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Style Wars :: The Office, Part I

The highlight of my day yesterday came in the form of a compliment from my new supervisor. A very casual conversation about my work and performance quickly shifted to what I was wearing --- $10 GAP Shawl Collar Sweater (GAP outlet), $2 Brooks Brothers button-down (Goodwill), $15 Old Navy Chinos, and $50 Kenneth Cole wingtips (K&G). He hesitantly complimented me on my outfit and with that simple comment came a barrage of additional ones like he had diarrhea of the mouth. He admitted that he and my other co-workers always notice that I am, "well put together and stylish." Then came the shocker! Apparently, there is a tiny rumor going on in our office that I blow my check every pay period on clothes because I'm always dressed so nicely. In their minds, that's the only logical explanation for why I'm able to do what I do. I had to laugh because while they know Chris the colleague, they have no idea who Seth B. is... The guy who's mother raised him on the simple principle that budget shopping and a keen eye for good fashion are a lethal combination.

I had to breakdown to him all the parameters of outlets, thrift stores and finding sample sales. I guess I take for granted the fact that style and being a fashionisto is an innate talent. He then asked how much I charge for personal shopping because his wife is tired of "looking at his boring ass clothes." I chuckled and said, "I don't know if you can afford me." He is dead serious, by the way.

He had so many questions like how I manage to look so professional without wearing suits everyday. Even I have to admit that my combinations are spot on. Among all the advice I offered, one thing I told him is that there is nothing wrong with being a copycat after he mentioned how much he loved Fonzworth's outfit in one of my previous posts. One of the basis for establishing a solid foundation for your own personal style is duplicating a look that you like and modifying it to fit your tastes. Just to drive that point home, I took a picture of myself this morning before I left for work. During my morning workout I received some inspiration from Carlton Banks on 'The Fresh Prince.' While his character is a source for comic relief, there's no denying he's a serious style icon. The photo above is my own rendition of CB with a Seth B. twist.

My supervisor doesn't even realize that he made my day. Good dude.
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Yep! In my white T...

The white t-shirt is arguably an American classic donned by style icons like James Dean, Harry Winkler and Snoop Dogg. But just like the contrast of the aforementioned celebrities, there are opposing views on the significance and versatility of this simple staple. The "White T" is definitely a piece that I'm on the fence about. On one hand, I can't deny the appeal of a perfectly cut and fit white t-shirt. While there's not much thought that goes into it, the possibilities are endless. You can pair it with just about anything from old Levi's and your favorite Converse All Stars or fine, dark Japanese denim and a sportscoat. My problem with the controversial piece is that some have taken it and abused it; namely urban clothing enthusiasts. I despise anyone who goes are buys boxes of oversized ProClub white t-shirts and pairs them with busy jeans and New Era caps. Yuck! What type of self-expression is that?

When I came across Project White T-Shirt I got excited. They worked with 31 designers from 13 countries to transform the classic white t-shirt into something new. They will transform and redefine the definition of the T-shirt as we’ve understood it for so many decades. Participants include Andrea Crews, c.neeon, Complex Geometrics, Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair, Siv Stoldal, Kling by Kling and one of my personal favorites, Jerell Scott (pictured above). The t-shirts will be exhibited and then auctioned off with the proceeds going to the Designers Against AIDS foundation.

Cheers to breathing new life into an American classic!
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...it's surely time for a change.
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Blacktree TV Fashion Show

Last Thursday, a few members of the TN Crew stepped out to the Blacktree TV Fashion Show at Seven Forty to support one of our own, Ms. Khloe Rose, who was showing her swimwear collection Candy Coated.

For the sake of being a tasteful gentleman and journalist, I'll refrain from saying how I really felt about the show. I will however say that their were a few promising emerging brands that showed, as well as a couple of talented amateur models. It's great to see any Black business thriving and that's precisely what Blacktree TV is doing - being the 23rd most viewed channel on YouTube.

I would be remiss if I didn't put this out there. Blacktree, we are available next time you guys put together a fashion show. You guys take care of the media, we'll handle the fashion. Holla at us!

