Go Natural With These Chic & Sustainable Fashion Trends

As ‘Hot Girl Summer’ slowly fades into ‘Fierce Girl Fall,’ we’re getting into going natural -- and this time, we’re not talking about hair. Thanks to water pollution, the use of toxic chemicals and increasing levels of textile waste used to create clothing, Mother Earth is really going through it and it’s time that we do something about it. Fashion brands are trying to turn a new leaf by switching to sustainable fabrics and textiles to create clothing ethically. As it turns out, not only is ethical fashion good for mother nature, but it’s ultra chic and a bomb way to add rich texture to your closet! 

Sustainable is the new chic! Go green with us and make the planet happy by incorporating these ethical fabrics into your closet.

Straw

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Fun fact: Your favorite summer staple is also good for the planet! It’s a low impact, low carbon building material that makes the perfect accent for a flirty look without doing damage to the earth. Although it’s a Summer go-to, don’t be afraid to pull it out for a cute Fall moment with accessories like bags, and even shoes! It’s rich texture and neutral tones will keep you styling all September.

MILQ’s Picks

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KNOTTY
Woven Tassel Top Handle Bag
$69

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MIA
Renita Raffia Wraparound Straw Sandal
$69

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#BuyBlack
Brother Vellies

Basket Stell Straw Mule

Hemp

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Not only is hemp one of the oldest fabrics on the planet, but it’s one of the most stylish. It requires no pesticides, herbicides,  fungicides, and little water to cultivate, making it an easy and ethical fabric choice to style on ‘em from Summer into Winter without harming the planet.

MILQ’s Picks

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Mara Hoffman
Whitney Hemp Jumpsuit

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#BuyBlack
Flowers by Tracy Reese
Natasha Drop Waist Midi Dress
$250

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Back Beat Rags
Hemp Boiler Suit
$48

Wood

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Remember those wooden Cult Gaia cage bags that you keep seeing on your feed? It’s about time that you cop one of your own! Wood is a renewable material, which means that it provides energy for the planet AND bomb texture to any look. That’s a win win if we’ve ever seen one. 

MILQ’s Picks

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AQUA
Wood Beaded Tote
$41

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ETTIKA
Wood Disc Earrings
$55

Cult Gaia
Luna Bamboo Crossbody Bag
$220

Linen

Give the girls all of the life in linen! It’s an organic, biodegradable, and recyclable fiber that just so happens to look and feel fierce. Get into the earthy vibes and create a moment in linen dresses, structured tops, and flowy co-ord sets all season long. 

MILQ’s Picks

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Reformation
Mara Linen Two-Piece
$153

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ASOS
Linen Utility Dress
$56

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Reformation
Cerise Linen Dress
$130

*This article contains affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase, MILQ Mag may make a small commission.*

Tracy Reese's New Clothing Line 'Hope for Flowers' is Stylish, Sustainable, and For the Culture

To many of us, Tracy Reese is the black aunty of high fashion. For over 21 years she’s been out here shining, achieving every accolade that a designer could dream of from dressing First Lady Michelle Obama and THE Oprah Winfrey, to continually staying relevant in a highly competitive, ever-changing industry. All the while, she’s used her platform to celebrate ‘real women’ by advocating for diversity and inclusion long before the rest of the industry caught on to the game. Now, Tracy Reese is out here innovating once again as she leads the wave of fashion designers who are making the switch to sustainable fashion, while creating the blueprint for other black designers to do the same.

Source: Hope for Flowers by Tracy Reese

Source: Hope for Flowers by Tracy Reese

During a recent conversation with Vogue, Tracy Reese shared about why it was important for her to return to her roots in Michigan to create Hope for Flowers; her newest brand that is focused just as much on helping the planet as it is on helping stimulate her home state’s local economy. Not only is her brand’s reinvention a testimony to defining your own path, but every flirty silhouette and handcrafted pattern in her newest collection is a vibe.

Hope for Flowers by Tracy Reese
Pascaline Silk Midi Dress

“This many years into my career, I needed the challenge. I needed to shake things up and to recommit to my work in a fresh way and in a way that I felt good about. Not just the routine of designing collection after collection, but a slower, more thoughtful model where everything has intent. I’m getting back to all the things I love about design.”

Hope for Flowers is everything that we’ve come to love about Tracy Reese’s bold yet sophisticated designs, but created with natural textiles and produced 100% domestically. Not only did Reese draw every print for the collection by hand,  but she trained and employed local women who work in her newly opened factory located in Flint. The pieces they make at this factory are exclusively sold at a black owned boutique in Michigan, Detroit is the New Black. There’s levels to Hope for Flowers’ ethical approach, which prioritizes ethical use of natural materials and human labor while keeping the black dollar circulating in our community longer.

