I actually really enjoy a good fashion sketch, but when it’s taken to the next level it can be so very satisfying to the eye.  Browsing some of my fav art and fashion outlets, I recently found a few illustrators who’s work I instantly fell in love with.  So fun and creative…  Makes me want to break out my watercolors and markers.

Kevin Wadaa

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kevin-wadaa-fashion-illustration-1-600x400Sophie Griotto

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sophie-griotto-fashion-illustrations-5 Amy Martino

yellow-bird-machine-600x574Nicolas Tavitian

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W2P

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These gorgeous images, taken by fashion photographer Jim Naughten, left me in awe at the beauty of this tribe and their countryside.  The portraits exude strength and regality which is only intensified by their unique costume and stark background.  They look surreal, almost like paintings instead of photographs.  These marvelous characters can be found in the book entitled Conflict and Costume: The Herero Tribe of Namibia.

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Here is the description:

“The magnificent traditional costume of the Herero of Namibia, southern Africa, is a stark reminder of the country’s tumultuous past. In the late 19th century, the influence of missionaries and traders in German Southwest Africa led to the adoption by the Herero of the European dress of the day. Over time, the voluminous gowns, completed by a cattle-horn-shaped headdress, came to represent the cultural identity of the Herero women. The men’s ceremonial dress also harks back to colonial times: following the brutal war of 1904, the Herero adapted the uniforms of German soldiers for their own Otruppe (‘troops’) movement. In Conflict and Costume, acclaimed photographer Jim Naughten captures the colorful Herero attire in a series of spectacular portraits. Set against the Namibian landscape, these dramatic images show the striking costumes and their proud owners to full effect: men in elaborate, home-made paramilitary uniforms, and women in spectacular floor-length frocks with matching horns. Dr Lutz Marten contributes an insightful text that places the dress in its historical context.”

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Takes me back to my undergrad Art in Africa course.  I especially love the womens’ costumes.  The colonial influence is clear, but the use of African textiles and headdress makes the style their own.

More info here http://www.jimnaughten.com/project/hereros_intro/

Gaelle Nerette

We in the house house!  Haiti finally hosted their OWN fashion week this month, and I am so excited by the beautiful designs I’ve been seeing.  Almost 3 dozen designers were able to bring their creations to life on the runway at Karibe Convention Center, November 8th- 11th.

Maelle David

Honestly I don’t know much about Haitian designers and have never really been connected to Haitian fashion (coming straight from the Island).  Several Haitian designers do often show in other countries, but these are just a few and most represent the diaspora outside of the country.  There’s not coverage on the fashions coming out of Haiti, because let’s face it most of the population is struggling.  But the culture is rich and has always remained so through the trials.  Creativity and expression can never be stifled.  So I am so happy that these artists were finally given a platform to share their work with the world.

And they didn’t let us down

Vintage Yolande Montas

Maelle David

Michel Chataigne

Michel Chataigne

Michel Chataigne

Michel Chataigne

Michel Chataigne

Ok.  I will give her credit, because I did not realize the importance of using a primer before applying my makeup until Fabby made me aware.  And if you still don’t know, check out this article on mycosmeticbag.com.

I went into Sephora a while back not knowing a thing about the stuff and ended up leaving with a $30 Make Up Forever Primer (after being persuaded by the ever persistent associates of course).  It was amazing, it made my skin feel smooth and soft and my makeup looked better than ever.

Well, I hadn’t re-upped and once that bottle was done and desperately needed a solution.  I scoured the beauty aisles of my Walgreens looking for something cheap and good.  I didn’t know what to try so I left empty handed not wanting to waste my money.  Still needing a primer I turned to the internet, and thanks to all the lovely ladies out there in cyberspace I found just the product!  Monistat Anti-Chafing Relief Gel, now, I know Monistat is infamous for being what you need when uhm… you know… but this gel is not the medication.  It’s actually a cooling gel for sensitive areas.  It works just as well as any primer you can buy and it will only cost you around 6 bucks!  Definitely the type of relief my pockets needed, cause you guys know how beauty products can add up…

Don’t be embarrassed, try it and let us know what you think!  If you guys have any more cheap beauty tricks please let us in.

Being a woman of color, I have learned to withstand the lack of, or misrepresentation of women like myself in the media. Since I was a little girl, I would constantly search for images to substantiate the idea that black was indeed beautiful. I remember how my heart would race and how proud I would feel when I would come across an editorial featuring Naomi Campbell or Tyra Banks. Head held high with a renowned sense of self, I knew that if they were seen as beautiful, than maybe one day I would be too.