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Check Out :: Fiero "Olde Ivory" Mixtape

While sifting through mountains of e-mails this morning I stumbled across my always anticipated How Bomb Newsletter from Res Infinitus. The "Music Monday" Issue No. 60 had all the ingredients to satisfy any music lover's iPod's appetite. Among Travis Barker's cover of "Forever" and Kanye's newest song "I'm So Appalled" was DJ supergroup Fiero's newest mixtape "Olde Ivory." I've been listening to it non-stop, all day! This is truly one of the best collections of mashups I've heard in years! Nicky Savage and crew really dug deep for this one. An hour long ride of blissful listening.

Click here and listen for yourself! I've been trying to find the actual mixtape to download all morning. If I stumble across it, trust I'll post it for you guys!
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True Style is Timeless

Believe it or not, the picture above was not taken in 1890s like the Photoshopped imaging is trying to trick you into thinking. This is a recent photo for the The New York Times' Style section featuring the latest pieces from Ralph Lauren, Alexander McQueen and other brilliant designers. The article was really interesting. It draws the the comparison between the fashions of today and centuries past, reinforcing that true style is timeless.

Click here to read the full article.
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Photos I forgot to post...

A couple of weeks ago, I met actress Wendy Raquel Robinson of The Game. She was the guest host at the annual Monster Royal Contest at B & R's Old Fashioned Burger. B & R is one of LA's premiere burger joints, family owned and operated for over 15 years by my close friend Brian's family, The Hoods. Hailed dozens of newspapers, magazines and television show's, including Food Network's Alton Brown, the restaurant offers a sumptuous breakfast menu, mouth -watering burgers, home-style fries, tacos, chicken dinners and fresh baked pies. Do your taste buds a favor and check them out!

So...I wasn't really in the Halloween spirit last week. I mean, I was definitely looking forward to all the partying and girls dressed like their "favorite characters (sluts)", but I wasn't looking forward to dressing up myself. At the last minute, my friends convinced me to participate and my little brother provided me with a great suggestion, "Why don't you just go as Kanye at the VMAs?" Eureka! But seeing as it was the 11th hour and I didn't have a white girl to be my Amber Rose or Taylor Swift, nor did I have a ginormous bottle Hennessey - I ran to the mall to grab some shutter shades and opted for Kanye in the "Stronger" music video. Haha! Thoughts?

A lot of my friends say I took the easy route because I apparently look like Kanye, but hey, at least I did something...
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This Week In Style

My vote for the gentlemen who epitomize style in the GQ: This Week In Style go to:

First and foremost, I have to give it up to my Morehouse brother Fonzworth Bentley. This mixture of colors, patterns, and textures are oh-so-sick! But as a man of The House, I wouldn't expect anything less.

Although he looks like he's been in the oven an hour too long, Valentino is killing this look with the scarf, handkerchief and tie. Very polished and clean.

Although the editors at GQ would strongly disagree with me, I really dig Sir Ian McKellen's look at the NYC screening of the upcoming film Prisoner. The blue-on-blue scarf-and-shirt combination and the two-shades-of-brown jacket and hat may normally be faux pas, but in this case it really works for the British gent.
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Tom Ford F/W09

Japanese men’s magazine SENSE has an editorial showcasing the F/W09 pieces of one of my favorite menswear designers, Tom Ford, suits and outerwear. The editorial features Ford's tuxedos, as well as colorful combinations of trousers, blazers, ties, and scarves. Looking more closely at these pieces I'm surprised that no other editorial has pointed how Ford takes so many cues from the bold patterns and textures reminiscent of the 70s. Very subtle and brilliant.

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LA Fashion Week :: Project ETHOS

Another great weekend for fashion! Friend and designer Jenny P, once again hooked me up for Project ETHOS at the House of Blues on Sunset in Hollywood , this past Saturday, October 24th. Project ETHOS, known as the “incubator for emerging artists in fashion, music and art,” is a quarterly, red carpet event in Los Angeles that showcases all emerging Millennial Generation forms of creativity in one house, on one night. By merging fashion, music and art into one giant display of genius, Project ETHOS creates an innovative form of exposure for artists, a new scouting location for talent representatives, and a fresh outing for event goers. Project ETHOS is on a mission to bridge the gap between the Indie and Mainstream worlds and provide opportunity for previously unrecognized talent. With a potent ear to the street, the ETHOS team seeks out extraordinarily talented fresh faces, creating a link to decision makers and industry professionals. Project ETHOS is the next generation of exposing all artistry to the media, public and industry.

