bit heavy handed in my opinion. If Anna Wintour and Co. had just thought to perforate theses pages they could have billed it as a special "black" pull-out section on the cover.

More photos at Studio Audience

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Zoe Saldana in D&G

The dress itself isn't my personal cup of tea but it is a fun look. Accessories are key here and I think Zoe's slicked back hair, earrings and black pumps kick it up a few notches. The confident pose doesn't hurt one bit either. I just don't get the pairing of this dress with gladiator sandals on model Jessica Stam. It makes the dress look like a middle school sewing class project.

The holidays are fast approaching and once again, I will be going to the land of no reliable Internet access so I probably won't be posting again for a short time. Please everyone be safe and enjoy yourselves this holiday season whether you celebrate them or not!

pics: zimbio and

Sunday, December 14, 2008

LIFE Photo Archive: Donyale Luna

I have been passing a lot of time searching for old images and articles on Google since they've expanded their search function to include vintage magazines like Ebony, Jet, and photo archives from magazines like Life. The index terms used aren't as robust as I would like but it is still a treat to pull up old articles and photos like these of model Donyale Luna in her prime. Man, she had a thing for Austin Powers type ruffles and money fur coats didn't she?

S: Google/Life Magazine

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Naomi Campbell - Vogue China January 2009

Photographed by Mario Sorrenti. She looks a little different in the face, don't you think?

Ciara in ELLE Magazine - January 2009

Beyonce may have landed the cover but Ciara definitely got the more interesting spread inside January's wafer thin issue of ELLE magazine.

It seemed a little odd to me for the issue to feature two pop/r&b divas but I guess ELLE wanted to kill two birds with one stone without actually resorting to hiring a black model. Poor Ciara didn't even merit a mention on the cover.

Here she models pieces from MaxMara's new collection. I could have gone my whole life without seeing that purple jumpsuit. Seriously some of this stuff looks like it was fashioned together using what fell on the floor in Jim Henson's Muppet studio.

Photographed by Dulsan Reljin and styled by Christopher Niquet

Monday, December 8, 2008

Naomi Covers MIXTE and Numero Magazines

Love her or hate her, Naomi is still among the hardest working women in the game. Here she is on the November 2008 issue of Numero (in the YSL harem pants that she can't seem to live without) and the December 2008 issue of Mixte. I would kill for just one of the fabric covered bangles she's wearing there.

Thanks Richard for the heads up :)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Beyonce Covers Elle - January 2009

I guess it's Beyonce Day on this blog.

Looks like she'll be on the cover of next month's ELLE magazine. The cover on the left with the painted on dress and bow is the newsstand cover while subscribers like me get Sasha Fierce on the right.

Personally, I prefer the subscriber cover, at least boring old ELLE made an effort there to make it a little edgier and I'm always in full support of clean covers that don't feature models being squeezed to death between twin columns of font madness.

If you're interested in reading the Beyonce article follow this link. They're calling it The Liberation of B. which I guess is sort of like The Emancipation of Mimi but without the butterflies and bottomless bottles of Pinto Gris.


Beyonce in Zuhair Murad

I kind of like this dress. It definitely flatters Beyonce's curves but I'm not too wild about how she wore her hair with the look. I think the way the model is wearing her hair shows off the neckline a bit more which is nicer and a little more romantic.

This dress should really be worn by the sexiest vampire at the party but Beyonce's expression and posture just say Miss Congeniality 2008 to me.

Pics: Lipstick Alley and TFS (masquerade)

Off Topic: Denise Matthews aka Vanity Writes a Book

The last time I saw Vanity....I mean Denise Matthews, was late at night one one of the Bible channels. She was sitting in an armchair being "interviewed" by a couple a Jim and Tammy Faye clones. Actually, I take that back. The guy was a Jim Bakker clone but the big haired woman beside him probably wasn't worthy enough to carry Tammy Faye's mascara wand. Anyway, I put interviewed in quotes because Vanity/Denise was maybe asked one question the entire segment before she started rambling, sometimes incoherently, about Jesus, her love for Jesus, more Jesus, the light and another heavy coating of Jesus. She didn't sound like a normal person talking about her faith, she sounded like a junkie. Even the hosts looked a little scared. It made me wonder if she was one of those people who trade one addiction. It made me worry about her.

When I was a kid, I loved Vanity. The woman was just beautiful and she got to wear underwear wherever she went which seemed like a big time saver. Could she sing? Not really. When I listen to her old albums now it seems obvious that she could have benefittted from Pro tools during her career. That didn't really matter to me. For one, she appeared on the best episode ever of "Friday the 13th: The Series" as a rock star with an obsessive fan and was in "The Last Dragon" with the man I thought I would marry, Taimak (I had big dreams back then.)

The fact that Vanity has a autobiography coming out this month should be cause for celebration but after going to the book's website and reading the description, the book doesn't sound like it will be much of a fun read. I like my biographies juicy, one of the benefits of getting older is that tell-all books from people I'm actually interested in are starting to trickle into bookstores. Believe me, when "Blanket Jackson: My View from the Balcony" comes out, I will be pre-ordering that shit on Amazon.

