It’s a Photo Shoot!

cafe henriLast weekend I was finally able to link up with a couple girlfriends that I haven’t seen in weeks.  We met for brunch at a French café, Café Henri, that was simply amazing and afterwards found ourselves roaming the calm streets of West Village.

Sunita and Christina are both fashion bloggers who take their industry very seriously.  When I suggested that we take a picture or two, I had NO IDEA that I was signing up for a photo shoot.   The next thing I know, they each whipped out their powerful Nikon cameras, found absolutely beautiful backdrops and began snapping away.

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“Raise your sleeve a bit so we can see your gorgeous wrist accessories.  Yup, amazing!”

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“Right there Ashley, in front of that door!  Yes!  It goes perfect with your outfit!”

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“Look natural!  The pictures don’t work when you’re trying to hard.  Beautiful!”

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Then after reviewing several photos, they exclaimed, “Yes, here it is!  This is the shot.  This is it!

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Out of all of those pictures however, this one is my favorite.

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XOXO.

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The Secret Behind That Tutu I Was Wearing On Instagram…

 

Over the weekend I wore this tulle skirt to a New York Fashion Week event.

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While the outfit felt incredibly obnoxious in the privacy of my own bedroom, once I was out walking the NYC streets, you couldn’t tell me I was anything less than fierce!  Folks’ compliments didn’t help-it seemed like almost every woman I passed was ogling over the exceptional tutu.  As a pranced along throughout the evening, I was nearly convinced I was a princess!  :p

I’m here to let you in on a little secret…  Would you believe me if I told you I made it myself?  Yes, it is a DIY project.  This past spring I sat down and made my tulle tutu.

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I spent $20.  Yes, twenty dollars.

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Blake Von D posted the tutu tutorial awhile back and after closely following her directions, I had a masterpiece of my own.*

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As hard as it is to believe, it really is as simple as stated on her site.  The most difficult part of the entire process for me was deciding which color(s) of tulle I wanted!

Happy tutu-making ladies! XOXO

*While Blake ordered three rolls of black tulle, I thought I would make two tutus, so I ordered three rolls of wine tulle as well.  Unfortunately, when I started adding the black tulle to my elastic band (from an old pair of leggings), my skirt was still extremely sheer.  It was at that point I began adding pieces of wine tulle between the pieces of black.  My two-toned tutu took six rolls of tulle and I couldn’t be any happier with it!

Fashion Profile: Transitioning From Winter To Spring

The weather during this time of the year is never anything short of bi-polar.  Any day you can wake up with it being 35 degrees and it will hit 65-70 degrees by 3pm, then drop down to 45 degrees by nightfall.  As a woman this makes dressing fashionably, and practically, nearly impossible.  Yesterday my newest issue of Vogue arrived and it is there, as well as random sightings, that I have found some inspiration for some pieces to make the transition to Spring a little easier.

I’ve always loved the practicality and the classic nostalgia that Oxford shoes represent.  In the fall I purchased some suede/patent leather black heeled ones that won’t transition well to Spring.  These two-toned brown ones will get the job done and can match many different looks.

OPI has been my primary polish brand of choice ever since Veronika introduced the brand to me (she is to nails what I am to hair).  At the beginning of this year the brand’s newest line, Shatter, was introduced.  Veronika got me a bottle of the black color and I can’t wait to pair it with a shade of red. 

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been seeing this look repeated quite often.  I love it!  The tights protect you from the cold temperatures while the shorts reflect the warmer weather.  I would like to try this look with tweed shorts/basic black tights or some basic dark shorts/patterned black tights.  I’ve seen a few women wear colored tights such as red or fuschia but I’m not a fan of it-that look is a bit too loud for my own personal taste.

Military-inspired trenches and coats aren’t too new to the fashion scene, but what is new is the incorporation of feminine-detailing, such as the ruffles you see on this coat.  I also like how it’s featured in the peach shade.  I am a fan of all things ruffly, pearl-adorned and feminine so this look is right up my alley!

Color is your friend!  Too often, women of color shy away from bright tones in the makeup aisle because we are afraid we won’t apply it correctly and will wind up looking like a clown.  Those concerns are valid; I myself have subscribed to them.  Recently however, I attempted red lipstick and successfully pulled it off.  I recommend visiting a MAC counter or taking a trip to Sephora and having makeup pros find bright tones that are flattering for your skin tone and have them TEACH you how to properly apply it.  As long as you have that guidance (along with YouTube makeup tutorials) you should be okay.  Still in doubt?  Make sure you have a true friend or two nearby to give you honest feedback as to whether the specific color you’re trying is working out for your best interest.

Black Beauty #nohorses (only my avid book readers would understand that play-on-words)

This definitely reminds me of my mother and I 🙂

These beauty’s are in the eyes of EVERY beholder.  It’s undeniable.  Beyond their apparent physical beauty (they’re models, hello!), we see the beauty of the (Black) American family, (Black) American love and overall, a representative of American culture…it just so happens that this representative is wearing a Black face. 

And this is a Gap ad.  Gap.  Gap is viewed as uber American.  It’s up there with J. Crew, Abercrombie and American Eagle.  That is so powerful to me!

