April Spot

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DCFW: Eco Fashion Kick Off Event

 As a fellow fashionista, my inspiration bug knows when its time to welcome a new collection of style.  February was filled with fashion showcases across the globe.  Washington, DC hosted DC Fashion Week from February 20th to 25th at various locations in the city.  I had the pleasure of attending the Eco-Fashion Kick Off Event on February 20th at Woolly Mammoth Theater.

In my opinion, this theater was a very good choice.  As you enter the theater, the lobby has a very high ceiling with large windows.  A number of vendors are set up with 5-hour-energy drinks, jewelry, and accessories.  Once you walk further into the theater, a stair case leads to the main attraction – the runway.  Aligned with two rows of chairs on either side, the white runway is the center focus of the room.  Up on the lobby level is a balcony on either side of the runway.  I took my spot up on the balcony and got a pretty good view of the show.  The DJ was spinning some smooth and funky adaptations to popular tunes and traditional runway music.

With about 30 minutes to spare before the show, I had the opportunity to spy a number of fashion statements.  For women, heels similar to Lady Gaga seem to be the trend.  For men, skinny jeans with Vans or Loafers are the trend.  For both genders, retro with a modern twist is still in fashion.  I really loved the diversity in the room.  One could tell there were real fashionista present because the majority of the patrons did not look like mannequins but designers of their own wardrobe.

The show began with a presentation on the use of blue wrap from hospitals.  We then saw two designers adaptation of fashion using blue wrap as the foundation material for their outfits.  Some of these outfits were pretty creative.

The two designers that stood out to me were Estella Couture and Elizabeth St John.  Estella Couture had a unique take on Eco-Fashion, incorporating geometric shapes, sparkles, and afro-centric patterns.  I liked how her outfits had a futuristic feel to them.  Elizabeth St John, whom I interviewed here, definitely stole the show.  She had the largest and most diverse collection, including three adorable girls among her models.  The colors and texture of her dresses showcased the polished version of eco fashion.

Along with the designers and models, many photographers, bloggers, and fashion enthusiasts attended this event.  I was spotted by a number of photographers and bloggers.  You can check out the article here and the pictures here.

Overall, I’m glad I was able to attend this event.  I had fun.  Next on my list is New York Fashion Week…than Paris Fashion Week.  I will keep you posted on my progress.

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Just for Fun – iPod Challenge

Put your itunes/ipod on shuffle

For each question, press the next button and the title of the song is your answer
YOU MUST RIGHT THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS
Put any comments in (brackets) after the song name

 
1. Describe yourself. – Love Is Stronger Than Pride by Sade (i like this)

2. What do people feel when they’re around you? – Amazing by George Michael (hehe, not tooting my own horn)

3. Describe your current relationship – Change Clothes by Jay Z ft Pharell (haha, no)

4. Where would you like to be right now? – Know You Now by Amy Winehouse (doesn’t really make sense)

5. How do you feel about love? – Choice is Yours by Black Sheep (possibly)

6. What is your life like? – It’s Too Late To Change The Time by The Jacksons (nice match)

7. What would you wish for if you only had one wish? – Moscas En La Casa by Shakira (?)

8. Say something wise – Loves Theme by Barry White (nice)

9. How would you describe yourself? – Home by The Wiz Soundtrack (i do like my home)

10. What do you look for in a guy? – Black or White by Michael Jackson (…i’m colorblind)

11. How do you feel today? – Stronger Than Me by Amy Winehouse (true)

12. What’s your life’s purpose? – Au Café de La Paix by Thomas Fersen (?)

13. What is your motto?- Our First Time by Bruno Mars (haha…no)

14. What do your friends think of you? – Silence by Lizz Wright (not surprising)

15. What do your parents think of you? – Last Tango in Paris by Gotan Project (thanks?)

16. What do you think about very often? – Things That Make You Go Hmmm by C+C Music Factory (haha, if I had time I would)

17. What do you think of your best friend? – Pon De Floor by Major Lazer (?)

18. What do you think of the person you like?- Close The Door by Teddy Pendergrass (maybe if we were in a 1970s movie)

19. What is your life story? – Oh Maker by Janelle Monaé (i like this)

20. What do you want to be when you grow up? – Pirates Anthem by Shabba Ranks (of course)

21. What do you think of when you see the person you like? – My Heart by Lizz Wright (this could be true)

22. What will you dance to at your wedding? – Satisfaction by John Legend (i don’t think so)

23. What will play at your funeral? – Lovin’ U by Alicia Keys (maybe)

24. Biggest fear? – In The VIP by Soul Ballet (?)

25. Biggest secret? – Body and Soul by Nnenna Freelon (true)

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A New Chapter for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

 Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater recently introduced a new director to the company.  After 21 years, Judith Jamison has stepped down and Robert Battle has taken her place as artistic director. I was excited and intrigued to see how Battle will influence the company.  It was difficult for me to for see how anyone but Jamison could maintain AAADT’s legacy.  I attended their performance at the Kennedy Center on February 11th and I am happy to say I was not disappointed.

