Category Archives: fashion

My Obligatory #LEMONADE Thinkpiece

Beyonce Lemonade

One of my most popular Facebook status updates went something like this:

You don’t have to have an opinion on everything.

I believe that to be true.  The only thing is that I rarely see people with dissenting  views from popular opinion speak up.  As much freedom as we have to say what we feel, many of us have been relying heavily on letting others do that for us.  Whether it is a retweet or share, it seems as though we have ceded our opinions to others who have either wrote it first or better.  Although I enjoy reading and sharing what someone has said more eloquently than I, I can’t silence myself in deference to others. So here are my thoughts on Beyonce’s LEMONADE.

Don’t worry. My thinkpiece is short.

It’s my opinion. It is my perspective and life experience. I don’t speak for all black women. In case you don’t know, black people are not a monolith, and especially not black women. I am happy that some black women feel vindicated, validated or (Black Twitter-verified) by LEMONADE, but I am not one of them.

First, if you plan on writing about this yourself, please heed the warnings of people who will let you know that everything is not for everybody. (Thanks, Very Smart Brothas!)

As Jasmine Masters from RuPaul’s Drag Race famously said “No Tea, No Shade, No Pink Lemonade”, I will pass on sipping Beyonce’s LEMONADE.

LEMONADE has merits. It is a visual album that has a tighter concept than  the previous Beyonce.

The cinematography is stunning. The production is great. The music is phenomenal.

However, the content is not my cup of tea. Calling out the messy details of your marriage may be cathartic, but it does nothing for me. Walking around with bat that says “hot sauce” is a bit on the nose.

My other complaint is that I abhor “plantation chic” fashion. I love a cotton dress, but dressing like a doily is not my thing. In fact, I wish the styling was more of the Afro-futuristic rather than antebellum.

I do like that Beyonce is stepping outside the comfort zone of a pop star, but LEMONADE did not resonate for me personally. I am not thirsty for LEMONADE and that’s OK. Everything is not for everybody. Furthermore, everything Beyonce is NOT for all black women.

Anti-Consumerism Pop: Kreayshawn, Lorde, Lily Allen

When Kreayshawn came out with “Gucci, Gucci” a few year ago, there was much discussion about her authenticity. However, the content of her song were not discussed as much. Now, there’s Lorde and Lily Allen following in her footsteps and they cover similar ground with “Royals” and “It’s Hard Out Here”. There’s an air of arrogant anti-consumerism. Not everyone is into designer clothes and name-dropping brands. I don’t really care about red bottoms or Maybachs. Many hip hop artists have dropped the name of aspirational lifestyle brands in their lyrics. Some of their fans go out and buy it. Lyrics are not necessarily endorsements.The issue here is that artists like Kreayshawn, Lorde and Lily Allen are making the point that they don’t need to mention designer brand to make hit songs. They may wear them on the red carpet, but not include them in lyrics.


Frugal is the New Black

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Frugal is the New Black, originally uploaded by nichellest.

I had a fantastic time at the Budget Fashionista’s 5th anniversary party.
Bloggers, friends, celebrities were there to celebrate Kathryn Finney.
I got a free pair of jeans! I ate cupcakes! The DJ spun some fun music!

Check out my Flickr set.

Hot Fashion and Hill Country

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nary manivong, originally uploaded by nichellest.

Have you heard? It’s New York Fashion Week! Mo from Smashing Darling offered me a plus one to emerging designer Nary Manivong’s show. So I headed up to Flatiron yesterday afternoon despite my summer cold to see the fashion show. Nary’s designs are so beautiful. His lovely dresses and coordinate pieces are clean and modern yet with Grecian accents. They also look comfortable and could go from day to night. However, there wasn’t a runway. Plus, it was so hot in the room that we didn’t stay long.

Luckily, Hill Country was right across the street from the fashion show. Mo and I went to through the complicated process of ordering food so that we can chow down on some beef brisket, mac and cheese and sweet potato mash. What a perfect meal to have after a fashion show!