Last year it was announced that our beloved ANTM was coming back, but not only was it coming back our favorite OG model mama Tyra was reclaiming her crown. I have seen almost every episode of America's Next Top Model (thanks Hulu). You usually don't hear too much about the models who have competed on the show, but these past few seasons have produced some successful people. Here are a few models I personally have come across (online). If you want to join in on the fun, comment below. Here is a preview of the first episode (starts around 2:30):
This past Thursday, I had the opportunity to attend the annual I AM MPLS event in NE Minneapolis. Shout-out Vanessa McDuffie (@nessa_bess on IG) for hooking me up with a free ticket. I haven't been to an event like this in while. It was nice to see the Twin Cities creative community dressed to the nines. I came to this event alone, but I am never worried about feeling out of place. Minneapolis is a city where its easy to find like minded people. I always meet really cool and nice people at events like these.
Text coming soon...
Okay, so obviously I'm not three years old -- my blog is. According to the email notification I got from Tumblr. Yup, thats right. My roots are in Tumblr (they still are). Tumblr was a great platform for me to dip my toes in the water, but honestly back then I wasn't trying to become a style blogger. Back then, I just needed a blog dedicated to the awesome fashion content I come across on Tumblr. I had my personal Tumblr, but that had a wider variety of content on it. If we were to get real technical, then this blog is less than a year old. However, it counts to me because "debutante" started three years ago and no one can tell me different.
Earlier this month, I went back to Milwaukee to attend a networking event at my alma mater and to visit some friends. While I was there I stayed with my good friend Emily. Although the networking event was a bust in my opinion (Emily agrees), but I still had fun that weekend. I got to see some amigas, explore Chicago and have a photoshoot with some buddies.
I call this look fucci (fake + gucci), because my green and red sweater looks like a knock off. Although, it could be just gucci-inspired.. hell, it could be Christmas inspired we'll never know. I'm also still obsessed with bucket hats and newly obsessed with faux fur slippers (inspired by Fenty x PUMA).
Not really sure when I became a beret kind of gal, but I dived right into this trend. To be fair, I think berets have always interested me, I was just reluctant to wear one because literally no one else was. Now I have come across a handful of articles dedicated to berets and dozens of pictures featuring them. A while back I used to care what people thought of my outfits. I used to make sure they weren't too "out there", which may be a surprise to people who have known me long enough. Some of my past looks have been gaudy and still looked "out there". Guess I was never really good at blending in in the first place. Now, I really don't care what other people think. If you have seen me in my "comfy" jeans one of your first thoughts is probably "wow this girl really doesn't care what other people think". I guess that isn't such a great example because I don't always wear those jeans for aesthetic reasons....
Its been a while since I have shot with Ken and Justin. It was nice to catch up and work with them again. It has been a minute. It was also just nice to be in Milwaukee again. I can't decide if I miss the city. I think I just miss the people I knew and the vibe of the metro area. Milwaukee (and the Marquette Bubble) sometimes get a bad rep, but its not as bad as it looks from the outside.
On a semi-unrelated note, we talked about Keith Ape's "잊지마" (It G Ma/Don't Forget). It was funny to expose other people to Korean music. I felt like I was a disciple spreading the joy of Korean music haha. In reality, I wouldn't have brought up the song if it wasn't for the video below. It's pretty great.
Minnesota has only produced a handful of Project Runway contestants, three to be exact. The Land of Lakes hasn't seen a designer on the reality show since Chris Straub -- seven seasons ago. Samantha Rei is here to change that, the designer has been active in the Twin Cities fashion scene for almost two decades. Since graduating from Perpich Center for Arts Education, Samantha Rei became a catalyst for Lolita style in the US, directed fashion shows and competed on the hit design show, Project Runway. Since appearing on the show Samantha Rei has been getting her girlboss on working collaborations and her new collection. It's amazing to think she almost didn't audition, we're glad she was nudged to give it one more go.
You have said fashion shows should be treated like commercials versus concerts. Why do you say that? How can we move in the right direction to achieve that?
At least in the Twin Cities, most fashion show patrons don't treat fashions shows as a business showing their new wares, which is what they are. The point of a fashion show is to present a new collection to buyers and potential customers. While they are entertaining spectacles, so are TV commercials and movie trailers. But the point of them is to a sell goods. Much of our community go to shows for fun and never intend to buy from the creators. The best way to support local is to actually buy local products. I see a lot of the same people at shows season after season, but I don't see them wearing indie designs. Contribute to the community in meaningful ways by shopping small and supporting local. Just know, in most cases, ticket sales don't go to the designers so unless you purchase from them, they likely aren't making any money. We have to keep our lights on like everyone else.
This has been stilling in my drafts since mid-September. I am trying to get better about documenting (and making) progress in my language studies. I found a study partner for Korean, now we just need to solidify a schedule to chat regularly about our progress.
