Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Iconic Black Designers: Art Smith

Happy Black History Month!!! This is our favorite time of the year to blog, a time that we dedicate to researching and writing about iconic Black Americans. This year we are sharing with you Black designers. As designers ourselves, we are always looking to the past for inspiration and this was the perfect time to do some digging to find people who inspire us with our own craft. We hope you enjoy this series and learn something new this month.

Art Smith (1917-1982)

Photo Credit

Art Smith was one of the leading modernist jewelers of the mid-twentieth century, and one of the only Afro-Caribbean people working in his field. Smith was born in Cuba to Jamaican parents and grew up in Brooklyn, New York. He studied sculpture at Cooper Union and trained under Winifred Mason.

"A piece of jewelry is in a sense an object that is not complete in itself. Jewelry is a ‘what is it?’ until you relate it to the body. The body is a component in design just as air and space are. Like line, form, and color, the body is a material to work with. It is one of the basic inspirations in creating form." ~Art Smith

Photo Credit

Smith's work was inspired by surrealism, biomorphicism, and primitivism , the pieces were dynamic in size and form. Although the pieces were massive in scale, they remained lightweight and wearable.  Smith designed cuff links for  Duke Ellington and a brooch for Eleanor Roosevelt.  During the 1950's, his work was featured in Vogue and Harper's Bazaar.  You could find him with the likes of Lena Horne, Harry Belafonte, and  James Baldwin. He also owned his own shop in Greenwich Village for 30 years.

Photo Credit

Until 2009, the Brooklyn Museum had an exhibition called From the Village to Vogue, where 21 pieces of the modernist jewelry was on display. All of the pieces were sterling silver and because of their grand size, they could hang on a wall just as easily as they could be worn. 

Photo Credit

Photo Credit

Smith passed away in 1982 and his estate went to his sister, and then later was passed to his partner, Charles Russel, who donated it to the Brooklyn Museum. I'm so sad that I missed the exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum by a few years, but there is so much information on the web and images of his jewelry. Hopefully, I can catch an exhibit soon. In the meanwhile, if you want to learn more about Art Smith you can check out an article here.

Thank you Mr. Smith for your crafstmanship to the field of jewelry design. Your work is truly an inspiration and your legacy continues to live on.

Be Blessed! Be Free! Be Fashionable!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

What's Up With ChristinaKristin

Happy New Year! We know, we are late but it is still January. We have so much to share. We launched our Afrikahlo Collection at the end of last year and it was an amazing event full of love, good food and of course our creations. The Afrikahlo Collection is a Collection inspired by Frida Kahlo, along with cultures of African and Latin countries. We documented our process from beginning to end @christinakristin on instagram if you are interested in learning about the supplies we used and how we created our pieces.You can now find a selection of our pieces at our etsy shop or you can try pieces on before you purchase them at Studio V Fashion. We created a special necklace called the Felicia that you can only find and purchase at Studio V.
Visit Studio V Fashion or
891 E. Long Street Columbus, Ohio 43203

We are working on some new projects for 2018. Some of these projects are with partners with similar goals, like Studio V Fashion . Kristin is now the resident blogger for Studio V Fashion (blog). You can find a by weekly post about topics like current trends and how to dress for the corporate world.
We are also working on a fashion adventure that you will be able to join us on. We will be sharing more about that soon. Let's just say our Style Adventures you have read about will come to life. 

We know we have been pretty quiet lately, so we are excited that tomorrow is the first day of Black History Month. We always have great plans and lots of posts prepared for you. Previous years we have done series on black stylists, black television fashion icons and black starlets. This year we can't wait to share our newest series with you.

Until Next Time,

Be blessed! Be free! Be Fashionable!

 Stephanie Matthews

Christina Yonley
 Rahela W Ghebremeskel instagram: @makeupbyrahela

Headwrap Designer Amyang

Headwrap Stylist Carolynne Mitchell aka
Elle the Introvert

 Christina of ChristinaKristin
 Raheal Yemane  instagram: @freshandforeign

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

How I Get Re-inspired When I'm in a Style Rut

We all go through times in our life when we lose inspiration or motivation to do things aka a rut. Every so often I find myself not wanting to wear anything in my closet, while knowing that I'm not about to buy a whole new wardrobe. In order to get re-inspired with my closet there are a few things that help me create new looks with my current wardrobe. At most, I may buy new accessories to spice things up.

1. Read fashion magazines

2. Window shop at my favorite stores

3. Stalk Pinterest religiously

4. People watch

Photo Credit

5.  Browse Street Style Blogs

Photo Credit

How do you get re-inspired when you're tired of your wardrobe? I would love to hear your ideas, I'm sure I could benefit from them.

Be Blessed! Be Free! Be Fashionable!


Thursday, November 23, 2017

Style Crush

Yara Shahidi. 17.Actress.California

You probably recognize this beauty from the hit TV show "Black-ish". Yara actually started her career at the young age of 6, starring in commercials for companies such as McDonald's, Target, GapKids and more. She would go on to star in films such as"Imagine That", alongside Eddie Murphy. Next, you will see her headlining the Black-ish spinoff, Grown-ish.

I still can't believe that she's only 17 years old and that her style is this amazing. I still wore questionable things at 17. Yes, I'm sure she has a stylist, but still. She's like a modern day Rudy Huxtable in my opinion. She's on a leading black sitcom, based around a pretty wholesome family. Her TV mom is a doctor and TV dad is a Marketing Exec. And, in real life she is heading to Harvard soon. Can we say #teengoals?