I had an all access press pass which afforded me the opportunity to interview designers, artists, musicians and models. I even had a front row seat for the fashion show, which were exclusively reserved for buyers, not press. Lucky me!

And the best part? Naked models backstage! Yay! Haha!

Me with new artist Liz Paige. Her music is really hot! Click here and check her out!

I also got a chance to chat with Brooke Staricha (of America's Next Top Model, Cycle 6). Turns out that the statuesque model is just as smart as she is beautiful. After her run on ANTM she returned to school and graduated. She's since relocated to Los Angeles to see where her career takes her.

She modeled that night for up and coming designer Goci.

In an industry like fashion where creativity is color-blind, I try my very best not to be bias. If you’re talented, you’re talented. But I love to support Black designers because we are so underrepresented. So imagine my delight when my favorite collection of the 7 designers showing Saturday night ended up being Black designer Houstina Summers (pictured above) of Cowgirl Heaven.

After seeing the previous models pound the runway showing off the designers’ creations in an elegant, but typical fashion, the CGH models stole the show and everyone’s attention. The all Black ensemble marched up and down to Jamie Foxx’s “Digital Girl”; on beat and with an extra ounce of sass the other models couldn’t match. I’m so mad I didn’t get it on video, but in all fairness to me, I was not expecting it. Haha! Excellent presentation coupled with an unrivaled execution!

I had an opportunity to interview Houstina after the show; who is the sweetest and most humble designer. We spoke briefly about Cowgirl Heaven and her inspiration. I honestly struggled through the interview, feeling like a school boy because Houstina is gorgeous!

Ladies, you complain about me not covering any women’s fashion. Well, here is my gift to you. Click here and check out Summers’ one of a kind pieces. They’re so very unique, vibrant, fun and above all, inexpensive. Get one now before she blows up!

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This past Sunday, the TN crew (Kianna and Keisa) and I went to Bardot for an event called Eavesdrop sponsored by Lovemade and The Black Eyes Peas. Lovemade is an events company and creative collective who supports other female professionals. They work on a variety of projects ranging from fashion styling, consulting, events, graphic/apparel design, and music. Their team consists of designers, make-up artists, hair stylists, marketing/event coordinators, djs, photographers, and fashion consultants.It was a cool event. We had to show our faces. Just some of the first of many TN appearances to come. Stay tuned...
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Ill Narrative :: Big Boi

"SpottieOttieDopalicious" Outkast feat. Patrick Brown

When I first met my SpottieOttieDopalicious angel
I can remember that damn thang like yesterday
The way she moved reminded me of a brown stallion horse with skates on
Smooth like a hot comb, ol' nappy ass hair
I walked up on her and was almost paralyzed
Her neck was smelling sweeter than a plate of yams with extra syrup
Eyes beaming like four carats apiece just blinding a nigga
Felt like I chiefed a whole "O" of that presidential
My heart was beating so damn fast
Never knowing this moment would bring another life into this world
Funny how shit come together sometimes (ya dig)
One moment you frequent the booty clubs and the next four years
You and somebody's daughter rising y'all own young'n
Now that's a beautiful thang, that's if you're on top of your game
And man enough to handle real life situations (that is)
Can't gamble feeding baby on that dope money
Might not always be sufficient, but the United Parcel Service
And the people at the post office, didn't call you back because you got
Cloudy piss, so now you back in the trap just that, trapped
Go and marinate on that for a minute
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Patrick Robinson :: 10 Rules of Men's Style

It's been a little minute since I posted one of Details magazine's "10 Rules of Style" features. Here, Black designer and GAP's newest Creative Director, gives you a lesson on how to develop your personal style from the ground up. As always, take notes!

1. The coolest guy out there is the one who knows what's going on and has all the information on fashion but then picks the one thing that works for him. That's all you need—and a brain in your head.

2. The five things every man should have in his wardrobe are a great pair of jeans, the right-fitting pair of khakis, a bunch of T-shirts, a brilliant watch, and a pair of camping boots.

3. This may sound sort of silly to most men, but a way to develop personal style is to admire someone you think looks cool who you kind of resemble. No one is going to look like Johnny Depp, so don't go there. But if you need some help, pick someone you dig and watch the way he dresses.