The first routine was “Arden Court.”  Choreographed by Paul Taylor in 1981, this piece had a classic ballet feel.  Dancing solely to string instruments, the technique and formations were very fluid and romantic.  It also had a very happy demeanor.

The second routine was “Home.”  Choreographed by Renee Harris in 2011, this piece was inspired by stories of people living with or affected by HIV.  Dancing to gospel house music, this routine definitely had the theater jamming.  Fusing hip-hop with jazz and lyrical dance, the attitude and soul was really contagious.

The third piece was “Takademe.”  Choreographed by Robert Battle in 1999, this was a one-man show.  The dancer is dressed in red pants standing alone on stage.  His movements were so fast and mechanical yet still fluid and full of character.  The routine was influenced by Indian Kathak dance rhythms.  I loved how they fused modern dance with comedy.

The final piece was of course “Revelations.” Choreographed by Alvin Ailey in 1960, no AAADT performance is complete without this number.   As usual, it took us to church and uplifted our souls.  Regardless of how many times I have seen this routine, it always does something to me.

This would be my third AADT performance.  Each of them have been a different experience, but this particular concert really showcased their diversity.  Each act was completely different and impeccably executed.  I must admit I was beaming with pride the whole time.  I think this new chapter for AAADT is a guaranteed success with more great work to come.

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Love, Peace, and Soul

 On February 1st, Don Cornelius was found dead at his home in Los Angeles with a gunshot wound to the head.  Shortly after this discovery, authorities ruled this finding as a suicide.  That morning I was running errands before class when my mother called me with the sad news.  It changed my entire day.

I am a huge fan and admirer of the style and attitude of the 1960s and 70s.  Last year I received the Soul Train DVD box set as a gift and spent a couple of days absorbing all of those episodes.  As I returned to my dorm to read the developments of the story, I couldn’t help but feel even more devastated by Cornelius’ passing.  The story was not the main headline for any news outlets.  Actually, the miniature bulletin about his death had already shifted down to make room for other mediocre stories.  There was no sense of pause or remorse or even recognition for the impact this man had on society and culture as a whole.

 For those who might not know, Cornelius was the creator and host of a TV show called “Soul Train.”  It is one of the longest-running syndicated shows in television history and played a critical role in spreading the music of black America to the world, providing exposure to artists like James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, and The Jacksons.

The impact this show made was not only limited to music.  It also influenced fashion, culture, and connections between cultures.  Essentially, Soul Train exposed its audience to a free and fresh state of mind.

Even though there was an outpour of tributes and sympathies from artists and activists who had worked with Cornelius, it didn’t seem enough.  I don’t want to sound stereotypical, but African-Americans do not make up a high percentage of suicide victims.  It was very hard for me to grasp what could have possibly pushed Cornelius to go to that extreme.  One would think the life of a legend should end peacefully.  Could life really be that bad?  All the people who owe their success to Cornelius, where were they?  It made me realize that we never really know what someone else is going through, especially if we don’t make the extra effort to be a true friend.

I decided to dedicate my show that week to Soul Train.  An hour of funk and soul, I described each artists experience on the show and plugged the VH1 documentary about Soul Train.  You can listen to the episode below.  As always, I wish you, and brother Don, love, peace, and SOUL.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Esperanza Spalding has done it again!

As you may recall, I am a huge fan and admirer of Esperanza Spalding.  You can read my post about her here.  The single off her upcoming album, Radio Music Society, came out last week and I am already praising it.  The track is called “Black Gold” and it is so inspiring.  Then I saw the music video – the imagery, the story, the style, the music, the lyrics, the message…I absolutely love it.  The album comes out March 20th.  I can’t wait!  Enjoy.

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February Spot

February usually has two connotations – the Month of Love and Black History Month.  I have two images that I think fit both themes quite nicely.  Enjoy.

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This happened on TAM airlines.

A 50-something year old white woman arrived at her seat and saw that the passenger next to her was a black man.

Visibly furious, she called the air hostess.

“What’s the problem, mam?” the hostess asked her.

“Can’t you see?” ,the lady said, “I was given a seat next to a black man. I can’t sit here next to him. You have to change my seat.”

“Please, calm down, mam,” said the hostess. “Unfortunately, all the seats are occupied, but I’m still going to check if we have any.”

The hostess left and returned some minutes later.

“Madam, as I told you, there isn’t any empty seats in this class. But I spoke to the captain and he confirmed that there isn’t any empty seats in the economy class. We only have seats in the first class.”

And before the woman said anything, the hostess continued

“Look, it is unusual for our company to allow a passenger from the economy class change to the first class.  However, given the circumstances, the commandant thinks that it would be a scandal to make a passenger travel sitting next to an unpleasant person.”

And turning to the black man, the hostess said:

“Which means, Sir, if you would be so nice to pack your handbag, we have reserved you a seat in the first class…”

And all the passengers nearby, who were shocked to see the scene started applauding, some standing on their feet.”

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