Today “Jason Eric Hardwick “ has reignited that feeling.

Afro Look " Jason Eric Hardwick Jason Eric Hardwick

“I wonder why photographic images of Afro’s are yet to be updated? I often think about about why there are limited stereotypical molds when photographing black women? There is either the exotic video vixen, the African soul sistah, a 70′s afro queen or what I have heard people call a white girl dipped in chocolate. Have people stopped to look and consider that things have changed? Hairstyles have changed and identities have evolved.” – Yomi Abiola,  contributing editor for Vogue.it

Photo series

Afro Look

Afro Look
Jason Eric Hardwick

Jason Eric Hardwick

Read more on this photo series, visit vogue.it

Photographer: Jason Eric Hardwick

Stylist: Darlene & Lizzy Okpo

Hair: Taichi Saito

Makeup: Kanako Takase

Manicure: Amber Edwards

Jason Eric Hardwick

After being bombarded with countless commercials for the new Optimum Salon Hair Care 6-in-1 Miracle (featuring Tracee Ellis Ross as the spokes model) I felt it would be befitting to address my opinion on the new product. I must say first and foremost that I too love Tracee Ellis Ross and will continue to support her in any capacity I can. However, my love for Tracee does not change my opinion of the product. Lately, it appears that the mainstream ethnic hair care companies have finally jumped on the natural hair bandwagon and are now attempting to cater to the niche market (better late than never). Being that I have been natural for over decade at this point and I am a do it yourself kind of girl by nature, I remain hesitant when trying hair care products by mainstream companies. I have to wonder have these brands put the needs of kinky/curly hair to the forefront when developing products or have they just changed the labels on the same crap they been selling us (rolls eyes… sucks teeth)? I may be going too hard but it seems like the mainstream hair care companies cannot market to kinky/curly haired women without using the terms “Miracle”, “Super Grow”, or any other sensationalist terminology that implies that our hair is difficult to maintain and does not grow. I mean damn Dr.Miracles…Supergro…..Dogro… Wild Growth Hair Oil… must I continue?!!?

Anyways, (cause you know I was getting hype) after some research I can honestly say that the 6-in-1 Miracle is no different. For $9 you get 6 drops of natural oil in 1 bottle. Optimum just jumped on the opportunity to exploit Tracee’s cult like following to legitimize their latest product. The end result is just great marketing and inefficient hair care. I ain’t mad tho’ at least they cutting my gurl a check.

 

My advice to ethnic hair care companies – know your market, you are now dealing with an informed consumer that demands quality. We don’t just look at the front of the bottle we look at the back now too. We now scope out the ingredients demanding quality and efficiency.

My advice to my curlies/relaxed – its better to use one pure oil that works than to use a “6 in 1” that is diluted.

Click to watch the video below

The life’s work of famed Malian photographer Malick Sidibe from the 50s through early 70s take us on a journey through a sweet era in Malian history, their new found independence from colonialism.  His thousands of images have become iconic and have won him the love of his country as well as international praise.  Malick is most known for his images of Malian street and nightlife, taken in the glory days of his youth.  These photos captured the carefree spirit of the Malian youth at the threshold of their liberation.

He began his career being commissioned by the rich who wanted to document their wealth.  His work took a new direction once he began to get invited out to the hip night clubs by local urban youth, who came to know him for his distinct eye.  I’m still grinning over the clubs’ quirky names, Las Vegas, Moscow, The Beatles, Tahiti, Tropicana.  Everyone was dancing, kickin’ it and enjoying themselves, and he followed them where ever they would take him.

Things took an unfortunate downward turn after the country was taken by a military dictatorship for several decades.  This did not deter Malick, who continued taking his photos ,which captured the strength and resilience of the Malian people.

It’s quite heartwarming to see him still sitting in front of his studio in Bamako welcoming clients, and taking photos of his small tribe of children at their compound.  So much art, culture and history captured through one man’s’ camera lens.  There is nothing like a creative who has endless passion.

“…I can’t imagine giving up photography.  I don’t look forward to the day I’ll have to give it up.  It means I’ll be dead.”

Check out the documentary on this amazing visionary:

http://www.snagfilms.com/films/title/dolce_vita_africana

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