Monthly Archives: March 2010

Sexy Boot Shoes And Sandals For the Summer

Saw some flavor shoes that scream summer sexy lady.  Great summer sandals for great manicured feet.  Forget about the gladiator sandal of last year.  Elevate yourself to higher grounds with these ones.  Check it out.  Men what do you think of this one shoe on a lady? Yay or Nay?

I browsed endless.com and found some really great summer shoes.  Everything global, tribal… with colors that make me wish summer could last forever. Check these ones out.

Michael Antonio Women’s Grayson Wedge

Apepazza Women’s Malachite Flat Sandal

Fergie Women’s Empower Sandal

Feature Friday: Kwesi Abbensetts

Kwesi

Kwesi

Brooklyn based photographer, Kwesi Abbensetts, has a portfolio that eludes the memoirs of an artistic masterpiece.  I’m really enchanted by his work. His shots capture the soul as if it was naturally born in front of shutters and lenses.  When I first saw Kwesi’s portfolio, I marveled.  Like a magnet, I kept going back.  His work is amazing in the fact that he successfully uses different eras as a backdrop; Kwesi is able to capture his subjects in their most natural state. We, as an audience, are able to feel the era without being physically transported.  With the swiftness of his flash, we are also able to welcome the present.   His style is non-conventional and thus unique.   His photos are transformed by color and also, the absence of it; they are the writings that sing about someone’s soul.  I don’t know about you but I can hear the sounds, see the sights and even smell the air in Kwesi’s photos.  Kwesi Abbensetts is truly on his way to inventing movable portraits.  Check more of him out here.

Introduce Kwesi Abbensetts

I live the life of a gypsy, embracing experiences as they come. I am based in New York City; It’s a big place that I think you would love (just don’t let the vices get the better of you). I am man of 33 years and still growing.  I am motivated by creating the next image, finding the next face, having accidents that happen to become gems. As a photographer, there is no limitation to the type of work that I can do- I do it all and I can do it all quite well.   It’s like a well trained muscle. My subjects come from everywhere; I offer allure and allure is an attractive currency. Who wouldn’t want to buy some from me! My name is Kwesi Abbensetts your dream catcher.

How would you describe your style?

I would call it cinema with one click. Nakedness without a naked body: innocence that brews spirits.   I can say there is no style when you manifest mercurial images.   It’s only magic to be enjoyed

Who or what has been your greatest fashion influence?

Truthfully my influence has been myself.  I have never ascribed to any fashion sense like its religion. I take pieces of what I like and I find ways to use it in my palette.

Which other photographer/photographers do you admire the most?

They are many of them, but mostly I look to the good ones and I steal the best parts without them knowing. That might make me a cheap hack then.   But then again that’s how creation continues- the other inspires the other.

If someone were to give you a disposable camera and said to fill it + hand it back to them the next day. Where would you immediately go to take some photos?

I would fill it with dripping beautiful women. Not naked women, just women that astound and startle your senses.  I will walk the street and find them one by one. Put them under the best light and click the shutter. Yes in that moment she will become naked.

What is your best attribute?

My eyes- that many never see!

Your work is so creative and able to capture many moods and emotions. Where do you get your inspirations?

I let inspiration fall out of the sky- literally. I can’t take it from anyone; it always has to be a part of me. Everyday I have a gnawing urge to create and so I go inside; I seek through all the rubble and heaps-somehow with a little patience I come up with stuff.

Which city, or location, inspires you the most?

Jamaica: so filled with natural beauty.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Plan your life, imagine it, work hard at what you love and the success will come. Oh add some smarts to it too.

What type of cameras do you shoot with?

I shoot with a Pentax

Favorite lyrics from a song?

Most are from Fiona Apple.

What are your future goals?
To become a bigger, and better, photographer; I need to make this money man, yes art and commerce.

Words you live by….
” What’s coming is already on its way”

Find More of Kwesi Click Here.

Classy Watches Transporting Time

When it comes to investment pieces, like jewelry and watches, I always choose a clean, elegant, look.   I like that one pair of earring, bracelet, or watch, that I can wear everyday with everything.  I have developed a habit of only purchasing important pieces based on these practical criteria.  So while working on a recent accessories project, I came across some Croton Watches.  I was instantly drawn to a few pieces that produced the audible thought: “Wow I could totally wear that”! The more I looked, the more my purchase criteria stripped away.  I realized, with remarkable clarity, the versatile nature of this watches. Croton Watches offers a collection of that contains a little bit of everything: crystal, simple time pieces, classy and, a touch of edgy.