After this weekend, I need to come up with a plan to force myself to study my target languages on a more regular basis. I always think about them during the day, but then I am usually too "busy" to stop what I am doing to work on them. This struggle seems to be the case with my study buddy. I am glad I'm not alone.
This is in no particular order.
My childhood friend/bff gave me this t-shirt in 2013. To be honest, its still in 'like-new' condition since I haven't worn it much these past 4 years. And yes, it is a One Direction tee. I feel no shame wearing it. We loved One Direction when they were together, still love them now (as a group, the only solo artist I support out of the five is Harry Styles). Band t-shirts are in, or more accurately t-shirts in general. Retailers such as Forever 21 have a large selection of t-shirts ranging from fake concert events to nostalgia inducing designs. For those with a more expensive taste in clothes, Gucci tees have been popping up everywhere. Trendsetters such as Ashley Madekewe and @coco_pinkprincess can be seen dressed in Gucci tees on their Instagrams.
Spent a cold Sunday in January driving up to Madison, Wisconsin to see the talented Miss Issa Rae. Its the weekend before Black History Month (aka February aka my birthday month) and I wouldn't want to spend it any other way. Cliche, I know, but it is true. Seeing and listening to Issa Rae was truly great. Someone I knew in high school showed me her web-series The Misadventures of an Awkward Black Girl. She said, "thats you." They weren't wrong. There were a lot of things Issa's character and I had in common. I'll state the most uncertain similarities - we were both black and awkward. I know, who would have guessed.
Issa Rae is an author, actor, screenwriter etc. She went to an Ivy League school and majored in African studies (don't quote me on that). She comes from an African family and has four other siblings. If I remember correctly she said she got her start by making videos for her brother's band. One thing lead to another and she evenly started The Misadventures of an Awkward Black Girl on Youtube. This is the first project she actually spent money on. After a few years and projects Insecure was born. The HBO series takes some things from The Misadventures of an Awkward Black Girl but still remains distinctively different.
The fact that I was able to squeeze into a small denim skirt from American Apparel is beyond me. And you know that thing was snug because American Apparel likes to do this thing where their a sizes are seemly smaller than standard.
Before our Senior year came to a close I wanted to have a photoshoot to commemorate our friendship and show the power of black excellence. Although this is not a full representation of the Senior black female population at Marquette University, it is a snippet of it. When I was coordinating and directing the photoshoot, I took my inspiration from Solange's wedding picture. I just thought her group wedding images oozed black girl magic. I needed to get in on the action. So after weeks of wrangling participants, looking for shoot venues and finding a photographer the fruits of my labor finally came.
I want to coordinate more photoshoots in the future so I will be actively working on that. My professional goals always change, but I think this one will stick. Way back when I wanted to be a pediatrician. Ha! Now I just want to be doing something fashion related. A few years ago that meant being a designer, now I want to be a stylist/blogger/Art Director. Whatever 神様 has planned for me, I am ready to explore it.
Usually when something is all over Instagram I avoid it like the plague. Popular trends on Instagram are just plain basic af i.e. the red swimsuits. However, after an impulse purchase at American Apparel I got sucked in. I got an off-the-shoulder top with a choker attached. It was on sale, sue me. And to be honest, I thought I would never wear it. I actually started thinking about who I was going to gift this to. Back-less and shoulder-less clothing items are not my forte. I have a tattoo on my shoulder, dark marks on my back and I hate wearing strapless bras... all I saw were cons. But for some unknown reason I just thought f*** it! Who cares about my bra straps and dark marks? Not me. And voila, this happened.
I took notes from Gigi Hadid with this styling trick. To be honest I think I have been doing it for ages, but when I was picking an outfit for this shoot I did it intentionally. What is "it"? Being matchy-matchy. My hat and culotte pants are essentially the same exact hue of olive green. I bought them on the same day, but had no intention of wearing them together.
For the most part this trend flattering, with its many variations the off-the-shoulder trend can work everyone. I recently went shopping with my cousin who is pretty much my height but has a significantly larger chest than me. Her boobs sometimes change the way some clothes look on her. When we were going through the racks I picked out an off-the-shoulder top with ruffles for her. At first she was not feeling it at all, but after trying it on and seeing it on herself, she loved it. I am happy I got to help her try out the trend.
Starting this post the usual way, but it will end on a tangent. This past Monday was Memorial Day. Usually I am one to just chill at home, but my cousin was holding a party. It wasn't necessarily Memorial Day themed, it was actually meant to be a birthday/business promotion shindig. Naturally, I showed up looking both hella comfortable and presentable. I just got this sweatshirt dress a few days prior so I have been dying to wear it out. It is even more comfortable than I expected. Too bad it was short sleeve because it was sorta chilly that day (despite the fact the sun was out). I truly can not wait to wear this dress again.
Other thoughts I have:
Here are some of my favorite looks so far (I will continue to be updating). If anyone finds my boy Harry Styles "@" me.
