Fashion. Beauty. Health. Life. Style. Music. Art.
Monday, December 12, 2011
|Gucci Platform. 2011|
|As seen in Vogue 1970's.|
A fashion and style staple of the 70's is the platform shoe. The distinction would be that in that era, some men rivaled the women in rocking and dancing in the style. Certain fashion silhouettes from the 70's including the platform shoe were drawn from the 40's and 20's.
Gucci's new and divine blue suede pump proves some things never go out of style remaining classic with a few modern design tweaks and updates.
Since starting the blog, I've made an effort to include posts about natural and whole foods, oils and so forth to remind and encourage a healthy lifestyle. Natural antioxidants, vitamins and benefits for taking care of the inside as much as the visual appearance are key. In a time where more food products are processed with chemicals and synthetic by-products don't overlook the beauty of nature's bountiful options.
Here are a few reminders:
3. Olive Oil
Here are a few reminders:
3. Olive Oil
Friday, December 9, 2011
"The biggest room in the world, is the room for improvement." - Unknown
Inspirations come in all forms. In most everything I've done or dreamed about in my career there's always been something that has in it's way sparked another creative thought or vision. What we make of inspirations and how they are interpreted from a personal point of view need not be literal. This is beautiful.
Illustration: Katsushika Hokusai. 'The Great Wave Off Kanagawa, from Thirty Six Views of Mt. Fuji 1830-32' and hand painted Suzurka-San coat, 2007 Couture Collection.
Read more about the book release and see more image previews: Via The Cut: Here
Monday, December 5, 2011
Saturday, December 3, 2011
I really like the shoes, the bags, the wallet and the wrist cuff. Please and thank you for the indulgence :-)
Photo: Via YSL Boutique. The Beverly Center. Los Angeles, CA
|Paris Fashion Week. Spring 2012. Haider Ackerman|
|Milan Fashion Week. Spring 2012. Marni|
Visit the artists site to view her work. You can buy prints and there's also a nice holiday card selection to purchase.
Illustrations Via: Beverly Brown
View her site: Here
Monday, November 28, 2011
I'd like this chain necklace from Coco Rocha for Senhoa Sophorn seen at one of my favorite style sites The Zoe report. Please and Thank You!
Photo: (Via) The Zoe Report: Here
'Larger Than Life' (name of my second solo album) - means for me to live life to it's fullest and beyond what you think your potential is, what you or others may think is possible - or can be. You never know unless you try and DO!
I'm a free style girl, always have been always will be. Individuality and fearlessness from the inside out is something I've always tried to convey as well. Knowing what works best for yourself and owning that - is style to me.
Be the best you - everyone else is already taken!
Video Montage, Courtesy of Ray Easmon
Monday, November 21, 2011
Just in time for Thanksgiving and by special request I'm reposting my recipe for homemade dinner butter rolls. Everyone who has experienced them raves about them and wants to take some home. My daughter and son know I only make them twice a year because they take so long to make and it also adds to the sense of something special. Making them are a labor of love for me and there's such a sense of joy when the yeast has risen, all light an fluffy. Try this recipe! I love to cook and Thanksgiving cooking with it's savory and warmth is always an occasion I look forward to.
1 1/4 ounce package of dry active yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
1 egg, beaten well until smooth
3/4 cup of sugar
A pinch of salt
1 cup of milk, scalded
1 cup of butter, melted
1 cup melted butter (save for end process)
Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water. Whisk lightly. Add egg (already beaten), blend lightly. Add sugar, warm (not hot) milk, melted butter, a lot of love and blend. Knead in flour until the dough isn't sticky, then place on floured board. Butter large bowl and placed kneaded dough inside. Cover with towel, keep in warm area of kitchen for two hours or one hour if using rapid rise active yeast.
When doubled in bulk, smile because it means your dough did indeed rise! Lightly place fist into the risen dough and place on floured board. Knead lightly (over kneading makes the dough tough) on floured board and lightly roll out - do not flatten.
Use floured shot glass (for miniatures, my preference) or other circle shape cutter. Use melted butter (your preference), fold placing on cookie sheet (buttered of course).
Let rise in warm area in kitchen until fluffy (approx. another hour). Before baking, lightly brush tops with half and half or heavy cream for a bit of shine mixed with a splash of sugar and melted butter also brushed across cut dough.
Bake in preheated oven at 375, pay attention, keep the love flowing and don't lose track of time while these treats are in the oven.
Remove when golden (approximately 15 minutes depending on your oven, the key is to pay attention to all steps of the process) - Enjoy!
Friday, November 18, 2011
|Pictured with Mark Shimmel (former manager) President and First Lady Bush|
The great thing about music is it's always here for a fresh listen often free of long ago preconceived notions or expectation as a fan.
Music at the time of this release was shifting to rump shaking new jack swing, misogynist gangster rap / hip-hop, and a more ghetto-ized street aesthetic that major labels were eager to promote and market. I'd re watched "Eyes On The Prize" and the movie "Boyz In The Hood" around the same time and was very impacted by it.
MCA had been sold to Japanese electronics giant Matsushita and every executive involved in my first album was long gone (departing shortly after the release of my second album), play lists were on their way to becoming corporate and limited in their scope with FCC deregulation on the horizon.