The man watch has become something that women are embracing as well. The male club has been invaded by females opting for slightly larger watches on their wrists.  Celebrities truly drew our focus to this trend as man watches were seen on the wrists of the likes of Rhianna, Olsen twins and, Jennifer Aniston.  Basically, these watches elude an authentic, higher class, look to be desired.

Croton Men's Super Carbon Fiber Swiss Quartz Stainless Steel Bracelet Watch

Croton Men's CX2 Quartz Polymer Case Rubber Strap Watch (Comes in Differnt Colors)

Croton Men's Aquamatic Quartz Stainless Steel Bracelet Watch (available in other colors as well).

Brand names like Croton, Waltham Timepieces and Seiko are there to claim a seal of approval, and assurance, of a watch that maximizes quality with fashion appeal.  It’s all about creative awareness.  There is nothing like wearing great clothes and a watch that downgrades the whole outfit.  I always connect to a piece that will stay with me for a long time.  Imagine buying milk that you know will curdle the next day. Depressing, right?  Similar to watches, you want something that will sustain and be well-worth the spending.

So you are probably wondering where you could get all these watches that I’m constantly mentioning. I came across ShopNBC and they always have great sales.   They sell everything from a collection that takes on a decidedly bold approach to the pearl, simple, fashion approach to both men and women watches.

I really like the fact that Croton watches cater to the unisex world as well. I like to see the mixture of delicate and masculine together. I really value their approach to classy, and distinguished, without leaving out the child in the playground. I found some playful pieces with some interesting design features. I fell for the Mines Collection Quartz Gemstone Bracelet Watch (Second one below).  Everything from the face color to the dial color screamed of a great contrast. The brown of the Gemstone Bracelet watch is fun and really pops, with the gold tones.  It takes on a kind of bumblebee quality that I am fond of.

Croton Women's Mother-of-Pearl Swarovski® Crystal Leather Strap Watch

Croton Women's Mines Collection Quartz Gemstone Bracelet Watch *Available in other colors*

Croton Women's Mines Collection Swiss Quartz Lizard Strap Watch

Croton Women's Mines Collection Swiss Quartz Lizard Strap Watch

The men watches are also bold with a James Bond hint of manly style. Croton is not doing another Rolex re-make but, a more unique adaptation of a luxury watch. It’s great to know that their price is right too. These watches have diverse personalities and existing fans will definitely see more reason to add to their collection. I’m definitely looking out for Croton watches among Seiko and Waltham Timepieces.

Watches are viewed as an accessory to others but most often it’s a trademark of personality as well.  In a sense, a watch becomes integrated with a look that you are trying to define.  I also looked at Waltham Timepieces and Seiko as being watch brands that define diverse personalities.  When I think of them, I think quality.  When I purchase quality, it isn’t because it’s the “status” piece. It is because I just find it really magnificent!

Feature Friday: K.U.A Designs

Ruby is both a visionary and, an active entrepreneur. The name K.U.A means:  “Keeping Us Authentic”.  Her designs are captivating, embodied with colors that are magnetic and creatively mixed.  When I first encountered K.U.A Designs,  I became an instant K.U.A fan.   A fan that Ruby, the founder, would call a “K.U.A baby”.  I was captivated.   Being Ghanaian born, and raised, Ruby is an inspiring female entrepreneur who has made the passage in designing purses, and jewelry, that are influenced by vibrant Africa effects. Ruby is beautiful, business-minded and, humble.   That makes for a source of great attraction.   Her sense of invention is marvelous.   So we caught up to chat with the founder of K.U.A Designs.  Also find K.U.A  on Facebook.

First of: Can we get some background info from you. (e.g Where you are from and what inspires you?

I was born and raised in Ghana. After earning a degree in Business Admin in Georgia, I worked in Finance for a while before deciding to focus on my creative side. Here I am, taking it a day at a time and enjoying the journey with its ups and downs.

