Friday, February 28, 2014

Honoring Black History Month: My Dear, Mrs. Waterman



Last week, a woman very close to me that I considered to be like another grandmother passed away. Her name is Mrs. Waterman and she was 87 years old. She lived a full and bright life. She was known for so many different roles and hats she held during her time on earth that includes: beloved mother and wife, great grandmother, counselor, chef, mentor, loving friend, and mother to anyone who needed it. For over 50 years, she resided in Detroit and was a blessing to anyone she encountered  I had the pleasure of living next door to her for 6 years. I always , foolishly, thought she would always be there. However, tomorrow is never promised. I wish I had more time with her but I will remember everything she taught me. Mrs. Waterman is in a league of her own. She will always be special to me and be an inspiration to be better than I was yesterday. I love and  honor you today and always.


Love,
Raquel

Honoring Black History Month: Diahann Carroll

Photo Credit: Google Image Search
For me Diahann Carroll is the personification of elegance, class, and beauty. I have always admired her grace on the screen and in real life. For these reasons, she inspires me. Diahann Carroll is an actress, singer, author, and entrepreneur that has created an impressive career for herself in television, film, theater, and as a music artist. Carroll has appeared in films that includes Carmen Jones, Claudine, Paris Blues,  Porgy and Bess, Hurry Sundown, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, and Eve’s Bayou. Carroll has performed in several musicals that include House of Flowers , No Strings , Same Time, Next Year, Agnes of God  and Love Letters . She won a Tony Award for her Broadway role in the musical No Strings in 1962.

Photo Credit: Google Image Search
Although Carroll has done alot throughout her career, she is often remembered for her television roles.  In 1968 she starred in the sitcom Julia, making her the first African American woman to star in her own TV series. Her role in the show was also a rarity and pivotal because it was the  first time an Africa American woman lead was playing a role that was in a non-servant and non-stereotypical role in American TV history. She would go on to win a Golden Globe in 1968 for her leading role in the series and was nominated for an Emmy in 1969.The series lasted for 3 seasons. She later moved onto her most well known role as the glamorous , Dominique Deveraux in the 1980’s soap opera, Dynasty. The popular soap opera lasted from 1981 to 1989. She also gained attention for her reoccurring guest appearance role as Marion Gilbert, Whitney Gilbert’s mother in the popular African American sitcom, A Different World (a spinoff to The Cosbys). Carroll continues to makes her mark in television and the theater today. She has proven that a woman can continue to stride and make her mark, no matter the obstacles. She is a legend and is always an inspiration to me.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Polyvore Wednesday: Red Carpet Appeal

In honor of the upcoming Oscars, MDP has created a Polyvore set full of glam and star appeal. Check it out!
Red Carpet Appeal

Monday, February 24, 2014

Accessory of the Week: Handbag Lover

The 'Bleecker - Mini Riley' Leather Crossbody handbag  in 'Love Red', Photo Credit: Nordstrom's website
If there's one thing I can not live without, it's an amazing handbag. Handbags are a necessity and an obsession of mine. You can never truly have enough of them and they are my favorite accessories, next to shoes. A handbag is also a great way to break into a new season and this one by Coach is perfect, just for doing that! The 'Bleecker - Mini Riley' Leather Crossbody handbag by Coach is an ideal spring handbag and versatile for the office or the weekends. The Bleecker is made of leather, has a crossbody strap, a handle, and a front and top zip closure. It even comes in six colors:  Acid Green, Black, Grey Birch, Love Red, Parchment, and Peach Rose. My favorite is the Love Red color because it's bright and vibrant. The 'Bleecker - Mini Riley' Leather Crossbody handbag is $258.00 and is available at Nordstrom's.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

MDP's 45th NAACP Image Awards Best Dressed List

There were several varied looks but plunging necklines and the colors gold and rust orange seemed to be a major theme for the red carpet. I was not impressed by many but I thought these ladies and gentlemen nailed their looks all the way! Check out my Best Dressed looks below from last night's big event!

                                                                 Lupita Nyong'o 
Photo Credit: Essence.com
                                                                  Naomie Harris                  
Photo Credit: Essence.com
                                                                Tatyana Ali
Photo Credit: Essence.com
                                                                 Ledisi
Photo Credit: Essence.com
                                                                  Tyler Perry
Photo Credit: Essence.com
                                                                 David Oyelowo
Photo Credit: Hollywood Reporter
                                                                 Morris Chestnut
Photo Credit: Essence.com

Friday, February 21, 2014

Honoring Black History Month: Dorothy Dandridge

Photo Credit: Google Image Search
For me, Dorothy Dandridge will always be an iconic beauty that stood out and made her mark, during the darkest periods in history for women of color. Dorthy Dandridge was a famous actress and singer who is best remembered as the first African-American woman to be nominated for an Academy Award for best actress for her leading role in Carmen Jones.
Photo Credit: Google Image Search (Dandridge as Carmen Jones)

As a child and teen she began performing with her sister, Vivian. She performed with legends such as the Jimmy Lunceford Orchestra and Cab Calloway. She also performed at the then-famous, Cotton Club in Harlem. Eventually Dandridge would move on her own as a performer. As a teen, she made her film debuts in films such as A Day at the Races and Going Places with Louis Amrstrong. Despite her break into film at a young age, Dandridge still faced discrimination for the color of her skin when she would perform at venues. During that time, certain facilities were designated for people pf color to use that were separate from white Americans.

