Tamron and Abby’s Fashion Error or is It

A few weeks ago, I was sitting in the Mount Sinai out patient wing, New York City, waiting for a friend’s small procedure to finish, I take a glimpse at the TV and see the “Tamron Hall Show” is on.  This happens to be the episode where Mathew Knowles introduces his new wife to the world.  Whatever, as I am trying to make headway through Knowles’ pomposity, I can’t seem to get over Tamron’s outfit.  I’ve been inspired to critique once again.

Tamron Hall | You Me NYCDon’t get me wrong however, I love Tamron and absolutely love her style.  Nevertheless, this time around something went completely wrong.  She is wearing a pinkish-purplish print, poofy dress, with a high neckline and a pair of suede leather tassel boots.  Sort of like country western meets baby-doll chic.  OK, top it off with a pair of hoop earrings and you completely have the trifecta of fashion crime because it doesn’t work out.

Now seriously, Tamron is drop dead gorgeous and I know she just recently had a child.  She’s also a former national news correspondent and I understand that she has to get a little more conservative in her dress.  However, conservative is one thing but it doesn’t have to be the only thing.  Therefore Tamron get’s a pass on this one and who knows if I’m ever going to watch her show again anyway.  Either way, would love to see her spice it up just a bit.

Moving on, to “The View”, what is Abby Huntsman wearing?  Casual awful.  An off turquoise blazer with mixed metal buttons, white top and blue jeans.  Luckily we can’t see the shoes.  Do we even want to see the shoes?  Well, apparently and I am really just guessing on this.  She’s trying to do the so called “New York Chic” or “New York Thing”.  Oops, oh know, I just saw the shoes.  Really, stilettos.

Abby Huntsman | You Me NYCThere is really nothing more to say about Huntsman except for the fact that she is really trying to get away from the “Fox News” brand of conservatism(everything skin-tight).  However, stilettos and jeans with a blazer, I don’t really know what to say with the exception, that’s it’s not a “New York Thing” or “New York Chic”.  It’s and always was a “New York Thing” according to and created by Hollywood.  In all of my years living in the city, anyone I come into contact with, male or female wearing a blazer with jeans is usually from out of town.  Let’s get with the program Abby.

I would love to go on more about this, however I am out of time.  My friend is in recovery.  By the way, if you ever have to go to Mount Sinai’s out patient services on west 59th st, it’s a great facility.  It’s really been built for anyone wired to technology.  Very comfortable surroundings with electrical outlets everywhere.

 

DanceAfrica 2019

The DanceAfrica festival this year was absolutely fantastic as usual.  I expect nothing less from the largest festival dedicated to African Dance and music, returning for its 42nd year.  In case you don’t know, the festival takes place at BAM(Brooklyn Academy of Music).  I arrived just in time to get to my seat to watch each performance, one more amazing than the next.

Abdel Salaam | You Me NYCRwanda Reborn: The Remix is the title of this year’s DanceAfrica performance.  Under the leadership of artistic director Baba Abdel R. Salaam(pictured to the left, courtesy of BAM), this presentation acknowledges the 25th anniversary of the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.  This production offers a moment to celebrate the path forward towards reconciliation and renewal of the devastating travesty(more than 1 million people killed within 100 days) that occurred 25 years ago in Rwanda.

Rwanda Reborn: The Remix was performed through traditional and contemporary dance, music, along with theater and spoken word.  The program demonstrates a perfect example of linking classic and modern techniques together to convey a tribute to all the lives that have been affected by past tragic events in Rwandan history.  I enjoyed every moment of this incredible theatrical arrangement.Dance Africa | You Me NYCAs the show comes to a close, I exit the theater quickly.  My usual constitution is to walk down Lafayette Ave. through the heart of the festival.  Making my way through the crowd recognizing the usual faces and vendors,  I also see a lot of new faces, shopping, eating, vending and enjoying as well.  All the vendors lining the street with beautiful and exotic merchandise for sale are such a welcome site.  The smell of food fills the air with a delicious aroma rivaling the already well-known restaurants in the area.