Here is my fantasy chapter listing for Vanity's book "Blame it On Vanity"

Introduction: Foreword by Taimak
Chapter 1: My Messed Up Childhood
Chapter 2: Meeting Prince
Chapter 3: But I Can't Sing!
Chapter 4: Shopping for Lingerie
Chapter 5: What Was Up with the Blonde Chick in Vanity 6 Anyway?
Chapter 6: Appolonia Who? Why Wasn't I Invited to Rehearsal?
Chapter 7: Life After Prince
Chapter 8: Sex, Drugs and Motley Crue
Chapter 9: Rock Bottom
Chapter 10: Meeting Jesus
Chapter 11: Why I Married That Dude After Knowing Him 1 Month
Chapter 12: Farewell My Kidneys
Chapter 13: Doing Just Fine, Thank You
Bonus Chapter: What Is Up With Prince?

Wouldn't you want to read that too?

No chapter list on the book website but there is this unfortunately written description:

All I had become was thus painted on my face-vanity-and what i had thus spoken from my vile tongue spewed forth from my juvenile breast of disdain.But this was just the beginning of my surrealistic journey, my make believe “i am the new hoopla” squeezed appropriately, sufficiently, distended in your black box, televising all my oddities up close and effectual. With each new, methodical, despicable movement of my being, i closed my fists around a wretched lie which sought to eradicate my life at an impromptu time and i had built no stomach for the fight. With each new bitterness dispelled formulated by this cruel cold world of which i had become its strange kind, i shut my eyes and with deep complaint muttered words of death and despair, while the hot flames seeped, boiled and burned ablaze under my bottle. I was molding to the likes of mediocrity, vulnerability, having had all the experience of a trained seal, being pushed to the brink of hopelessness,and helpless to perpetuate a flawless, ruinous end.

I know, right? Not quite the beach read I had in mind. To add insult to injury, she's charging $45 per copy AND $12 shipping and handling. Has she not heard of "media mail?"

I should add that I don't care what religion Denise/Vanity is practicing as long as she's not on that hate juice. If she's found peace and happiness with her Christianity more power to her, it's just that I was hoping for a lot more from her autobiography than this stream of consciousness dreck.

Sigh. I wonder if the women from Klymaxx are planning a tell-all anytime soon...

Have you read anything good lately?

Pics: scriptgirl, Couturierdiva,

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

WWD - Michelle Obama: What Should She Wear?

Oscar de la Renta

It seems that everyone in the world is just dying to know what First Lady Elect Michelle Obama is going to wear to the White House Inaugural Ball. Sketches from designers big and small have been all over the web for weeks and I must admit that I am more pumped for this than the Oscars.

Lots has been blogged already on the topic but for my contribution, I've decided to rate the sketches and their various incarnations of Michelle apart from the actual designs. Honestly, I love looking at fashion sketches and having most of them feature a black model (in this care Michelle) is lots of fun. I haven't seen this many cartoon black women since BET cancelled "Hey Monie!"

An anonymous commenter sent me this link to WWD article titled "What Should She Wear." Here are my pics for the best and worst interpretations of Michelle from the slideshow.

First up are two sketches from Diane von Furstenberg that I personally think are the best of the bunch. The image doesn't exactly look like Michelle but damn if it doesn't look like that hautest woman at the party. Even the stance says "run along now dear, you're starting to bore me."

This Badgley Mishka dress seems like something that the 90s spit out. Their Michelle is all lips and hips with a dash of sass but really, how sassy can you be if you arrive at the Ball wearing a Steve Martin wig?

Chado Ralph Rucci should have just kept this sketch to himself but it's nice that he's still putting that spirograph his grandma gave him for Christmas in 1985 to use after all this time.

Betsey Johnson is fashion's Mariah Carey. Perpetually in junior high and sometimes inappropriate. Apparently, Betsey thinks of Michelle is a browner version of herself dipped in patriotic unicorn blood.

Judging gtom the head on this sketch, Zac Posen is under the mistake impression that Condoleeza Rice will be our next First Lady.

Monique Lhuillier sees vibrant color but not race.

Nice try Karl Lagerfeld. I know you probably just colored in old sketches of Carla Bruni and wrote Mrs. Obama on the bottom.

I can't fault Christian Lacroix for these super heroine sketches. His Michelle may be a few shades darker than the original but the drawings are fierce.

Caroline Herrera can't draw heads and may be pro-ana.

Tuleh's Michelle just looks like a burn victim.

You know how every season on Project Runway there is one person who can't get their shit together on time and sends some half assed look down the runway to be mocked? Zero + Maria Cornejo is that contestant.

Peter Som and Tracey Reese had images of Jackie O. swimming through their heads when they came up with these.

Honestly, I expected more from Rachel Roy. Her Michelle looks like someone's crazy auntie on Easter Sunday.

Zac Posen sees Michelle as a cross between Scarlett O'Hara and Cruella de Ville.

Your turn. What do you think of these dresses? These Michelles? Has coverage of Michelle's fashion choices gone overboard? Will she ever be able to wear sweatpants again?