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Glamourtunist Returns in October 2017

September 11, 2017

Dear Hearts,

I am in the end of a process of reconceptualizing the site. Beginning in October – just in time to celebrate our two year birthday – Glamourtunist will return. The site will proceed differently than initially launched (more on that next month), but it will return and continue. The Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages are currently and have been active during this hiatus from the site. In the meantime, be SLAYED by this fabulous photo and its vintage effect of folks taking full advantage of there “glamourtunity” !

See you in October!

In gratitude,

Eric

Creator and Editor of Glamourtunist

Fashion, Glamourtunist, On the Carpet, WERK!

Black Women STAY Saving the Met Gala Red Carpet

May 2, 2017

by Eric Darnell Pritchard

To remix the first line of Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison’s novel “Paradise,” they SLAYED the white girls first, with the others they took their time.

When people say “it’s no shade,” they usually mean it’s shade, but what follows is not shade it’s just a fact. Black women stay saving the Met Gala red carpet. And before you come for me please know, to quote another verbal genius Ms. Nene Leakes, “I said what I said.”

Come on ya’ll, if Rihanna, Solange, and Beyonce all collectively decide not to attend there is probably not a reason to hold this thing.

Everyone should phone it in, ring up Mother Anna Wintour of the House of Vogue, and call in sick that day. This red carpet is the Oscars of fashion, it should not be anything like any other red carpet, and yet the only people who dress to make it feel that way are pretty much Black women. And this year, with Tracee Ellis Ross, Helen Lasichanh, and Zendaya all deciding they to have come to collect our edges, it is ever more undeniable and this year, just like every year, there are receipts.

For those who do not know, every year since 1971 the Met Gala is always built around a theme. It is usual that the theme intersects with the theme of an exhibit that has been curated for the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute. Themes in recent years include 2013’s “Punk: Chaos to Couture,” 2014’s “Charles James: Beyond Fashion,” 2015’s “China: Through the Looking Glass,” and 2016’s “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology.”

The theme of this year’s gala was “Rei Kawakubo/Commes des Garçons,” a retrospective of the work of the legendary fashion designer and her fashion label which has been at the forefront of fashion for 44 years. Kawakubo, who the New York Times calls the “oracle of fashion,” has always sat atop her perch pushing fashion beyond the boundaries of how they think about the shape, texture, color of a garment, but also beyond the limits of the industry and its preconceived notions of the body itself.

With such an imaginative, courageous, and exciting sartorial visionary as the theme everybody was ready for this Met Gala to take us to and over the edge, just like Kawakubo. WEEEEELL, I am not sure where everybody else’s memo about the theme of the show went, but apparently only Black women got it. 

As I watched the red carpet unfold, one person after the next took to the carpet in pretty gowns, wonderful make-up, hair done for the Gods (or in the case of Jaden Smith, hair cut off and fashioned into a bouquet of locs), and I was completely and utterly surprised and also bored, bored, bored. Only a sprinkling of people seemed to dress with Kawakubo and Commes des Garçons in mind.

There were only a sprinkling of folks who rose to the occasion, which is great, but they are the same people that ALWAYS rise to the occasion.  Rihanna, who is basically a couture wonder woman at the Met Gala EVERY. DAMN. YEAR.

Rihanna at the Met Gala 2015-2011 (left of screen to right)

Riri read her mail and was like, I don’t know what the rest of these people are wearing to the Commes des Garçons-themed Met Gala, but I think I’ll wear…wait for it…Commes des Garçons!

No, I am not saying all you have to do is wear the designer that best fits the theme in order to slay. That could go basic and wrong too. There are tons of examples of that in previous years actually. But, it would be a great start, especially with an aesthetic so well defined, known, and celebrated throughout the industry for over four decades.

I don’t know who these stylists who sent people to the Met Gala in junior prom dresses are. Whoever told them that if their client wore the same basic thing one could (and they do!) wear to the twenty thousand awards shows before and after the Met Gala that they would win them the “Gag Award” LIED, lied big time. Why they put their clients in looks that are violently opposed to Kawakubo’s own aesthetic or the idea of avant grade is a mystery only Jessica Fletcher can solve, but either way they are definitely doing their clients a disservice.

But maybe that’s the point. Maybe they take a medicalized “first do no harm” approach to fashion, and are more content to be on the safe list and not the standout list, but in the economy of celebrity isn’t standing out actually the point? You can’t stand out with no risk. As my grandmama taught me, you gotta bring some to get some.

Next to Rihanna was also Tracee Ellis Ross, who must have heard that Zendaya was gonna come dressed like her mama circa the 1970s (and that’s no shade, Zendaya looked amazing and was, aesthetically, still in the wheelhouse of Comme des Garçon serving us volume, volume, volume head to toe in Dolce and Gabbana!) …

Zendaya

 

… and so Tracee decided she, like Rihanna would work with the fashion challenge for the evening and wear Commes des Garçons too. And thank God she did!

