Monday, June 19, 2017

Chris's/Kris's Closet (Kristin) June 16, 2017

Kris's Closet

In this blog post you will get a glimpse of pieces in my closet, learn where I found them and where I wore them. My name is Kristin. Welcome to my closet!

Friday evening was the first meet up for a foodie group that I started a month ago.  We met at Camelot Cellars, a local winery in honor of Ohio Wine Month. We tasted wine and talked for a few hours about wine, food, life and music.

Lately, I have been really obsessed with wearing my cowboy boots with pretty much everything. Friday was no exception. My look consisted of a chambray snap button up, a silver small pleated midi skirt, a light weight scarf, an African belly dancing belt and my favorite cowboy boots. 


Shirt:A friend's closet 
Skirt:H&M
Scarf:Target
Belt:A festival find
Boots:Durango
Purse:Michael Kors
Glasses:Crystal Cult
Jewelry: Bracelets- Second Hand, Rings-Noir & Bauble Bar






Until next time,
Be blessed! Be free! 
Be fashionable! 

Kris,


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Chris's/Kris's Closet (Christina)


Chris's Closet

On Saturday, Kristin and I met at Rehab Tavern for a Crawfish Boil. I've only seen crawfish in pictures, never ate them. So this event was an experience. I must say I am not a big fan of crawfish, but I did enjoy the sausage, corn, potatoes and beer.

After spending a couple of hours at Rehab we walked over to Land Grant Brewery and had a Mexican Lager and mini burgers. The afternoon was cool, and we met new people.

I didn't really know what to wear to this event, so I just threw something together. My hair was a hot mess, which is why I wrapped it up. My look turned out better than I expected.




Head wrap: Scraps of fabric, purchased from Amyang

Denim vest: Target (this vest was a denim jacket, but after several washes it started to distress, so I cut the sleeves off and made it a vest.)

Shirt: Thrift store find

Jeans: Gift



Necklace: Harlem Street Vendor




Cuff: Harlem Street Vendor

Wood beaded bracelets: ChristinaKristin (custom pieces)

Bracelet with red stones: Vendor @ the I AM AFRICAAN Day party NYC

Shoes: Express (purchased at Discount Fashion Warehouse for $10)

Clutch: Thrift Store Find



How was your weekend?

Be Blessed! Be Free! Be Fashionable!

~Chris

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Black Starlets: Diana Ross



For the past 2 years we have dedicated our time focusing on Black icons during Black History Month. This year we chose to spotlight Black Starlets.  Women who broke race barriers and changed the world's perception of Black women, all while having impeccable style. Join us on this journey as we take a look back and reflect on a few iconic women who have made a statement in Black culture. 


Diana Ross


I don't think there is a person in the world who does not know who Diana Ross is. Young or old we've all seen her, even if you only know her as Traci Ellis Ross' mother. While researching her, the information ranged from 1970 all the way until 2015, her career has surpassed over 4 decades. While choosing what to write about, I chose bits of her history that stuck with me based upon my younger memories of her.



Diana's career started with The Supremes when she was about 16 years old. Because of all her training at a technical high school in Detroit, she was the hair stylist, make up artist, seamstress and costume designer for the group. She became a solo artist 10 years later in 1970.



She began doing films right around the start of of her solo career. Her first film being Lady Sings the Blues in 1971.  My personal favorite film Mohogany was released in 1975, although the film didn't do well, the theme song  "Do You Know Where You're Going To" was  a #1 hit.  The Wiz in 1977 was also a favorite of mine, and lastly Double Platinum which featured singer Brandy.



Diana was definitely as style icon. Her signature style was glamorous and sexy, but yet classy. She was usually wearing something sparkly, sheer, off the shoulder or thin straps, very low necklines or key hole style dresses. 






Several of Diana's songs have been covered or sampled. Artists ranging from Amy Winehouse to Young Jeezy have either covered or sampled her music. Diana has won awards dating back to 1965, from Grammy's, Golden Globes, American Music Awards and more. And lastly, she is one of the few stars who has 2 Hollywood Stars, one with The Supremes and one as a solo artist.




I was unable to do my picture recreating this diva's style, but I could not go without spotlighting this amazing woman.



Diana we salute you for all of the hard work you put into your dream. Thank you for paving the way for so many of our current African American artists.

Be Blessed! Be Free! Be Fashionable!

~Chris

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Black Starlets: Dorothy Dandridge

For the past 2 years we have dedicated our time focusing on Black icons during Black History Month. This year we chose to spotlight Black Starlets.  Women who broke race barriers and changed the world's perception of Black women, all while having impeccable style. Join us on this journey as we take a look back and reflect on a few iconic women who have made a statement in Black culture. 


Dorothy Dandridge


photo credit

My favorite starlet is an Ohio child. Dorothy Dandridge was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1922. I first learned about her in 1999 like a lot of my peers while watching the HBO biopic where she was portrayed by Halle Berry, another Cleveland native.


photo credit


Dandridge has been compared to the likes of Marilyn Monroe and is often referred to as the black bombshell. She is recognized for being the first African American actress to be nominated for an Academy Award for best actress. 