On to the style:

Yara wore this pleated monochromatic look to prom this year.

I love the masculinity in this look.

This is my absolute favorite, I love the texture and pattern mixing in this look. The shoes are everything!

What do you think of Yara's style?

Be Blessed! Be Free! Be Fashionable!


Monday, October 23, 2017

TV Style Tuesday

TV Style Tuesday

Last week I wrote about my current Style Crush which happened to be the TV show, Younger. The whole cast has awesome style, but I chose 3 of the leading characters to spotlight. This week I created a look for each character that I would choose for them as their stylist, based upon their current style.

Kelsey Peters

Kelsey is a publisher and co-worker/good friend to Liza. She has a very sophisticated and sexy style. Her looks are pretty simple, but she always has on one piece that catches your attention. For her, I chose a bold blazer that incorporates pattern mixing with stripes and flowers, the skirt is simple, but fitted and will show off her curves.

Kelsey Peters

Stylish booties and a designer bag complete her look. This look can be worn during the day to work and in the evening for happy hour.

Liza Miller

Liza plays the 40 year old pretending to be a 20-something in order to break into the editorial industry. Her style is extremely eclectic, at times she dresses like a 25 year old, while other times she dresses like a 40 year old. She mixes various styles together, she may have on a bomber jacket with a dressy skirt or dress. She is very big into patterns, so for her look I chose a skirt that mixes textures and patterns, paired with a bomber jacket with embroidered flowers. I didn't pair a specific t-shirt with it, but she could wear any type of graphic tee and it would go well.

Liza Miller

I pulled in the army green from the skirt with the suede booties, and a small floral embroidered  Gucci crossbody. Because she works in publishing, this outfit could easily be worn to work and then to an after work event.

Diana Trout

Diana Trout is a publishing exec and boss to Liza Miller. She's very stern, a perfectionist and has amazing style. I think her style may be my favorite. I love that she is not afraid of statement pieces, especially statement necklaces.She typically has bold geometric prints on her blouses or dresses. Her style is also very glamorous, but still sharp and put together. You can tell she is in charge just by looking at her wardrobe.

Diana Trout

For Diana I chose a look heavy with geometric influence. The metallic striped shirt is paired with a flowy pleated skirt. I love those pieces together, the skirt is bold because of the structured pleats, but then also soft because of the flowiness. To keep the structured/bold feel, I chose a studded belt, spiked statement earrings and a bold shoe with gold metallic stripes. This look can be work from the office to the night club.

What are your thoughts? I would love to hear which style you resonate with most.

Be Blessed! Be Free! Be Fashionable!


Monday, October 16, 2017

Style Crush

Style Crush

A few months ago I started watching a show on Hulu called "Younger". The show is about a 40 year old woman who pretends to be a 20-something in order to get a job in publishing. She ends up getting a job as an assistant at a fashion magazine. I love all shows fashion related, especially if the show involves a fashion magazine. 

The story line of the show kept me intrigued as well as the fashion. Then I found out that the costume designer was the iconic Patricia Fields, whose work you've also seen on Sex and the City. When I realized she was the designer it was no surprise why the character's individual styles captivated me. Season 5 doesn't air until June 2018, and I can't wait to see what everyone is wearing. Until then I will be inspired by the past seasons wardrobe.

I put together 3 looks from each of the leading characters to give you an idea of their style.

Hillary Duff as Kelsey Peters

Sutton Foster as Liza Miller

Miriam Shor at Diana Trout

Let me know whose style you resonate with most. Next week I will post storyboards of each character's style to give you inspiration and help you shop for pieces to recreate looks.

In the meantime, if you have Hulu you should watch the show!

Be Blessed! Be Free! Be Fashionable!


Thursday, August 17, 2017

This Is Why You Should Be Shopping In Thrift Stores

When I was younger, I dreaded walking into thrift stores with my mom. It felt like my social life would go down the drain if my peers saw me in there.

Fast forward to today, you can't keep me out of the thrift store. Thank you mom, for giving me the thrifting bug. I must say I am a thrift store connoisseur, and you should be one too. Ok, maybe connoisseur is a strong word, but you know what I mean. Here is why I say you should be shopping at the thrift store.

1. Experiment with styles
     Shopping at the thrift store gives you a chance to try new pieces without spending a lot of money. I fell in love with pleated skirts by thrift shopping.

2. Supporting a good cause

    Most thrift stores serve some other purpose other than just selling clothes. Local thrift stores in my area support developmentally disabled adults, and another one recycles clothing that goes to waste. You can even donate to the stores and receive a tax credit!!

3. Find authentic ethnic clothing

    Shop at a thrift store in a culturally diverse area of town and you are sure to find some authentic pieces that people have donated.

4. Your friends won't have your clothes

     You never have to worry about going somewhere and having on the same dress as your girl. Generally there is 1 of everything at the thrift store.

5. Saving money

     You can lower your budget amount on clothing, because you'll get so many things at a lower cost.

6. Bargain prices

   Along with saving money, prices are low at the thrift store. Find the sale dates in your area, and you can leave with some dirt cheap items.

7. It's fun

    You never know what you will find at the thrift store. It kind of like a treasure hunt.

8. You can outfit the entire family

    The thrift store  is for everybody, it does not discriminate. Young, old, boy, girl, woman, man, and possibly pet too.

I would like to know if you thrift shop. If you do, tell me why. I hope these 8 things persuaded you to try out a thrift store near you soon.

Be Blessed! Be Free! Be Fashionable!