4. Everyone wants to be comfortable. They want jeans where the waist isn't tight and the legs are loose, but that ideal gets carried too far. I'm not a guy who thinks everybody should wear everything slim, but don't make your clothes so damn comfortable that you're not attractive to people.

5. When it comes to denim, find jeans that speak to who you are and then throw in a twist. If you're a Wall Street banker, wear low-rise in a classic dark rinse, which will look good with a blazer. If you're a hip-hop guy, wear deconstructed jeans so you don't look like everyone else.

6. You can take a measured risk in fashion with color. Not crazy color, but you can wear overdyed jeans in khaki or gray and no one is going to look at you sideways. Wearing something other than blue will add character and make you look younger.

7. There's nothing wrong with getting a manicure and pedicure before you show up at the beach. There's nothing wrong with getting your hair cut even if you want to look like you don't cut your hair. There's no shame in taking care of yourself.

8. Pursue a passion that takes you past the edge. Mine is ocean race sailing.

9. There's nothing cooler than American classics, like khakis, T-shirts, oxford shirts, and jean jackets. However, when casual becomes too predictable, it can get schlumpy. When you wear the khakis with the tucked-in pink button-down and the brown belt, you're not saying anything to anyone.

10. So many men blow it with outerwear. A guy can have his outfit completely together and then he puts on the dumbest coat. It's like women who wear white tennis shoes to work. The jacket is either too old and shabby or it has no character. You only need one great coat.
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Black Father

I stumbled across this photo on Twitter that a friend posted. I was so touched that I had to post it here. This photo is worth far more than a thousand words. It's priceless. I'd love to see it on billboards in Black neighborhoods across the country reinforcing the impact a Black father has in the life of his children (or the effects of the lack thereof).

I can speak from first hand experience the importance of having a father in my life. My Dad was and still is a phenomenal father and figure in my life. He was always there. I mean, always! There to teach and guide me. Give me advice. Discipline me when I needed it. And above all, he loves me unconditionally and has no issues with showing it.

Powerful, powerful image. Please share it...
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Raf Simons Bomber Jacket

This is an excellent piece by Raf Simons! The bomber jacket has been produced in Italy and features a premium black wool body with metallic silver sleeves. This is a prime is example of what I'm talking about when I say that I love new spins on American classics. Very subtule, but significant enough to make heads turn and people talk. This is just one of the pieces from the new Raf by Raf Simons Fall/Winter 2009 collection to debut soon. I'm definitely excited to see what he has in the works.

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LA Fashion Week :: Jerell Scott & Korto Momolu

Thanks to my friend and designer Jenny P, I had the pleasure of attending an LA Fashion Week event showcasing Project Runway alums and Black designers, Jerell Scott and Korto Momolu. All I can say is, “Wow!” I had such a great time! It was such a breath of fresh air being surrounded by so many creative individuals. Besides the show itself, it’s worth attending for the people watching alone. I got to meet so many interesting people whose style I greatly admired and others whose outfits gave me a case of inappropriate church giggles. To make for an even better night the event was sponsored by REAL Organic Tequila. Can you say, “OPEN BAR!” I was definitely drunk off my ass! Haha!

The show started with Korto Momolu’s collections. What I loved most was the runway itself. Naturally, I think everyone assumed the models would walk the stage where the musicians had previously performed. We were all wrong. The ladies hit the floor on the sidelines in VIP. After walking from one end to the other, they stepped on top of a table to put the designs on display. So cool. Korto’s collection was full of vibrant patterns that were reflective of her African heritage with a modernized twist. Jerell’s designs incorporated a lot of gold, blacks and metallics. Very chic and edgy. Both designers are brilliant!

Jen and I both had an opportunity to speak with Jerell after the show and I have to say that he a really sweet (pause) and humble guy. When artists have an attitude like that it makes you want to support them even more.

Other highlights of the night were also hanging my TN crew – Kianna, D & Keisa (TN will be explained at a later time), the Latoya Jackson look-a-like, Jen cussing out some chick from The Hills’ personal assistant in the elevator, and finally…we were able to catch one of the Kogi BBQ trucks off 2nd and Main at the end of the night.

One word: Perfection.