just plain sara: November 2007

Friday, November 30, 2007

Coats for Fall: The Parka

Rihanna leaving the Hyatt Hotel on Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, Germany on November 26th, 2007.
Left to right: Embroidered Cotton Coat, $39.90, www.forever21.com; Metal Trim Parka, $110, www.topshop.com; Sheared Parka, $140, www.topshop.com; Madeline, $228, www.abercrombie.com
Left to right: Frost Free Belted Anoraks, $46.80, www.oldnavy.com; Miriam Parka, $69.50, www.delias.com; UO Long Fur Parka, $125, www.urbanoutfitters.com; Anorak Pluming, $169, www.mangoshop.com

Parkas have never been so fashionable. I always used to think these coats were for intense blizzards and hiking trips only, but the parka has become quite stylish. To keep them looking feminine invest in a parka with a belt to define your waist and keep lengths above your knee. Any lower and you might look like your about to embark on an expedition! Team with a chunky knit for the ultimate winter chic look.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Introducing Liucia…

Above: The Limited Edition “O Bag.”

Liucia.com is a luxury shopping site where East meets West. The owner, Alycia, spent several years traveling in Japan where she met designer N. Takeda. The pair decided to team up and bring us westerners the best in Asian-inspired fashion. Everything from clothing, shoes and accessories are available, but by far their best-selling item is the “O Bag” (pictured above and below). See the post below for a special giveaway. You won’t want to miss out.
Above: More images of the Limited Edition “O Bag.”

I Like Her Style / Liucia.com Giveaway!

I Like Her Style! and Liucia.com have teamed up to bring you yet another amazing giveaway. Head to Liucia.com to find the answer to the following question:


The bag retails for $300 and comes with original Maru Obi Silk and Satin interior from Japan, silver plated chain and bronze metal Liucia logo plate. The winner will be announced in one week. Good luck!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Satin Delights…

Jennifer Freeman arriving at the premiere of 'Somebody Help Me' at the Chinese Theatre on October 25, 2007 in Los Angeles, California.
Kimora Lee Simmons attending the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards after party in association with Blender/Vitamin Water.
Deborah Cox at the Just Cavalli New York Flagship store opening during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2008 on September 7, 2007 in NYC.
Shaun Robinson attending the Grammy Foundation's 'Starry Night' gala under the stars honoring Quincy Jones on the UCLA Campus on July 28, 2007 in Westwood, California.

The party season cometh and with it, the demand for several cocktail dresses on standby. First comes the annual office party, then it’s the friendly pre-Christmas dinner and of course, don’t forget New Year’s Eve. You’d better start preparing now if you don’t want to settle for the last dress in the store or worse yet, you find the perfect dress but there’s none left in your size (story of my life!) Take a cue from the four ladies above and make one of your season dresses a tight, knee length, satin number… the fail safe cocktail dress.

My Picks!

Left to right: Stretch Satin Dress, $345, www.nicolemiller.com; Crossover Pleated Empire Shift, $139, www.bebe.com; Sexy Strapless Dress, $139, www.bebe.com; Famous NY Maker Satin Cocktail Dress, $114.99, www.overstock.com
Left to right: Satin Spaghetti Strap Dress, $89.90, www.winsorstore.com; Sexy Cocktail Dress from Nicole Miller, $330, www.edressme.com; Donna Ricco Petite Sleeveless Stretch Satin Dress, $89.99, www.overstock.com; Strapless Satin Dress, $22.80, www.forever21.com

I personally believe dresses like this look classiest when the length reaches your knee. Any higher and you’re stepping into “hoochie-ville!” Team with high heels and a killer clutch and the night is yours. Also, don’t be afraid If you don’t think your body is quite up to wearing such a figure hugging dress, opt for a looser fit like the blue dress by Forever 21.com.

Note: Also check out Elise Neal’s dress here.

Friday, November 23, 2007


Beyonce Knowles attending a press conference ahead of the first Shanghai concert of her 'Beyonce Experience 2007 World Tour' on November 5, 2007 in Shanghai, China.
Someone asked me a while ago where they could find this dress that Beyonce wore to a recent press conference in China. I don’t have the time these days to do a quick search for items, but I always keep my eyes out for specific reader requests while cruising through online shopping sites. I spotted this Milly dress (designed by Michelle Smith) on PinkMascara.com. See below for more details.