This is what I love about this festival.   In an area of disappearing culture due to forced gentrification constraints, it is great to see that this festival is still a staple in this community.  It brings an experience that all Brooklyn natives in the community as well as newcomers have enjoyed and took part in for years. Dance Africa | You Me NYC

 

Piasha Barua College Student Petite Model and Activist

Piasha Barua You Me NYCWake-up, go to school, then to work on certain days, go to the gym, hang out with friends or come home to a cat and watch television, sounds like an ordinary day for a full-time working college student.  Now couple that day with modeling and an “Anti Skin Bleaching” campaign, you have full-time working college student,  petite model, and activist, Piasha Barua.

Piasha is a Queens-born native of Bangladeshi descent and before modeling, she was heavily involved with the “Queens Library Teen Radio Podcast” two days a week.  Working at the podcast taught her valuable skills on how to interview people.  As her skills progressed, she landed a gig to interview the author of “Black Girls Rock”, Beverly Bond.  It was her first interview and although she was extremely nervous Piahsa did an excellent job.  Ever since her first interview, Piasha’s team gave her more people to interview for the popular podcast.  Jaquae from “Love and Hip Hop”, Puma from “Black Ink Crew”, Julito McCullum from “Brotherly Love” and Angela Yee from “The Breakfast Club” are just a few of the celebrities Piasha interviewed.

When asked why she chose to concentrate on modeling and if she received any adversity from her family and friends about her decision, her family was surprised yet embracing regarding her decision.  Piasha’s family is very conservative and no one in her family has ever been able to do this. Piasha chose to pursue modeling because it’s one of the ways she can promote the “Anti Skin Bleaching” campaign.

Piasha Barua You Me NYC

Skin bleaching creams are sold all throughout South Asian countries including Bangladesh where her family is from.  According to Piasha, being fair skin is a common beauty trend which displays a “higher class”.  “I want to be a part of that change, where having a dark complexion, is acceptable and beautiful and be a role model for others,” says Piasha.   It’s not just about walking and showing off, it’s about walking with power and purpose.   She wants to set an example to young South Asian girls and all girls of color, that they don’t need to bleach their skin to feel beautiful and to embrace the beauty that comes from within themselves.

When asked what she likes and dislikes about the modeling industry, Piasha loves the diversity amongst the models in the industry.  However, there are certain high-end shows that still portray a certain physical type.  She believes that models should be seen in a different way.  Every model seen has a pretty face, with one unique feature.  According to Piasha, models should be allowed to showcase, their own individual traits so people can start to recognize their own unique features, along with how their traits were made for them.

In addition to modeling, Piasha also works with the non-profit organization “Purposely Pretty” which teaches young girls how to identify their purpose in life.  The objective is not about a pretty face, it’s more than that.  It’s all about self-love, overcoming doubt, conflict resolution, money management, recognizing relationships and the impact of social media.  “Purposely Pretty” provides mentors to young girls to look up to and learn how their mentors have become strong successful women.  Piasha is the social media manager of “Purposely Pretty”, which is one of the most important roles in the organization considering how influential social media is today.  Diamond Craig, the program director of “Purposely Pretty” gave the position to her and she is proud and honored to be working with such an amazing organization.

Conclusion

Piasha Barua You Me NYCWith all that being said, we asked how Piasha balances school, work and her social life.  Her schedule is a balanced one, with work twice a week and school four days a week.  When she actually has a moment, she likes to hang out with her friends, usually over a plate of Chicken Alfredo, that’s her favorite dish.  However, when she has a moment alone, Piasha likes to watch a lot of “Disney-Pixar” movies along with a plethora of cartoons that she can watch all day.  However, right now she is binge-watching “The Real Day Time” show on “YouTube”.  They put a lot of emphasis on “Girl Chats” and the show’s theme is purple which happens to be Piasha’s favorite color.

When asked if there are any other career paths she might be entertaining down the road, Piasha has a genuine interest in companies, brands or organizations that have a purpose and be part of a great movement.  Considering that she is a young adult, she is discovering new things about herself and what she is capable of doing.  She has a passion for television, film, and pop culture as well as an eagerness to learn about marketing and advertising on multi-media platforms.  Either way, whichever direction she chooses, we at You Me NYC are absolutely positive it’s going to be the right choice.

 

 

 

Thank You Kate Spade

Katherine Noel Brosnahan, known professionally as Kate Spade and Kate Valentine.  American born, Kate was a mother, fashion designer, and successful entrepreneur.  June 5th, 2018, we lost a brilliant force in the fashion/accessory world and what a tremendous loss it is.

