just plain sara: January 2007

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Introducing Lauren…

A dress from Lauren Moffatt’s 2006 Fall Collection
Pieces from their latest Resort 2006 Collection

I think I’ve just died and gone to heaven… Vintage-inspired heaven. While browsing my previous internship’s site (DCStyle.com), I came across a heart-stopping designer called Lauren Moffatt. She is definitely someone to look out for. Already spotlighted in Vogue magazine and on Net-a-Porter.com, Moffatt’s designs have got people in the industry talking. Moffatt, and her partner Rob Pepin, have actually been around since 2000 and they've coveted a celebrity clientele that includes Eva Mendes, Cameron Diaz and Michelle Williams. Visit www.laurenmoffatt.net to take a peek at her ‘resort’ collection as well as her Fall and Spring 2006 lines.

Style on the Go…

Joy Bryant arriving at the 13th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium last Sunday in Los Angeles.
Marsha Abrosius performs at the Quincy Jones Listen Up Foundation Q Prize Awards at the Core Club last week in New York City.
Jamelia holds out a bottle of the new rougeberry scent from bodyshop at the Bodyshop store on Oxford Street last week in London.
Anika Noni Rose on the red carpet of the 13th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on Sunday in Los Angeles.

Joy Bryant and Anika Noni Rose killed it at the 13th Annual Screen Awards earlier this week. Joy Bryant’s dress is pure perfection. I believe it’s by Valentino and the jewelry is from Bulgari. Anika Noni Rose is wearing Fiandaca with a Mary Norton clutch. The poor girl has been overshadowed by her co-stars but watch out for her this year, she already has a prestigious Tony Award under her belt plus two movies and a TV series called “Starter Wife” all are due to be released later this year.

British songstress Jamelia launched MTV and Rougeberry’s new fragrance as part of a campaign to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS. The fragrance is part of Bodyshop's, ‘spray to change attitudes’ campaign aimed at empowering women to look after their sexual health. She looks great as per usual; don’t forget she has two children. Jamelia is engaged to footballer boyfriend Darren Byfield. They have a 13-month-old daughter together called Teja.

Finally Marsha Abrosius of Floetry performed solo at Quincy Jones’ Listen Up Foundation Q Prize Awards. According to YBF he was honored with the ‘Mentor of the Year’ award by the Harvard School of Public Health. Marsha is looking too cute in that dress… off to listen to some “Floetic.”

The Votes Are In…

Thank you to everyone who voted for “I Like Her Style!” I won the ‘Best New Blog/Site’ category of the Glam Network Awards which is a HUGE honor! I couldn’t have done it without all the wonderful readers of this site. Thanks again :) I have a couple of tricks up my sleeve for this year so stay tuned and continue to tell all your friends!

From the Horse's Mouth...

CoverGirl's PR reps sent me this statement regarding the 'casting call' that occurred earlier this week. They read your feedback and passed it on to CoverGirl :

Thank you to all the women who showed up and stood in line in the cold for the CoverGirl Queen Collection casting call to share their stories on what makes them a “queen.” I was completely overwhelmed by the response and apologize I didn’t get to meet everyone! We couldn’t have predicted the number of women who would participate or the weather, and we’re disappointed we were unable to hear more stories. We heard from almost 300 amazing, inspiring women from all walks of life -- WNBA players, policewomen, cancer survivors, abuse victims, rappers, women from shelters, mothers, daughters, grandmothers, etc. -- and from all parts of the country beyond the tri-state area – Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, etc. We’re passionate about finding the perfect queen and honored so many women wanted to share their stories.

Queen Latifah and CoverGirl


Monday, January 29, 2007

My Funny Valentine…

Vivian Green on the cover of her self-titled album wearing ‘Myla’ lingerie.
Left to right: Peek-a-boo Bra $30, V-String $18 by Sexy Little Things, www.victoriassecret.com; Sugar n' Spice Mesh Babydoll, $69.50, www.lasenza.com; Underwire Multiway Bra $115, Shorts $75, from Body Love Collection, www.myla.com; Honeydew Intimates ‘Racey Lacey 1699’ Bra $28, Panties $14, www.shop.nordstorm.com
Left to right: Guia la Bruna Enfant Gate Bra, $180, www.glamorousamorous.com; So Smooth Chiffon, V-String $39.50, www.lasenza.com; Damaris Ruby Swarovski Bed Jacket, $190, www.glamorousamorous.com; Chantilly Lace Bustier, $337.60, www.fairefroufrou.com