Source: Hope for Flowers by Tracy Reese

Source: Hope for Flowers by Tracy Reese

Hope for Flowers by Tracy Reese
Cleo Striped Midi Skirt

The more I learned about fast fashion and cheap production in general, I just knew that was the antithesis to everything I was thinking about...If you’re selling a garment for $10, let’s just do the math and understand what that means for all the people along that supply chain. It’s like slavery. I knew I didn’t want anything to do with that, so it made me get really serious about what I did want.”

Tracy Reese’s switch to sustainable fashion also signals an opportunity for small black designers to gain a competitive edge over fast fashion brands as ethical production becomes more important to customers. While fast fashion brands like Forever 21 and Zara are busy releasing ‘green collections’ for clout, black designers like Aurora James of Brother Vellies and Sindiso Khumalo have managed to sustain truly ethical brands with far less resources. Their small production runs are already a great first step, and as more black designers venture into sustainability and even open up their own small factories, they’ll be more knowledge and resources accessible to pass around. 

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Hope for Flowers by Tracy Reese
Michelle Floral Midi Dress

“Everyone can do a little bit, and then you can do a little bit more, and a little more. People are mystified about where to begin, but there are a lot of ways to approach it.”

We stan for Aunty Tracy for using her platform to create real change for the environment AND for the culture! Hope for Flowers is now available at Anthropologie and at Detroit is the New Black. Shop the collection now.

MILQ EDITORIAL: ROSS REVIVAL

Model: Lily Lightbourn Herbert follow on Instagram @lilylightbourn  FEATHER BOA: ALEX VINASH @ALEXVINASH

Model: Lily Lightbourn Herbert follow on Instagram @lilylightbourn

FEATHER BOA: ALEX VINASH @ALEXVINASH


Inspired by an era of classic glamour and feminine liberation, we take a modern style spin on the groovy 70’s. Here’s an inside look into the makings of digital editorial—ROSS REVIVAL—and the full feature editorial.

Hair and makeup by Chinaza Moses @beautybetweenthelines

Hair and makeup by Chinaza Moses @beautybetweenthelines

PLEATED GOLD TOP & BOTTOMS: ALEX VINASH @ALEXVINASH

PLEATED GOLD TOP & BOTTOMS: ALEX VINASH @ALEXVINASH

FEATHERED DRESS: ALEX VINASH @ALEXVINASH

FEATHERED DRESS: ALEX VINASH @ALEXVINASH

 

ROSS REVIVAL


PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANDREW PARSONS AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

Hair and makeup by Chinaza Moses @beautybetweenthelines; model is Lily Lightbourn Herbert @lilylightbourn at Marilyn Agency NY

Ruffle Some Feathers in Summer's Hottest Trend

Summer is almost here, and we're ready to ruffle some FEATHERS in our favorite runway trend of the season! With the help of these celebrities and street style babes, we're giving you 5 reasons why you should be wearing feathers ALL. SUMMER. LONG.

Sally LaPointe, Balmain, Tom Ford, Ashi Studio, Mary Katrantzou

Sally LaPointe, Balmain, Tom Ford, Ashi Studio, Mary Katrantzou

Feathers Are EXTRA AF

Extra will be your middle name whenever you walk through in a feather statement piece. Not only are feathers timeless and chic but they’re lightweight, making them an easy touch of texture to take your look from basic to far from it -- even during the warmest months of the year.

Take cues from our girl Winnie Harlow & Tracee Ellis Ross; fashion girls who are never afraid to take a look the EXTRA mile.

No need to take yourself so seriously -- fashion should be fun! We’re all about making your own fashion rules, and feathers allow you to do just that. Although feathers are trendy, there’s no shortage of ways to defy the rules of style by putting your own twist on it.

Our girl Janet Mock proved just that with her Met Gala look this year, and we love how our Insta Fashion crush Juliette Foxx (@RomeosFashionFix) completely made this feathered look her own.

Janet Mock

Juliette Foxx (@RomeoFashionFix)

Feathers Are Curve-Friendly

Haters will tell you that curvy girls can’t wear feathers, but we beg to differ! As fearless queen Lizzo can attest to, feathers are chic for women of every shape & size, period.

Feathers Are Versatile

No need to go all out with a head to toe feathered look; use them as an accent for your look instead! Find pieces with feathers used as trim, or feathered accessories to amplify your outfit, and you’ve achieved a simple slay.

Jordyn Woods

Rox Brown

Jennifer Oseh

Nichole Lynel

SHOP THE TREND WITH THESE BLACK OWNED BRANDS

MORE PLACES TO SHOP THE TREND

MILQ EDITORIAL: SHADOWED BEAUTY

Model: Soshee follow on Instagram @sosheba

Model: Soshee follow on Instagram @sosheba

Bright and bold hues, minimal accessories and silver makeup details— here’s an inside look into the makings of our first digital editorial—SHADOWED BEAUTY—and the full feature editorial.