There is no need to discuss as to how or why this happened.  Instead, Kate should be remembered for her contribution to the realm of fabulous.  Spade started out with Mademoiselle magazine in the accessories department in 1986.  She later left the magazine in 1991 with the title of “Senior Fashion Editor/Head of Accessories”.

While working at the magazine she realized that the market was lacking stylish yet sensible handbags.  After the discovery, she decided to create her own line of chic practical handbags.  Spade developed 6 prototypes out of “Scotch” tape and paper.  Shopping her designs around, she found a manufacturer in East New York who was willing to produce her designs and more importantly, work with a startup.
Thank You Kate Spade You Me NYC

To finance the company Andy Spade withdrew from his 401(k) plan and also paid employees of the company with his own personal checks as well.  Kate was undecided about the name of the line.  Since she and Andy were not married at the time, “Kate Brosnahan” sounded like an unmarketable name to her.  Andy suggested “Kate Spade” which was a combination of his surname and her first name which they both agreed on.

As we all know “Kate Spade New York City” launched into a massive handbag line which extended to clothing, jewelry, shoes, stationery, eye-wear, baby items, fragrances, tabletop, bedding, an d gifts.  Later, Kate and her husband sold the line so she can concentrate on raising her daughter.

Although Spade and her husband are not affiliated with the brand for more than 10 years, the beloved brand lives on.   There are numerous “Kate Spade New York City” stores all over the country and the world with her first store opening up right in Soho New York City where her empire began and her legacy created.

Conclusion:

We will miss you Kate…..

High-Rises to High-Fashion

Exceptional physical condition, extreme weather tolerance and the ability to lift a significant amount of weight, is just the tip of the iceberg, regarding what it takes to be an Ornamental Iron Worker.  Now, couple that with beauty, grace, elegance and high-fashion, the end result is “True New Yorker” Porcha Gordon.

Originally from Houston, Texas, currently living in the Bronx, Porcha is an Ornamental Ironworker going on eight years, with an additional career in the industry of high-fashion modeling as well.  According to Porcha, the uniqueness of her profession and the impeccable views, are what she loves the most about being an Ornamental Ironworker.  What she loves the most about being a model, is being able to dress up and showcase beautiful designs.

One of the challenges of this dual career, was the constant transformation from Ornamental Ironworker to model.  Gordon remembers when she first started to model, she was not graceful at all.  Her walk made people cringe.  She had to learn how to walk all over again.  Balancing both professions takes a lot of physical energy out of her, especially, when a show runs late and she gets very little sleep for work the next day.  Additionally, she tends to get nicks, cuts and bruises, which can be impose an issue in front of the camera.

Porcha Gordon You Me NYC

When asked if she faced any animosity in such a male dominated industry, Porcha replied, “Not really but occasionally, I get a guy who thinks that he can bully me because I’m a girl”.  According to Porcha, due to her size and her looks, she would get a few interesting stares when seen in her hard-hat and construction gear when she first started. Now, those stares have turned in to admiration and people being impressed.

One of her most interesting experiences in her daytime profession, was working on the new Tappan Zee Bridge and in the world of modeling, discovering a whole new universe and being a part of it, which is the opportunity of a lifetime.  However,  where there is interesting there is also embarrassment.  Porcha recalls, a time when she was working over someone not realizing there was a can of “Redbull” in her back pocket.  Somehow she crushed the can and it got all over her and her construction pants.  She had to continue the rest of the day working in her leggings.  Another awkward moment for Porcha was when she was modeling.  She was wearing patterned “granny panties” which happened to faintly show through her outfit.

Porcha’s busy schedule between careers does actually allow for some downtime.  During the few moments she does have for herself, Porcha cherishes the time she spends with her friends, as well as playing in all things makeup.  She also likes to participate in beauty classes and catch up on sleep, which according to Gordon, sleep is boring but it’s the best thing ever.

Once finished with her journey of self discovery, Porcha eventually wants to travel the world with her best friend.  For now she will continue to maintain two careers and continue the path she has been following which makes her great grandmother proud.  Although her great grandmother is no longer with us, she is still Porcha’s greatest influence in life.