Alas I’ll be alone this Valentines Day but that doesn’t mean I won’t be receiving any presents. Even if I have to buy my own gifts than that’s the way it’s going to be, but before I break out the Kleenex, let me share with you may favorite lingerie pieces. They are all bound to drive your man to partial insanity. If you don’t see anything here that you like visit Lucky Magazine.com’s extensive list of lingerie sites and shops. Glamorous Amorous has by far the cutest sets. Plus size ladies or women with an ample chest visit Hips and Curves or Lane Bryant.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Eyes Have It…

Inner & Outer Corners: Both Nia Long and Alicia Keys chose to concentrate their eye shadow color in the inner and outer corners of their eyes respectively.
Under the Eye: Ashanti and Rihanna prefer to leave their top eyelids bare and let their bottom lids do the talking.
Top Eyelid: Christina Milian and Jada Pinkett-Smith prefer the conventional approach and opt for color above the eye.
Smoky Eyes: Garcelle Beauvais and Kerry Washington perfect their red carpet pose with smoky eyes and nude lips.
Nude Eyes: Sanaa Lathan and Danielle Evans keep things simple with a nude eye and a dash of eyeliner.

First of all my apologies, I’ve been so busy since the beginning of the year and I've not been posting as often as I should but as soon as things settle down the site will be back to normal.

If you’re anything like me then you’re probably on a life long quest to find the ultimate mascara or the perfect, ever illusive smoky eye - Garcelle what’s your secret? Her secret is probably her makeup artist but don’t despair, we mere mortals can huddle together and come up with some tricks of our own! I picked five of the most popular red carpet looks and they’re all achievable. Note: Any makeup artists out there should feel free to drop a little knowledge ;)

Products I’m Lovin’...

Inner & Outer Corners: Chrome Yellow Eyeshadow, $14, M.A.C.; Ivy Shimmer Ink, $18, Bobbi Brown; Foxy Lady Kohl Pencil, $13.50, M.A.C.; Bright Shadow Duos in Brazen, $6.99, L’oreal

To achieve this look precision is key. If you’re using a cream or matte eyeshadow, apply with a thin brush or pointed cotton swab. Alternatively you can invest in a high pigment pencil (kohl is best). When sharpened they provide the most accuracy and easiest application. Also try using 2 colors like Nia. One for the point of your inner-eye (silver/gold) and the other for the inner corner to the center of your eye. Keep the color close to your lash line, you don’t need to venture into your eyelids. Oh and don’t forget the lashings of black mascara.

Under the Eye: Royal Hue Shadowstick, $16, M.A.C.; Baby Violet the Violet from Face Palette Blush, $50, Bobbi Brown; Showy, $6.99, L’oreal; Sandstorm Eyeliner Pencil, $18.50, Nars

Kohl eye pencils work best for this look because they’re soft and melt into the skin. However, if you want a softer, less defined look like Rihanna, opt for a shadow. Once you apply the color to your eyes use your fingers or a sponge to blur and blend. Add a black eye liner (liquid or kohl) onto the top lash line and apply mascara. You can play around and use a blue or green mascara for this look and a natural bronze-based color for your top lid.

Top Eyelid: Flammable Paint, $16, M.A.C.; Iman Luxuty Shadow in Safari, $7.99, www.walgreens.com; Tranquil Rose Dream Mousse by Maybelline; Plum Dressing Eye Shadow, $14, M.A.C.

The most reliable of eye makeup looks and thus, the most conventional. When all else fails I myself revert to a little color on the top lid. You can work this look with or without eyeliner, but make sure the color is deeper and stronger nearer the lash line. Don’t you just hate in when people take bright eyeshadow color right up into the brow? Show some restraint! The color should fade into your skin seamlessly so blend, blend, blend as you move upwards and use your fingers.

Smoky Eyes: CoverGirl Volume Mascara, $6.99, www.cvs.com; Jet Black Creamy Eye Pencil, $20, Bobbi Brown; Soft Kohl Kajal Eye Penicl in Jet Black by Rimmel, $2.99, www.walgreens.com; Maybelline Night Sky Expert Eyeshadow, $3.75, www.duanereed.com

Someone once told me that the best smoky eye is achieved using layers. Buy a great creamy eyeshadow, preferable one with a little shimmer, then apply lightly and build the color up slowly one layer at a time. Brushes are essential for this look as they keep things neat however use a sponge to blend the color into your skin (for saturation). Also, use a base if your skin is oily, it’ll help the makeup last longer. Once you’re done with the application process, smudge strategically and don’t forget the eyeliner (which you should apply first). I might try a smoky eye in aubergine… tres chic!