Creative Director and stylist Christian Joy Riley wanted to create a dramatic contrast with the models skin tone and bright color wardrobe. The emphasized effect created the dramatic shadow character Soshee, the model, embodied so well.

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SHADOWED BEAUTY


PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

PHOTOGRAPHED BY PHILIP VUKELICH AND STYLED BY CHRISTIAN JOY RILEY

Hair and makeup by Chinaza Moses @beautybetweenthelines; model is Soshee @sosheba at Fenton Model Management

Are Mini Bags a Go or a No?

Source: Harper’s Bazaar

Source: Harper’s Bazaar

At one point or another, we’ve all fell victim to the ‘Mary Poppins effect,’ carrying around oversized handbags with everything we think we’d ever possibly need inside. As extreme as that might seem, the mini-bag trend of the moment may have it beat. These bags, which were initially made popular by Jacquemus when they premiered in their Spring 2018 runway show, are popping up everywhere in different forms -- from being worn around the neck to being worn on the waist as a mini bag belt. It’s even been recently spotted on runways dangling from the finger of models as a comical 2-inch accessory courtesy of the label that started it all: Jacquemus, of course (Come on though -- where they do that at?).

So why are these mini bags’ all the rage this season? Maybe because they’re ironic like last season’s ‘dad sneaker’ trend, or maybe because they’re just so irresistibly adorable! Regardless of the reason, we’re taking a look at the fashion killers who caught on to the trend early and deciding once for all; is the mini bag trend a GO or a NO?

Queen Bey

Leave it to Beyonce to have us second guessing how functional mini bags can actually be. Worn as a belt bag, it looks like an easy option for a quick run or even a concert when you want to pack light. Plus, it’s the perfect pop of color to set off this multicolored ensemble.

Love the Look? Secure the Jacquemus green belt bag here or find a similar option here.

Rihanna

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If a trend is in style, rest assured that Rihanna did it first. While we may not be quite ready to start wearing our handbags as necklaces, we’re sold on RihRih’s monochromatic moment topped off with a classic Jacquemus mini bag.

Love the Look? Secure the Jacquemus yellow mini bag  here or find a similar option here

Marlo Hampton

Marlo Hampton has been spotted in the mini bag trend a few times since it’s gone viral, so there’s no doubt that she’s a huge fan. She makes a great case for the trend as an easy option for a day out on the town -- as long as you pack light, of course.

Get her Christian Dior Patent Leather mini bag here or find a similar option here.

#ShopBlack and find a similar option to her chandelier mini bag here.

Lori Harvey

When it comes to style, Lori definitely gets it from her mama. The style maven is always up on the hottest trends and this one is no different. Her pyramid YSL mini bag is a LOOK but what we really want to know is, how much smaller is she willing to go?

Get her YSL Pyramid Box Mini Bag here or find an affordable alternative here.

The Clermont Sisters

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Never ones to shy away from a trendy moment, it’s no surprise to see that these bad girls were among the first to be spotted in the mini bag trend. Wearing it as a crossbody paired with dad sneakers and a jersey dress gives it a fun sporty twist, but its functionality is still the ultimate mystery.

Love the Look? Secure the Jacquemus yellow mini bag  here or find a similar option here.

MORE PLACES TO SHOP THE TREND

*This article contains affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase, MILQ Mag may make a small commission.*

Celebrity Collections You Need in Your Closet

Rihanna has the entire fashion industry shaking in their boots with the release of her first Fenty Collection, making history as the first black woman to head an LVMH brand. But she isn’t the only black A-lister who is forging diversity in the fashion industry. In fact, a groundbreaking number of celebrity collections have been released this year in partnership with women of color  -- and of course, we’re here for it!

While every celebrity collection isn't created equal, these MILQ favorites certainly are! Here's a roundup of the celebrity collections that we're coveting right now, and where you can shop them!

Zendaya x Tommy Hilfiger

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With the help of her fairy God brother Law Roach, Zendaya has become a full fledged fashion icon in her own right. Just in time for Paris Fashion Week, she announced that her covetable style would now be shoppable via her Spring 2019 collab with Tommy Hilfiger. Tapping into the playfully color and expressive trends of the 1970’s, the collection is bold yet incredibly wearable for the everyday woman. During its Paris Fashion Week premiere, the collection was modeled by all-black models in a diverse range of ages, shapes and sizes -- including 70’s icons Grace Jones and Pat Cleveland.

