Friday, February 27, 2009

Vintage Photo of the Week

Nude by Fireplace, 1923
by James VanDerZee

The Official White House Photo of First Lady Michelle LaVaughn Obama

(Click to enlarge)

UPDATE! The New York Times reports that Mrs. Obama's dress she is a Michael Kors design. This dress is a black version of a red gown made of bonded crepe jersey from Mr. Kors Spring 2009 collection:


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Michelle Our Belle OnThe Cover of People Magazine

(Photo: People Magazine)

Check out our FLOTUS, Michelle Obama, looking radiant and the epitome of femininity on the cover of People magazine! And guess who she's wearing --- one of my favorite designers, TRACY REESE!!! Once again, Mrs. Obama hits it out the affordable fashion ballpark, wearing a dress from Ms. Reese's Spring '09 collection, which retails for $395. The Lace Kimono dress in Dried Azalea accentuates Mrs. Obama's curves and shows off her fabulously toned arms. I don't think there exists a color that doesn't love Mrs. Obama's mahogany complexion.

You can purchase the dress at Ms. Reese's store located at the Tracy Reese Flagship located at 641 Hudson Street in NYC or call them at 1-888-818-7336 or 212-809-0505.

UPDATE: Tracy Reese Talks About Michelle's Dress

Tracy Resse spoke to the New York Daily News about dressing Mrs. Obama for the People magazine cover:

"It's the moment we've been waiting for," the 45-year-old designer told the News.

"I'm appreciative because it means I have an opportunity to dress her. It also means means a lot to women across the country that they can also afford something First Lady is wearing."

"I had the opportunity to meet her at a fundraiser which was the best moment of 2008," says Reese who launched her line 11 years ago. "She gave me a great hug and said, 'I need to be wearing your clothes.' Then she gave me a concerned look like, 'it's not that easy.'"

Reese spent weeks working with Ikram Goldman, Michelle's Chicago-based stylist.

"It's a process. She's on the go. Any wardrobe choices have to go through her team."

In the end, Michelle selected the pink dress out of 8 to 10 pieces Reese personally customized for the shoot.

Reese thinks her high-profile client made the perfect choice.

"Even though she's a strong woman she's also very feminine and the lace brings out this side," says the designer. "I love seeing her in this dress. She has such great arms and I think they're shown off."

Fresh off presenting her Fall line at Fashion Week, Reese hopes she'll be dressing Michelle again in the future.

"A lot of our signature dresses would really complement her," she says. "There's any number of things I'd love to see her wearing. The idea is to find out what's working best for her and supply more of it."

Does that mean Michelle may be taking a front row seat at next season's runway show?

"I doubt it," laughs Reese. "The security would be insane."

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Ubah Hassan: The New Face of Ralph Lauren


Designer Ralph Lauren, has chosen Somalian stunner Ubah Hassan to be the new face of the Ralph Lauren Spring '09 campaign. Here's a little background info on this sista:
Twenty-one-year-old Ubah Hassan was born in Somalia and grew up in the city of Baidoa. In 1991, after a year of political unrest, Ubah's mother fled the country with her sisters, while Ubah and her younger brother stayed behind with her father. The three sought refuge in Kenya in 1994. Eventually, the family relocated to Canada, and in 2001, after 10 years of separation, Ubah tracked down her mother and sisters to learn that they were also living in Vancouver. The family was reunited.

When Ubah was 17, a photographer approached her to do test shots, which he then sent to an agency in Canada. In 2007, her travel restrictions were loosened and she obtained a working visa. Immediately, she was signed with Click Model Management in New York. By 2008, Franca Sozzani cast her in Italian
Vogue's first-ever "Black issue," photographed by Steven Meisel. When casting his Spring 2009 collection, Lauren selected her as his new face and chose her to close the runway show a significant statement from the designer.
Click photos to enlarge


Looks like the ads are a hit! Here's a quote from poster, Masquerade at
"The Ubah ad does everything an ad should do It makes me want the clothes, it makes me want the lifestyle. It makes me want to be in this scene right now looking like her wearing that dress and standing against that plane.
its just beautiful"
Amen, Masquerade. Amen.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Vintage Photo of the Week

This photo is from Revlon's 1989 "The Most Unforgettable Women In The World Wear Revlon" ad campaign, featuring pioneering supermodels Beverly Johnson, Louise Vyent and Iman. This ad is LEGENDARY in the fashion world. For the first time, three Black models starred in a major cosmetics ad.

I love, love, LOVE this ad! It represents different facets of our beauty: Black American beauty via Ms. Johnson, African beauty via Miss Iman, and Afro-European beauty via Ms. Vyent, who is Dutch born of Surinamese descent. As a little girl, I used to stare at this pic, hoping that one day I would be as fabulous as these ladies. I'm still workin' on it! :-)


Monday, February 16, 2009

Desirée Rogers Hits New York Fashion Week

White House Social Secretary and fashionista, Desirée Rogers took a break from her White House duties to attend her first New York Fashion Week.

