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just plain sara: 2007

Monday, December 31, 2007

Janet Jackson covers Prestige, Hong Kong…

What a way to bring in the New Year Ms. Janet. At 41 years young, Janet Jackson is giving her younger predecessors a run for their money in her latest magazine spread for luxury lifestyle publication "Prestige". You can read the full article here. Though her last album “20 Y.O.” didn’t do as well as planned, this year's box office hit “Why Did I Get Married” kept Janet firmly in the limelight (her third consecutive no.1 movie after “Poetic Justice” and “The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps”). Look out for Janet’s 10th studio album in 2008 tentatively titled “Discipline”.

Updated: I just noticed that Janet is wearing the Christian Louboutin boots from this post.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

I Like His Style!: Edwing D’Angelo

Designer Edwing D’Angelo hard at work!
Looks from D’Angelo’s much talked about Spring 2008 runway show.

I only feature designers on this site that I really believe have an amazing future in fashion, so it’s been a while since my last “I Like Her Style!” (or in this case “His Style”) feature. Thank goodness for Edwing D’Angelo, the Columbian born designer making waves in the fashion industry.

The oldest of five children, D’Angelo first came onto the scene in 2002. In less than six years in the industry he has dressed celebrities such as Vivica A. Fox, Lil Kim, Paula Garces, Nelly, Sean Paul and the legendary Patti Labelle. If that doesn’t convince you then maybe the fact that his classic garments influenced with South American flavor were featured in the hit movie “The Devil Wears Prada” (look out for the yellow, floral dress that Daniel Sunjata’s character shows to the notorious editor of ‘Runway.’)

D’Angelo, who comes from a long line of tailors and seamstresses, always had a love and longing for fashion. In an effort to express his creative talent, D’Angelo, who worked fulltime at an immigration law firm, moonlighted as a stylist on various photo shoots and assisted with wardrobe on numerous video shoots and produced countless pageants. It wasn’t until he designed a prom dress for his younger sister that D’Angelo began to realize his destiny. The gown was such a big hit amongst his sister’s friends that he ended up making 32 in total. In 2002 he opened up his first boutique.

Edwing D’Angelo’s gallery-like showroom embodies an air of classic minimalism infused with a refined Latin flair located in the heart of SoHo. He currently has three collections under his belt. “Karaz By Edwing D’Angelo”’ is his vibrant ready to wear day and office wear. “Edwing D’Angelo Couture,” which contains details to perfection, is his one of a kind evening wear and “Edwing D’Angelo Bridal” is his sensual wedding gown collection. All three lines are masterfully crafted and tailored made. See the video footage below of Edwing D'Angelo on BET J.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Sharon Leal

Sharon Leal arrives at the 'This Christmas' world premiere at the Cinerama Dome on November 12, 2007 in Hollywood, California.
Sharon Leal has had a good year by any actresses’ standards. The rollover buzz from “Dreamgirls” brought in the New Year, then “Why Did I Get Married?” was a roaring success. Finally, the movie “This Christmas” is rounding out the year nicely but let’s not talk about “Motives 2,” it’ll probably put a downer on things! In this Steal Style edition I picked Sharon’s red carpet look for the “This Christmas” premiere. Though the heels she picked are a little ugly, the flapper dress is to die for. See below for a close alternative.

Steal Sharon’s Style…

Dress: Ruffled Dress by Mint Jodi Arnold, $242, www.shopbop.com
Clutch: Lara Bohinc 107, $248.40, www.accessorieslounge.com
Earrings: Silver Hoops with Lucite Heart Charm, $9.99, www.xoxo.com
Heels: Kenneth Cole New York Jazz Club, $168, www.zappos.com

Fashion, much like life itself, is eternally cyclical (deep huh?!). The 1920s flapper dress has resurfaced and is more vibrant and quirky than ever. The turquoise pulls this look into the new millennium. Black tights with sliver sandals would make this outfit a winter winner, however if you live in warmer climates, bare legs always look sexy. Just make sure you pedicure game is on point!