Gab Union x NY & Co

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In 2017, Gabrielle Union added fashion designer to her resume when she premiered her debut collection in partnership with New York & Company.  With an average price tag of less than $100 and a wide size range of 0-20, the collab is known to make headlines for its chic designs and easy accessibility.  Her most recent collection is inspired by “busy moms who need easy, cute and comfortable clothes “ for the entire family to match in -- including the dog. It features a wide range of chic & cozy separates, dresses, and denim.

Lala Anthony x Ashley Stewart

LaLa Anthony might be known for slaying red carpets, but she has a sporty side that  she puts on full display in her recent collection with Ashley Stewart. Realizing the lack of options available for curvy women besides “florals and ruffles,”  she designed a capsule collection featuring items that she considers her go-to’s while she’s on the run.

Serena by Serena Williams

Serena Williams is after much more than her 24th Grand Slam  -- she’s after a seat at the fashion table, too! Serena by Serena Williams doesn’t solely  aim to create pieces that are stylish. The Tennis champion also wants to empower women to feel unapologetically confident and authentic when they’re wearing her pieces. Showcasing an incredibly diverse range of models and style choices on her website, the collection is challenging both fashion and social norms simultaneously.

Ivy Park by Beyonce

Sporting an athletic collection from the woman who claims to rehearse for hours then do a lap on the stair master seems like a no brainer -- especially when that woman is Beyonce. Ivy Park was once exclusively owned by Beyonce but recently, she announced  that the brand will be re-launching soon in partnership with Adidas. On its own, Ivy Park was already pushing the envelope of style by seamlessly merging athletic wear with street fashion. Now that Adidas has joined the bandwagon, the brand plans to expand its collection to include sneakers.

*This article contains affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase, MILQ Mag may make a small commission.*

Your Fave Childhood Trend is Back: Hair Clips & Statement Barrettes

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Do you remember back in the day when your mom would make you sit down for hours to deck your hair out with colorful clips and blinged out barrettes? Well it turns out that she might have been on to something! Who knew that in 2019 hair clips, aka barrettes, would make a massive comeback in high fashion? Embraced by luxury designers and indie brands alike, statement clips aren’t just a trend; they’re a form of expression, spelling out everything from the name of your favorite brand to trendy adjectives or phrases. The trend has even been embraced by fashion heavy hitters like Rihanna and Solange, making it a must-have accessory for all unfiltered fashionistas.

It's time to make a statement with your hair accessories. Here are our favorite style mavens who've been spotted in the statement barrette trend, and the black owned brands where you can shop it now.

SHOP THE TREND WITH THESE BLACK OWNED BRANDS!

Humans Before Handles

Lace by Cataleya

The Style Animal

More Places to Shop the Trend

*This article contains affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase, MILQ Mag may make a small commission.*



The Blackest Moments from the Met Gala 2019 Red Carpet

Let’s be real; The first Monday in May might be the biggest day of the year for fashion, but it’s never been the most diverse. This year that all changed with the amount of sheer blackness that was present on the Met Gala red carpet, topping anything we’ve seen in the event’s 71-year history. 

This year’s theme, “Camp: Notes on Fashion”, refers to the freedom that stems from fashion that is highly exaggerated, theatrical and ostentatious. Needless to say that when it comes to unapologetic forms of expression as a means for liberation, black people can clearly relate. Making room for more black designers than the Met Gala has ever seen and sending subtle nods to some of the most influential black artists of our generation, the biggest black celebs in fashion and entertainment showed up and showed OUT to interpret Camp Culture from the black perspective. With all this blackness present, we’re hopeful that it signals a new era for diversity at the Met Gala for years to come. Here’s our roundup of the best & blackest moments from the 2019 Met Gala red carpet:

Big Freedia & Ciara Twerk to Bounce Music on the Met Museum Steps

If you thought that twerking couldn’t make history, you better ask Big Freedia and Ciara. The Queen of bounce music and the Princess of Crunk kicked off the evening’s festivities with a gold ‘ole NOLA-style twerk session to Big Freedia’s single ‘Play.’  This was a huge moment for the culture in more ways than one, especially considering that camp culture is hugely inspired by Queer P.O.C. who are often excluded from the mainstream narrative. Add in Ciara’s epic afro puffs and you’ve got the blackest Met Gala entrance of all time.

Everything’s Gucci: Dapper Dan Dresses Regina Hall, Ashley Graham & Bevy Smith

IT’S ABOUT TIME! Pioneer of streetwear fashion Dapper Dan finally made his debut on the Met Gala red carpet, swagging out five celebrities in his pieces including Regina Hall, Ashley Graham, Bevy Smith, 21 Savage and Omari Hardwick.

Bevy Smith went ALL black for the occasion, wearing a cape by Dapper Dan, a gown by Kimberly Goldson, shoes by Tiannia Barnes, and a crown by Anthony Maxwell.