Nude Eyes: Coffee Shop by CoverGirl Queen Collection, $7.48, www.walgreens.com; Decameron Cream Shadow, $20, Nars; Copper Penny, $17.50, Estee Lauder; Ebony Eye Pencil by Iman

If you can find an eyeshadow close enough to your skin tone great, if not, all you need is some gloss (Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream) or even vaseline. Once you’ve applied the obligatory black, kohl pencil to your lash lines, lightly dab gloss (with your finger) into the crease of your eyes and into the inner corner of your eye. You could also use a slightly darker color than your skin tone just above the outer corner of your eye (on the upper lid). If you look at Sanaa you’ll see what I’m talking about. Finish with several coats of black mascara. Move the wand from side-to-side at the base of your lashes – it’ll make your lashes look longer.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I Like His Style!: Mario Testino

For my birthday I received Mario Testino’s book “Portraits.” It’s a concise collection of his celebrity photographs, many of which he exhibited all over Europe. The book is old (2002) and his exhibition is even older, but since I saw his pieces in person at the National Portrait Gallery in London, I’ve been pining for this book. If you’re a fan of photography that glamorizes celebrities, fashion, beauty and sex you’ll love this book. If, however, you prefer more gritty photography that strives for a deeper purpose then this isn’t for you! I’m not going to lie, I have stacks upon STACKS of glossy magazines that I’ve kept just for the pics, many are by Testino. Also do a google search for his infamous Princess of Diana shoot… Gorgeous!

South African Fashion Week Expands...

Following on from our discussion on South African fashion I thought you’d all be interested in reading the article below and watching this video footage. It was recently announced in SA that two fashion weeks would be added to their fashion scene. Keep an ear to the ground for Johannesburg and Cape Town Fashion Week this March (Autumn/Winter) and July (Spring/Summer).

SA Fashion to Receive a Major Boost

The fashion landscape of South Africa is set to receive a major re-shuffle with the announcement of two new world-class fashion weeks.

The events fill a long standing gap in the fashion calendar for an Autumn/Winter fashion week to bring South Africa in line with the international fashion calendar.

The Autumn/Winter Fashion Weeks will take place in March 2007 under the titles: Cape Town Fashion Week and Jo’burg Fashion Week. The events will run within days of each other to allow greater access by foreign media and trade.

The move was prompted by pressure from designers and fashion media to have a platform for Autumn/Winter collections and represents a coming of age for South African fashion; finally giving local designers a platform to compete on a global level year round.

The two new dates on the fashion calendar compliment the three major Spring/Summer fashion weeks that take place annually between June and July and the organisers will be looking at further synergies between all of these events.

“This is the most significant move in African fashion in the last decade; and represents a major leap forward for our designers. The launch of these events allows our designers to now compete internationally in both fashion seasons. Our goal is to make the world-class talent of South African designers more accessible to international audiences. We are looking forward to meeting with government and SACTWU in the hope that we can make sure the benefits of these Fashion Weeks are spread across the entire industry,” said Paul Jackson, Managing Director of Leisureworx.

This is the first major step towards a Pan-African fashion series involving partner events from across the continent.

As part of the initiative, driven by the need to make South African fashion more accessible to foreign trade audiences, Cape Town Fashion Week and Durban Fashion Week will be co-operating to hold Spring/Summer events back-to-back in 2007. [Source]

Dates for Spring/Summer 2006:
• Nokia Cape Town Fashion Week
11th -15th July

Dates for Autumn/Winter 2007:
• Jo’burg Fashion Week
28th February - 3rd March

• Cape Town Fashion Week
7th March – 10th March

Note: Jo’burg Fashion Week Autumn/Winter is a new, separate and distinct fashion week from South Africa Fashion Week (SAFW) Spring/Summer.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Jeans 101: Le Petite Pois!

Kelly Rowland at the NBA All-Star Weekend Basketball Game in Houston on February 18th, 2006. Mya posing at Heatherette's official launch of its young contemporary line at Macy's Herald Square in August of last year in NYC. Sherri Saum attending the Glam Slam 06' party presented by Tennis Channel, Sony Ericsson WTA Tour and ATP at Crobar last August in New York City. Eva Pigford arriving at the VMA Style Villa at the Bryant Park Hotel last August in New York City.