The Dandridge Sisters Etta Jones, Dorothy ans her sister Vivian photo credit

At a very young age Dorothy began a career in entertainment.  Under her mother, actress Ruby Dandridge's guidance, she and her sister Vivian began touring together as The Wonder Kids, performing at churches and social events. The sisters were in demand and considered prodigies.


photo credit

 The sisters later moved to Los Angeles to find work in film. In LA, they began the trio The Dandridge Sisters with a third member,  Etta Jones. Winning contests in LA, they found regular work in New York  at the Cotton Club. There Dorothy was exposed to the who's who of the black entertainment of that time, including her first husband, dancer Harold Nicholas. 


photo credit

After a failed marriage and the birth of her special needs daughter Lynn, 
Dandridge picked up the pieces and went after her dreams of becoming an actress. Her singing talent helped land her roles in the industry, staring in movies such as Carmen Jones.  Her light completion and Caucasian features were appealing to the white audience and landed her roles in more mainstream movies such as Tarzan'a Peril. 
 Dandridge in Tarzan's Peril photo credit

She set new standards and strides in black entertainment history, though she was beautiful enough to star in leading female roles along side white male actors she was not allowed to be a love interest. Then in1957 she was paired with John Justin in " Island in the Sun", and Hollywood recorded the first time we saw a black woman in the arms of a white man.


Dandridge in Island in the Sun  photo credit

Dandridge's style was sexy and sophisticated. She put the sex appeal on for the cameras and stage with curve hugging costumes and dresses. On her off time she wore beautiful tailored feminine suits. Her casual wear, also body hugging pants, blouses and sweaters. She wore a lot of red gowns and the cut of most of her wardrobe emphasized her collar bone and decolletage.

photo credit

Dorothy Dandridge was late to be recognized for her talent and strides in history. Her talent and beauty was undeniable but her life began and ended before society was ready to really appreciate her. Her story is both beautiful and tragic. Tragic, in love including two failed marriages and many career road blocks due to her heritage and the substance abuse that ultimately contributed to her demise.  Beautiful, as she helped set in motion the beginning stages of  black women being accepted in staring roles in mainstream Hollywood movies. She was first to be nominated for an Oscar and her name rests inside a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She will always be remembered as our bombshell. 
photo credit

Yesterday I chose to honor her further by wearing a look inspired by one of my favorite photos of her. I love red as I think she may have. 


photo credit


Thank you for stopping by! 
Happy Black History Month! 
Be blessed!  Be free! 
 Be fashionable! 
Kris, 

Sources: Biography.com & Encyclopedia.com









Saturday, February 18, 2017

Black Starlets: Eartha Kitt

For the past 2 years we have dedicated our time focusing on Black icons during Black History Month. This year we chose to spotlight Black Starlets.  Women who broke race barriers and changed the world's perception of Black women, all while having impeccable style. Join us on this journey as we take a look back and reflect on a few iconic women who have made a statement in Black culture. 


Eartha Kitt


photo credit

I first laid eyes on Eartha Kitt in the 90s. I was watching Boomerang where she played the character Lady Eloise, who seduced Eddie Murphy's character Marcus after promising to put him in charge of her brand. I can still hear her calling his name 
"Marrrrrrrrcuuuuusssss". Even at 65 she was vibrant, sexy and had a body I would die for now. Her costumes in the movie had me in awe as a child who has always been interested in style and fashion. I remember watching and a family member walking behind me and saying, " You know she was Cat Woman in the 60s". It made me want to look her up and so I did shortly there after. 

photo credit

Eartha Kitt was the first African American woman to play Cat Woman, she took over for Julie Newmar in the television series in 1967 . She was the third Cat Women overall counting the movie portrayal by Lee Meriwether. Playing the roll made her a pop icon whose trademark growl has been imitated by many. 

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Nominated for Grammys, Tonys and Emmys  on multiple occasions for her performances in music, theater and on screen , she was also a survivor of neglect and exclusion because of her mixed race. Her mother sent her away to live with her aunt in Harlem. There as a teen she tried out for and won a spot with the Katherine Dunham Dance Troupe. She traveled around the world with the troupe. The exposure introduced her to Orson Wells who included her in his cast of his production " Dr. Faust." 

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In New York while performing she caught the attention of a Broadway producer. She appeared on Broadway in "New Faces of 1952". Her Broadway success earned her a recording contract which helped her produce many best-selling albums including the well known holiday favorite "Santa Baby". 

photo credit

Some of her last pieces of work earned her a new generation of fans as the voice of the villan YZMA of " The Emperor's New Groove". For that role that she played in two animated movies and a Saturday morning series, she won Emmy Awards in 2007 and 2008 for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program.

photo credit

Eartha Kitt performed in over 100 countries, singing in ten different languages. Those things are to be admired but what struck me most was that she had the courage to speak out against the Vietnam War at a White House luncheon during the Johnson administration. Her moment of free speech caused her to be blacklisted in Hollywood . Fortunately she was able to work abroad. She returned when things died down a put on an incredible show at Carnegie Hall. 

