Backstage at Harlem’s Fashion Row With Dark And Lovely

Dark and Lovely served as the exclusive backstage hair sponsor of Harlem’s Fashion Row- an organization dedicated to showcasing the work of emerging African-American designers. Celebrity hair stylist Keith Campbell crafted looks that were futuristic and ran the gamut from highly textured tresses to sleek ponytails.

I had a chance to chat with Mezei Jefferson, Softsheen-Carson Director of education about the companies foray into natural hair care and he indicated “we want women to stay in the dark and lovely family-They were pioneers in the relaxer so they decided to keep up with the trend of natural hair”.

To create the looks:

For the highly teased and textured hair Au Naturale Coil Moisturizing soufflé (SRP 9.99) was used- two- strand twists can be created to add greater volume and definition; untwist and spray Natural Shine Sealing Nectar (SRP 9.99)to provide moisture and sheen.

For sleek ponytails:
Apply Let’s Jam Custard and brush hair into a high ponytail. Complete the look by braiding hair into a single ponytail.

Kena Marvel served as key make up artist for the show and the runway looks were inspired by the samurai, futuristic chic and African tribal influences.

Dark and Lovely can be found at discount retailers nationwide.

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Mezei Jefferson, Softsheen Carson Director of Education

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Long ponytails shown backstage

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Celebrity Stylist Keith Campbell

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photo credit: Sherrie Wood, Luxe Glam Collective

Curves Rock Weekend- Runway Recap

If you haven’t had the pleasure of spending any amount of time watching Tionna Smalls of MTV fame – truly get to know her. Smalls was one of the delightful hosts of Curves Rock Weekend which is the premier full figured fashion week for the Baltimore/DC metro area. Hosting duties were shared by Baltimore’s own super-model Liris Crosse who also serves as one of the business partners behind the weekend.

Curves Rock consisted of a host of seminars with a focus on empowering women; however the marquee event was the runway show which featured eight designers and a bevy of some of the most gorgeous plus-sized models I’ve ever laid eyes on. The brain child of former models- Tykesha “Ms Diva Doll” Reed and Chanell “Stallion N’ Stilettos” Jones this was only the second year for an event that bought women from as far away as San Diego.

Here are some of the highlights from the show which included designs from Torrid, Ashley Stewart, Anne Kaufman, Marco Hall and Shanda Freeman.

The vendors were another highlight for the weekend and one my hands down favorites was www.thicknesstees.com which celebrate the thickness of curvy women.

photo credit: Sherrie Wood, Luxe Glam Collective
Liris was one of the host for the evening

Annie Kaufman featured some of my favorite looks

Annie Kaufman featured some of my favorite looks

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fashion to figure

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Curves Rock ( But You Already Knew That!)

Liris Crosse

Liris Crosse


I am a huge fan of all things curvy and fly and this weekend, my home town- Baltimore will play host to a bevy of the tastemakers who are blazing a path for themselves in the fashion industry. Curvy girls have long sense been ignored by mainstream fashion and media so events like Curves Rock and Full Figured Fashion Week give a voice to a consumer who has largely been forgotten. From a panel being hosted by MTV’s Tionna Smalls of Girl Get Your Mind Right- to a model bootcamp hosted by Baltimore’s own voluptuous beauty Liris Crosse- Curves Rock Weekend promises to be filled with great fashion, networking and empowerment. Tickets are selling out fast, so log into
www.curvesrockweekend.com to get your tickets today!

Curvy on the Carpet- Oscars Recap

The Oscars took place last night  and with the exception of a few highlights the show was a huge bore; In fact, I actually fell asleep in spite of my attempts to stay awake in order to see Adele perform what I now know is her Oscar winning song Skyfall.

Much will be written about how amazing Charlize Theron looked in Dior ( my best-dressed for the evening) or how Halle simply slayed in custom Versace- however, I wanted to show some love to the curvy girls who graced the red carpet last night.

If you have not figured it out by now, I’m a curvy girl who is constantly learning to embrace the figure God blessed me with- I applaud women in Hollywood who quite frankly are “average” sized but definitively find themselves in the  plus- sized category based on Hollywood ‘s standards. Here’s my Oscar rundown:

Octavia Spencer remained loyal to Tadashi Shoji in a nude-peach chiffon gown by the designer. I was not a fan of her look at all and after the actress recently  lost 20 pounds, I would have been happy to see her in something that highlighted her newly slimmed down figure; instead she wound up looking quite matronly in a dress that would have been perfect for the mother of the bride.

 

Octavia Spencer

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Melissa McCarthy
Let me start by saying I love this woman- she has pitch-perfect comedic timing and is currently starring in one of the top box office hits-Identity Theft. Unfortunately she entrusted her red carpet look to someone who simply has no clue how to dress a fuller figured woman. Everything about last nights look was wrong- from the ill-fitting gown to hair that reminded me of the old school cast of Dallas.85th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

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Queen Latifah
I only happened to  catch a glimpse of Lah on the carpet but let me tell you, she always looks amazing- she was resplendent in Bagdley Mischka and everything from her elegant pony tail to her flawless make up was completely swoon-worthy.

 

 

queen latifah

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Adele is my new girl crush and she was hands down my favorite on the red carpet last night- although I would have loved to have seen her in something other than her staple black she looked incredibly gorgeous in Jenny Packham. Part of the reason I loved her look is because she chose something that accentuated her assets and minimized any flaws.

 

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NYFW- Maatano A/W 2013 Food and Fashion!