Lena Waithe Rolls Up in a ‘Zoot Suit’ by Pyer Moss

Pyer Moss designer Kerby Jean Raymond is never one to be subtle in sending a pro-black message through his designs. This year’s Met Gala was no different, as he showed up with his date Lena Waithe in matching zoot suits. Not only were their zoot suits a nod to a treasured camp staple in African American communities, but their pinstripes were made up of lyrics from their favorite black musical artists including Tupac, Nipsey Hussle, Thelma Houston and Diana Ross. Black jewelry designer Johnny Nelson designed the custom gold sculpture portrait buttons and black power fist cuff links for both suits.

To top it all off, the back of Lena Waithe’s blazer read ‘Black Drag Queens Inventend Camp’ while Kerby Jean-Raymond’s read ‘Fix Your Credit, Pool Money, Buy Back the Block.’ Message, received.

Pyer Moss also dressed Lala Anthony in a money-themed dress that had her in her bag, plus Colin Kaepernick whose look was inspired by Ghanaian, Egyptian and Nigerian traditional garb.

Tracee Ellis Ross Brings it Back to Harlem with her Lorraine O’ Grady Inspired Look

Tracee took the quote "One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art” literally in the inspiration for this year’s Met Gala. Her look was inspired by black artist Lorraine O’ Grady’s performance piece, ‘Art is,’ where she positioned blackness as art by holding up gold frames to onlookers who attended the 1983 African American Day parade in Harlem.

Lupita Nyongo Lets Her Flow Glow with Gold Afro Picks

There were so many natural hair moments on the Met Gala red carpet, but Lupita’s might have been the most special. Her elaborate fro, decked out with gold ‘black power’ picks, was inspired by a self-portrait created by Lauren Kelley entitled “Pickin.’” The hairstyle, which was executed by Vernon François and hairstylist Sharif Poston, was designed as the ultimate celebration of black beauty.

Aurora James Wants You to Rethink How You View Camp

While everybody else tried to dazzle on the red carpet with gowns made of man made materials, Brother Vellies designer Aurora James came through with an entirely nuanced perspective. In Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay, “Camp: Notes on Fashion,’ she states that nothing in nature can be campy. Aurora James challenged this notion by donning a Swahili-inspired look made entirely of all-natural materials, asserting that Sontag’s notion eliminated black culture -- and specifically groups with limited access to man made synthetic materials--from this important narrative.

Tiffany Haddish & Kelela Walker Play Homage to Black Music & Film

You can’t have a ‘Camp’ themed Met Gala without a Pimp Named Slickback making an appearance. Tiffany Haddish came through and made it happen by donning a self-proclaimed ‘Pimperalla’ sequined  suit and matching hat to the Met Gala red carpet. She fully committed to her character by carrying fried chicken in her bag, trolling us all by playing into this popular (and triggering) black stereotype.

(Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue)

(Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue)

Meanwhile, actress KiKi Layne channeled the Notorious B.I.G. by sporting Gucci leggings that read “Gucci Down to the Socks” under her Gucci gown. And if you’re wondering, yes, she was wearing Gucci socks.

If there’s anything we can learn from this year’s Met Gala red carpet, it’s how integral black people have been to Camp culture. It’s about time we get that credit, and thanks to all of the black creatives who showed out this year, we did.

Find Your Inner Cowgirl with the Yeehaw Agenda Trend

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Black people have always had the horses in the back; Lil Nas X just made sure that the rest of the world knew that. While history books may tell us differently, black people are deeply rooted and essential to the history of cowboy culture. As the infamous @theyeehawagenda Instagram page will show you, our black superstars have used fashion as a way to reclaim our space in cowboy history since as early as the 1990s.

Lately the yeehaw agenda has experienced a huge resurgence in black culture. Regarded by art critic and writer Antwaun Sargent as “chic and thriving,” the trend has exploded online in large part to black designers like Pyer Moss and Telfar,  Solange’s latest project When I Get Home, and even Lil Nas X’s controversial country hit single Old Town Road. From fashion editorials to the Indio dessert and even major red carpets, black fashionistas are making a cultural statement and channeling their Southern roots by incorporating cowboy aesthetic into their style.

Take some notes from these style mavens on how to put your own flare to the trending yeehaw agenda movement.

THE SOUTHERN BELLES

Solange Knowles

Kelly Rowland

THE FESTIVAL BABES

Megan the Stallion

La La Milan

THE FASHION KILLAS

Make Up Shayla

Aaliyah Jay

Kahlani Barfield

Cardi B & Hennessy

Let It Reign: Metallics & Bold Colors

New York is a world in itself. During fashion week, it becomes the epicenter of all things fashion, style and innovation. This fashion week was all about color, metallics, amazing artistry and DIVERSITY!