Still, Dandridge performed in several films throughout her career. Some of the most notable was 1953's Bright Road,  her signature and Academy-nominated role; Carmen Jones and Porgy and Bess with Sidney Poitier. Dandridge also received a Golden Globe Award nomination  for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for her her role in Porgy and Bessy. Despite her tragic death in 1965, Dorothy Dandridge accomplished a lot during her lifetime.

Photo Credit: Google Image Search
She suffered great prejudice but her talent ultimately spoke for itself. Although she was never properly recognized and rewarded in her lifetime, she is remembered for how she paved the way for many African American actresses to follow in her footsteps. In 1999 Halle Berry would shine a light on Dandridge's legacy with the film Introducing Dorothy Dandridge. She is definitely a talent that is to never be forgotten.  You can check out a clip of her performing in 1953 at the Velvet Nightclub on Youtube

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Honoring Black History Month: Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks has always been an inspiration to me for her bravery and courage. On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white passenger in Montgomery, Alabama. She was arrested and released later that evening. During this time, segregation was a major part of life but Parks would not stand for it and didn't feel she had to give up her seat. This single act by Parks lead to the city-wide, Montgomery Bus Boycott, a major and influential  movement in America's civil rights. AFterhardhsip in Montgomery, she would eventually  move on  to Detroit, Michigan to build a new life as a secretary and receptionist in John Conyers' congressional office. Rosa Parks leaves a legacy as being known as the "Mother of Freedom" and will forever be remembered for taking a stand that inspired a movement of change in civil rights in American history.
Photo Credit: Google Images Search

Photo Credit: Google Images Search

Accessory of the Week

Photo Credit: StyleShack.com
There's nothing like a piece of great statement jewelry to add to one's fashion collection. You can just never have enough! This week's accessory is a Colorful Gem Statement Necklace that can be found at local boutique, Lola B. in Birmingham. I love the colors and unique design. The necklace could easily be worn with a cozy sweater or a floral sundress for spring (I know we're still dealing with a polar vortex but I can dream.) The necklace is available for $68 and you can even have it held in store for you on the Styleshack website. For more information visit Styleshack or call Lola B. at (248) 594-6160.

Monday, February 17, 2014

NYFW 2014 Review: Zang Toi


Photo Credit: http://www.mbfashionweek.com
There was nothing understated about Zang Toi’s collection. The entire collection boasted of old Hollywood glamour and luxury with a modern twist of a subtle darkness. Toi’s collection could have easily been ripped out of a box office film with its theatrical, lavish looks from head to toe. Toi utilized fur, bling, velvet, leather,  and highlighted the colors emerald green and black  for the collection. The models even had the long wavy, curly hair to match. The fedoras also add a 1920's glamour that could be seen in an old gangster film. He implemented Asian themes of the floral prints and collars. To accessorize, he also mixed in leather gloves, knee-highs, and black tights. In sum, Toi’s collection was rich and lavish without apology. It’s definitely one the most impressive collections from NYFW Fall 2014 I've seen.
Photo Credit: http://www.mbfashionweek.com
Photo Credit: http://www.mbfashionweek.com
Photo Credit: http://www.mbfashionweek.com

Photo Credit: http://www.mbfashionweek.com


Happy President's Day!


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

NYFW Review 2014: Lela Rose

Photo Credit:Style.com
Lela Rose's Fall 2014 collection brought plenty freshness to the season with her floral and unique patterns. Rose picked blues, white, mustard yellow, fuscia and black as some of her many neon-like colors for the collection. Rose created a very feminine and lady-like collection that featured several dresses and skirts. There was the occasional pant suits in the collection but for the most part she focused on primarily on formal and casual dresses. Rose’s floral patterns with the use of bright colors made the collection seem almost befitting for the spring. Another interesting  aspect to the collection was her use of fabrics. Although there was some wool and knit used for the collection, most looks featured sheer, mesh, lace, and other lighter fabrics. Ultimately, the Lela Rose Fall 2014 collection reads more as spring collection but it offers so many delicate and feminine pieces that could easily be layered. I love that she chose to do something lighter and different for the season.

Photo Credit:Style.com
Photo Credit:Style.com
Photo Credit:Style.com
Photo Credit:Style.com

Photo Credit:Style.com



NYFW Review 2014: Prabal Gurung


Photo Credit:Style.com
For Fall 2014, Prabal Gurung proved layering to be chic and made orange as the new black to brighten the season. Gurung used basic knit neck scarves and capes to drape and wrap on top of oversized sweaters to create dramatic layered looks.  To balance and lighten the layers, Gurung chose chiffon and other sheer like fabrics for the skirts and accessorized the feet with strappy stilettos. The color palette of the collection featured an arrangement of familiar warm fall leaf colors that included browns, black, yellows, gray,white, and forest green. However, it was the  bright orange tones and deep reds that were truly the showstoppers of the entire runway show. To add diversity, Gurung did use a few patterns, cutouts, and slits that help spice up the evening wear. He also maintained the collection's technique of layering for even wear by weaving and intertwining  lighter fabrics and different patterns together while spotlighting the bright autumn colors.   Overall, the Prabal Gurung2014 Fall collection was bright, cozy, chic, and elegant. He made highlighted the brightness of autumn tones and made layers look not only warm but ultra luxurious and chic.


Photo Credit:Style.com

Photo Credit:Style.com

Photo Credit:Style.com

Photo Credit:Style.com