I don't regret not singing about shaking my ass. There was a lot of pressure at the time for me and I sacrificed the monetary support of my label to continue on my journey as the artist I wanted to become. I'd be lying if I told you I never looked back and asked myself what I was thinking. However, as Oprah would say 'what I know for sure' is that my desire to be authentic to who I am and to not succumb to just getting the cash is inescapable. I am who I am.
To their credit, I'm still grateful to MCA (Universal) for always allowing me from my solo debut until the end of my contract; to make the music and style statements I wanted to make. To co-write my songs, handpick my collaborators/producers, art directors, photographers, and so on. As a woman, that's always a struggle because you are always under pressure to sex it up more and if you're black to be "more street, and less sophisticated."
One of the most amazing things that happened from this album was that I was invited to The White House by the President George Bush and First Lady Barbara after seeing me sing "It All Begins.." on Good Morning America in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Day - which was in itself a poignant and meaningful opportunity. Regardless of politics, it was a huge honor for me and made the entire album worthwhile. Blessings don't always come courtesy of the Hot 100 or the top of any chart - fans don't know that.The universe has it's own way. Singing that song for my father and having all of that happen took the sting of disappointment away from the lack of enthusiasm from commercial minded fans and skeptics. I made a speech about supporting public education to a bipartisan crowd. This is one of the things I was reminded of today while reading the post from Soulbounce.
All of my music was and is always from my heart regardless of the circumstance or what I'm working through in my personal life. I love music and respect the power of it as well beyond it being a means of entertainment.
There are so many favorites from 'Affairs of The Heart' I can't name just one, but here a few brief anecdotes:
'Stolen Moments' - very special I wrote it while I was living in London post Shalamar as the result of a very unhealthy relationship that I felt powerless in.. "I don't want to live in the back seat - so make your mind.." I was nearly in tears when I sang that line, it was really a plea to someone I loved and who'd led me to believe he felt the same, it's my innocence and a coming of age in a way - we've all be there.
Stolen Moments also means a lot because it was also my nod to Motown which had been so inspirational for me as a little girl - the power of music and listening to songs on the radio..as I'm typing this actually - it's one of my favorite songs I've ever done.
'Affairs of The Heart' - the title song is what I feel about music.
'Commitment of Love' - is one of my favorite vocals. I wanted it to be a spring/summer single at the time because I thought and still do, it was a wonderful potential wedding song.
The R&B crowd would never fully embrace me is what I was told by 'the gatekeepers' and close knit R&B syndicate. I didn't /don't fit a mode of comfort, outside the R&B mold, lingering resentments against me from my decades old Shalamar departure etc. - that's another post of which I have many thoughts and observations in the realm of R&B.
'I Want You' - the jam
'Strange Way' - I was working through some things - I'll just say it was awkward to record as a lot of my early songs were because I co-wrote it and was singing in studio the person it was about.
'Until The Last Good-bye' (written during a separation in my marriage)
'I'm The One You Need' (self confidence was growing - love the attitude, very
'Looking For A New Love' in a different way but with that empowering recognize your value vibe)
'It All Begins With You' (recorded to honor my father)
Read "Soulbounce's Class of 1991: Jody Watley Affairs Of The Heart" - Here
I actually like these Commes Des Garcons championship/class rings diamond sparkle. Inscribed with quotes like "My energy comes from my freedom" - kind of cool and funky.
Read More: Here
Photo: (via) Huffpost Style
Thursday, November 10, 2011
"Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
As a longtime fan of Duran Duran, I love this video. The concept, fashion editorial approach and of course original supermodels like Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford and Helena Christensen are brilliant additions.
The inclusion of black and white cinematography in the documentary style, story narration and the tongue in cheek elements really work. It's reminiscent of the glamour and excess of the 80's, when video's were really making a pop culture impact.
Another gem from director Jonas Akerlund and signature Duran Duran!
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Some of sounds of my new music, such as "Nightlife" are inspired by my days as a teen dancer on Soul Train and my love of disco funk - which exists today under the contemporary monikers of Future Disco, Electro, and Modern Funk.
"You can choose to do it or you can choose not to do it.
Once you choose to do it, however, give your very best to the effort.
A halfhearted attempt can often be worse than no attempt at all.
If you cannot be authentically enthusiastic about what you're doing, consider doing something else.
Your life and your time are precious. Spend them on what truly matters.
Don't put yourself in a position where you are complaining constantly about what you're doing.
Either find a way to get fully behind your efforts, or change what those efforts are.
If you're tempted to feel resentment for what you must do,remember this.
Resentment only makes it worse, and serves no useful purpose.
Embrace your efforts, and you make them highly effective.
Embrace your efforts, and those efforts will bring the fulfillment you seek."
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
“Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” - Steve Jobs
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Read the original recipe: Here
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
|NARS 'Night Breed'|
If you're feeling a flair for the dramatic on your next mani-pedi, the black with silver glitter combo 'Night Breed' is a cool option.