Best of the Rest…

Left to right: Tory Print Tiered Dress, $68.99, www.ardenb.com; Bizz Black Flapper Dress, $61, www.lulusfashionlounge.com; Tiered Chiffon Dress, $48.50, www.alloy.com

The three dresses above cost less than $100 each, which is a bargain considering how cute each one is. Take this retro look all the way with a sequin clutch and t-bar strap heels.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Green with Envy

Rihanna arriving at the World Music Awards 2007, November 4, 2007 at Monte Carlo, Monaco.
Nia Long was one step ahead of the herd at the 2005 Black Movie Awards at the Wiltern Theater on October 9th in Los Angeles, California.
Mary J. Blige arrives at Conde Nast Media Groups 2007 Movies Rock at the Kodak Theater on December 2, 2007 in Hollywood, California.
Beyonce arrives at the Conde Nast Media Group presents 2007 Movies Rock at the Kodak Theatre on December 2, 2007 in Hollywood, California.
Chrisette Michele performing at her album listening party this summer just gone.

Green has never been my color. It just never enticed me in any way, shape or form. Lately however, I’ve spotted some of our favorite red carpet starlets light up the venue in unapologetically green frocks. Take one stunning dress in an emerald green hue and viola!, instance chic is born. Together the ladies have convinced me that my next cocktail dress will be satin, green and oh so sexy. If you need more convincing also check out Rihanna’s green dress at this years Grammy’s.

My Picks!

Left to right: Armona Dress, $37.99, www.gojane.com; Edie Dress, $33.50, www.guess.com; Linen caftan dress, $65, www.victoriassecret.com; Signature Silk Collection Silk Wrap Dress, $99, www.spiegel.com (Up to size 18).
Left to right: Maggy London Silk Twill Shift, $138, www.nordstrom.com; Maggy London Silk Chiffon Halter Dress, $138, www.nordstrom..com; Maggy London Sleeveless Silk Dress, $148, www.nordstrom.com; Nicole Miller Strapless Silk Dress, $420, www.nordstrom.com
Left to right: Taboo silk jersey dress by Zac Posen, $1650, www.net a porter.com; 3.1 Phillip Lim Sleeve Shift Dress, $449, www.pinkmascara.com; Embroidered Cutout Dress by Catherine Malandrino, $595, www.shopbop.com; Cami Dress by Rebecca Taylor, $249, www.shopbop.com

I had trouble finding floor length gowns in green. I took comfort in the fact that most of us don’t have a senior prom coming up! ;) This may seem obvious but green dresses look great with metallic or black shoes and accessories. Green shoes may be overkill but a green clutch is a wardrobe must!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Shake Your Booty Part Deux!

Gabrielle Union shopping at Paige Premium Denim in Los Angeles, December 20, 2007.
1. Novet Slouchy Boots by Qupid, $69.90, www.flyjane.net; 2. Lennon, $110, www.dune.co.uk; 3. Devoted, $119.99, www.stevemadden.com; 4. Wrap It Up Boot, $39.50, www.alloy.com; 5. Dolce & Gabbana Brown Leather 'D' Buckle Tall Boots, $1196, www.bluefly.com; 6. Zari 13101 Boot by www.bronxshoes.com; 7. Oriana Tall Boot, $475, www.colehaan.com; 8. Vagary, $119.99, www.ninewest.com; 9. Elegy, $199, www.ninewest.com; 10. Gadsdena, $200, www.aldoshoes.com

I haven’t had time to post this week. I’m settling into a new job and beginning to look for an apartment but I scraped together a few of my favorite stylish, winter boots online. All are inspired by Gabrielle’s pair spotted on a recent trip shopping in LA. And what is this season’s trend? Buckles. A simple buckle or two can give an ordinary boot some edge.

Note: See “Shake Your Booty” part one here and here.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Liya Kebede does Harper’s Bazaar…

Liya Kebede’s photo spread for the January 2008 issue of Harper's Bazaar is nothing short of fabulous. The elegant and classy Ethiopian model dons a series of new designer threads many of which have not been seen by the public yet. My favorite dress is the ruffled, turquoise above by Burberry Prorsum priced at a mere $1,195! See more designer duds in this slideshow then check out Jurnee Smollett and Terry Pheto’s photo shoot, for January 2008’s Vanity Fair...