Tell us a little about KUA Designs (e.g who is the founder, How did it start, what it means:

Kua Designs, a Ghanaian-inspired purse line was introduced to the world in 2009.  Before then, I had a jewelry company called Stringz Attached. This year, I put both ventures under the same roof and I decided to keep the name Kua because of the sentimental value it holds. Kua is my mother’s name and thus connotes all the things my mother stands for: authenticity, cultural grounding, cool confidence, simplicity and beauty. Yes, my mum is the best (not that you asked… LOL).  Kua also stands for Keeping Us Authentic and I strive to hold myself up to that in business decisions I make.

What inspires your designs?

The rich colors of African wax print, the warm textures of goatskin, and the organic shapes of semi-precious stones… the list can go on and on. But in short, the ‘life’ in these materials I use greatly influence what I make. That is why I enjoy picking out my own materials.

Who are your favorite emerging designers and what is it that you love about them?

I have a number of favorites but these come to mind right away:

Malene b is an independent carpet designer who draws on her experiences around the world to design beautiful carpet.

I love Orleans designs’ use of silks in her flirty collection

Ndamus Bags makes statement pieces! Raw and edgy.

Where can people buy your items?

Spring collection is available on Kua’s website www.kuadesigns.com under ‘Shop’.  I am always happy when Spring rolls back around because of all the fun colors.  I hope you enjoy my current collection as much as I enjoy making them.

What is your best attribute?

I asked a few friends (since I am not good with such questions) and this is what I got:  confidence, positive attitude, social/people skills, sense of humor, smile, creativity, very jovial, outgoing, bubbly, witty, analytical, full of life, vivacious and brainy. As you can tell, I have very kind friends.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?
A couple of years ago when I was still deciding whether to go at this full-time, my mum, in our Nzema language said “do whatever makes you happy as long as you don’t become a liability to someone”.  That is the best advice because it forces me to live within my means and propels me to go after my dreams! Did I mention she was the best? LOL

Excluding yours, what company or brand do you admire the most?
This is a tough one because I admire several.  Just last night, I saw Lisa Price of Carol’s Daughter on TV, so she comes to mind right away. I love her story; I love how she started from her kitchen and how she did small shows till she became the empire she is today. Very heart-warming and encouraging, to say the least…

Favorite lyrics from a song?
Again, I can’t quite pick because I truly don’t have one favorite but I have been listening to Sade’s latest album and I like something about her Long Hard Road song.

There’s a long hard road ahead
But a voice inside me said
You know there’s something that you need to know
It’s gonna be alright

Word you live by?

“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results”.  In short, if I want it, I must work hard to get it. Needless to say, tenacity is one of the things I pray God continues to shower on me 🙂

Anticipating Spring Style

Spring just around the corner some great styles will follow and, some atrocities will also enter the mix.  For those of you who experience spring, spring is a fun time to dress up since the weather is neither hot nor cold. You are neither having your fingers frosted or your hair, and clothes, matted to your body.  It’s time to pull out some lighter, wearable, clothes.  It’s also time to start re-discovering, and mixing different accessories and textures.  You don’t have to follow trends but be in tune with a unique look that is sizzling yet approachable.  What are some of your favorite spring looks?

Ladies

Coats

This is the The Mackinaw Coat is a nice-fitting trench with a form-fitting capability.  For Night and day. Lunch to dinner.

Trench with a classy sophistication.

Nothing says chic like a masculine item paired up with a spring floral dress.

The boyfriend blazer is great because it doesn’t have to be form -fitting.  It can be worn a size bigger. In fact, I do like a size and 0.5 bigger otherwise it just looks like an office blazer and, defeats the purpose!   The look is to go for “I was cold so my boyfriend gave up his blazer”.  You are not going to do that with a tight blazer unless…you date men who like tight clothes.  One Thing I will say about the boyfriend blazer is that, it needs to have some type of shape to it.  If shape is lacking, you will likely end up with a costume-like look.

Boyfriend jacket paired up with a dress.

Accesories: Color is key.

Dresses:  I have to say that KarmaLoop has the urban jaunt down to a T.   I found great dresses. Floral, classy, hip hop all there. Check it out.