My first day of shows began with the Fashion Hong Kong show. The collection that stood out to me most was the 112 Mountainyam because of its use of textures, colors and prints. We know that neon and fringe will be a major trend for 2019, so seeing these two trends being incorporated in this collection had me sitting on the edge of my seat taking notes.

Facebook: @112mountainyam  Instagram: @112mountainyam  Website: www.112mountainyam.com

Facebook: @112mountainyam

Instagram: @112mountainyam

Website: www.112mountainyam.com

We saw inclusiveness with the 11honore presentation with Laverne Cox closing the show in a bold red tulle dress

Picture courtesy of Harper’s Bazaar

Picture courtesy of Harper’s Bazaar

The Chromat show should have been renamed “Curvy Chromat” because it was a study in body positivity, diversity and celebration of all things color and WOMAN. I felt proud to be a woman of color as I sat through this beautiful collection.

Pictures courtesy of stylishcurves.com

Pictures courtesy of stylishcurves.com

Picture Courtesy of Teen Vogue

Picture Courtesy of Teen Vogue

Again, we see the neon trend all over the Chromat show. Another Trend that literally went viral was the slogan gowns and slogan clothing all over the runway. Viktor and Rolf had the internet laughing and sharing the ingenious designs he debuted during Paris Couture Week.

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Pictures courtesy of Getty Images

Pictures courtesy of Getty Images

I attended the Global Fashion Collective I show and saw this global trend first-hand with the collection by Canadian brand M.E. The collection by Michelle Elizabeth was hyper feminine with a distinct color palette of black and white. She opted to put slogans that made a statement and were thought-provoking

Photos courtesy of Giovanni Giannoni

Photos courtesy of Giovanni Giannoni

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Metallics is another popular trend that revives every season. We saw it heavily in the Balmain 2019 show.

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Pictures courtesy of Vogue Magazine

Pictures courtesy of Vogue Magazine

Street Trends was a study in bold colors, outlandish accessories and innovative layering due to the frigid NYC weather.

Photo courtesy of Imaxtre

Photo courtesy of Imaxtre

Photo courtesy of Nylon Mag

Photo courtesy of Nylon Mag

Photo: MATTHEW SPERZEL/GETTY IMAGES

Photo: MATTHEW SPERZEL/GETTY IMAGES

Every show was a wonderment in fashion, style and happily more diversity than I’ve seen in most NYFW shows. So, make sure to keep an eye out for vibrant colors, fringe, metallics and a little slogan here and there as you shop for your 2019 wardrobe staples.


Funmi Ford www.houseofodara.com

Instagram: @funmiford

Facebook: www.facebook.com/houseofodara

Black Face Is Not A Trend: High Fashion's Struggle With Cultural Awareness

It isn’t breaking news that there is a blatant lack of diversity in the fashion industry. But this fact becomes even more painfully apparent every time a designer releases yet another problematic design featuring inappropriate, culturally insensitive imagery. Gucci is among one of the most recent brands to face a firestorm of criticism after they released an $890 ‘balaclava’ black-knit women’s sweater featuring a pull up turtleneck with a design that closely resembles black face. The offensive design was only heightened by its horribly timed release during Black History Month, alongside the simultaneous leak of photos showing Virginia Governor Ralph Northam in black face in his medical school yearbook.

Photo cred: Gucci

Photo cred: Gucci

In response to the controversy, Gucci removed the sweater from shelves. President and CEO Marco Bizzarri explained the misstep to be the result of “ignorance.” In reality, this ignorance is part of a much deeper-rooted problem in the fashion industry, which is its blatant lack of inclusion and a stubborn unwillingness to create seats at the table for a more diverse range of designers and creatives. When everyone in the boardroom and design studio looks the same, there’s a limited scope of cultural awareness that allows seemingly harmless ignorance to spiral into acts of hate that are allowed to pass as a fashion statement.

Gucci isn’t the only fashion house to recently be under fire for using black face in their designs. Just a few days after the Gucci controversy took wind, Katy Perry Collections made the decision to discontinue a pair of shoes that were released last Summer featuring large red lips, a wide triangular nose and blue eyes which came in nine different colorways, including black. In 2016, Moncler has to pull their “Malfi” jacket and shirt from shelves, which featured a similar black-face design.

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Last December, Prada also faced extreme backlash for their ‘Pradamalia’ line, which featured characters depicting monkey-like figures with black faces and large red lips resembling black face. They immediately halted circulation of the line, which included branded keychains, cell phone cases, clothing, jewelry, and various leather goods. Just days after the Gucci controversy made headlines, Prada announced the launch of their new diversity council aiming to "elevate voices of color within the company and fashion industry at large” with Ava Duvernay and Theaster Gates appointed as chairs.