Desirée Rogers with Anna Wintour at the Carolina Herrera Show
Diane Bondaref/Associated Press

Ms. Rogers with Donna Karan

Looking chic in a pink floral jacket and skirt by Nina Ricci, Ms. Rogers sat in the front row at the Carolina Herrera show next to Vogue editor, Anna Wintour. Ms. Rogers had nothing but praise for Ms. Herrera's show, telling WWD: “The fashions were amazing. I do like her work, but this collection was very different from what I have seen in the past. I particularly liked the dresses for daytime that were a classic silhouette, but had a bell sleeve and were a little shorter, just below the knee. Those are easier to wear than the long ballgowns.”

After a quick change into black flannel trousers, Ms. Rogers (along with Ms. Wintour) later attended the Donna Karan show, where she raved about the coats, and the fashion show of one of Michelle Obama's favorites, Thakoon.

Hmm.....Carolina Herrera? Donna Karan? These are two designers who Mrs. Obama has not worn. Could they be added to the First Lady's wardrobe repertoire? Time will tell.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Vintage Photos of the Week

Today is the first day of NYC Fashion Week Fall '09, so it would only be appropriate to kick it off by paying homage to one of the pioneers of Black fashion, Dorothea Towles Church.

Ms. Church was the FIRST Black model to work for French couture designers in the 1950s. Her career began at Christian Dior in 1949, as a replacement for one of Mr. Dior's models. From there, she went on to grace the fashion showrooms and runways for couturiers Pierre Balmain, Elsa Schiaparelli, Jacques Fath and Robert Piguet.

“If you’re beautiful, they don’t care what color you are,” [Ms. Church] said of the French, describing her days in the couture salons and nights in postwar Paris.

“I got invited out all the time,” she said in Barbara Summers’s 1998 book “Black and Beautiful.” “I was the only black model in Europe and I just thought I was an international person.” (Source:

Upon returning to the U.S., Ms. Church organized her own fashion couture shows, using her sizable collection of couture pieces she amassed during her modeling days in Europe. Working with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Ms. Church toured the country bringing never-before-seen fashion to the masses. In Barbara Summer's Black and Beautiful: How Women of Color Changed the Fashion Industry, Ms. Church says, “I feel that my going all over America with my show had a great influence on American black women dressing differently and feeling good about themselves...I saw them dressing more creatively, more internationally. They could say, ‘If she can do it, I can do it, too.’"

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Michelle Obama Is En Vogue!

(Photo: Annie Leibovitz/

Vogue magazine has announced that First Lady Michelle Obama will grace the cover of their March issue!

Mrs. Obama (or FLOTUS as she is affectionately called in the blogosphere) looks elegant wearing a magenta silk sheath dress designed by none other than Jason Wu, who also created her beautiful Inaugural gown. The cover and photos for the eight-page spread were taken by famed photographer, Annie Leibovitz in the Hay Adams Hotel where the Obamas stayed before the Inauguration. The cover story is written by my friend-in-my-head, Andre Leon Talley, Vogue's Editor-at-Large.

Beginning with Lou Hoover, it's been a Vogue tradition to photograph first ladies, however Mrs. Obama will be the second first lady to appear on the cover. The first was Hillary Rodham Clinton who appeared on the cover of the December 1998 issue.

Mrs. Obama looks absolutely STUNNING and ELEGANT! I loved that she didn't use a stylist, opting to choose the outfits (which include ensembles from J. Crew, Narcisco Rodriguez and Jason Wu) herself for the photo shoot.
"She doesn't need any help. She loves fashion and knows what works for her," Talley said. "She's never had a conversation with me about, `What do you think?' or `How did this look? And I'm glad for that."(Source)
Looking at this cover of the First Lady makes me a little emotional. For so long, Black women as a whole were never looked upon as the standard of beauty, but brown-skin and ebony complexioned sistas in particular have been marginalized to playing in the background, and sadly, ridiculed for their looks. I'm sure we all have stories of being rejected for our features. Now, we have an undeniable, identifiable Black woman with curves who is now looked upon as an icon of fashion and beauty.

The issue will hit the newsstands in New York and Los Angeles on Feb. 17th and nationwide on Feb. 24th, so be sure to get yourself a copy and make this the biggest selling issue ever!

UPDATE: More Pics From Michelle Obama's Vogue Photo Shoot!

(Photo: Annie Leibovitz/

Mrs. Obama wears a Narcisco Rodriguez black dress and black kitten heels at the Hay Adams Hotel in Washington, DC.

(Photo: Annie Leibovitz/

The First Lady dons an ensemble from J.Crew consisting of a salmon wool cardigan, ruffled blouse and tweed skirt. These pieces are from J.Crew's Fall 2009 collection and are not yet available for purchase.

Hair is by Johnny Wright and makeup by Ingrid Grimes-Myles.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Vintage Photo of the Week

Judith Jamison in Alvin Ailey’s Cry, photo by R. Faligan

In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, I thought I'd post a picture of one of the fiercest dancers of all time, Ms. Judith Jamison. This is a photo of her performing Alvin Ailey's Cry in 1971.

For those of you who have never seen AAADT perform live, I highly recommend that you to go see it. It's the most amazing visual experience you will ever have in your life!