Steal Beyonce’s Style…

Dress: Milly Kaleidescope Mini Dress, $274.40, www.pinkmascara.com
Heels: Seducce, $69.95, www.stevemadden.com
Earrings: Wooden Hoop Earrings, $4.80,
Clutch: The Ellie Clutch in Chocolate Patent Snake,

Obviously you need to wear black, opaque tights with this dress during the colder months. Winter is no joke! Don’t be afraid to wear peep toes though. If you know you’ll be getting a ride to and from a venue, your toes will only have to brave the cold to and from the car. If you want to push this whole look a little further, try these silver, Jazz Club T-straps from Kenneth Cole New York priced at $168.95 from Zappos.com.

Best of the Rest

Left to right: Miss Me Collection Art Phase Mini Dress, $78, www.lulusfashionlounge.com; Sophia Dress, $44.50, www.delias.com; Missoni Dress, $24.99, www.charlotte-russe.com

You just know I wasn’t going to leave you with out some cheaper dresses. I love the Beyonce's dress but we aren’t all on Bey’s budget! I adore the dress in the middle available at Delias.com. So chic for the price.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

CoX contest update

CoX contest

I didn't place in the Top 10 so there's no more Vote for Amber campaign. :( I'm rather annoyed with the Devs for making an announcement about dates to vote and then not getting around to it until 10 days later than they said.

The Top 3 for Best Hero, Villain and ultimate Grand Prize were chosen but not announced yet. The remaining 7 are up for votes on the CoX boards. You have to have an active player account to access the boards.

Anyway, here's one last look at Amber just for my adoring fans:

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Season of Giving

Model wearing the Amiel Hobo Bag in Brown, $130 available at www.jypsea.com
Left to right: Holiday Gift Set-Hobo and Travel Case Combo, $157.25; Gabrielle Travel Case and Clutch in Steel, $55; Luxe Edition Amiel Hobo Bag in Pewter, $180 all available at www.jypsea.com

‘Tis the season to be jolly and all that jazz. I always think it’s important to buy yourself a gift as well the other loved ones in your life. Hey, if you can’t love yourself who can you love? This Christmas treat yourself to one of these funky bags by designer, Terina McKinney for her line Jypsea. If you want beautifully hand crafted leather accessories that are as unique as you, head to Jypsea.com to get your hands on one. And as an added incentive be at Harlem’s National Black Theatre on December 2nd to attend the annual “Shop N Mingle” event where Jypsea and other designers will be offering their designs at discounted prices! Click here for the flyer.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Catwalk Copy

Lucy Liu on the set of her new show “Cashmere Mafia” & Beyonce at the opening of the Samantha Thavasa store in Japan earlier this year.
Left: Two-Toned Platform Slingback Pumps, $42.90, www.flyjane.net
Right: Christian Louboutin’s Fox Trot Platform Slingbacks, $283.90 (reduced from $710),

Christian Louboutin’s Fox Trot Platform Slingbacks are sold out at both Saks and Net-A-Porter.com. Never fear, FlyJane.net has exact copies for a fraction of the price. Make like Lucy Liu and Beyonce and rock them this winter with tights. The great thing about these shoes is that you can rock them with gold, silver and/or black accessories. There’s nothing like versatility.
On another note, what do you all think about the new ABC show by "Sex in the City" producer Darren Star? The show's wardrobe will be selected by stylist Patricia Field, another Sex in the City alum. The show was scheduled to air this Fall but due to the Writers Guild of America strike, ABC has delayed the premiere of the series. Check out the trailor below...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Coats for Fall: Volume