Jurnee Smollett Comes of Age…

Eve’s Bayou star Jurnee Smollett is all grown up and loving it! The twenty-one year old (is she really that old!) is strutting her stuff in the 50s pin-up inspired calendar shoot for Vanity Fair. See what the rising star had to say about her latest role in “The Great Debaters” starring Denzel Washington and Forest Whitaker.

The Vanities Girls

Since 1992, the magazine’s Vanities section has opened with a full-page portrait of a promising young star. In September 2006, we tweaked the format: the Vanities opener now features an up-and-coming actress in a 50s-style pinup shot. These shapely ingĂ©nues are on the cusp of fame or have just hit it big; they have names you need to know and faces you won’t have trouble remembering.

January 2008:
Jurnee Smollett

Age:
21.

Provenance:
New York–born, but with lots of time logged in L.A. as a member of a peripatetic acting family.

Potential Oscar bait as … Samantha, a star of the Wiley (Texas) College debate team in Denzel Washington’s The Great Debaters, out on Christmas Day. The film is based on the true story of Wiley’s 1935 team, an unheralded crew from a small black school that, guided by a remarkable poet and English professor named Mel Tolson, challenged Harvard for the national championship. (Washington not only directs but also plays Tolson.) “My character is based on a woman named Henrietta Wells, who’s still alive at 95,” says Smollett. “I spent time with her, stayed in her house in Houston. She made me breakfast in the morning. I sang in her church.”

If Smollett looks oddly familiar, it’s because … half a lifetime ago, she was a ubiquitous child actor, appearing on such TV shows as Full House, Cosby, and Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper, and playing the title role in the 1997 film Eve’s Bayou. She also appeared with her five real-life Smollett siblings—those would be Jazz, Jocqui, Jake, Jojo, and Jussie—in the short-lived 1994–95 ABC sitcom On Our Own.

Introducing Terry Pheto…

Terry Pheto may be new to this acting thing but she’s doing well for someone based in South Africa. The young beauty has two movie releases scheduled for next year including one monumental role that’ll have Hollywood tongues wagging. Read more below…

July 2007: Terry Pheto

Age:
26.

Provenance:
Vaal Triangle, South Africa.

Walked the red carpet at the 2006 Academy Awards … on account of her starring role in Tsotsi, which won the Oscar for best foreign-language film.

Walked it like she talked it because … Pheto is a product of a poor, crime-ravaged township outside of Johannesburg, much like the one where Tsotsi takes place.

Next: She'll play a daughter of Nelson Mandela's in Bille August's Goodbye Bafana, a film based on the memoirs of one of Mandela's white prison guards. And after that? "Audition, audition, audition. Unlike Hollywood, we in South Africa don't have enough movies being made. Therefore your choices are very limited."

Monday, December 17, 2007

my first commission



It took about a month to complete due to working just at night and on weekends, but I did complete my first commissioned costume. It was a very large super suit (2XL) which required a whole lot more fabric than I normally have to purchase. I felt bad having to charge so much but double the fabric really did add a lot to the cost. For example, I can get some good quality spandex for $20/yd (retail) and for my own suits, I only need 2.5 yards but for such a large suit, the pants alone were 3.5 yds.

I don't know when the recipient of the costume will receive it. It was commissioned by this person's friend as a present. So in order to get any kind of pictures, I asked my boss at the comic book shop to don the costume. He added a Yoda pillow to his waistline and struggled with the mask because I didn't want to add a lot of glue to his face or the mask, just enough to take to the pictures; but in the end, we had Bill put together enough to model for a few shots.

This suit is made out of a knit material basically the stuff that most T-shirts are made out of; I made the cape out of lining material to keep the cost down. It's an original character called Captain Fatman and the creator originally used the old fashioned Green Lantern (Alan Scott) as his costume inspiration. I took that look and swapped a few things but kept the basic color scheme: red, green, purple, gold. The shin guards were just red shiny things from Wal-Mart that I repainted.

Cash, Check or Charge?