Tracee Ellis Ross

And there were others. Helen Lasicanh, the partner of Pharrell Williams clearly read her mail:

Solange, another person we can count on every single year. I present the receipts:

2016

2015

And this year she continued to bring it, gave us something to talk about, and was gorgeous as always.

Solange wearing Thom Browne at the Met Gala, 2017

 

Do note that this is NOT Kawakubo/Commes des Garçons. This look Solange is wearing is by the always exciting Thom Browne. When I saw it I thought for sure it was Rei Kawakubo’s work, and I was wrong. But the fact that I even thought it was Kawakubo is a good look on Browne and Solange, they get it. This look is totally in the Browne wheelhouse and plays with some of the house codes of Kawakubo’s aesthetic. Thom Browne, someone who like Kawakubo pushes the envelope in menswear and womenswear season after season, gets why you can’t be basic on tonight and gave us something memorable. Sure, Buzz feed joked that Solange’s look was reminiscent of a sleeping bag for a camping trip, BUT they also said she still looked better than everybody else throwing her shade for her REI fashionS. She wins. I rest my case.

To be fair, there were some Black women who came on this beautiful but predictable red carpet too. Kerry Washington, Naomi Campbell, Halle Berry. All wore fabulous gowns and on any other night would be on a best dressed list for me, but on THIS NIGHT they faded into the background. They know better and needed to do better. Also, let me acknowledge that not all white women came to be safe and sad, but I just think Beyonce called them and was like “hey Katy Perry, hey Julianne Moore: I’m not going to make it this year, I am too busy posing in a couture toilet paper hat and bikini for my baby shower pictures. Can ya’ll come to slay and help my sister and Rihanna out?” And they was like, “yeah, we got you.” So we gonna log that too under Black women saving things, even if this conversation only occurred in my head (paints nails). Shout out to Katy Perry and Julianne Moore who came with it too. I was intrigued for sure, I mean it.  And Pryiyanka Chopra, I see you in that Ralph Lauren trench coat dress. You too came to slay!

Anyway, Beyonce, we’ll be waiting for your return. We would have loved to see what you would have done with the theme, and we missed all of this last night:

 

Here’s hoping at Met Gala 2018 you, Rihanna, Solange, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Helen Lasicanh will have even more company.

Fashion, Glamourtunist, Pop Culture

Promenade: Prance, Pose and Preen!

April 17, 2017

       

By Dominique M. Davis

Prom season has arrived, but unfortunately not everyone may be able enjoy the occasion. The debutante ball and cotillion once reserved for social elite, aristocracy so to speak, has evolved… or has it? The (Prom)enade is one of the most exciting events of senior year; custom designed ball gowns and suiting has become the new trend for celebrating this occasion. Lets give a little historical context. In the early 1900s High Society was ruled by the Season (autumn, winter, spring and summer), and early summer was the presentation of debutantes. Probably why prom season remains to be a spring/early summer occasion. Although there seems to be a decline in the formality of social events such as cotillions, prom still maybe one of the very first occasions in a young woman’s (or young man’s) life to be among the haut monde in custom designed apparel and present as coming of age. But are we starting to see history repeat itself as the reintroduction of class inequalities threatens to prevent our youth from enjoying this celebratory event? In addition to class, prom has taken on social justice reform by pushing strict social regulations of defining traditional gender roles and norms for youth able to participate in the event. The LGBTQ community continues to advance and assert their right(s) to engage and have equal participation.

So how do we continue to make sure that we give those interested in participating the option? One project that works to ensure this occasion can be a reality for young girls is the Glass Slipper Project. Their mission is to provide junior and senior girls the experience of receiving FREE prom dresses and personal styling. Quick shoutout to my colleague Cheryl for inviting me to participate last year!

Now, let’s see what’s trending for spring. Bringing the red carpet to your home; styles inspired by celebrity couture.

Floral Inspiration: The combination of floral and lace is always a stunning combination.

Taraji graced us with her Reem  Acra gown for the 2017 SAG Awards.

 

Shane Straughter @Daretobevintage gives us regal elegance for Prom

 

Lovely Lace:

Lace- a sultry and sophisticated statement.

Lily Collins wore Zuhair Murad for the 2017 Golden Globe awards. Pretty in pink.

Looks for less:

Satin and Floral Lace can be found at luulla.com

Velvet:

Golden Globes Red Carpet: Blake Lively wore a custom-made Atelier Versace velvet gown, encrusted with Swarovski crystals.

Looks for less: Ruffles are a new season trend and add a level of flare to the strapless sweetheart bodice.