Shoutout’s to Patrick Robinson, the Black designer who’s been the Head Designer for Gap since 2007. 

Black History Month yall, we’re still celebrating 🙂

Is Spring Making An Early Comeback?

If so, I’m READY! *Alicia Keys voice*  This week’s heatwave has got me looking at my closet, anxious to trade out my winter sweaters for some of spring’s lighter, brighter tops.

I noticed last year that I’m starting to become more interested in fashion.  It all began with Shelby-she’d make it her mission to dress me from a distance, mainly NYC since that’s where she lived at the time (heck, she still does dress me from a distance).  My conversation with my personal stylist always went something like this:

Shelby: “What are your plans for the weekend couso?”

Me: “Well I’m not really sure.  I’m supposed to be going out with [insert random guy of the moment] and he mentioned something about some new ethnic restaurant.  We’ll see.”

“Ooh!  Neat couso!  What are you wearing?”

“I don’t really know.  I haven’t even thought about it to be honest…all I know is my hair.  I’m probably wearing it out and pinned up on the sides.”

“Hmm…I see you in some sort of pattern.  Because you said ‘ethnic,’ right?  Yeah, so wear some sort of patterned shirt-use bright colors!  And your skinny jeans would be good too.  Do you have any colored ones?  Your jewelry could be simple and understated.  And then your shoes, you could…”

Yeah, Shelby can talk fashion for days lol.  As a result I began taking a more active interest in it myself.  I love how Shelby will take a trend and make it her own.  By watching her, I taught myself how to dress for me-there are certain styles I favor, certain wardrobe classics that I’ve adopted as staples and I’ve even adopted my personal trademark accessory-pearls and my hair. 

As a result I’ve noticed myself eagerly anticipating new seasons so that I can find the new trends, tweak them so that they carry my own, “Fancy A. Yancey” spin and overall find new ways to rock old looks.  With Spring 2011 only mere weeks away, below are some of the looks I found at Glamour that I hope to adopt into my own wardrobe. 

Michael Kors, Spring 2011

While 70’s inspired a-line coats in bright colors are the trend, I think I’m going to focus on copping a bright, highly-textured coat, sans the 70’s a-line.  I’ve never liked those looks much.

Wes Gordon, Spring 2011

I love military-inspired looks but have yet to try them.  This vest is something I could definitely see myself doing but I’d probably pair it with some skinny jeans.

Derek Lam, Spring 2011

I LOVE that the flare-legged jean is not completely gone (mainly because I’ve not yet thrown mine out from 6+years ago)!  I can’t wait to pull my old styles out and wear them again this season 🙂

Chris Benz, Spring 2011

While I’m not a fan of this look, I do like how heavily patterned it is.  I plan on gravitating towards more floral-patterned tops.  I’ve noticed that too many of my shirts are basic, plain black or white.

Michael Kors, Spring 2011

This style leaves a bit to be desired for me but I’m glad to see that the platform style isn’t going anywhere.  I believe all of us ladies have a few different pairs in our closets.

Phillip Lim, Spring 2011

The sheer style is something I haven’t experimented with too much but I can see myself giving it a try this season.  The layering is a unique idea-I’ll try layering pieces that match a bit more though.

Jenni Kayne, Spring 2011

So rust is the color this season?!  I can dig it!  It works great to set off the skin tone of Black and other ethnic women, go us!  Last year the hot shade was nude and neutrals (which are still popular this season); I see how fashion has darkened that preference a bit 😉

Tommy Hilfiger, Spring 2011 (yes, he's still making clothes lol)

Preppy accessories are a sure thing!  I’m a happy camper since you all know my signature is my pearls that I probably rock 350 of the days in a year lol.

Marc Jacobs, Spring 2011

Big bangles are also a sure thing.  I’m a fan since they coordinate well with natural hair 😉

Jason Wu, Spring 2011

Last but not least, creatively designed pants are coming in.  I’m not sure how I feel about this (aka I don’t like it).  This reminds me of harem pants and I’m just not with it.  Think I’ll stick to cropped, skinny capri’s and my jeans.

Michelle Obama, Fashion Profile

If you were watching Tuesday night’s State of the Union Address, while President Obama seamlessly captivated his audience, it was our First Lady, who stood fearlessly in the audience, silently cheering her husband on.

Michelle Obama serves as a pillar, upholding her role as the matriarch and backbone to the Obama family legacy. In addition to this, she has also transformed the face of the American woman to the global community; one that is simultaneously domestically nurturing, intellectually savvy and fashionably chic. With such a tremendous undertaking, it is a wonder that she has successfully managed to impact American fashion by putting her own tasteful, yet unique spin on classic looks.

Many of our First Lady’s wardrobe choices pair traditional styles with her personal, modern day twists, usually accented by bright colors, popular textures and bold patterns. Oftentimes when out with President Obama she effortlessly accents his suit and tie combinations which helps present them as a united front. If you’re anything like me, you’ve been taking notes. Below are just a few fashion highlights from the past two years (courtesy of NY Magazine).

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