I dilly dallyed with actually mastering hangul for the longest time. Part of the problem was that I was half-assing it, the other problem was that what ever method I was using to learn hangul just wasn't working for me and I didn't do anything about it. I started "trying" to learn hangul towards the end of 2016. I just got the hang of hangul a few months ago... y'all its almost May of 2017. What was I doing for basically 6 months?? Lord knows, but now I can kinda read hangul. Of course I am still learning syllables like 의, 워, 와 etc. I plan on writing about apps and websites I am using to further my studies in a later post. Below is the video and comic that finally made me get serious about improving my hangul reading.
This shoot was actually shot a couple years ago, but I think it has to be one of my top five favorite photoshoots to date. I met the photographer Corey (@dCoreyf) off of Instagram. Meeting someone from Instagram was still a new concept for me. It freaked me out. Thank goodness Corey is such a nice person. He made shooting with a stranger less painful.
Thigh high boots man... they're great and all, but they have a tendency to slip a bit. I also feel like they are becoming basic because they are E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E. If university/college girls are wearing a trend, that means that that trend has fully saturated the market. Another sure fire way to tell if something has fully saturated the market... its available at Forever 21. I mean no shade, I am just stating facts. Also I love Forever 21 please sponsor me (lol).
I really love this vintage Ramones top. A friend of a friend gave it to me, she owns a boutique in Milwaukee called ReModel. I'm glad she was generous enough to send me this and a few other items. I have been trying to jump on the vintage train for so long. This tee will be the stepping stone to future vintage pieces to come and sustainable shopping habits. Just don't ask me to name a Ramones song, its not that deep.
I am pretty sure I bought three pairs of culottes in the same day. No, scratch that. I for sure bought three pairs of culottes in the same day. The fashion gods have been so kind these past few seasons. I am just in love with the non form-fitting trend going on right now. It's just liberating in more ways than one.
This outfit + shoot location combo is aesthetically pleasing to me. Something about the pink wall and burgundy culottes just goes. Or maybe what I am really raving about is the pink flower detailing matching the wall.... All I know is this outfit screams all types of YAAAAAAAS for me.
I really hope I will later look back at this post and laugh, because at the moment I am straight up frustrated with myself. I've been occasionally studying 한글 for a few months now and I still don't have it down to the T. The reason I'm annoyed by this is because 한글 only consists of 24 letters. Thats less than the English alphabet and Japanese writing system, both of which I know pretty well. I am unable to pinpoint where my problem lies. Maybe I am subconsciously not as eager to learn Korean as I was with Japanese? Maybe I'm not watching enough Kdramas or listening to enough Kpop? Maybe I'm simply not putting in the time? Maybe the Korean sounds are tripping me up? What ever it is, I plan on overcoming it. 한글 is just too easy to not learn. For studying purposes, I am going to write my 한글 notes below.
I don't know when I came to this conclusion, but I want to become a polyglot. Sometime in 2016 I had this unavoidable longing to learn another language... or three. Out of nowhere I got irritated with myself that I only spoke English. I took Spanish in high school for three years and my proficiency is elementary level (at best). Something about knowing another language just makes me feel like a more open-minded and culturally aware person. I've started self-studying different languages in the past, including: Norwegian, Italian, German etc. but none of them really stuck. It wasn't until I started studying Japanese that things started to turn around. I blame my great interest in anime and Japanese Rock music for this.
I started teaching myself Japanese early April 2016 with the help of a website I found. I still have not clue how I came across it but it really changed everything for me. I kept a notebook of everything I learned and within a few months I had all of hiragana and katakana down (two out of the three writing systems in Japan). Reaching that milestone was really exciting.
Its already month two of the new year. I wonder how many people stuck with their new years resolutions. It is said that people usually drop their resolution within the first four weeks. I am not one of those people. In fact, I did not make a resolution at all. I think the whole concept of "new year, new me" is a bunch of bologna. If someone really wanted to change, time shouldn't and wouldn't be a deciding factor on whether or not they'll act on it.
Life isn’t easy for plus-size girls, but Naomi Watanabe is pushing Japan in the right direction. You have probably never heard of Naomi Watanabe which is fair enough since she is a Japanese actress, comedian and Beyonce-impersonator. But you should really keep an eye on her because she is making waves. Just like in the US, plus-size girls are finally getting the recognition they deserve in Japan. Beauty standards only praise girls with slim bodies, but thanks to Naomi Watanabe and the pocchari trend, that is slowly changing. Naomi first gained popularity after hilariously lip-syncing "Dream Girls" and "Crazy in Love" (video below) but after that the only way was up for the comedian. Since her Beyonce stint she has graced the cover of La Farfa, Japan’s first plus-size fashion magazine, launched Punyus, her clothing line and much more. Just take a look at the slayage:
I cannot believe a whole year has flown by, as disgustingly cliché that is. In high school, I promised myself that in college I would be as fashion forward on the outside as I was on the inside. So far, I believe I am only half way there. Sure, I have pulled out the Ozzy Osbourne reminiscent circle sunglasses, but that’s just a baby step. My goal is to sport midi skirts, socks with heels and visors.