Thursday, January 21, 2016

Little Old Me

I'm gettin' old, yo.

Jk, but seriously I am. It's just a fact of life: you keep living you get older.  To some people, though, I will always be little.  I like that.  When I feel myself slipping away, I can connect with the people that see me underneath it all.  One of those people is a childhood friend. We'll call her " L".  We have graduated to that grown lady space of  b-day emails and phone calls, but the love is still there. When we talk it's a massive catch up, usually inspired by some sparked memory of our middle school days.
 I thought of her when I saw  that  Fashion Bomb Daily interviewed Kimora Lee Simmons  for  Fashion Week. " This is totally something  'L" would send me ." I thought to myself.

To her I'm still the skinny little girl  hustilin' for a pair of Baby Phat Jeans. In middle school I was convinced that they would act as a protective talisman, navigating me through a preteen hell littered with of evil mini hoodrats, popular boys unable to see me and teachers audacious enough to expect my homework on time.

Fashion is not a new fancy for me. When L knew me  I told everybody: I'm moving to New York, I'm going to  FIT and I am gonna be a Fashion Designer. KLS was a major influence to me and as a pre teen I wanted to work for BabyPhat. She showed the world that you could  be street, feminine and profitable in the fashion industry.  I wanted her life. Her shine motivated me.

Knowing  that someone remembers  me that way is  comforting as I continue to work toward my dream. I see those days as my roots. I believe that they will nourish the fruits that I will produce.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Conversations in the Nail Shop

The weekend after Halloween, I went to get a fill and color change. While I loved the pewter polish with flecks of bronze I rocked with my Freddy Kruger Costume on Halloween, it was time to freshen my nails. I choose an antique gold color and was placed at the dryer station next to a delightful man named Danny. Danny wasn't old enough to be a silver fox, but he was well on his way to Anderson Cooper-ville with his salt and pepper coif and warm, smiling eyes. He was waiting on his  mani and pedi ( midnight blue might I add)  to dry, while reading the October issue of W.

Normally I keep to myself. A lot of times it reads as standoffish.  I am just big on minding my business and respecting other people's space. But I couldn't help peaking at his magazine. I mean  Iman with curls poppin' like Diana Ross circa 1977? Mary J Blige in black and white profile that  screamed "ALL HAIL THE QUEEN"? What was I suppose to do? To be honest it's a miracle  I didn't hop in his lap like it was storytime.   

He continued to flip through the magazine until he got to a beautiful shoot of Edie Cambell called "When in Rome" and exclaimed that he didn't "get" her head piece.

Danny said it was overkill and didn't match anything she wore. I hypothesized that it was a throwback to Italian Christian Art.  Maybe it was to create a halo shape similar to what you would see on the Virgin Mary? He liked that idea, but still felt that it was a poor match with the dresses. He suggested that it nod to Elizabeth Taylor in Roman Holiday, a movie I had never seen. Lastly I made the dirtiest of guesses; that this was just paid product placement by the milliner that created the piece. Maybe this art was just a big fancy commercial. Jaded? Probably.

Danny went on to share with me his past life in fashion as a FIDM grad. I told him about the line.  I was impressed by his credentials, and he was impressed by my choice to focus on plus size fashion. Talking to him was a pleasure, When he brought up Project Runway, we talked about the real shit in fashion. I rarely talk about this industry with people, because then the conversation goes hallow, but with Danny in those brief minutes we talked about our dreams, difficulties,  role models in the industry.  It was refreshing. He told me to delegate, and I shared with him that I am trying to, though it's hard. He reinforced that plus size market was a good choice. Without viewing as much as a sketch  he said, "Women are waiting for you." Not to be a whiny artist, but that was good to hear.  

I'm glad to meet have meet Danny. I hope I see him again. Honest encounters like that make me love my city.