Prada’s appointment of a diversity council is the most extreme response thus far to the black face controversy, with most other brands simply opting to discontinue the products and issue an apology. Although it's a step in the right direction, it wreaks of a publicity stunt rather than a genuine desire to better understand how to properly navigate culture sensitivity. Ava Duvernay has no connection to fashion, however she is a highly revered film director with enough respect in the black community to immediately capture our attention and make headlines. There are plenty of black designers and creatives within the fashion industry who may not have Duvernay’s platform, but possess the talent to contribute great ideas beyond just ensuring that the brand makes socially responsible decisions (*calls up Brandice Daniels*). The internal structure of these companies is what needs to change, rather than them simply implementing a separate entity that sounds like its only purpose is to create the illusion of politically correctness.

This impenetrable glass ceiling for creatives of color in fashion has long existed, as a vast majority of heritage fashion houses are of European heritage. Generations later, few of them have branched out to diversify their internal teams. In fact, it was only a year ago that Virgil Abloh made history by becoming Louis Vuitton’s first African-American creative director and one of the only black designers to ever be appointed to lead a heritage fashion house. Just last year, Gucci regained the good graces of the black community by releasing a capsule collection in collaboration with style icon Dapper Dan. But these slow steps towards progress aren’t enough to combat the cultural gap that needs to be bridged in the fashion community. With black people being among the biggest consumers and possessing the largest buying power in the U.S., it’s simply unacceptable that we are still fighting to break this long-existing glass ceiling in the fashion industry that leads to such poor, culturally insensitive decision making. Intentional or not, it’s a form of profitable exploitation that validates ignorance and intolerance in pop culture.

Spring/Summer 2019 Trends To Wear This V-Day

With the season of love coming quickly upon us, there’s no better time to pull out those flirty & fun staples from the back of your wardrobe. Whether you’re planning to have date night with your beau, single girls night out with your mains, or an evening of wining and dining yourself, the Spring 2019 Haute Couture runway shows in Paris showcased plenty of romantic and flirty looks for you to get some serious inspiration. This year swap out your little red dress for one of these high fashion runway moments that are just as flirty as they are trendsetting!

Ruffled in Love

Long gone are the days of associating ruffles to your favorite childhood frock. As flattering as they are feminine, there is an almost regal quality to ruffles that explains why they always find their way back into style. They’re also incredibly flattering, drawing attention to focal points that you want to accentuate while concealing parts that you don’t. To achieve a dramatic evening look for a romantic night out, opt for a ruffled dress paired with subdued jewelry.

SPOTTED ON THE RUNWAY

Left to right: Valentino, Ralph & Russo, Alexandre Vauthier, Balmain, Ralph & Russo

Left to right: Valentino, Ralph & Russo, Alexandre Vauthier, Balmain, Ralph & Russo

SPOTTED STREET STYLE

Flirty In Floral

Valentine’s Day may not be during the Spring season, but the overwhelming feeling of love in the air makes it okay to pull out your florals a little early. Many of us opt for red as the go-to color of choice for the season, which is among the list of colors that are a match made in heaven for a good floral pattern. Try a sheer floral blouse, a cute floral accessory, or mix trends with a ruffled floral number; all of these are perfect options for a first date where you may want to keep things light and casual..

SPOTTED ON THE RUNWAY

Left to right: Valentino

Left to right: Valentino

SPOTTED STREET STYLE

Tons of Tulle

There’s not a single girl in the world who didn’t yearn to walk the streets of NYC in a tulle skirt after watching the intro of Sex and the City for the first time. This Valentine’s Day is your opportunity to relive that iconic Carrie Bradshaw moment by wearing a dramatic tulle skirt of your own. It’s playful, comfy, and easy to dress down for an edgy look; the perfect option for a girlfriend’s night out on the town.

SPOTTED ON THE RUNWAY

Left to right: Giambattista Valli, Giambattista Valli, Jean Paul Gaultier

Left to right: Giambattista Valli, Giambattista Valli, Jean Paul Gaultier

SPOTTED STREET STYLE

Left to right:  @iamminglee ,  @s4de_u ,  @jackieaina

Pretty in Pink

Red, move aside — pink is the color of choice for Valentine’s Day this season. Not only does it pop on melanin skin like no other, but it’s quintessentially feminine, making it the perfect color to wear if you’re trying to show your sweet side to your beau. Keep it mellow with a paler shade of pink, or add some finesse with a bold fuchsia.

SPOTTED ON THE RUNWAY

Left to right: Giambattista Valli, Valentino, Valentino, Balmain, Antonio Grimaldi

Left to right: Giambattista Valli, Valentino, Valentino, Balmain, Antonio Grimaldi

SPOTTED STREET STYLE

Fierce in Feathers

Airy and ethereal, feathers add an effortless grace to your look by complimenting the natural flow of your movements. They’re also a throwback flirty favorite, seen prominently worn on some of our favorite fashionistas of the 90’s (anyone else a fan of Clueless?). For Valentine’s Day, seek out a look featuring feathers if you’re planning an action-packed night of dancing, sightseeing, or anything that will allow those feathers to add an extra pep to your step.

