Category Archives: Uncategorized

Trace Magazine: Black Girls Rule

issue85cover

The newest issue of Trace magazine with Arlenis Sosa is out and I immediately went to the Trace website and downloaded the issue.   I’ve given up on finding the issue in Chicago since every local bookstore and newsstand told me that they no longer carry it.  One newsstand owner told me that the publication had been shut down and I was crushed.  Well, I’m glad to see it wasn’t the case, so as far as I’m concerned, a PDF will suffice.

I have always, and will always have a a soft spot for Trace magazine since I appreciate their transcultural theme and their edgy editorials.  While American Vogue and other mainstream fashion magazines feature a woman of color on their magazines sporadically, the Trace Black Girls Rule issue alone reinforces a positive image of women of color in the spotlight.

This Black Girls Rule issue features Sosa, discusses how she went from a being a student in the Dominican Republic to top model after being featured in Italian Vogue’s All Black issue.   Her photos are simply stunning:

Arlenis Sosa 1Arlenis Sosa 2Arlenis Sosa 3Arlenis Sosa 4

There was also a feature on former top model from the 90’s Brandi Quinones, who had a very successful career in the early to mid 90’s.   Supposedly, after becoming a bit too familiar with the party scene amongst the fashion insiders, she faded out of the spotlight.  However,she is set for a comeback and the article gives her side of the story and reintroduces her to a new fashion generation.   Here are some pictures of Quinones during the 90’s:

BRANDI QUINONES 1994bbrandi35ftmzuvAnd here are the pictures from Trace:

brandiTrace1brandi2brandi1

Overall, I thought it was a good issue.  And  I’d definitely say the magazine is worth a click to download the PDF.  If you are not familiar with Trace magazine or haven’t heard of it, I’d definitely encourage you to give it a try.  The subject matter and photography is always interesting, edgy and you won’t necessarily find the same people featured in your mainstream mag.  Plus, it’s a free PDF.  And who doesn’t like that these days?

Trace cover photo from Trace website; all other photos from The Fashion Spot.

Advertisements

Clandestine Travels

Montreal Header

I’m going to veer off  the fashion and beauty talk here for a second and share another budding passion of mine: travel.  Although, I suppose I haven’t really been anywhere to brag about.  However, traveling is becoming a major interest and if I could spend the rest of my career days traveling to different locations every rip,  I’d gladly do it.

When it came time for me to plan a trip for myself, I already knew a few things: I would be traveling alone; I would only be able to leave for a long weekend; and it had to be somewhere out of the United States.   Not even sunny Puerto Rico would entice me.   So what place would satisfy all of those prerequisites?

I picked Montreal, Quebec Canada.

Yes, I know it’s not some majorly exotic location.  Plus, I admit, I didn’t know much about Montreal, except what I could piece together from travel guides, informative blogs and websites like TripAdvisor.com.   And I’m not even close to being fluent in French.  I know English is spoken in Montreal,  but I would have liked to have been a bit more conversational in French when speaking to the locals.

But I couldn’t let that stop me if I was determined to use my vacation time and go.  I applied for and received my passport, booked my travel plans and got out of dodge.

What I Did:

When you travel, you have so many ideas and places that you want to see, especially when you are visiting for the first time.  I didn’t have an itinerary, but my plan was to just get lost walking around the city.

Well, the plan would have worked perfectly if it hadn’t rained most of the time I was there.  Not that I’m complaining, but it’s kind of hard to be comfortable sight-seeing in cold, rainy weather.   Where I did manage to stake out by foot and the Metro was the Rue St- Denis.  I’d asked the concierge where I should go for sight-seeing and he suggested that the street would suit me just fine and he was right.  I spent hours upon countless hours walking into every boutique and specialty shop that I passed.   And I’d go into a warm cafe and grab a beverage whenever the rain really began to beat down.

After tiring of the rain and getting soaking wet (even with an umbrella), I found refuge in the Underground City.   To say you can get lost as a first timer is an understatement.   I was able to access Zara, DKNY, Club Monaco, Simons and many more stores and eateries without ever having to consider going out to battle the cold.

