StyleWatch: Black Girl Magic

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StyleWatch: SAG Style!

The “little” awards show that could brought some big style statements! Nestled between the Globes and the Oscars, the SAG awards often comes and goes with little fanfare but that did not stop the ladies from giving us a burst of color on the red carpet. Check out my favorites below!

 

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Camila Alves rarely disappoints and this red carpet was no different. Ms. McConaughey wowed with this sweetheart design in the evening’s popular jewel tone. I am loving her hair as of late, the highlights really compliment her skin and she’s been hitting it out of the park with complimentary makeup looks!

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BLF fave Dascha Polanco (no, really, she is the highest searched name on this site!) absolutely wowed in white lace. Opting for a high neckline and long sleeves, Polanco let her back do the talking in what would normally be a high-risk choice. Lace has not fared well on the red carpet but pair it with Dascha’s curves and you can never lose! And speaking of winning, Orange is The New Black continues its awards tear taking home the awards for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series (the incomparable Uzo Aduba) and Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series. Shut it down ladies!

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And who is once again shutting down the red carpet? None other than Lupita Nyong’o in Elie Saab! Really, we should all just go home. This look is without flaw.

 

What were your favorite red carpet looks so far?

From the Drafts Folder; The Problem with the “New” Blacks

***Editors Note:

Since the events surrounding Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Eric Garner and the protests in Ferguson and beyond, I’ve written…a lot. But try as I might, many emotions have kept me from saying what I want to say in the way I wanted to, or closing posts out in a way that seems…finished. The events, my feelings, this chapter in our history-it is ongoing, ever-evolving, and may not conclude in my lifetime. It is for this reason I am choosing to post my raw, unedited thoughts from the drafts folder, unfinished and all, once a week. This first post is almost a year old. Hopefully these unfinished posts will spark some discussion, or at the very least, personal reflection. Thanks for reading.***

 

All my life, people have told me “what” I am.

I have always found this amusing, as usually the declaration followed the question, “what are you?” Seemingly unsatisfied with whatever my response was at the time, I would first be told I didn’t “look” like it, and I would then be corrected with what I “really” was.

Which was sorta fair, because what I “was” constantly changed.

See, I am one of those blissful “new America” examples-a product of the melting pot of combined race and ethnicity, a bilingual 1st generation mish-mash of awesome. Which is great…until you try to find a lunch table at school and realize you aren’t “enough” of anything to have a seat. And, after enough lunches in the bathroom, what you end up doing is floating from one extreme to another in search of a place to belong. And float I did.

There was the phase where I wore the flag of my mother’s culture everywhere I went, hanging it on doors and using it as window curtains. There was the militant phase. The “all my ancestors were born free”-phase (don’t ask). The blue-haired outsider theater-geek phase. And I was one of the lucky ones that didn’t fall into the extra-angry gangster-phase, or the uh.. “Gamma Rays”-phase. But try as I might, I could never fit in well enough to join the club. So somewhere between the blue-hair and the natural hair phase I settled on just being..me. “I” was my identifier, not race, not ethnicity, not a food, music genre or movie collection. I stopped measuring my authenticity by other people’s standards. I know what I am, no matter how many times you attempt to correct me or take my [insert race/ethnicity] card away for some thing I was supposed to know or do. I’m not in your club? Fine, I’m in mine. Prosper and be great.

Part of my process to get to my current level of contentment was writing. I wrote about race…a lot. Won a few awards for it, too. But as I brought my “unique” views to the public forefront I found out I had many more detractors than supporters. While it was comforting to learn I was not alone and find my audience, a hard fact began to emerge. See, in a world where everybody wanna be a n*gga but don’t nobody wanna be a n*gga, unsurprisingly few really want to hear about the n*gga that wasn’t n*gga enough.

Which brings me to the Pharrell’s and the Saldana’s of the world. Because of our shared experiences with cultural invisibility, I understand every word they’re saying about getting “past” race. I even agree to some extent.

Sure Pharrell can decide to “transcend race” and become the “new Black”. Yes, Saldana can declare she’s “past race” and has bigger fish to fry…but what about the Lupita Nyon’go’s of the world that can’t? What good is a movement if you can’t bring everybody with you?

Moda por Menos-the Lupita Edition!!!

We are back with the first MpM of the new year!

I have been following awards season since the beginning of January, and by far the red-carpet standout was 12 Years a Slave’s  Lupita Nyong’o!

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Taking award season by storm, Miss Nyong’o has rarely a misstep on the red carpet. Sticking to a basic style formula that highlights her best assets, glowing skin and flawless makeup, Lupita’s effortless look is one of the easiest to adapt into your own wardrobe. Let’s check out some of her looks below!

The self-admitted shopping averse starlet relies on her stylist Micaela Erlanger to piece together her signature look (which NY Magazine coined “bold minimalism“), focusing on bright basics and creative remixes of classic silhouettes. First up, the sheath!

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Lupita’s defined arms take the stage here. Her stylist takes a bold approach to a simple silhouette by playing with texture and color. Nyong’o sticks to primary colors to let her skin really pop.

For this take on the sheath you can experiment by trying a texture you would not normally choose, such as this Adrianna Papell Embellished Mixed Texture Sheath:

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Or a bold primary color, like this KAMALIKULTURE sheath:

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Both under $100 dollars!

Next, her stylist personalizes the classic V-neck:

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Here Lupita’s hourglass figure is the star. The multi-lingual actress (fun fact: Nyong’o was born in Mexico to Kenyan parents and speaks fluent Spanish) lets her hips do the talking and keeps the dress simple with minimal accessories.

Be the star of your next event with this take from LuLu’s at a mere $36 dollars:

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Or jazz up after-work cocktails with this desk-to-dinner frock from ASOS:

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And finally, Lupita has a little fun with mixed prints!

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By far the most fashion-forward of her red-carpet looks, her stylist creatively pairs prints with fun textures to give her a youthful edge.

You can add a little “pop” to your next brunch with these paisley shorts by J-Crew:

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Or give structure to a colored pant with this textured blazer from Alfani:

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Lupita has definitely been my girl crush for this awards season! What have your favorite looks been so far?