Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Style Adventures Vol. 18 (Athens, Georgia)



A few weeks ago I visited Athens, Georgia. I was just there for the night and half of the following day. The small college town has some cool shops located downtown. I fell in love with two really crowded but fun shops that I want to share with you. If you are in the area, these are two places you may just find some stylish gems.


260 W Clayton St. Athens, GA 30601

I started the day with brunch at Heirloom with my girlfriend. Our server was nice enough to offer a list of places to check out in the city. One of the places he suggested was Atomic. The vintage shop is located on Clayton Street in the company of many other shops selling everything from smoking supplies to clothing and bath products. You will also find some interesting bars and restaurants in the area, including a place that specializes in crepes. 

Atomic stands out in the area as a place where you can find style and nostalgia. There are racks and stands covered with vintage clothing, shoes and jewelry. They also carry vinyl records, some antiques and housewares. I was so overwhelmed that I made myself focus on accessories. Lately, I have been looking for copper, turquoise and sunglasses. I somehow
 remained focused. I came out with a cool pair of vintage sunglasses.

My New Sunnies!!!

A couple blocks up the street I ran across another second hand/vintage shop. 

Cillies Clothing
 175 E Clayton St, Athens, GA 30601

On the same street a couple blocks away I ran into Cillies. The second hand shop was just as crowded as the first shop, with clothing, shoes and accessories. Because I was burning up in the jeans and poly-blend Dorothy Dandridge tee that I was wearing. I found  a pretty kaftan that I quickly bought and changed into for relief. I am wearing it in the photos below.

The store is full of fun costume jewelry, vintage items including: clothing, shoes and handbags. For those who aren't into vintage, they sell modern day clothing too. I ran across some designer bags displayed high on the wall fixtures like a Louis Vuitton duffle bag. Need a formal dress? There are a couple of racks to choose from. Need some sports gear? They have a couple racks of that too. There is also some home furnishings and locally handmade items. The best things I spotted were some Asian fabric jackets and a case of turquoise jewelry. 

My New Kaftan!!!

Look for my new pieces in future closet blog posts! Fashionista's, antiquers & store owners! Got a store or area we should visit? Leave me a comment or email us.

Be blessed! Be free! Be fashionable!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Spring Trends: What I'm Crushing on Pt 2

Spring has officially arrived, although it's hard to tell when I'm still waking up to snow, weather advisories, and we can't forget the nor'easter blasting the East coast.  I think we're all holding on to the thought that warm weather will appear sooner or later. A week ago I shared part 1 of my favorite spring trends, today I am sharing part 2, including a bonus trend.

4. Statement Straw Hats

Hats can be hard to wear if you have big natural hair like me. I'm feeling this trend because it looks like I can wear these styles, despite my big hair. I see a statement straw hat being added to my beach wardrobe this summer.

5. Pink and Red

Ok, I may be a little biased with this trend, as pink and red are our brand colors. Somehow, I think the universe manifested this trend for Kristin and I. Kristin even wore it when we hung out this past weekend.


6. Shorts

Shorts have never really been my thing. I've always been a little self conscious of my skinny legs, and shorts were never really flattering on me. I like the shorts being shown this season; 1.) they are longer, 2.) they are tailored, and 3.) they are stylish. Who wouldn't want to wear them?

***7. BONUS TREND: Black and White Polka dots

Choosing polka dots as a favorite trend is probably causing me to rebel against my mom, as she HATED polka dots when I was growing up. I never minded them, but was always hesitant to wear them because of her strong aversion to them. The big polka dots shown by Carolina Herrera are more my style versus the tiny dots.

Have you decided what trends you're adding to your spring wardrobe? I would love to hear your favorites. 

Be Blessed! Be Free! Be Fashionable!


Thursday, March 8, 2018

Spring Trends: What I'm Crushing on/ Part 1

Per the calendar, spring is set to begin in 12 days. The weather is giving me some spring vibes, warmer temps, lots of rain and bits of sunshine here and there. Anytime the seasons change I start thinking about how I am going to change my wardrobe. Over the past few weeks I have been browsing the web in search of spring trends. Here are a few of my faves!!

1. Rainbow

The rainbow trend caught my eye, because I love color. Either a mixture of colors together or separate bold colors. Many designers showed how the rainbow inspired them in different ways. The Carolina Herrera dress was my favorite interpretation of this trend. I love the classic style of the dress and the pattern mixing. The dress also includes 2 other spring trends, asymmetrical shoulder and the puff sleeve. (dress shown below)

2. Day Glow

It's OK to wear glitz and glam during the day!! Normally sequins and sparkles are reserved for evening functions. But this spring feel free to break out that sparkly top for a daytime event.

3. White Tank Top

Now I think of the white tank top as a wardrobe essential, not necessarily a trend. I layer with a white tank top almost daily, I guess that makes me a fashion trendsetter, right?  However, I do love the simplicity of this trend, you can find a quality tank top for under $10. Layer it or  wear it alone!!

Alexander Wang

What trends are you feeling for spring? 
Next week I will share part 2 that will include 3 more spring trends I'm crushing on.

Be Blessed! Be Free! Be Fashionable!


Thursday, February 22, 2018

Iconic Black Designers: Elizabeth Keckly

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.

Elizabeth Keckly (1818-1907)

When I came across the story of Elizabeth Keckly, it was so good that I had to share it with you. I hope you feel inspired and learn something new after reading this.

Elizabeth Keckly was born a slave in 1818 in Virginia, like many if not all slaves she endured a very hard upbringing. She started caring for her master's children at just age 4. Imagine that.  She was blessed to have a network of supporters, the talent of dressmaking and determination, this led to her to being able to buy her freedom for $1200.  With her newfound freedom she moved to Washington, D.C. to start her own dressmaking business, during this time she connected with first lady Mary Todd Lincoln.

In 1861, the first lady hired Elizabeth as her personal modiste. She took on the role as dressmaker, personal dresser and confidante, the two women became very close, forming a friendship. 

 1868, Keckly published an autobiography,  Behind the Scenes: Or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House. I was so excited to find that it is available at the library, I placed it on hold and can't wait to read it. The autobiography is a slave narrative and a portrait of the first family.

There are not many designs that still exist of hers, and even the ones that do exist are hard to connect with Elizabeth. During this time period there were no tags or labels in garments, and because fabric was so expensive, it was very common for dresses to be taken apart and reconstructed to make new dresses. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History has a few dresses that belonged to Mary Lincoln, which were most likely made by Elizabeth.

Keckly's design aesthetic was very simple and sophisticated, which did not compare to many dresses in the Victorian Era. Her designs were very clean and did not have a lot of lace or ribbon. This was another way designs could be connected to Keckly, she had a very unique design style for that era.

Elizabeth was very business savvy, she was able to make friends with the right people who would support her, this says a lot about her personality, especially from growing up in such adverse living conditions.

In the African-American community, Elizabeth was seen as a socialite because of her beauty, and for being elegant, upright and appropriate.

I could go on about her life story, but I will end it with this. Working as a dressmaker was the highest paid position for a woman during that time, Keckly's dresses were expensive and the envy of women in Washington. So just imagine the amount of money she was making, I would consider her one of the first successful African American designers. She has truly paved the way for those of us that have careers in the fashion industry.

Thank you Miss Keckly! We honor you for all that you have done to pave the way for current designers. 

Be Blessed! Be Free! Be Fashionable!


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

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5.  Browse Street Style Blogs

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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!