What I Ate:

I knew that I could get some great food in Montreal, with the vast array of restaurants and different types of foods.   Crepes were a must have for breakfast, because I knew they were much more common in a “fast food” setting than would be in Chicago.  Also, I definitely made sure to get a smoked meat sandwich from Reuben’s, which I attacked after a long day in the rain.  I wanted to go to Schwartz’s deli for the meat, as I’ve heard that it was the number one choice for many, but I never made it to Saint Laurent Boulevard.  Either way, the smoked meat sandwich from Reuben’s was delicious:

Smoked Meat Sandwich

Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the before and only remembered after.

Where I Shopped:

I was staying pretty  close to what I would take is the shopping mecca in Montreal, Rue  St-Catherine.   So,  I was only a couple of blocks from the famous  Ogilvy department store, who’s  beauty counter is wonderfully stocked with just about any brand you can imagine.  People told me that I had to visit Simons, so I made sure to stop in, but I had to leave due to some serious heavy crowding.

Ogilvy

Toward the end of the day, my jeans were soaking wet from all of the walking and I’d planned on wearing them back on the plane the next day.   Cleaning service in my hotel was closed on Sundays, so I had to find somewhere fairly inexpensive and close to buy a new pair of jeans from.  Where do I end up?  Urban Outfitters.

Urban outfitters

What I wanted to See (but didn’t):

One location immediately comes to mind: Old Montreal.  I hoped I would be able to make it to Old Montreal during my rained-out tour, but time wouldn’t allow for it.  I also never made it to the Latin Quarter, though I’ve been told that I was pretty close if I’d hopped back on the Metro for a couple more stops.

Hopefully, I can visit Montreal again sometime soon and have a better plan mapped out.  I can vaguely identify some of the streets and the Metro is much easier to navigate than I’d thought as a foreigner.  Overall, this trip did serve it’s purpose: I went on my first trip out of the country.  I traveled alone.  And I was able to be  as unrestrained and spontaneous as I’d liked.

I couldn’t have asked for much more.

Mag Hag: CS Magazine

csmag1_00011

Chicago Social magazine is a part of the Modern Luxury magazine group and I can usually find it throughout the city for free in various locations.  It’s not a magazine that I keep an eye out for, but I grab it when I think to do so.  Well I was looking through last month’s issue, and I found this editorial titled “Hollywood and Divine”.  I love the look of the model they used and the editorial that harks back to the 50’s-60’s glamor.   No comment on the blond wig, though.  Either way, I thought I would share some of the images:

csmag2_0001csmaga3_0001csmag4_0001csmag5_0001csmag6_0001csmag7_0001

Spring is in the air

Spring is in the air and I’m starting to get excited.    Beautiful weather,  beautiful scenery and open-toed shoes.   In the colder months, I won’t even let myself slip into a peep toe.  So right now,I’m going a little crazy with all of the selections I have to choose from.  Here are some of my favorite picks–and eventually, I will buy one of these pairs. Also, please note that I’m not even going to go there with expensive shoes.  It’s  just not even in my realm of possibility right now, so it would would just be cruel to do so.

corso-cormo1These Corso Cormo sandals are not exactly gladiator, which is a continuing trend this season, but they are well within the spirit.   I’m thinking these would be perfect for shopping and/or brunch with a friend/significant other.  Selling for $129 on Piperlime, they are a bit steep, but I’ve found Corso Como to be of good quality, so plan on these being a keeper for a few seasons.

wantedThese braided sandals by Wanted are adorable and the braiding displays intricate detail.  For $50 at Piperlime, they are a steal.

seychelles-tall-tale1Generally, I don’t like wooden platforms and no, they are not showing any toe.  However, these Seychelles platforms have caught my attention. They are adorable and come in black and purple.  For $100 on Piperlime, someone might think I’m sporting a pair of Chloe wedges instead.

flatsLeave it to J. Crew to to provide comfy and stylish flats for multiple occasions.  Wear it on a casual day to work or dress them up with a cute dress.  A little boring?  Maybe.  If I wanted to revert to my usual safe route, I’d snatch them up in a minute.

chasity_blk_front I once said that if Dolce Vita was the last moderately-priced maker of shoes, then I’d be content for the rest of my life.   Loving these black platforms and I could see wearing these shoes whenever I get ready to make a statement.  Not too bad for $162.

dolce-vita-2And I found these Dolce Vita shoes on the Urban Outfitters website.  Cheaper than the aforementioned Dolce Vita shoes for $128, but I’m still a bit unsure.  Maybe it’s the 5″ heel.   Still, I can envision so many outfits that these shoes would be perfectly paired with.