Sculpted sweetheart velvet gown can be found at aliexpress.com

Vertical Stripes:

Michelle Williams @ the 2017 SAG Awards in Louis Vuitton

Look for Less:

ELIZA J Metallic Stripe Ball Skirt found @Nordtrom.com

LA FEMME Embellished Jersey Gown found @Nordstrom.com

 

For more information about the Glass Slipper project, please visit their website at glassslipperproject.org

Boutique Dates are April 22nd and 29th located at Price Elementary School, 4351 S. Drexel, Chicago, Il.

 

Also check out Maryam Garba International for custom prom dresses. You can find her on instagram @maryamgarbaintl.

Glamourtunist

Sightful Sensation: Style and Visual Culture (‘Fashion Conscious’ Column)

March 28, 2016
(ABOVE photo credit: from eco friend, a brain model made out of recycled denim).

by Dominique M. Davis

Ever wonder what causes your heart to skip a beat as you fight a damn near orgasmic reaction to the flyest pair of pumps, no wait, caged sandals, and the bag… the bag to die for paired with the perfect skirt and a lipstick that screams wear me NOW? The power of visuals is a powerful draw, presenting images that appeal to our senses and ultimately our desires. Marketing and advertising has a lot of influence in consumer purchasing behavior, but why and how? My interest in visual art and fashion as a visual art led me to do a little information gathering on visual art and how it influences or affects the brain and consumer purchasing behavior.

your-brain-and-fashion-1

In my search, I went through some articles on neuroscience and neurobiology that provided insight supporting how visual art has real affects on the brain in both perception and cognition. How does this apply to fashion, beauty and the arts? As we perceive images we assign meaning or interpret data to discern and make informed judgments and/or decisions. Culture and society has a huge influence on norms and customs which can affect consumer tastes preferences and purchasing behavior. Integrate marketing and advertising to appeal to emotional states of mind and the power of visuals can become that much greater in influencing culture.

Fashion and beauty (whatever that may mean to you) has the power to empower and transcend norms and traditional customs by incorporating messages from all walks of life and cultures. In an editorial for Ebony.com   entitled “Who Gets to Make a Social Fashion Statement?” Eric Darnell Pritchard cautions us to be more mindful of the inequality evident in   what politicized fashion statements are readily accepted and celebrated, and which are targeted for dismissal or punishment particularly when they visually disrupt norms.

Fashion is a visual art form that can be a creative outlet of expression in a culture bogged down in norms and customs. The images that we see can trigger a multitude of emotions and sometimes call to action. I think about Karl Lagerfeld’s latest haute couture collection for Chanel during Paris Fashion Week 2016 which focused on eco-conscious couture. This high fashion couture collection focused on environmentally conscious fabrics keeping the integrity of couture and incorporating socially conscious and environmentally friendly messages.

The power of visual art has a huge influential factor on society and culture, fashion as a visual art has the ability to evoke thought, appeal to emotional content, and allow for creative expression while still serving a functional purpose of clothing the body. That’s a lot for one brain to process.

Glamourtunist

#NYFW Fall ’16: Cushnie et Ochs

February 13, 2016

by Dominique M. Davis

After seeing the Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs’s pre fall 2016 collection I was ready to be wowed by a ready-to-wear line inspired by culture of a reinvented sari, instead I was given couture cocktail, vibrant vixen, and sultry slayed from the fall 2016 collection. They went in a totally different direction, and it too wowed me just like their pre-Fall.

Lace, silk, fur and a fabric I could not quite discern gave the collection a cohesive after five, cocktail glam aesthetic. Traditional colors of elegance turned basic black, silver, ivory, red and gold into a collection of Avant-garde yet regal pieces into a cohesive line of grace and style.

Here are a few of my favorite looks for the Fall 2016 collection:

CushniEtOchs9-Fall16

CushniEtOchs7-Fall16

CushniEtOchs8-Fall16

CushniEtOchs6-Fall16

CushniEtOchs5-Fall16

CushniEtOchs4-Fall16

CushniEtOchs3-Fall16

CushniEtOchs2-Fall16

CushniEtOchs1-Fall16

 

Editor's Aesthetics, Fashion, Glamourtunist, WERK!

Capes, Clutches and Consignment: The Editor’s Closet

January 25, 2016

Almost two years ago, rapper and Harlemite Cam’ron walked the runway of a Mark McNairy fashion show wearing a gray suit, a camo fitted cap, and a fur lined tweed cape, and folks thought he had lost his mind. But he looked so damn fly anyway. This past September, actor turned Central St. Martin’s fashion design student Antonio Banderas, announced his intention to start a menswear line and to experiment with making the cape a steady thing in menswear. For many men the cape as accessory has already been a thing, but this Fall capes seem to be everywhere on runways and of course on the streets. And I am all the way here for it!