The Neon Floral Dress Women’s Dresses By Free People

Body-hugging white dress

Find it at KarmaLoop

Seriously go check out KarmaLoop if not to buy, be inspired.

KarmaLoop

African Inspirations and fabrics:

Gentlemen

When I saw these combats.  I really liked them for men’s fashion.  They have  such a European essence of street style to them.  Affordable too. Check them out Steven Axee Lace Up Boots.

Timberland Boot Shoe.

Not crazy about the gold sneakers but that’s one way to do a man satchel. Louis Vuitton.

Street men’s fashion:

Courtesy of Street Etiquette

Bill Bixby by Andre 3000

Street Style (Part 2)

Some more street style around the globe as promised. I often find the uniqueness of an outfit to be so inviting.  Yes, I do stare and gawk like a kid at Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.   The more vintage an item, the more I find it to have a personal value and, a world of sentiment.  I like the sense of an item being so rare, or personalized, to the point where it ceases to resemble it’s initial birth.  This, uniqueness,  gives me a sense of everyone being able to enjoy fashion without becoming boring cookie-cuter dressers.  Check some of  them out:

The gentleman meets vintage mixes.

Vintage mixes

I have to admit. I love accessories to an outfit. It’s a layered look all by itself.

Accessories girl.

Liking the ripped effect coupled with the classic coat down to the metallic shoes. It’s like a mixing era.

Disco queen meets modern chic.

We, at The Fashion Records, adore Iman. I like the wedge shoe to the leather wedge heel. I haven’t been crazy about the ripped tights look for awhile though.

Chanel Iman and boyfriend

Chanel Iman

Awesome that Edward Norton bought some Masai Warriors over, as guests at his house in Greenwich Village. They came over to run a marathon for a Masai fundraiser. While in New York, these fearless warriors browsed the streets in their vibrant gear. Talk about re-defining street style!

Actor Edward Norton and some Masai warriors.

A fashionable girl in Dakar. I like the colors with the strapped sandals and simple jewelery.

A girl in Dakar

Young streeter in South Africa

Showing a mixture of retro colors. I like.

A Young SA man

Milan fashion is totally rampant.

Wearing daring colors from head to toe. Likely risk taker and owner of his own style!

Street style with attitude.

Reminds me of what I would see in a old Brooklyn fashion book. Very characterized and, individualized. Loving the graphic tees.

Long live colors and character!

That’s right. Well-dressed gentlemen get their photos taken. Check out that styled, retro, men’s satchel. Major bag envy. Check out a similar one: Filson Field Satchel.

Paris men have great style. I want that bag.

Check our some New York splash of colors:

New York fashion

 Thanks to Nontsikelela, Trendy Crew, Yayemarieba and Tamu you rock!

Street Style Mingled With Runway (prt 1)

At times I see something on the runway that is purely art and therefore, inspirational.  I look at the different ways that particular forms, of fabric, are constructed.  It gives texture, shape, and form that can be used as a basis for creating my own items of clothing.  So in essence, it is possible to see runway fashion as art inspirations for wearable forms. I took a search to some great street inspirations and some runway looks that could create unique pieces. Take a look and let me know what you think. Street style continued tomorrow:

Lacoste fashionable, yet comfortable, sweater dress is a refreshing splash of color:

Lacoste does sexy sweater dress.

I like that the red tone is so magnetic without being overwhelming. The boots, dropped neckline….so global.

Red toned

Red toned dress. Global colors.

Vintage velvet and modern footwear. Standout outfit.

City chic look with vintage velvet. Pair it up with boots and leggings.

Ralph Lauren gets a nod for pure classics. Sexy hunter meets sophisticated woman.

Ralph Lauren look

Naeem Kahn is total true art. Whoever thought of a cropped motorcycle jacket, lots of accesories, and, the little black dress. Brilliant.

Naeem Kahn takes the punk and makes it glamour!

Tommy Hilfiger made layers more youthful and great for the shape.

Tommy does layers and they look great and youthful

Ronson pairs a great man pant with structured mixes to create a new outfit that is wearable and sophisticated.

Charolette Ronson runway style

Tracy Reese always makes feminine more charming and, appealing.

Tracy Reese does feminine

Marc Jacobs takes drab grey and makes it pop classically and, noticeably.

Marc Jacobs


Thanks to Essence