Along with her many awards and nominations, she was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I look forward to finding her star when I make my next trip to LA.

Thank you Eartha Kitt for your contribution to the arts and your courage to speak up against what many viewed as an unnecessary war. You left us so much of you, in your music, in your on screen and on stage performances . We will always remember that purr and that very distinctive voice.

photo credit

To honor Eartha Kitt further, I am closing this post with a look inspired by one of her photographs. I was not able to capture her essence but I do love leopard the way she did. I hope you are enjoying our Black Starlet Series and Black History Month 2017. 



Sources: 
http://www.earthakitt.com
http://www.biography.com/people/eartha-kitt


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Her Style---->My Way (Kristin)

Last Friday, we discussed the style of the legendary Lena Horne in our Black History Month Starlet Series. She was always very glamorous, in gowns, furs, hats and with flowers in her hair. It was a challenge trying to find a look that I could emulate. I don't really have any gowns or formal wear. I have not been anywhere where I needed to get dressed formal in a long time. I finally came across a photograph that I could use as inspiration. Using pieces I already owned I copied her look as closely as I could. I accomplished my look by focusing on texture like the fur vest and the knit bag. I pulled those textures into my look with my turban and fur jacket. I also payed attention to the cut of her suit jacket and was able to find a jumper in my closet with that same cut. Since the photo was in black in white, I made a guess with the colors, which I believe are white and chocolate. Today, I wore the look out to my ladies lunch gathering. This is Her Style done My Way.


The Look
 Coco Knit Turban: Marc's Grocery
Winter White Toni Todd Retro Jumper: Goodwill
Vintage Fox Fur Jacket: Gifted from my Step Grandma Shirley
White Leather Driving Gloves: Rag O Rama




Until Next Time,
Be blessed! Be free! Be fashionable!
Kris,

Friday, February 10, 2017

Black Starlets: Lena Horne

For the past 2 years we have dedicated our time focusing on Black icons during Black History Month. This year we chose to spotlight Black Starlets.  Women who broke race barriers and changed the world's perception of Black women, all while having impeccable style. Join us on this journey as we take a look back and reflect on a few iconic women who have made a statement in Black culture. 



Lena Horne


Lena Horne in 1956



My first memory of seeing Lena Horne was in 1993 when she appeared on an episode of A Different World, titled "A Rock, a River, a Lena". Honestly, I don't think I knew who she was prior to watching that episode, but the way everyone talked about her, I knew she was special. Whitley even called her our first black sex symbol, saying that she broke stereotypes of black women playing prostitutes and maids.

Lena Horne began her career in 1933, joining the chorus line of the Cotton Club in New York City.



Photo Credit



Ms.Horne was the first African-American to land the cover of a movie magazine, she went on to be on the cover of many more magazines.






One shoulder dresses were a big part of Lena's signature style. These dresses were a great choice because they accentuated her collarbone and gave the illusion of a long neck. With Lena's long dresses and one shoulder style her body was elongated, I would never have guessed that she was only 5'5".





Like many Black iconic stars, Lena felt her fair share of racism and unfair treatment throughout her time in Hollywood. While working with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Lena was never featured in a leading role because of her race and her films had to be re-edited for showing in cities where theaters would not show films with black performers. Most of her film appearances were stand-alone sequences that had no bearing to the rest of the film, so when they cut her scenes there was no disruption to the story line.



Lena Horne and Medgar Evers


Ms. Horne was a social activist, being involved in the Civil Rights Movement. Lena stood for a cause, and she used her stardom to make a difference. She attended an NAACP rally with Medgar Evers the weekend before he was assassinated, she was at the March on Washington, and even worked with Eleanor Roosevelt to pass anti-lynching laws.

My favorite story was re-told on the episode of "A Different World". Mr. Gaines shared a story that no one quite believes, until Ms. Horne confirms that the story is true. During World War II, when entertaining the troops for the USO, she refused to perform for segregated audiences or for groups where German POWs were seated in front of African-American servicemen. At the time the U.S. Army refused to allow integrated audiences, so Lena walked off of stage and went to perform facing the African-American servicemen, while the German POWs sat behind her. What a statement!!




Lena, we thank you for your contribution to the world. We thank you for taking a stand for what you believed in, and for the being the first African-American woman to show the world that we are more than prostitutes and maids. We honor you this month.

Also in honor of Lena Horne, I did a recreation of her album cover for 'Lovely and Alive'. I'm telling you trying to get this photo just right was harder than it looks, but I did my best.





Be Blessed! Be Free! Be Fashionable!

~Chris