Latino shoe designer Alejandra G. is gaining quite the following. Her designs have been featured in Elle and spotted on a number of notable celebrities including Janelle Monae, Rocsi Diaz, Tyra Banks, Draya Michelle, and Karrueche Tran. Her spring line includes vertiginous pumps and strappy sandals in fun prints and colors, as well as flats, and ranges from $99-$500.
- Take a real evaluation of what your body type is.
- Look for a celebrity or fashion icon whose style you like and that has the same build as you.
- Study their style. Take note of what is flattering and unflattering on them.
- Act accordingly.
I find that this is the easiest way to evaluate whether or not you can pull off a certain look. Although the key is being honest with yourself about your body type. I find it so confusing when I see women with “muffin tops” and “is she pregnant or nah?” bodies shoved into these super tight body con dresses. I wonder to myself how are they comfortable highlighting such an unflattering part of their body? Especially when it can be easily hidden with a good pair of Spanx. I say this as a curvy woman that has struggled and continues to struggle to lose weight. There is no shame in wearing proper undergarments to hide unflattering features. I am a firm believer that every look is not for every body.
This not only works for choosing looks that are appropriate for your body type, but also color pairing, and makeup tricks. I’m brown skinned, so why would I look to a fairer skinned person for ideas on what colors I can pull off? I look to Tika Sumpter for makeup inspiration, because she and I have similar skin tones. If I for some reason am getting my makeup done professionally I save a picture of her on my phone with a beat that I like, which gives my artist a blueprint for what I want. I do the same when I go into Sephora or Elf to shop for makeup. I pull out my picture and I say this is what I’m going for. It makes their job easier for you to come in with a realistic perception of yourself.
On Monday my intern partner and I were propositioned by our boss to run an errand that would earn us an extra undisclosed amount of money. We agreed to it before she even completed the question. Our task: to go to a gala event that the company was participating in after it was over and gather up the materials used since they were actually samples from the spring collection. In addition to our extra cash they also sprung for a car service to take us to and from the location and get us home safely. For a couple of girls that take the subway everyday and suffer through the smells and sights of public transportation, a free cab and car service home is a sweet deal in and of itself.
We show up to the famed Cipriani 42nd Street (you may remember this is the venue whrer LaLa and Carmelo Anthony tied the knot) around 11:15 pm as we were instructed to and use the back entrance of the restaurant (this was my first clue that I am in fact the help). As we passed through the side corridor we could hear the unexpectedly current hip hop music blaring and even caught a few glances of the black tie clad guests. As we waited alongside the other people that were sent there to clean up after the festivities I thought about my grandmother, and how she has spent her whole life doing exactly what I am about to do. My grandmother has cleaned office buildings, and the houses of wealthy white people for decades. At one point she worked at a very prominent country club in South Carolina where she orchestrated banquets and the like, but all in all she’s spent her career cleaning up after people that have substantially more than she does. I thought to myself, how could someone in my family still have to do this kind of work after so many years? My grandparents were blue collar workers so that the subsequent generations of my family wouldn’t have to be, but I’m here following in their footsteps in a way that I’m not so sure would make them proud.
The 11:30 mark hit, and we went in through the front door to find our table and packing supplies. We looked around the room at the extravagant floral arrangements wondering who had attended and what they wore, and what they got to eat. In my mind I wondered how did she do this for all these years without feeling some sense of inferiority? How do you make a career out of servitude and maintain this strong sense of self? I felt a little bit sad and embarrassed as I cleaned food residue off plates that cost more than what some people make in a week. We packed everything up with the help of a very nice Trinidadian man who works at Cirpirani, and took it to its final destination for the night.
On the free cab ride home I remembered my mom telling me how my grandmother and great-great aunt would leave their houses in the morning in dresses, pearls, gloves, stockings, and heels, and they would change into their work clothes at the offices they were there to clean. At the end of their shift, they would freshen up and change back into their nice clothing and head home. They never allowed the outside world to see them as servants. They were very proud women, who knew that because of what they did their families could eat and live well. Because of the work my grandmother did and continues to do, I have had opportunities and things that I may not have otherwise had if she hadn’t.
These past couple of months have been the most humbling of my life. I do my best to keep in mind that regardless of what I have to do right now, this isn’t what I will be doing forever. I try to remain optimistic that life doesn’t end here for me and that all things will lead to a great career where I can take pride in what I do, and be the woman I want to be. Last night though, I wondered am I being humble or am I just the help?
Don’t get me wrong. I love this overpopulated, smelly, concrete jungle, but there are some days where I’m just like ok I’ve made a horrible decision coming here, get me back to Georgia ASAP! Here are some awkward situations one might find themselves in that will make them rethink their entire move.
- You are lucky enough to find a seat on a crowded train, but a man comes and stands in front of you to hold on to the rail above your head, which puts his pelvis right at your eye level. Aside from the discomfort of being shoved into a tin can with dozens of strangers, and a multitude of smells, his crotch is the only thing in eye shot for you to look at, so you put your head down….which makes the scene look even more odd.
- Again, you’re on a crowded train, only this time there’s no seat, so you’re standing there holding on to a germ infested pole in the middle of the cart. Someone’s bag is molesting your butt, and the person standing in front of you yawns directly in your face. You have now been accosted by an unholy combination of coffee, cigarettes, and whatever that person had on their bagel on the way to the train.
- It’s a Friday night. The weather lends itself to a cute ensemble that doesn’t require three additional layers for warmth. A pre game drinking session has taken place at your friend’s apartment, so you head out for a nice night on the town. Hair is laid, eyebrows are snatched, and you are slaying the scene. You get to the party which is swarming with eligible young black professionals, and not a single one will even maintain eye contact with you long enough for you to engage them in a conversation. I mean not a single one.
- You have somehow become a circus act known as the Juggling Bag Lady. You have your giant purse (which is really more of an inconveniently carried book bag) your lunch bag, and the bag of groceries you picked up from Whole Foods. You get home, but have to somehow dig your keys out of the labyrinth that is the bottom of your purse, meanwhile your earbuds have gotten inevitably tangled, and God-forbid you put your bag on New York concrete. You are now contorting your body and your bags so as to not drop anything, and to spectators you look completely insane.
- It’s late, it’s dark, and you live in Brooklyn. You are walking as if there is a serial killer behind you, because you just binge watched The Following. There is a person ahead of you walking just as fast as you are, only because you actually are behind that person they fear that you are in fact the serial killer that you’re afraid of. Your mind is blown I know.
- November 2016
- September 2016
- July 2016
- May 2016
- April 2016
- March 2016
- January 2016
- December 2015
- October 2015
- September 2015
- August 2015
- July 2015
- June 2015
- May 2015
- April 2015
- March 2015
- February 2015
- January 2015
- December 2014
- November 2014
- October 2014
- September 2014
- August 2014
- July 2014
- June 2014
- May 2014
- April 2014
- March 2014
- February 2014