Rachel Roy backstage at the J. Mendel Spring 2007 Ready-to-Wear show.
Left to right: Lantern Sleeve Jacket, $475, www.net-a-porter.com; Ashley Capelet, $58.50, www.delias.com; Supreme Jacket, $188, www.fcusbuymail.com; Karli Covert Twill Jacket, $68, www.urbanoutfitters.com
Left to right: Amelia Coat, $49.80, www.forever21.com; Hooded Wool Coat, $78, www.styleviolet.com; Diane von Furstenberg 'Saffra' Coat, $625, www.nordstrom.com; J.O. 3/4 Contour Coat, $278, www.cache.com

Bell and wide sleeves are all over the stores these days but how the hell do you wear them? Some of the sleeves look a little too short for winter however, the key is to wear them with a long sleeved sweater or even better, elbow-long leather gloves. If you'd rather keep your coat’s sleeves long but still want to dabble with this trend go with a coat that doesn’t cinch at the waist like the coat above from Cache. Also consider a bubble hem coat. Now, some might say you need to balance a voluminous jacket with tight, skinny jeans but I say pair them with wide leg pants for the ultimate in chic.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Nia, Sanaa & Gabrielle Cover Essence...

They look great as per usual. Read what they had to say below about working in Hollywood as black actresses and dealing with all the gossip blogs... Pick up a copy now!


Essence: What kind of year has it been for you?

Sanaa Lathan: I’m happy to have gotten a job this year. You know one of the things I decided early on in my career—especially because I only have me to take care of—is that I don’t want to do anything just for money. As a result, I can be very annoying to my agents and pass on everything. To a fault. But something came along that I’m really excited about. I’m playing a Senegalese woman, and it’s the first time that I’ll be able to do some real accent work. It’s a small, really beautiful film. Other than that, I’ve just been living my life. Living the life that you live as an actor between jobs, which is…

Nia Long, Gabrielle Union: [Immense laughter]

Sanaa: You know, at this point in our careers, we’re all in our mid-thirties. There’s an art to being an actress, especially being a Black actress. And the truth is, to have persevered as long as the three of us have, you have to have some kind of philosophy about being in between work.

Essence: Because that’s so much time, right?

Sanaa: So much time.

Nia: No matter how long you’ve been in it, there is no security. So you have to really do sort of that internal work to just say I’m going to stay true to who I am, and also to have your heart open enough to be happy when other great things are happening for other people who do the same thing you do. Because that can be difficult if you’re not in the right place. I think having that helps to attract your highest good to you.

Gabrielle: That’s a tough lesson we all have to go through. It’s like, no matter how much you hate on somebody, it doesn’t change your life. I mean, you feel kind of okay in the moment as you’re dogging somebody, and then at the end of it you feel [bad] —and you still don’t have a job.

Nia: And you won’t get one because you’re putting all that negativity out there!

Sanaa: I truly believe that. And you know the thing is also, because we are artists, we feel. We have to nurture that sensitive side of ourselves, so of course we’re going to get jealous and envious. We’re human. But the key is to have the emotion, recognize it, deal with it, and move on. That’s what being an adult is. I think in life you have to work on yourself, but it’s almost like being an actress in Hollywood is double the stress.


Essence: How do you deal with the 24-hours-a-day gossip that comes out on the Internet?

Gabrielle: Just last week somebody gave me a baby. This isn’t Perez Hilton or the White gossip people, these are women of color, specifically Black women who, for whatever reason, don’t like the company I keep.

Sanaa: She’s talking about the gossip sites.

Essence: The blogs.

Sanaa: That are run by Black women.

Gabrielle: And now because everyone is clamoring for celebrity tidbits, the bigger gossip sites and even mainstream entities are picking up on it. No fact-checking, no nothing. And in one week’s time, there were like five different dudes, a baby—I’m a homewrecker. In literally seven days. I can’t point the finger at the White media. They don’t care about us. Paparazzi are not staked out in front of any of our houses. They are not going through our garbage because they don’t care about us in that way. So when you hear crap about us, it is coming from our own community, which hurts.

Nia: We are some of the few Black actresses whose passions are rooted in our community.

Gabrielle: There is this idea that there is integrity in journalism; if it’s written it has to be true. But that’s not the case. When blogs or any of the magazines get it wrong, there’s no accountability. In the next breath, they’ll complain on the blogs that we don’t have enough Black stars. Well, you rip us to shreds every two seconds from our nose to the weave to the clothes to the shoes to the ashy ankles.