Cash: Patent Lace Up Riding Boots, $44.99, www.gojane.com
Check: Patent Leather Lace Front Knee Boots, $89.90, www.flyjane.net
Charge: Avedere patent lace-front boots by Christian Louboutin, $1250. www.net-a-porter.com

Remember Naomi’s stylish stint at the New York Sanitation Depo? En route to her new job she once rocked the bondage-inspired Avedere boots by Christian Louboutin. I believe hers were suede but you can also nab a sexy pair in patent leather. Janet Jackson also rocked them at a recent shoot. If your budget, husband and/or credit card won’t allow such a purchase ($1250 from Net-A-Porter.com) visit www.flyjane.net and www.gojane.com for more affordable options.

Note: The suede Christian Louboutin Avederes are available at Neiman Marcus for $1120 but you can also get a cheaper pair at Flyjane.net.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Designer Sample Sale in the District…

If you live in the DC metro area you must attend Sin PR’s event for eager fashionistas in the District. Featuring designers such as Kimberly Robinson, L-Shandi, Tulle for Lily Lily and Belabumbum, the Georgetown venue will host a sample sale sure satisfy our Christmas spirit. The event is being held over two days but if I were you I’d get there on a Wednesday. See below for more details. Make sure you RSVP.

When: Wednesday 19th & Thursday 20th, December, 2007
Time: 6pm – 9pm
Where: 1624 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 2, Washington, DC 20007 (Above Tabaq boutique & nect to Urban Chic)
Cost: Free to attend but you must RSVP at ycastro@sinpr.com

Saturday, December 15, 2007

If I Had My Way: Mary J. Blige

Mary J. Blige attends LIFEBeat presents “Live Beats” honoring Stephen Hillon December 4, 2007 at the Highline Ballroom in New York City.
Mary at the “I Am Legend” premiere, the “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute” and a candid in New York City, all within the last month!

I think it’s safe to assume that Mary J. Blige will not be appearing in any “I’d rather go naked than wear fur” promos for PETA. So attached is she to her furry cover-ups, Mary has been spotted wearing a different fur coat at no less than seven events in December alone. Now, I’m not one to judge but I would like to see Mary explore other outerwear options. It would be quite unfortunate to see the queen of hip-hop/soul doused in red paint.

If I Had My Way… I’d intorduce Mary to some of this season’s oh so cute high collared coats. Every diva worth talking about should have one.
If I Had My Way… I’d take Mary to see a hair stylist. It’s time to let the blond go. Wouldn’t it be interesting to see Mary rock a longer cut – maybe just past the shoulders with plum undertones.
If I Had My Way… Hoop earrings are so boring Mary. Visit Isharya.com to step your accessory game up!
If I Had My Way… I’d buy Mary ankle boots in every color. Her current taste in boots is on point, but it’s always good to try something new.
If I Had My Way… I’d play up her cheek bones a little more. Mary would look great with a more contoured cheek bones and a little bit of blush.

How would you update Mary? Especially considering she's got stiff competition coming up behind her in the music industry. You've got to keep your image fresh.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Frills and All...

Dress: "Black Halo" Cami Dress in Black/White, $345, www.PinkMascara.com (Also available at Shop Intuition)
Jennifer Hudson, Kevin Liles’ guest Robin and Tocarra of ANTM arrive in style.

Trend Alert: What do you get when you mix one high-waisted pencil skirt, one frilly white shirt and a killer belt? How about a hot red carpet look that doesn’t require flashing inches of skin. Though the pencil skirt has been around since the beginning of time, teaming it with a crisp, frilly shirt gives it a distinct, new edge. The rigid, straight lines of the skirt look amazing against the soft ruffles of the shirt. The item I picked above is by the designer “Black Halo.” Since a full-sleeved shirt can allude to office wear, this sleeves option can transition seamlessly from the work day to evening cocktails! Add either a thin or thick statement belt and your ready for a red carpet worthy entrance of your own.

Note: Check out the same "Black Halo" dress in grey - Gorgeous!

