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The dictionary defines the word potential in the following manner:

po·ten·tial /pəˈtɛnʃəl/ [puh-ten-shuhl]
1. possible, as opposed to actual.
2. capable of being or becoming.

Whenever I take someone thrifting this word gets thrown around a lot. I always stress to people the importance of studying any piece that sparks your interest and being able to see the potential in it. Many have endless possibilities and you have to consider that instead of its obviously applications. Just because an article of clothing has been placed in categories like --- activewear, formal wear, etc --- does NOT mean that it has be worn that way. It's completely up to you.

That's exactly what my cousin James, who's an up-and-coming film director in Atlanta, has learned. About a year ago he came home and asked me to help him find something for Morehouses 2009 Homecoming. Amongst everything we found at different thrift stores, the most amazing piece was a charcoal blazer with big, Tom Ford-esque lapels and black piping. He was hesitant, but because he trusts me and my taste he purchased the jacket. Fast-forward to recent times, James decided to dawn this timeless piece for an exclusive Def Jam event he was invited too.

The coat was tailored and the look was styled by designer Karolyne Ashley (pictured below). I love the finished product. Potential...realized!

Charcoal Blazer (Wasteland)
Black Slacks (H&M)
Shirt (Rag-O-Rama)
Tie (Rag-O-Rama)
Shoes (unknown)

On Karolyne:

Dress (Rag-O-Rama)
Hat (Karolyne Ashley, her own design)
Glove (Karolyne Ashley, her own design)
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"Gone Fishin'"

I couldn't help but think I somehow drew inspiration from Big Russ Thompson on Honey I Shrunk the Kids. But sometimes style is like that. The launching pad for an idea for your ensemble some days is more costume than anything. Saying to yourself, "Today I'd like to be..."

$2 Plaid Shirt (thrift)
heardemsay Button (heardemsay.com)
$2 Columbia Vest (thrift)
$2 Levi's 550 (thrift)
$30 Aldo Watch (Aldo Accessories Store)
$20 White Converse All-Star (swapmeet)

Louis Armstrong x Gone Fishin'.

You gone fishin' (Well how you know?)
Well there's a sign upon your door (Uh-huh)
Gone fishin' (I'm real gone man)
You ain't workin' anymore (Could be)
There's your hoe out in the sun
Where you left a row half done
You claim that hoein' ain't no fun (But I can prove it)
You ain't got no ambition
Gone fishin' by a shady-wady pool (Shangri-la, really la)
I'm wishin' I could be that kind of fool (Should I twist your arm?)
I'd say no more work for mine (Welcome to the club)
On my door I'd hang a sign
Gone fishin' instead of just a-wishin'
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Motherland Ink

This past weekend I had the pleasure of meeting, talking with and getting inked by artist Thom Gastelum! It was an awesome experience! Right off the bat, he got and appreciated my vision and was passionate about working on my new piece. While Band of Horses filled the room with ill tunes, Chuva, he and I discussed everything from childhood to our white girl crushes. Ha! Saturday was awesome. I had a good time with good people and left with a great, meaningful tattoo!

Thom is by apointment only. Click here to contact him!

What I got --- an homage.

"We ALL belong to Africa. It is the birthplace of humanity, where we learned to walk, to talk, to play.

As other continents drifted to their present positions, the Equator’s tropical warmth helped to make Africa the hothouse of evolution.

The fact that so called history conspired to keep Africans and non-Africans apart for so long is a tragedy.

Africa has been persistently misunderstood and misused by the rest of the world.

When journeying into the heart of Africa, you learn more about yourself!"

"Kente is the cloth of Kings and those of extreme importance."

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10% off at American Way

Attention all Angelenos! American Way Thrift Stores is offering customers 10% off all merchandise (with printed coupon below) from now until September 5, 2010! See coupon for all 3 locations! I've been to the one in Burbank and the Valley. They always have great inventory with really low prices. That coupled with the extra 10% should have you spending next to nothing while feeling like you left with everything!

From the company: We are a thrift store specializing in low priced and quality items ranging from clothing & shoes, furniture, toys, electronics, books, records, jewelry, appliances, antiques and a whole lot more! We have 3 locations to serve you better! Come visit us 7 Days a week! We serve in Lancaster, Pomona, Burbank California.

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Back to School with MP

Last week marked the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year for students at my beloved Alma Mater, Morehouse College. Via Late Boots, fashion brand PR specialist and socialite Marquis Phifer, schooled his classmates on a subject you won't find in the course catalog --- personal style. Here you can see how he brilliantly mixes and matches up names like Ralph Lauren, Cole Hann and Dee & Ricky. Good show, sir!

He personifies the Morehouse Man:
"Well spoken. Well traveled. Well dressed."

Dear old Morehouse, dear old Morehouse,
We have pledged our lives to thee;
And we'll ever, yea forever
Give ourselves in loyalty.

True forever, true forever,
To old Morehouse may we be;
So to bind each son the other
Into ties more brotherly.

Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit,
Make us steadfast, honest, true,
To old Morehouse, and her ideals,
And in all things that we do.