Credit: Thank you
Essence for the pics and interview.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Sweet Like Pastry…

Fashion must run deep in the Simmon’s family blood. Russell and Rev Run own Run Athletics, Kimora resides on her throne at Baby Phat, it’s time for the next generation to step up. Angela and Vanessa Simmons launched their sneaker line "Pastry" earlier this year which caters specifically to women. The duo wanted to make fun footwear for “stylish young ladies” by “stylish young ladies” and they succeeded. Stores have not been able to keep their sneakers on the shelves. As I’m sure you know the debut “cake” collection is inspired by various types of cakes such as the Lemon Meringue or Strawberry Shortcake. The line focused on runners for athletic use. The newer “fab cookie” collection features lifestyle sneakers for everyday use. In the winter I need a good pair of sneakers to prevent me from breaking my neck on the unforgiving ice. Check out the video footage below of the girls on the set of a Pastry photo shoot. Apparently, they are working on a clothing line to accompany their sneakers. No doubt Russy and Diggy are in talks to launch a clothing company of their own. Let’s keep it in the family!
Left to right: Peanut Butter Fab Cookie, $60; Sugar Cream Cake Runner, $65; White Chocolate Chip Fab Cookie, $60; Strawberry Shortcake Runner, $65 all available at www.drjays.com
Left to right: Lemon Meringue Cake Runner $65; Double Chocolate Chip Fab Cookie $60; Sprinkles Cake Runner $65; Blueberry Cake Runner $65 all available at www.drjays.com

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Naomi Does British Vogue…

Naomi in the December issue of British Vogue
Electronic device throwing aside, Naomi is still one of the most beautiful models in the industry and at 37 she gives new kids on the block a run for their money. Need proof? Check out these recent pics from her recent shoot for British UK. In the words of Tyra Banks she looks F.I.E.R.C.E!

Tia Mowry Covers Jet Magazine…

Long gone are the loveable, yet slightly geeky, twins of “Sister, Sister.” The duo, now 29, are sexy and oh so sophisticated and more importantly branching out on their own. Tia Mowry’s show “The Game” is in its second season on the CW and the actress tells Jet that, “This is my first adult role, mainly because I have been stretched as an actress with so many different things and the issues that I’m dealing with.” Pick the latest copy of Jet to read the full article including what her sister thinks of her success.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Down to Business: Kimberly Kimble

Kimberly Kimble, the go-to hairstylist for celebrities such as Beyonce and Mary J. Blige, has hair styling firmly in her blood. Kimberly’s mother and both grandmothers were all hair care professionals, so it’s no wonder that Kimberly has had such success in the beauty industry. She has styled hair for major cosmetic companies including L’Oreal, CoverGirl, and Neutrogena, and has also worked on campaigns for Pepsi and True Star for Tommy Hilfiger. Kimberly’s cutting edge hairstyles and innovative contributions to the world of beauty have also been featured in hundreds of magazines including: Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Rolling Stone, InStyle, Essence, Us Weekly, Blender and Seventeen. While working on the set of movies and television, Kimberly realized the need for styling products that would allow her to style hair that endured the long hours of filming while still looking fresh and healthy. With a thriving salon in West Hollywood (Kimble Hair Studio), a full range of hair care products (Kimble Hair Care Systems), and a recent appearance on Oprah, who is there more qualified to give us advice on our hair and how to get started in the industry?

1. You first started working at your mother's hair salon washing hair, and even your grandmother was a hairdresser. I guess it was in your destiny?

It was definitely in my destiny! I spent so much time in the salon growing up, that I do think I was destined to be here. I actually planned to go into fashion, and was working as a hairdresser to put myself through fashion school when I realized that my true talent and love was for hair.

2. How did you know you had something special to offer the hair industry, especially since it is so competitive?

I always knew that I had a true passion and love for the care of hair. There are a lot of people that just do the job for the money, but I’ve always REALLY cared for it. I still remember the feeling I got when I saw my first client stand up and look in the mirror- when I saw her smile so big, I felt so good about my job. I’ve always loved and cared about the health and look of people’s hair.