Eva Chleo

Sample sales are so passĂ©. This weekend head to trendy boutique Eva Chleo in LA for a promotional event that practically gives away new products from THIS season. Officially called a “warehouse inventory sale,” expect to get 30% - 50% of brands such as rue Religion, Diesel, BCBG Max Azria, Betseyville Bags, DKNY, Dolce and Gabbana and Ed Hardy. Make sure you get there early. A good sale waits for no (wo)man!

When: Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th, December, 2007
Time: 11am – 6pm
Where: Eva Chleo, 1200 S. Hope Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015
Contact: inquiry.evachleo@gmail.com

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Street Style: Sheronna, Toronto

I thought we had safely locked fannypacks in the fashion volt along with spandex cycling shorts, shoulder pads and anything with excessive frills. I was wrong. Toronto native Sheronna has revived no less than three “back in the day” trends – the big 80s reading glasses, spandex shorts (with polka dots!) and the infamous fannypack (a regular purse will do). I’m surprised to say that she’s actually working this look in the way only someone 110% confident in their skin could. I could never pull this off but I do like the gray tights and converse pairing. Visit Streetpeeper.com to browse through more everyday style mavens all over the world.

Jacket: ZARA Jean Jacket
Shirt: White H&M Polo Shirt
Shoes: White and Turquoise H&M Sneakers
Shorts: Blue and Turquoise H&M Shorts
Tights: Grey H&M Tights

Monday, December 10, 2007

Rock On!

Rihanna arriving at a performance for “Viva Live” in Germany Friday, 1st June, 2007.
Kyla Pratt attends the Ed Hardy store opening at the Beverly Center on December 1, 2007 in Los Angeles, California.
Keke Palmer arrives at the 'This Christmas' world premiere at the Cinerama Dome on November 12, 2007 in Hollywood, California.
Fefe Dobson at a 2006 photo shoot.

The Teyanna Taylor post, and subsequent comments, got me thinking about what styles younger girls are wearing these days. Along with skinny jeans, cutting edge sneakers and “blinging” accessories, our youth have fully embraced graphic tees and hoodies. In particular, young ladies like Rihanna, Lil’ Mama and Fefe Dobson are rocking (pun intended) music inspired tees with a harder edge. Since it’s cold as hell here in D.C. (hey, we can’t all be in LA) also consider a rock inspired hoodie.

My Picks!

Left to right: Beautiful Butterfly Face Tee, $12.50, www.wetseal.com; Rock Star Guitar Girl Tee, $12.50, www.wetseal.com; Tattoo Heart Tee, $12.50, www.wetseal.com; Run-Dmc Group Tee, $26.50, www.urbanoutfitters.com Left to right: Jimi Hendrix Boyfriend Tee, $38, www.urbanoutfiters.com; Love Dies Hard Tunic, $84, www.drjays.com; Flying Heart Tee, $15.50, www.wetseal.com; Marc Bolan Sequin Back Top, $44, www.topshop.com
Left to right: Miss Me Don't Give a Hoot Hoodie, $66, www.lulusfashionlounge.com; Graffiti Hoodie, $80, www.drjays.com; Rock Star Sweatshirt, $19.50, www.wetseal.com; Skull Doodle Hoodie, $39.50, www.delias.xom

Wetseal.com have by far the best selection of rock-inspired tees and hoodies and you can't argue with their prices!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Style Spotlight: Teyana Taylor

Alas, my Sweet Sixteenth was far from fabulous. If my memory serves me right my parents paid the entry fee for all my friends and I at the local roller rink. Afterwards we skated merrily home. Teyana Taylor on the other hand threw a birthday party to end all birthday parties. The recently signed musician to Pharrell’s label Star Trak, made her grand entrance dressed as a life sized, black Barbie doll. The bubblegum pink Heatherette dress she wore summarized her style so perfectly – skater street but all the way sweet. She’s a strange hybrid between Aaliyah, Lupe Fiasco, and Debbie Harry. I chose to spotlight her before her album drops next year. I love how unique she is, especially in this increasingly homogenous music industry. I haven’t heard any of her music so I shall reserve judgment on that but based on her image I am 100% intrigued. Visit her MySpace page to learn more and listen to some tracks. Also check out this cover of Trace magazine that Teyana recently appeared on.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Tia Mowry