Adding the Finishing Touch

“Wrapped by Nellz” a Brooklyn based hair wrap line is making quite a stir in the local community and New York City as well.  Jamaican born, moved to Brooklyn from Florida where she was raised,  had a lot to do with why Nellz got into the custom hair wrap industry.  She loves the diversity and the fashion the city has to offer.  Nellz has always worn hair wraps and  has received a ton of compliments.  She would use scarves and shirts, however it would just not look right, the threads would be showing, amongst other effects, which was another factor that prompted her to get into the business of making custom hair wraps.

After praying and consulting with the pastor of her church, and aligning her vision with her church, Nellz stepped into the world of being an entrepreneur.  Owning her own business plays a huge part in maintaining the ministry and the church of which she is a part of.  Taking that bold step, has really jump-started a passion and ignited her creativity side.  Nellz started to wash, cut, iron and sew her own wraps and created many various sizes for all to enjoy.

Wrapped By Nellz

Her design style is focused mainly on a lot of African prints and patterns with a collection of calm textiles and materials as well.  She gets most of her fabrics from Africa, California, Florida, Texas and New York City.  She likes to obtain from these different areas based on their distinct vibe as opposed to what is already the standard in New York City.  With that being said, one of Nellz’s favorite designers is Betsey Johnson and the way she boldly expresses her love for the “out of normal style”.  Nellz follows suit by not always matching her wraps with her outfits, creating her own “out of normal style”.

One of her biggest challenges of owning her line is finding the medium and looking for repetition.  Being fairly new to the industry, Nellz experiences little day to day achievements and struggles as she tries to pinpoint the trend and avoid the norm.  Once she has defined the mean, she will know what to expect at that point going forward.

Whatever little downtime Nellz has, she focuses on her family and her heavy involvement with her church.  She also has been evaluating as to whether she will be adding earrings as an additional accessory to her line as well.  She has been receiving a lot of positive feedback from her customers regarding her wraps and when she will be adding earrings as well.  Should Nellz decide to add earrings to her line, I am already positive it will add an additional “finishing touch” along with one of her wraps, to any wardrobe that is missing that eye-catching accent and completing the look with a touch of exceptional brillance.

 

 

 

 

Fashion Trap

Fashion TrapHaitian born and Brooklyn raised since the age of 8 years old, founder and head designer of the urban clothing line “Fashion Trap” Carl M, is a true believer that one really can control his or her own destiny in life, by taking nothing for granted and seizing every opportunity that comes along.  The confirmation of starting his line is based on his ability to create, his desire to connect with people and that he just wants to influence the industry by speaking a language that everyone can understand. He defines fashion as an art, a dialect of expressing himself and the way he cultivates relationships with others.

Fashion Trap

Fashion design is not a career to Carl, it is a passion and a purpose to create a vision, turning that vision into reality and sharing it with everyone around him.  Everyday,  just by walking the streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn, Carl is influenced by all the people he sees, their personalities and their style.  SOHO, Meatpacking, Tribeca, 7th ave along with the internet and social media, is where Carl frequents the most, for his inspiration and to keep up to date with the current trends, only to work on his own interpretation of those trends as well.Fashion Trap

When asked about his personal style, Carl equated his style to the equivalent of the “Boy Band”.  He has many styles and doesn’t like to be labeled under any particular type of genre.  Depending on his mood for that day, his style could be that of a rock-star, urban, and or preppy look.

Carl’s hard work, and dedication to his craft and his line is very impressive.  I, along with the rest of our readers are looking forward to seeing what else he is going to bring in this fast-paced ever-changing industry of ours.

Fashion TrapFashion TrapFashion Trap

 

 

 

Rose Berger NYC

Rose Berger NYCNOHO, for those of you who don’t know what it stands for, it stands for North of Houston in New York City.  It’s also one of the most trendy neighborhoods, where creativity meets cool and chic.  It was home to legendary artists such as Andy Warhol and unforgettable music clubs like CBGBs.  It’s also home to the elegant and exclusive jewelry line, Rose Berger NYC.  Rose, pictured to the right, is from a small mining town in West Virginia.  Life was tough there, it was a very poor town and extremely difficult to get a good education, especially in the early 1950s.  Rose and her family moved to New York City in 1963 where according to Rose “Life was a hell of a lot easier but still challenging”.  Those big-city challenges taught Rose never to take anything for granted, with hard work anything is possible and to be strong enough to accept failure along with success.