3. Do you think one can become a successful hairdresser without inventing or even redefining classic hair styles?

I think you definitely can. There are so many different aspects of hair that you can specialize in- hair color, haircare, extensions, cuts, etc.

4. Many hairdressers can style hair to perfection but to the detriment of one's hair. Where do you stand when it comes to hair care versus hair styling?

Hair care is a major part of my philosophy- I don’t compromise the integrity of someone’s hair for their style. Hair health is so important because your style looks much better when your hair is healthy. Damaged hair is much harder to style.

5. What was the inspiration behind your hair care line? What were the key things you wanted people to benefit from using your products?

My products were all about finding a way to style your hair without damaging it. I wanted my products to give results- healthy hair that looks and feels good and has incredible shine. My clients always loved the way their hair looked after they came out of my salon and I wanted a way that they could achieve the same shine at home.

6. When you decided to open your own salon, Kimble Hair Studio, how did you find hair stylists that shared the same philosophy?

It is definitely hard to find. The main thing I do is work through beauty schools, bring interns in so that they can gain a hands on learning experience, and we can see if they have the same determination, passion and philosophy that we share here.

7. You've styled numerous celebrities including Mary J. Blige, Gabrielle Union, Serena Williams, Kerry Washington and of course Beyonce. Did you always intend to gain celebrity clients or did that just sort of happen?!

I never intended to work with celebrity clients, but my mom moved us out to Los Angeles to start doing hair in the television and film industry. She learned about the opportunities and told me that I should go for it. My first movie was B.A.P.S, where I did a lot of the hairpieces for Natalie Desselle, costarring with Halle Berry. I continued to do movies and met Beyonce when doing her hair for Austin Powers, and then she started hiring me for other events she was appearing in.

8. What are your top three tips for black hair care?

● For Black hair, you definitely want to keep it moist, don’t let it get dry and brittle because that’s what causes breakage.

● Many women are afraid to cut their hair- don’t be. It’s much healthier to keep your hair cut- it looks fresher and keeps the hair healthier.

● Hair maintenance is the most important- the key is to get the right maintenance products. Black hair needs a little bit more attention than most to stay healthy, so make sure you’re sleeping on silk (I have products like silk pillowcases, scarves, bonnets, rollers, etc. on my website

www.kimblehaircare.com) these types of products give your hairstyle longevity.

9. What should a customer look for in a good hairdresser?

I would recommend finding someone who is passionate about their job and the health of your hair. Someone who is just in it for the money will not care about the long term effects of what they’re doing to your hair and may damage it.

10. What one priceless business tip could you pass on to a budding young hairdresser?

I would say to be professional! Be punctual, well studied, and determined! Take the time to explore new things and be open to learning all aspects of the business until you find your niche and what you’re really passionate about- then stick with it!

Products from Kimberly's line, "Kimble Hair Care Systems."

Left to right: Cleansing Shampoo (Nuturing Shampoo & Conditioning Treatment System); Honey & Oatmeal Moisturizing Conditioner (Nuturing Shampoo & Conditioning Treatment System); Replenish Oil Drops (Oil Treatment System); Retrospective Workable Hairspray (Styling Care System); Scalp Relief (Extension Care System); Waxation (Fashion Forward Styling System)

Credit: Kimberly Kimble & Jennifer Dalton for all photographs.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Smell Like a Star

Sarah Jessica Parker and her new fragrance "Covet."
Left to right: Diamonds by Emporio Armani, $64 for 3.4oz, www.macys.com; Unforgivable for Women by Sean John, $55 for 2.5oz, www.sephora.com; Covet by Sarah Jessica Parker, $52 for 1.5oz, www.nordstrom.com; Usher for Her, $52 for 1.7oz, www.sephora.com
Left to right: L by L.A.M.B. Fragrance By Gwen Stefani, $55 for 1.7oz, www.sephora.com; M by Mariah, $62.50 for 3.3oz, www.shop.elizabetharden.com; Baby Phat Golden Goddess by Kimora Lee Simmons, $52 for 3.4oz, www.babyphat.com; Glow by J Lo Gift Set, $60, www.macys.com

It isn’t enough to have mutli-platinum selling albums or number one movies. Now celebrities are almost expected to leverage their name to seemingly unrelated business ventures. Fashion lines, liquor and even car rims are all fair game, but the fragrance is the ultimate celebrity venture. What could be better than being immortalized into a sweet scent?