I’ve been chastised quite a lot (via email and other means of communication) for not including petite fashion enough on this site. I try my people, I try. However, note that it is much more time consuming to find great fashion and photographs of celebrities for petite and plus size posts – I’m working on it though. Here I’m continuing our ‘Jeans 101’ series and focusing on ladies who have a hard time finding jeans that are the right length or size, i.e. sizes 0, 2 or 4. See below for ideas and as usual leave comments and tips for fellow readers.

My Picks!

Left to right: Flare Curvy, $39.99, www.gap.com; Cherie Jean, $168, www.guess.com; Boot Cut 515 Jeans (Petite), $44, www.levisstore.com; Petite Midnight Rinse Low Rise Skinny Jean, $78, www.bananarepublic.com
Left to right: Paige Premium Denim ‘Laurel Canyon’ Petite Jeans, $179, www.bloomingdales.com; Worn Jeans 'Nikki Lo Lo' Skinny Bootcut Stretch Jeans, $89, www.nordstorm.com; Provocatuer in Maude, $158, www.couturecandy.com; Jag Jeans Foster Stretch Twill Jeans (Petite), $79, www.nordstorm.com

Banana Republic, Gap and Alloy.com have great petite jeans at reasonable prices but if you can afford to go a little higher try the brand Kasil. Denim doesn’t just come in the color blue, so think about wearing neutral colors like brown, camel and beige.


If my 'Jeans 101' posts haven’t taken you further on your quest for the perfect jeans you must head to Zafu.com. Take their quick and easy questionnaire to locate you perfect pair out of the 80+ brands they stock. They ask you everything from how tight you usually like your jeans to fit, right through to how much you like the back to gape (erm, no gaping for me thanks!). After you answer other more conventional questions about your size, height and shape, the site creates a list from their inventory that supposedly ‘fits you best.’ While you’re there look over their ‘fit tips’ for some sizing advice.

Credit: Thanks Allie Nicole for the site (even if you couldn't remember it!! ;)

Doing well with tote bags

My line of totes is going well. I've made enough mistakes by now that I pretty much have learned the way around those patterns. I made a killer messenger bag for the owner of my local comic book shop but I haven't given it to her yet. You can view the latest and greatest in my personal gallery.

I was starting to work on a woman's tunic with some shiny material but it kept sliding all over the place just trying to cut it out. The sleeves don't even match and that's as far as I've gotten with it. It's discouraging. I'm looking forward to creating my authentic Amber costume but it likely will not be slippery fabric. I may have to go with a faux leather which will be easier to cut.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Calling All Cover Girls!

Queen Latifah and CoverGirl are holding a casting call in NYC next week to find the next CoverGirl. Queen Latifah believes every woman is a “queen” and on Monday, January 29th, she is holding an open-casting call in NYC to find a new face to appear in an ad for the CoverGirl Queen Collection.

All women of color -- from Latina to African American -- ages 18-48 are invited to strut their stuff in front of a panel of judges, including Queen Latifah herself. Contestants will be asked to share their story as to how they have achieved both inner and outer beauty –whether it was through a recent accomplishment, community service, overcoming an obstacle or standing up for something they were passionate about. If you think you have what it takes head down there and give them your best pose! See details below...

What: Queen Latifah open-casting call to find a real woman to appear in the next CoverGirl Queen Collection advertisement

When: January 29, 2007 from 11AM to 4PM (line forms at 10AM)

Where: BB King Blues Club & Grill, 237 West 42nd Street (between 7th and 8th Avenues)

If you’re thinking about going get inspiration from these ladies. Thanks to Samara for the info.

Ciara Covers Trace Magazine…

There’s no rest for the wicked, especially when you’re in the midst of promoting a chart-topping album. Be sure to pick up a copy of my favorite magazine “Trace” which features Ciara. The photo shoot is cute but nothing we haven’t seen before. Also check out this cover of Fantaisa for Vibe Vixen… not her best. :(

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Cross Over to the Dark Side…

Themba Mngomezulu, the designer behind the label 'Darkie.'Photos from Darkie's fashion shows. One from a recent Levi's Show (first left) and the other three from South African Fashion Week, 2004/05.

