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

adobe stock

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.