If stars aren’t making their own fragrances they're lending their status to promote others, a la Beyonce for Armani’s “Diamonds.” I have and love J Lo’s “Glow” and I’ve smelt Diddy’s “Unforgivable” – very spicy and not in a good way. As for the others I’m no expert, but I’ve heard great things about both Sarah Jessica Parker’s fragrances. Leave comments for your fellow readers about any of the brands above or others you love.

P.S. My all time favorite scent is “Blue” by Dolce & Gabbana. ;)

Monday, November 5, 2007

Coats for Fall: The Pea Coat

Brandy arrives at the La Dolce Vita Benefit for the Sarah Ferguson Foundation at Cipriani Wall Street on November 1, 2007 in New York City.
Left to right: Double-Breasted Peacoat in Herringbone, $129, www.victoriassecret.com; Tea in the Navy Black Double-Breasted Pea Coat, $67, www.lulusfashionlounge.com; Plaid Pea Coat, $36.50, www.wetseal.com; Tasha Peacoat, $128, www.guess.com
Left to right: Seamed Peacoat, $118, www.victoriassecret.com; Lux Miss Porter's Peacoat, $125, www.urbanoutfitters.com; Tweed 3/4 Sleeve Coat, $44.80, www.forever21.com; Military Pea Coat, $48.80, www.forever21.com

Wikipedia describes the Pea Coat as having “broad lapels, double-breasted fronts, often large wooden buttons, navy-colored heavy wool and vertical or slash pockets,” but my how the Pea Coat has changed. Now you can find this classic teamed with bell-shaped sleeves, infused with military characterisics and made with tweed, plaid or basic black. Some have even forgone the traditional collar for the hot high collar. Find the perfect one for you then hang on to it for years to come. The Pea Coat never goes out of style.

Friday, November 2, 2007


Trendora.com's Prada Fall/Winter 2008 Collection
Left to right: Luggage by Bottega Veneta; Woven Bag by Bottega Veneta; St. Cocco by Dolce & Gabbana
Left to right: Varnish Ribbon by Miu Miu; Kelly Shoes by Gucci; Glitter Deco by Miu Miu

Trendora.com is the place to find a unique selection of authentic bags, shoes and accessories by the greatest designers. Products are released at the same time as flagship stores in Milan and Paris. So you can snap up the latest collections before anyone else. The prices are stated in Euros (you change it to US dollars) but I noticed that buyers outside of Europe get a considerably lower discount and they deliver to your doorstep within 3-4 days using DHL. Trendora.com delivers to Europe, Asia and the US. Visit www.trendora.com to browse through their handbags, shoes, accessories and luggage, all at discounted prices!

Amber the Superhero Stylist

Just a couple of shots of me that will hopefully help me win The Prize for the City of Heroes costume contest. This is my first year trying for it.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Gotta Have It!

I just bought a gorgeous bag from RimiStyle.com and had to share. While looking for great finds for an upcoming post, I spotted this “Braided Saddle Bag” for just $66. I know that sounds expensive to those of you on a tight budget, but I can personally assure you that the bag is worth every penny. I’ve already rocked it to two events. It’s one of those bags which you find excuses to go out in order to show it off! Team with a vintage-inspired brown, leather belt and you’re good to go.

Vanessa Simmons Covers Brides Noir…

Vanessa Simmons is in the latest issue of Brides Noir, an magazine that focuses on the wedding fashion. As well as the photo shoot Vanessa also talks about her new clothing and jewelry line with her sister Angela. They also plan on expanding their existing Pastry sneaker line. Visit www.bridesnoir.com to preview the issue online and get inspired for future weddings… urban style, of course!

Credit: Concrete Loop for the pics.