SPOTTED ON THE RUNWAY

Left to right: Balmain, Valentino, Valentino, Giambattista Valli, Ralph & Russo

Left to right: Balmain, Valentino, Valentino, Giambattista Valli, Ralph & Russo

SPOTTED STREET STYLE

#OOTD: Snakeskin and Sequins

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Snakeskin is still ruling the concrete jungle as this season’s statement-making favorite and sequins are still a sure way to shine day or night. They’re both considered statement pieces in their own right, but you can definitely break the rules and rock these trends together. Let me show you how to pull off a trend-setting look that will break the Internet. Get ready to experiment and let your own personal style shine through!

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First, I took this black sequin over-sized Donna Karan top I purchased from a second-hand store years ago. I love this top because it’s SO versatile. You can wear it off the shoulder, tie it up in the front for a cropped look, or wear it as a t-shirt dress. I chose to wear it as a t-shirt dress with a short bodysuit underneath. This was the perfect combination because I could wear the top off the shoulder and also have the appearance of shorts below for extra coverage.

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Next, I added these snakeskin over-the-knee boots from Ego. The boots SET IT OFF! Here’s why it worked so well. The neutral snakeskin boots complement the black sequin top. Some may assume that it would be “too much” to rock these textures at the same time. But when it’s in a black and white colorway, the print can be mixed and matched with anything. If done in a bold color, the snakeskin print would definitely be the main statement piece. Remember: complement, don’t compete. You can also rock these boots with a similar snakeskin print dress or blazer in a tone that will compliment each other well.

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I added this trendy leather newsboy cap from Nasty Gal and the infamous “Migos” glasses that I picked up from the local beauty supply. Holy Chic! I was ready for whatever wearing this look—walk the streets in style, hit the runway, photo shoot for an album cover, and even attend a trendy late night function. You will seize the day or night in this fit!

This look was so dope because it was all about experimentation. Sometimes you think things may be “too much” and it ends up being just right. My best advice is to never shy away from risk-taking. You can rock the trends in a way that don’t fit in. Remember, be unique. But, most of all, BE YOU!


Keep up with Ashley on My Living Spree by visiting her blog at www.mylivingspree.com or follow her on Instagram @ashleycockrell

Outfit details:

Top: Thrifted

Boots: https://egoshoes.com

Bodysuit: https://www.missguidedus.com

Hat: https://www.nastygal.com

Glasses: Local beauty supply

Photographer: @jp.hanney

Stylist: @thefashionchase

5 Looks That Are Perfect For New Years

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adobe stock

There’s more to it than glitter and sequin; but they’re both a great place to start!

It’s the time of year that we’ve all been waiting for -- party season! For the everyday girl who’s always on the go, this is the one time of year when we all have an excuse to do the most and pull off our best glam #InstaWorthy looks. While sequin has become a staple trend for this festive time of year, there’s no harm in switching it up, going against the grain, and letting our own signature style shine through. From bold metallics to fiery animal prints, there’s plenty of sequin alternatives that’ll make you shine just as bright this holiday season. Here are our favorites, styled by some of our go-to style inspirations.

Metallic - For the Girl Who Wants All Eyes on Her

Shine, but not too bright! Opt for a sleek, subtle alternative to sequins that still stands out. Bold yet understated, a metallic piece can be the perfect statement for your New Year’s Eve look that you can easily transition into a permanent item in your wardrobe.

Animal Print - For the Babe Who’s Spicy & Sporty

The verdict is in; animal print is officially the new black. From a neutral snake print to a flirty cheetah print, there are countless ways to style them -- especially if you’re attending a more casual event, or looking to make a statement while staying comfortable. And yes -- mixing & matching animal prints is MILQ approved!

Crushed Velvet - For the Hopeless Romantic in Search of a Midnight Kiss

Crush velvet, not hearts in a bomb look that’s playfully understated in all the right ways. Crushed velvet brings volume and depth to any look, especially when it is paired with a rich jewel-tone that compliments your melanin.

Business Suit - For the Girl Who Clocks in Early & Clocks Out Late

Take your business mentality beyond the boardroom and head to your holiday party in a head-to-toe look that screams boss. Opt for a plaid pattern to add some extra spice, or wear a monochromatic suit topped off with fur to really steal the show.

Monochrome - For the Fashionably Fearless

Keep it cool in a monochrome look that’s easy to pull off, but hard to ignore. Add some extra flair by mismatching your accessories, or incorporate some sequins to show off your holiday spirit.