As a stylist, I am so much more daring in what I put in other people’s closets than what I am willing to risk putting in my own. These are my confessions. Forgive me Diana Vreeland, for I have sinned! And I totally just wrote that line just to show you a high-fashion, Yves Saint Laurent nun.

ysl nun

From Stefano Pilati’s Fall 2010 YSL Collection.

You’re welcome. Seriously though, I think what is true for me is true for many stylists and some fashion designers too: we are so busy pushing fashion for everyone else, we run out of gas and so we find our fierce thing we do and just keep doing it. And that’s ok, we still kill it. Michael Kors, for example, has said he started wearing his all Black jacket, shirt, pant, shoe, and aviator ensembles because he was so focused on thinking about what everyone else should be wearing he wanted to deliver himself from the pressure of having to always go through his closet to make a fierce look for himself Every. Damn Day. And what could be more instant chic and elegant than all Black everything? Uh, nothing. Here are the receipts:

Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 7.33.13 PM

Michael Kors in his signature all Black ensemble.

You better WERK, Michael Kors! I totally feel the same way, and so people for whom I have shopped with/for or styled have reaped the benefits of my creativity in style way more than I have at times. One of the things I had been putting people onto for EVER were capes, on capes, on capes. I had been obsessed with capes in womenswear first, but didn’t really lose my mind about it until I saw it in evening wear when Gwyneth Paltrow and then Lupita Nyong’o slayed our entire Universe wearing a Tom Ford and Ralph Lauren gown with capes on awards season red carpets in 2012 and 2014, respectively.

gwyneth-lupita capes

Lupita and Gwyneth: The Cape Has Arisen

I never really saw wearing capes as being a thing for myself. Then this Christmas my bae bought me a gorgeous, black and white geometric print cape. And as someone who has a very defined sense of what I do and do not wear, I freaked the hell out. I loved it at first sight, but was like “ummm, not happening” and figured it would look gorgeous in my closet or to loan to someone else. But in her new book (which I am now reading) Shonda Rhimes says it’s our “Year of Yes” or as I call 2016, my “Year of Yaaassszzz” so I questioned why my fear was on autopilot with my fashion at the moment, and decided to at least try it on. And I did. And then I twirled, and twirled some more. And then I was born again.

dog twirl

 

And now all I do is go online in search of capes. The last time this happened I began buying all the caftans, not even to wear outside, but just to sit at my desk and wear when I write. Ya’ll pray for my finances, because the devil is all in my pocketbook!

Further making capes a thing for me has been I love them with clutches, which now means I spend my weekends also buying up all the clutches. My favorite place to do this is consignment stores. On one recent shopping trip I purchased these three clutches for about $40:

Clutch2

My consignment clutches. Which one do you like the most? Mine is the green.

I paired the green clutch with the cape I got for Christmas and wore it just last week. I have upcoming fashion plans for the other two, both with a cape of course.I also found this lovely clutch at a boutique in my neighborhood, and am thinking of how to rock it. Something tells me it’ll be worn with a cape too. This is becoming a problem, folks.

Clutch5

Is there an item in your closet or something you considered too out your fashion wheelhouse to give it a shot? Tweet me, Facebook me, or leave a comment and let me know what that item is and let’s chat about how you can make it work in 2016. I mean, if I am twirling around town wearing a cape and a clutch bag, anything can happen.

– edp

Glamourtunist

We’ll Return January 11, 2016. Happy Holidays!

December 28, 2015

Dear hearts,

Glamourtunist.com is taking a winter hiatus for a few weeks. We are so excited about the year to come and to all the wonderful essays, interviews, and fashion photographs we will share with you. In the meantime, we hope that you will catch up on any of our posts you may have missed and share the ones you love with your friends and family. Here’s to 2016! May it bring you and your loves ones all the joy and peace in the Universe, and the fulfillment of all of your dreams. See you on January 11, 2016 !

Love,

The Glamourtunist Team

Glamourtunist

Chanel: Paris Fashion Week, Spring 2016

October 19, 2015

You know I can’t let Paris Fashion Week pass without sharing my favorite looks from Chanel. Coco would haunt me!  All my faves for Spring/Summer 2016 in these three looks: color, volume, a perfect length, prints,and chic.

Glamourtunist, On the Street

Celebrity Mugshot Tshirt @ Righno in Indianapolis!

April 23, 2015

Photo Feb 15, 12 31 39 PM

Visited Indianapolis and stopped in Righno where I saw this dope t-shirt that found a witty use for celebrity mugshots. Jane Fonda (who looked a lot like Katy Perry back in the day), Robert Downey Jr., Christian Slater and Snoop Dogg. Really great pieces there. If you are ever in Indianapolis stop in. The store sells mostly men’s wear but has some gender neutral pieces as well, like this tee shirt. It’s east of Mass Ave, a growing, trendy area with lots of local businesses including boutiques.