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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.
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Ill Narrative :: Common

In My Dreams - Kid Cudi ft. Common.

Long before we know ourselves,
Our paths are already set in stone.
Some may never figure out their purpose in life,
And some will.
There are a lot of us who are caught up in this hell we all live in,
Content with being blinded by rules and judgment.
We live in a world where it's more okay to follow than to lead.
In this world being a leader is trouble for the system we are all accustomed to.
Being a leader in this day and age is being a threat.
Not many people stood up against the system we all call life,
But toward the end of our first ten years into the millennium we heard a voice.
A voice who was speaking to us from the underground for some time.
A voice who spoke of vulnerabilities and other human emotions and issues never before heard so vividly and honest.
This is the story of a young man who not only believed in himself,
But his dreams too.
This is the story of The Man On The Moon.
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Review :: Blackberry Tour

Once again, thanks to Ant, I was able to upgrade my shitty Blackberry Storm to the new Blackberry Tour. I'm definitely pleased with the change. It's great to be back with a phone with keys and not that click/touch screen crap. Besides that, the phone functions 100 times better. Since I've had it, it's only froze once and I'm going to just chalk that up to being my fault because I was trying to do way too much at one time. The new operating system is much more compatible with this phone and does exactly what I want it to do, when I want it to happen. No more waiting.

I have to say though that I've grown increasingly intrigued with the iPhone. Although I'd pledged my undying loyalty to BlackBerry (RIM), Apple seems to be doing their homework to ensure that users are able to do everything plausible with there phones. I just feel like BlackBerry should boast the same features, if not more. They've been making phones for the 10+ years, while Apple's only been in the game a couple.

Let's step it up RIM!
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Morehouse Implements a Dress Code

*Photo taken May 2007
The most interesting bit of style news I came across last week was the news that my beloved alma mater, Morehouse College, has recently implemented a much needed dress code.

Truth be told, this "new policy" has always existed and was present in my student handbook when I attended a few years, yet not enforced. Honestly I believe the administration decided to actually implement it when students on campus started wearing women's clothing. Yes, you heard me. Women's clothing! Only having attended myself a couple of short years ago, I was both shocked and offended by my younger brothers who decided that it was acceptable and appropriate to adorn womenswear on the same grounds where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, Dr. Benjamin Mays and even Spike Lee were bred.

I applaud Morehouse's new president, Dr. Robert Franklin and I have absolutely no doubts that he has only the best intentions with this new policy. I think its going to reinforce the culture of our Dear Ol' alma mater. There's been a huge backlash from the student body, especially with respect to the gay students on campus. What I don’t want is for this to be misinterpreted as discrimination because the policy also clearly includes sagging pants and hats, amongst other things. I just don’t think this is one of those issues where exclusion was the aim of the institution. It's one of maintaining high moral standards. I think allowing students to dress in women's clothing only perpetuates the stigma we already have, sends the wrong message and serves as a distraction to what we are really about. The media never wants to talk about all the positive aspects of our institution. They'd rather linger on how the students at that all Black male school are wearing heels and the first White valedictorian. Meanwhile the preceding class (mine) had 2 valedictorians; one who attends Harvard Law and the other, U Penn Medical School. I said all this to say that the Morehouse brand is important and it must be maintained by all who accept the challenge. While it's not an obligation, when attended such an institution, I believe it's an understood personal responsibility. I'm all for self-expression, no matter it is that you decide to wear, but there has to be a line drawn somewhere.

The new policy is an effort to “get back to the legacy” of Morehouse leaders, Dr. William Bynum told the AJC, vice president of the Office of Student Services. “We expect our young men to be Renaissance men,” said Bynum. “When people go about campus we want them to represent the college in an appropriate manner.”

Below are some examples of what students are no longer able to wear:
  • no caps, do-rags and/or hoods in classrooms, the cafeteria, or other indoor venues
  • no sun glasses worn in class or at formal programs
  • no jeans at major programs, as well as no sagging pants on campus
  • no clothing with derogatory or lewd messages either in words or pictures
  • no wearing of clothing usually worn by women (dresses, tops, tunics, purses, pumps, etc.) on the Morehouse campus or at college-sponsored events.
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Jason Schwartman for Band of Outsiders FW09

I posted something on Twitter the other day about men wearing age appropriate brands. I wasn't saying that labels are reserved for specific age groups. I was simply stating which are most appropriate, in general, at every stage in a stylish gentleman's life.

Band of Outsiders is my one of my top picks for a man in his 20s. They produce classic pieces that say you want to be taken seriously, you care about the way you present yourself to the world and most importantly, that you like to have fun. You can mix and match the pieces with just about anything from a classic baseball cap to flip flops, if you live on a sunny coast like me.

Check out funny man Jason Schwartzman, of the new hit HBO comedy Bored to Death, in some of the labels best pieces for the season.

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Marge Simpson for Playboy Magazine

If you didn't already know, the featured celeb for the November issue of Playboy Magazine is none other than Fox 11's favorite animated mom, Marge Simpson. Having a business degree and being someone who's just fascinated with all things branding, advertising, and positioning, I have to applaud Playboy for the idea. I mean, they have to constantly be asking themselves how to stay relevant in a dying market. Men used to purchase the infamous magazine because there wasn't too many available materials with pornographic content. But in these days, both pornography and photos of scantly clad celebs are available at the click of a mouse...for free. Stars aren't even selling their photos to the magazines anymore. They're making their own sex videos and selling them to studios, while trying to make the public believe they were stolen *rolls eyes*. But again, great idea. I'm going to go out and actually buy a copy because I know this will be a collector's edition.

If it were up to me though, I would have made this one an entire cartoon issue featuring the most popular animated babes of all time (i.e. Jessica Rabbit, Lois Griffin, Betty Boop, etc). Just a thought...