Overall, I haven’t done much shopping for Spring clothes, let alone shoes.  I did relent and bought two pairs of comfortable and moderately chic everyday shoes from Payless.  Yup, you got it, Payless.  They are the shoes that I wear everyday to work and  since my $195 Tory Burch Reva flats need to be replaced for the 2nd time,  I refuse to another pricey pair right now.  Feast your eyes on these:

shoes-from-paylessBoth pairs were $11.99 each.  Not bad at all.  And no, I am not showing any toe yet.

Fits Like a Glove

be-bs4083_black_front1

I was just perusing the Nylon Magazine mall when I came across the Ben Sherman gloves above.   They were regularly priced at $74.99, and now they are $52.49.  Not too bad for nice leather driving gloves.  Yes, I know the winter is coming to an end soon (hopefully) soon, but these gloves would still look cool during a chilly Spring day with a nice leather jacket.

Here are some other alternatives as well:

Ralphlauren.com

Ralphlauren.com

Ralph Lauren Leather gloves for $19.99.

echodrivinggloves

RavinStyle.com

These Echo driving gloves in tan or red on sale for $40, originally $50.

Bluefly.com

Bluefly.com

And if you are feeling decadent, these Hermes driving gloves at Bluefly for $518.00.

McQueen for Target is coming!

The Fashion Spot

Photo from The Fashion Spot

So it’s a little over a month until March 5th, the day that McQueen arrives in Target stores. As noted in a previous post, Alexander McQueen is probably one of my favorite designers of his generation.  So of course, I was excited (and I still somewhat am) about his clothing line landing in my local Target store.   And Ms. Jennifer Hudson wearing an Alexander McQueen military-style jacket while singing the National Anthem made me even more anxious.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not crazy about all of the looks or even most of the looks.  Mainly because it looks like it is geared towards a younger and spunkier demographic than myself, where I felt the Thakoon for Target line had a broader appeal.  However, this is Lee McQueen and frankly, I doubt he gives a damn.   I have already picked out some pieces that I’m looking foreward to checking out when it arrives in stores.  I’m not expecting it to be comprable to his RTW or even his McQ line, but I really want to give it a chance.

Here are some of my favorite looks:

mcq1mcq2mcq3mcq4Pictures from Nylon magazine

Back in business

So I’ve been a bad blogger in the past couple of weeks.   Lack of anything to write about and nothing inspirational to me right now.  I haven’t been shopping or even looking in the past few weeks.  Maybe it’s the Chicago weather that keeps me down.  I briefly went on a rampage trying to find the perfect handbag to carry going into the Spring, but I came up empty.  I had a beautiful Tanner Krolle handbag that was on a serious sale in my online shopping cart that was sold when I finally went to check out.   And yes, somehow, that crushed my little shopping spirit.  I went into withdrawal and I carried my beat up MJ bag that really shouldn’t be allowed to exist anymore.   Then, I was at my parents house and went through my old closet to help my mom throw out things I didn’t want anymore and I found them.

dr-martens

Yes.  My old school Dr. Martens.  I’d had them since I was about 13 or so.  I’d actually had a pair when I was in 2nd grade that were the lace-up high top style boots.    I quickly tired of those and by third grade, they were out.  However, the other Dr. Martens were the 5 Eye Cap Lace to Toe style shoes.  Yellow trip and the thick sole I always felt looked like gristle.   Those shoes got me through Jr. High School, but I only wore them sometimes on weekends.  However, high school is where it counted as these Docs (as I called em) went perfectly with my wool skirt and white monogrammed shirt and tall knee socks.   In college, the shoes were always a fall back and a comfy alternative for walking around on campus.

Over the past couple of weeks as I looked at the scuff marks and the wear and tear, I noticed that first, the shoes held up pretty damn good for all of the trauma I probably put them through.   Then I reminisced about chance meetings with new friends, reconnecting with old friends,  going to the pizza place after school and the joyrides around town.   After sitting there and looking at my Dr. Martens for 15 minutes, I realized that I couldn’t throw them away.   I put them back in the corner of my old closet and threw every other meaningless Express T shirt and NY and Company pair of jeans away.  I can only hope that I find more items Dr. Martens that actually mean something to me.