 

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Let’s skip this winter and fast forward straight to fall which is going to be amazingly dark,  laid back  and regal all at the same time. With tons of texture, gold and prints that keep you mesmerized Mataano served fall on a platter that made you want to devour each piece. The collection channeled Janet Jackson circa 1997 patent leather, cheetah print and it was rich with color.

Speaking of platter as part of the festivities Chef Roble was the master of eats serving a plethora of appetizers that made me want to slap your mother. Chicken, portobello mushroom , succulent steak, mixed greens and tortellini rounded out the menu.

 Come fall, I can see I will  need some leather of all types in my wardrobe, and what about that makeup winged liner and those vamp lips ladies get ready for the fall it’s going to be dark and lovely.

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Miss Merli Estime is the creator of the fashion, beauty and lifestyle blog Miss Merli In NYC. A makeup artist and stylist, she works with clients at fashion shows, magazine photo shoots, and more enhancing the beauty of the masses. More than anything she loves sharing life through her eyes via photography with the masses all day, everyday via Instagram & Twitter follow her: @MissMerli! twitter @MissMerli
www.missmerlinyc.com

 

Backstage at Lisa Perry A/W 2013

Lisa Perry presented her autumn/ winter 2013 collection as NY fashion week kicks off today. Revlon Global Artistic director, Gucci Westman partnered with the designer to create retro chic makeup looks which offered a definite nod to the mod look made popular in the 60’s.

Deep purples and cool blues were used for liner instead of black and a vibrant blue shadow was added to the look to create additional drama. The rest of the face was kept natural.

Here’s a rundown of what Westman used:

FACE:
Revlon PhotoReady Bronzer in Bronzed and Chic, $12.99

EYES:
Revlon ColorStay 16H Eyeshadow Quad in Free Spirit from The Spring/Summer ’13 Collection by Gucci Westman, $7.49 (available April 2013)

Revlon PhotoReady Primer and Shadow in Muse from The Fall ’13 Collection by Gucci Westman, $9.99 (available October 2013)
Revlon ColorStay Liquid Eye Pen in Blackest Black, $8.99

Revlon ColorStay Eyeliner in Brown, $7.99
Revlon PhotoReady Kajal Intense Eyeliner + Brightener in Blue Nile, $8.99 (available June 2013)
Revlon Fantasy Lengths Maximum Wear Glue-On Lashes in Intensifying and Wispy (depending on model), $5.49
Revlon PhotoReady 3D Volume Mascara in Blackest Black, $8.99

LIPS:
Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Sugar Frosting, $7.49
Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Cupcake $7.49

NAIL:
Revlon ColorStay Longwear Nail Enamel in Provence, $7.99

For more details visit www.revlon.com

 

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Plus Model Magazine Blogger Conference Recap

As New York Fashion Week came to a close last week, Plus Model Magazine hosted  a  blogger conference in order to  introduce Mynt 1792; a new plus friendly clothing line that recognizes just how much “luxury-sized” women like to show off their assets. The collection featured embellished denim, fur vests and brightly-hued motorcycle leather jackets.  The bloggers in attendance were practically giddy with excitement because the  line recognizes curvy women are not afraid of rich and vibrant colors- like the bright Kelly green and fire engine red motorcycle  jackets paired with skinny jeans featured in the collection.  I was particularly fond of the gold slim fitting jeans as they offer a perfect option for the upcoming holiday season when you want to be festive and stand out in something other than the typical cocktail dress.  Mynt 1792 uses fit models that are a size 18 and they recognize that not all curvy girls have an hourglass shape and as a result the collection offers something for everyone.

 

Mynt 1792 will be available on their website as well as Nordstrom.com in October.
Check out a video of the collection here

mixologist creating *mynt* themed-cocktails

 

These gold skinny jeans offered the perfect “wow” factor

The team behind the Mynt 1792 brand

 

These motorcycle jackets are beautifully crafted with an awesome fit

New York Fashion Week Mathieu Mirano Recap

Mathieu Mirano’s Spring 2013 collection hit multiple ends of the spectrum of fashion from ready to wear to editorial. A navy chevron hem coat, navy leather shirt and Mikado trouser with calfskin embossed heels could have walked right out from tents and would have been attacked by street style photographers.

 

Great separates that came in a variety of material and a range of colors from an orange pleated leather jacket to red knit dress in red were wearable pieces that made attendees want to commence spring shopping now. The white sequined cape with multi-rainbow yoke featured in the collection was perfect for a W Magazine editorial and a green chiffon beetle gown that needs a red carpet moment.

 

 

 

 

New York Fashion Week- Dennis Basso

Dennis Basso paired with Pour La Victorie shoes who’s amazingly crafted designs are equal parts elegant and chic. The presentation was a combination of old world glamour meets Paris socialite as the gowns were reminiscent of times gone by and  meant to conjure up images of a evening out in Deauville, France in the 60’s.  This spring, the topknot is going to be making its rounds again, but with a more polished coiffed look than the haphazard “sock bun” that has been pervasive this season. The beautiful gowns paired with faux fur stoles remind me of the old school style in my grandmother’s closet.   The Pour La Victorie shoes featured in the presentation will be available for a limited time contact 1-855-PourLAV for details.      

New York Fashion Week- Rafael Cennamo Review

Rafael Cennamo’s collection launched in 2006 and has since become synonymous with elegant couture. His Spring/Summer 2013 collection featured classic lines with a decidedly modern twist. With delicate pastels, the gowns boasted amazing beading detail with everything from red carpet worthy silver sequins to the most gorgeous voluminous gown, cinched at the waist with a silver belt.   If you are a stylists looking to outfit clients in red-carpet wear sure to land them firmly on the best-dressed list, look no further than Cennamo for the upcoming award season.

 

 

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