The polish is limited edition and comes in 4 colors from the 'Night Series' based on the popular eyeshadows of the same name.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
"Character contributes to beauty. It fortifies a woman as her youth fades. A mode of conduct, a standard of courage, discipline, fortitude and integrity can do a great deal to make a woman beautiful." - Unknown
The gift bags from "The Beauty Social" sponsored by Beautylish had so many products I can't wait to try (DIOR Lip Addict 819 Havana Beige, Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15, Scott Barnes Body Bling and so much more). Admittedly, as I've written before I'm a beauty and make-up fanatic, constantly trying new things from age defying treatments, hair products to beauty and cosmetics.
First up is 'Moisturizing Chubby Stick Lip Color Balm 07 Super Strawberry by Clinque'. It's more of soft rose lip stain, goes on smoothly and a nice option if not wanting to go vibrant red. I wore it yesterday.
Hip-hop/Pop artist Nicki Minaj will be releasing a collection of vibrant colors via OPI January 22, 2012. I love this and look forward to adding to my polish collection.
Ironically, I just purchased some new colors from OPI, one of which from The Muppet Collection (Fresh Frog of Bel Air and Gone Gonzo).
Read More: Here
Monday, October 24, 2011
Sunday, October 23, 2011
|Dre Brown, Jody Watley, Afrobella|
Listening to the "Brown Girl's Beauty" panel was empowering and fun. My friend, Mr. Billy B. brought a refreshing down to earth Q&A with his distinct honesty and humor. I first worked with Billy B. for 'The Makeover" (beauty as well as those faux plastic surgery pics) and the video for "A Beautiful Life," where we played around with a multitude of looks.
It was so nice to meet Patrice Yursik of Afrobella at Billy's cocktail reception last night. I spotted her walking in as I talked in the entryway of Billy's garden with Belinda Carlise's adorable son Duke. I exclaimed "Afrobella, my Facebook and Twitter friend!", before she had a chance to look up to see me.
Dre Brown blogger for Beautylish was incredibly warm and enthusiastic, I felt like she was an instant sister girlfriend. I felt very welcome and appreciated. For some reason the past couple of days reminded me of the Dr. Seuss classic tale "Oh, The Places You'll Go", a favorite of mine.
|With actress, comedienne Kim Coles|
|Mr. Billy B. working the pink carpet.|
|With Patrice Yursik, Afrobella|
|Mr. Billy B. talking beauty, defining success and working with Lady Gaga in Q&A|
|Before Billy's appearance.|
Jody Watley - Looking For a New Love (Skratch Bastid's Kausing Much Damage Remix) by Skratch Bastid
I really like this mix discovered via Soundcloud.
I really like this mix discovered via Soundcloud.
A montage of highlights and favorite moments from the Jody Watley summer concert tour in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan at Billboard Live. I love playing this venue so much.
The summers concerts incorporated a lot of 'waacking'; a style of dance that I started doing as a teenager. I previewed 3 new songs from my work in progress "Chameleon" project. It made sense to spotlight the dance because the new music is partially influenced by disco, funk and electro. There's a scene in the video where the stage is full of people waacking, one of which is Cleveland Moses Jr. who has lived in Osaka for decades, we used to be in a dance group called "The Outrageous Waack Dancers". We were profiled in Ebony Magazine in an issue called "The New Generation" back in 1978. Read the article: Here
'Waacking' has a growing international following of young people who have discovered and embraced the freestyle dance. While I was in Japan, my drummer Donnell Spencer Jr. who'd just returned from China presented me with video footage of some teenagers there who upon learning he worked with me filmed a special message for me and then proceeded to 'waack' to my classic video "Still A Thrill".
Saturday, October 15, 2011
"If there is no wind - row!" - Latin Proverb
Monday, October 10, 2011
Friday, October 7, 2011
Regardless if you like Apple products (I happen to like them very much and well as the simplicity of design). I remember the first family computer, and I would call out to my daughter to 'get me on the internet!' when she was in Junior High; or would assist with her numerous essays and the consequences of not saving documents if the computer crashed. Remember the slow sound of dial up - waiting regardless of your system? We can laugh about it now. Aesthetically, and performance wise Apple always appealed to my sensibilities and my children. I was thrust into what would become a household staple for millions of people. We still have each model of the iPod collecting dust, as newer sleeker models have been released. I enjoy walking into an Apple store, always chic in it's simplicity regardless of where you are in the world. He was a teacher of 'brand building' and was astute in building anticipation and excitement with each new innovation.
Though iPods in some ways may be responsible for diminishing the appreciation of the full experience of an album as a whole - it's the fault of the music industry for ignoring the shifting paradigms before they happened. Jobs as a CEO did in selling his music device which made music portable. I don't miss schlepping CD's when I travel and appreciate the ease of plugging in my iPod in the car.
Steve Jobs was an undeniable innovator and visionary. He is the Thomas edison of the new millennium; a man who set out to change the world and achieved it. His innovations caused other computer, cell phone and animation companies to follow suit. To be fired from a company you originally beginning in your home garage, only to return and take it to unimaginable heights is inspirational. Read more: Here
"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma-which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other people's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary." - Steve Jobs
He was also adopted and a college dropout..this speech is profound.
My condolences to his family and friends.