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Monday, March 27, 2017

Did I Happen To Mention That I Love Tulle Skirts?

I attended the "Hattitude" hat auction and luncheon, organized by the Southesastern Philadelphia (SEPA) chapter of The Drifters, which raises money for the SEPA educational scholarship fund.This was my first time attending the event and didn't know what to wear, so I went to my "go-to" - a tutu!

When I was younger, I associated tulle skirts and dresses only with ballerinas and brides. I always fantasized about wearing tulle, and I’m elated that this trend has caught on to the point where the everyday woman can wear a tutu. To me, tulle skirts are the epitome of femininity, grace, and elegance. When I got married, many people expected me to wear a sleek and fitted gown, but I fulfilled my dream of wearing a big voluminous tulle skirt. I thought that would be one of the only times in my life, where I’d actually have a chance to wear a cascade of sheer bliss, but I was wrong about that. 

Me before the event...

  A pink tutu...what a cliché. I "toughened up" the look a little with these delicious patent leather booties from Jeffrey Campbell. The pain is definitely worth it!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Queens of the Throne

On Saturday, March 18th, I had the pleasure of speaking on a panel at the "Queens of the Throne" Women's Empowerment Expo presented by Infinity LoveLush Expressions, and Lady Diamonds, NYC. The event was organized to celebrate Women's History Month and to honor local women in the community who are making a significant impact on the lives of others. Attendees had the opportunity to sip, shop, network, and get pampered.

Makeovers and Massages

The panel consisted of 4 women, including me, who offered words of wisdom on business, love and relationships, fashion, and spirituality, with the common theme of making women feel empowered. All of the panelists had important insights to share, but I was particularly moved by Chrissy Monroe's story. She is a survivor of domestic abuse, and has since started a non-profit organization, called Survive to Thrive Global to raise awareness and provide support and resources to those affected by domestic violence. In addition to focusing on the housing and financial needs of the victims, Survive to Thrive Global has also partnered with cosmetic dentists to help repair teeth damaged by physical abuse, partnered with spas to help women take a load of and enjoy a day of pampering, and partnered with plastic surgeons to help erase some of the related physical scars.

Panelists, Tabitha WanlissChrissy MonroeThe Fearless Fashionista, and Alexandra Rago provided insight and advice on a range of topics including spirituality, love and romance, fashion, and surviving as a woman in a male-dominated industry.

Me, running my mouth. My hand was going, so I must have been talking about the importance of looking your best and pulling yourself together.

When we can take a negative experience and turn it into something positive to help other people, that's always a great thing. Through my work as as a style consultant and previously as a makeup artist, I understand the positive impact that "pretty packaging" can have on a woman's mind and spirit. It felt great to be able to share some of my story, but it felt even better to be on the receiving end.

Overall, Queens of the Throne was  a resounding success. As women, we need to continue to cultivate positive relationships and partnerships, and celebrate our successes, no matter how small. Although Women's History Month is technically only one month, we should be uplifting and celebrating each other all year 'round.

Happy Women's History Month!

For more information about events in the New York area, follow Lady Diamonds on Facebook.

Be Fearless Stay Fashionable. Have Fun!


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Wear What You Want

I wore this out to brunch today. 
Pants from Zara.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Bougie 'Aint So Bad...

I grew up in Brooklyn, New York. I have since moved out of state, and when people learn that I'm from Brooklyn, they often make assumptions about who I am. They associate personality traits like boldness, rudeness, a feeling of being "better than" others, or even attributing my fashion sense to the city and state where I was born and raised. (The last one is not so bad.)

I grew up in Sheepshead Bay. Sheepshead Bay, the actual bay and surrounding neighborhood, are named after the sheepshead fish that can be found in the waters of the local bay. It is also historically a predominantly white neighborhood. 

I grew up in a two parent household with my "original parents", in a home that they owned, with 2 sisters, a cat, and a dog. As I moved through life, concepts like racism, classism, stereotypes, etc., began to reveal themselves to me. And because I was raised in Sheepshead Bay and not Bed Stuy, Brownsville, Coney Island, or other areas where there is a high concentration of Black people, and also referred to as "the 'hood", I was labeled "bougie."For those who may not know, bougie is a slang word derived from the word bourgeoisie, that refers to the middle class, and can also be associated with people who have material values and pretentious attitudes. 

Some of my friends used to call me bougie and wondered if I ate things like franks and beans and referred to my family as "The Cosbys." I remembered an incident when I was dating a guy, and he told me that I'm not "around the way" enough. (See LL Cool J's "Around the Way Girl" for reference.) There was a part of me that would feel slightly insulted by the jokes and references, but it didn't stop me from being who I was.

Fast forward to today, "bougie" seems to be aspirational. I was so excited when I learned about VSB (Very Smart Brothas) I felt like I found my people :-) They're smart, culturally aware, and seem to have an appreciation for black bougieness. They even have t-shirts and a line of products dedicated to "that life."  There's also a popular hip hop song called "Bad and Boujee by Migos. (Warning: explicit lyrics) So its seem like the tide has turned.

We are all shaped by our upbringing, levels of exposure, and the neighborhoods we grew up in. So if people consider me to be bougie, I'll take it, because bougie 'aint so bad. HoweverI recently acquired the following tee from Tees In the Trap, and can't wait to wear it. We'll see how long "bougieness" remains fashionable. 

Photo credit: Tees in the Trap

Thank you for reading, and please come back soon.

Be Fearless. Stay Fashionable. Have Fun!


Sunday, March 5, 2017

The Wall of Fame

Recently I've gotten a few questions about the wall I've been taking pictures in front of. With my busy schedule, it's really hard to find the time to scout out locations to take pictures. The wall is very close to my residence, and it's convenient to take pix when I'm coming and going.

Here are a few recent pix in front of my "Wall of Fame."

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Saturday Slay

My OOTD is a denim jumpsuit that I got from Forever 21 a few months ago. YES, Forever 21. I wanted a denim jumpsuit with a loose and casual fit, and I didn't want to make a big monetary investment. I LOVE this piece. I want to get one in an olive twill - similar to what Laurence Basse from Project Runway designed this past season.

Today was a little chilly,so I threw on this cape that I've had for a few years now.