Tia Mowry arriving at the Kissable Couture Launch Party at Apothia, Fred Segal on November 13, 2007 in West Hollywood, California.
Tia Mowry has really evolved style-wise and I actually look forward to seeing what she’ll be wearing on the red carpet. Here she is wearing those incredibly popular mini, bubble dresses. Instead of the sequins that a lot of dresses have on the top half of the dress, Tia’s has more subtle gem detailing. I picked a dress with a great bow detail to distinguish it from the millions out there. I don’t think these dresses will work with tights but if you through on a cute trench coat and pointy heels you should be ok.

Steal Tia’s Steal…

Dress: Black Sequin Bubble Dress, $90, www.missselfridge.com (They ship to the U.S.)
Nail Polish: 60 Second Vinyl Shine in Time Out (881) see www.rimmellondon.com
Heels: Violette Satin Pump, $129, www.bebe.com
Clutch: Cecile Clutch in Grey, $24, www.oohboutique.com

If you want to avoid looking like the other three people at the party wearing a dress like this, go with a purple one instead (Sequin Bubble Dress, $128, www.bebe.com. The black nail polish Tia is wearing on her nails adds a nice twist but opt for a deep purple instead. It’s less severe.

Congratulations Keanna from Chicago, Illinois…

She won the Liucia.com / I Like Her Style giveaway. I hope you’ve stopped screaming! The answer was “21” but I allowed those who answered “20” to enter since there was some confusion over two bags that looked the same :). Stay tuned for future giveaways and thank you to all 678 of you who entered. Shout outs to Nobu of Liucia.com for setting this up. Visit Liucia.com to browse through all their items from apparel to unique accessories that you can’t find anywhere else!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Catwalk Copy

I know Kenneth Cole’s Spring 2006 runway show is "a few" seasons old but I’ve had my eye on his deep blue summer dress (which Brazilian model Emanuela de Paula wore) for quite some time now so you can imagine how happy I was when by chance I ran across Forever 21’s great look-a-like. Granted the sun ain’t shining anymore but I’ll let you in on a little secret, I do a lot of my summer shopping in the winter. Not only do you get end of season items for ridiculously reduced prices, you also find it easier to locate your size in off-season items simply because no one else is really checking for them. In the summer a goreous dress at a popoular store can sell out in one day. I suggest buying coats and jackets in summer and conversely dresses and open-toed heels in winter. Planning ahead never hurt anybody! If you prefer the traditional route and would rather wait until the actual season has arrived before buying the appropiate clothes, at the very least ask the store manager what days they receive their new stock so you can have first pick on everything.

Dress: From Kenneth Cole New York's Spring 2006 Ready-to-Wear runway show (above)

Copy: Gathered Bubble Hem Dress, $22.80, www.forever21.com (right)

Monday, December 3, 2007

Creature Comforts

Avoid looking like grandma this winter by picking edgy sweaters as opposed to traditional and boring knitwear. Pick items that show off your neckline as well as flattering your feminine shape with a belt. You could even use a completely different belt than the one that comes with your sweater like a leather obi belt. The good thing about sweaters and cardigans are that they suit everybody and don’t have to be expensive. Add other cute accessories like pendants, chandelier earrings and brooches to make this look extra chic. For another twist buy a knit handbag like the one posted above (Gerard Darel Dublinblush, $399, www.shoprumor.com). This would go perfect with any of the sweaters above.
Left to right: Lianne Sweater Cardigan, $34.80, www.forever21.com; Cowl Neck Sweater by Ciel, $496, www.my-wardribe.com; Seed-Stitch Cardigans in Medium Heather Gray, $36.50, www.oldnavy.com; Plush Tunic Sweater, $10, www.wetseal.com
Left to right: Esprit Cabled Cardigan, $89.50, www.shop.nordstrom.com; Chunky Wrap Cardigan, $44, www.asos.com; Oversize Wrap Sweatercoat, $59, www.victoriassecret.com; Open Knit Hoodie, $128, www.freepeople.com