Monday, June 29, 2009

Amazing Grace

Class. Strength. Dignity. Reverence.

Stay strong, sista.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Never Can Say Goodbye....


(August 29, 1958 - June 25, 2009)

"And when the groove is dead and gone
You know that love survives
So we can rock forever, on..."

--- Michael Jackson, "Rock With You"

Michael Jackson has always been a part of my life through music, movies and television. He, and his family, were like distance cousins that I've never met. That's why his death is very hard for me to digest. Life without Michael Jackson is hard to imagine.

I have so many good memories of Michael: The Jacksons television show, the Jackson 5 cartoon series, his Motown 25 performance, trying (and failing) to do the moonwalk, watching MTV for hours just to see the "Billie Jean" video, dreaming of him singing "Lady In My Life" to me at our wedding (LOL!), my friends and I doing the routine to "Thriller" and "Remember The Time". Good times. Good times.

As the song says, "I'll take with me the memories to be my sunshine after the rain", but this is one hell of a storm that I didn't expect.

Rest In Peace, Michael. I'm gonna miss you.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Vintage Photo of the Week

(PHOTO: Jet Magazine)

In honor of Father's Day Weekend, here's a cute photo of the legendary band leader, Cab Calloway recording a duet with his daughter, Lael. The photo is from the Feb. 9, 1956 issue of Jet magazine. (h/t: Vieilles_Announces' Photostream)

Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

All Hail The Queen!

Queen Latifah is the cover girl for the July issue of Essence magazine. In the feature article, Latifah reveals that she was sexually abused as a child. She also addresses rumors of her sexuality and her wish to be a mother.

I like the colors, but something's off about this cover. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I'm not really feeling it.

Now, I LOVE Queen La, but Essence has a bad habit of recycling their cover models. It's either La, Mo'Nique, Halle, Mary J. Blige, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Alicia Keys, get my drift. (And don't even get me started on their articles. That's a whole 'nother topic.) There are plenty of Black women that they could put on their covers. How about Whoopi Goldberg? I'd love to see how they would style her. Or how about using real fashion models for a change like Alek Wek or Jourdan Dunn?

If they insist on using the same sistas, switch it up! Take some chances with the cover styling. Do something avant-garde with Halle, a flashback to the Harlem Renassaince a la James Van Der Zee with Mo'Nique, or a different backdrop from the usual solid color. The same ol', same ol' is not cutting it, IMO.

What say you, dear readers? Is it time for an Essence overhaul?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Vintage Photo of the Week

I absolutely love this picture of diva, Diahann Carroll. She looks so summery and effortless chic.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

"Skeletons In Your Closet....."

So, I'm perusing around the Cityfile New York website, looking for info on the beef between them and MSNBC's Keith Olbermann (Sidebar: Shame on you Cityfile! Team Olbermann!) when I ran across a very interesting story on Oscar de la Renta and his wife, Annette.

Apparently, author and journalist, Michael Gross has written a book, Rogues' Gallery: The Secret History of the Moguls and the Money that Made the Metropolitan Museum, that's causing quite a stir amongst New York's social elite. According to Cityfile, Mr. Gross spills some seriously scandalous tea about the history of the Metropolitan Museum and prominent members of New York Society ---- including the de la Rentas. It seems that the info is so juicy, that mainstream media outlets won't include it in their coverage of Mr. Gross' book.

But lucky for us, Cityfile doesn't give damn, so grab a cup of tea and a scone and feast your eyes on this:
Gross's account goes back decades, back to when de la Renta was a mere "Renta." (He only added the noble-sounding "de la" after he arrived in the U.S., explains Gross.) And he details how de la Renta got his start in fashion, a career that blossomed when he met an Estonian-born baroness and two-time divorcée named Aino de Bodisco. De la Renta had little interest in an intimate relationship with the much-older baroness who, says Gross, had "bad skin and wore heavy makeup." But "she was wealthy and well connected," and de la Renta soon found himself living in a free, luxe apartment and commenced an apprenticeship at Balenciaga soon after. The relationship was short-lived. Once he no longer had much use for his "sugar mommy," de la Renta moved on to an affair with someone else—a man—and then his first marriage to Françoise Langlade, the editor of French Vogue at the time. Langlade had been divorced twice and was widely known—much like de la Renta—to be bisexual. But both seemed derive benefit from the marriage, especially Oscar, who suddenly had one of the most influential figures in fashion as his chief promoter.

Langlade passed away in 1983. Oscar didn't remain single for long. Shortly thereafter, he took up with his current wife, Annette, who was married to another man at the time. Leaving her husband for the gay designer wasn't much of an issue for Annette, who would go on to become one of the dominant behind-the-scenes players at the Met. "He could give her the life she wanted," explained Annette's mother to a friend at the time.


As the old Italian proverb says, "If you spit up in the air, it will land in your face" and this is what's happening to Mr. de la Renta.

Now, I don't care what dude does in his personal life. I just think he has a lot of nerve looking down upon First Lady Michelle Obama, a woman who has worked hard all of her life to achieve what she has, while he was basically pimping himself out to the highest bidder.

But isn't that pretty much par for the course for a lot of these so-called elite types? Always looking down at others, acting superior, while at the same time trying to keep their own skeletons in the closet.

So, in light of this revelation, I'd like to dedicate the following to the de la Rentas. Take it away, Stevie!