South African fashion is so overlooked it borders on ridiculous. Fear not, while surfing the net I found an essential web site for those who are interested in keeping up-to-date with urban culture, lifestyle and general news in Joannesburg, Cape Town and other cities. There may be better sites out there but I quite like this one called Rage. While on the site I read about an emerging fashion guru called Themba Mngomezulu who designs for "Darkie," the label he founded in 2002. Themba credits his mother for his initial interest in fashion. She would trade second hand clothing from their garage and he still buys items from her to this day. With fashion in his veins, Themba moved to Cape Town in 2004 to fully realize his dream and with the help of his new partner, Azaad Carrim, Themba now runs a design house with 25 employees. He says of his design aesthetic:

‘We’re a fast-forward brand. We like to design both locally and globally. We’re a South African design team and we’re creating our Darkie style. We try not to focus solely on the international influences because they don’t understand our style. South Africa has an amazing 11 different cultures and that inspires us every day.’

Darkie is primarily a sportswear/lifestyle label. Many of their t-shirts feature cultural icons such as Muhammad Ali, Ray Charles and Nelson Mandela and their favortie material of choice seems to be denim. You can read more about Themba here. I’ve yet to find a web site but I’ll keep you posted ;)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Proenza Schouler for Target

Isaac Mizrahi had better watch his back. The delightful designing duo that is Proenza Schouler have made an exceptional ‘resort-wear’ collection for Target. Debuting later this month, the line consists of a tantalizing array of fitted bustier tops, flirty sundresses and sizzling beachwear (you can preview the collection here). Word is nothing will cost more than $50 which is amazing considering the quality of the clothes. You can also read this article by a journalist from PaperMag.com. She viewed the collection in person and had plenty of positive things to say. I’m already drooling over this jewel blue and turquoise bustier dress. Ladies you’d better get your camping gear ready, fashionistas are not going to be playing around when this collection debuts… Does anyone want to go two-sies on a tent?!

Credit: Spotted at Fashion-Nettework :)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Mellow Yellow

A dress from the Versace Spring 2007 ready-to-wear collection.
Trend Prediction: Yellow dresses. I know it’s a little early to be yearning for Spring but when it arrives be a bright young thing and invest in a stunning yellow dress. I usually don’t like Paris Hilton’s style but I adore the dress she wore to Fox’s TCA party last year – it makes me feel like shift dresses were made for the color yellow. Reese’s gorgeous, strapless dress is by Nina Ricci. Pairing it with red heels was genius. Most fashion sites are naming Reese as their best dressed woman at Monday night's Golden Globes. I think half the fun of wearing canary yellow is finding the right accessories, they are so many possibilities! And as if you needed any more encouragement notice how great yellow looks on darker skin tones (see Garcelle).

Note: See the last Trend Alert: Tight Fix.

What Say We?... Yay or Nay?!

Vanessa Williams arriving at the 64th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Monday night in Beverly Hills, California.

I think Vanessa Williams looks absolutely fabulous! She knows what works for her body and dresses appropriately for her age. I think her hair looks a little too wild but it doesn’t hinder the overall look of her outfit. I say ‘Yay!’ I do have one question though… Isn’t she sweating hard under that fur in the California heat?!

Eva Mendes

Eva Mendes at the Sony Global Marketing Partners' Conference Closing Celebration held on Rodeo Drive in September of last year in Beverly Hills.
I love the flesh-colored/neutral dresses that I see all the time on celebrities but I ask would they have the same effect on us black girls? The whole point of this trend is to wear ‘neutral’ colors that seamlessly blend in with your skin but if we can’t find an outfit that matches our skin tone it doesn’t really work. I remember an episode of Sex in the City, the one where Carrie visits Vogue, she had on an amazing pair of nude, patent Manolo Blahnik slingbacks (she actually wore them throughout season four). They looked magnificent… on her. Where can I find a pair like that? Let a sista know! Anyway you can get a similar dress like Eva’s made for you via Gorgeous Couture (U.K. only). Ladies here can see below.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Patterns are not designed for superdogs

I have a very simple pattern for 4 styles of dog coats which I wanted to master before attempting the costumes. I must say, that after making 2 of the easiest coats, some dogs must really be damn tiny. The coat length part seems totally normal but the necks are very tiny. The first one is too small to fit around Princess Caicó who is not at all interested in being a fashion model, especially of canine fashions when she is far superior to them. The second attempt is better but still not quite there; the neck/collar only comes to around 11". My third attempt with different fabric (fleece instead of flannel, what a bitc*!!) has been more awkward and I've had to wing it as far making the neck bigger but not the length of the coat. And I detest the way the instructions say to attach the collar so I spent an hour ripping it off on New Year's Day (good thing there was a Monk marathon on to keep me sane.) I need to get back to it today because I might go see Trixie & Daisy on Saturday.