When asked what lead up to her becoming a Jewelry designer, she attributes it all, to a bookmark she made for her daughter out of one of her sterling silver charms.  Her daughter pulled it out in school and the idea caught on.  Before Rose knew it, she started to receive requests from all of her daughter’s classmates, family and friends.  It was a daunting task to find charms that matched each personality so Rose decided to take a silversmith course to make her own charms and designs.  Before the course was even over, she bought a designer’s work bench, tools and set up a small work-space in her kitchen.  It wasn’t just bookmarks she was making anymore, it was pendants, earrings, rings and other accessories as well.

With her new found passion in the art of jewelry design, Rose would find herself up all hours of the night working on her creations.  Her hard work and dedication, afforded her  the opportunity to open a popup store which was in business for 19 months while she was employed full time.  It was there that Sarah Gore-Reeves, a fashion editor from “Vogue Mexico”, approached her and inquired about using one of her pieces for a photo-shoot.  The December 2012 issue of “Vogue Mexico” featured two of Rose’s hand designs worn by super model Coco Rocha.  All of  this happening, Rose was able validated herself and her decision to keep on designing.

Rose Berger NYCLiving in NOHO, is one of Rose’s biggest inspirations, along with images from history books, such as chain-mail armor worn by European and Japanese soldiers, Egyptian body jewelry and period pieces from other cultures around the world.  When she leaves home, she is steps from NYU (New York University) and Broadway.  Within a 2 block radius, she witnesses a photo-shoot, music video and or film shoot.  According to Rose, most New Yorkers love to wear black and she does as well.  Before she even designs, she envisions how the piece will look on a black background or on her mannequins with black canvas so she can bring the idea to life.  According to Rose, when an individual wears black he or she is looking to accessorize from head to toe.

Rose Berger NYCWhat makes Rose’s designs unique in the industry is that they compliment the body and are extraordinarily comfortable.  Rose designs body chains, metal dresses, and entire outfits out of chain-mail.  Depending on the day and where she draws her motivation from, she might create a pair of sterling silver earrings that attach to a necklace, a head piece, face piece, or a pair of classically designed earrings for a dinner party.  All of Rose’s designs are one of a kind also contributing to why her designs stand out in the design community and the industry as well.

Rose Berger NYCWith such distinct designs, Rose is always being approached to use her designs for photo-shoots, video and film shoots.  There is a great demand for her pieces, however that demand also comes with frustration.  According to Rose, being less of a known designer makes it twice as hard to sell her items.  One can throw in the ever increasing cost of marketing to the equation of frustration as well.  She refers back to her popup store, where her booth was next to a woman selling well known pieces at twice the price of Rose’s.  People were buying based on the brand name, even though the jewelry was literally falling apart in their hands.  What frustrated Rose the most is that the woman in the booth next to her called upon her services to fix her merchandise constantly, whether it was a jump ring that needed to be replaced or a faulty clasp that needing to be adjusted.  

When asked about upcoming fashion trends developing, she wishes she kept what she used to wear in the 70s and 80s.  She also spotted jeans with holes in the knees that she use to wear in the 90s.  However, she is saddened at the fact that  women are wearing less jewelry as before.

Rose Berger NYCIn the high-paced ever-changing world of fashion and jewelry design Rose was asked what she does in her down time and she explained that she just recently retired from her full time job, the beginning of this year so there is no downtime.  Her downtime is being a full time designer and she loves every minute of it.

In closing, I am quite sure that the designers she admires most, Betsey Johnson, Tarun Tahiliani, and Joe Galliano, just to name a few, would return the favor and admire her just as much.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let the Rainbow Lead the Way

Not too long ago I was at a private art exhibit over on 10th ave in Chelsea for an amazing artist by the name of Alfrena Moosa.  She came up from South Florida with a few of her astonishing works and I have to say everyone was very impressed with what she had to offer, both as an artist and as a person as well.  “Let the rainbow lead the way” is what Alfrena titles her body of work.

Although she was extremely mobbed by collectors, critics, and reporters such as myself, she was able to answer a few of my questions before she was pulled in a different direction by someone else.  Alfrena doesn’t have a favorite artist, however she does appreciate the early artists that have paved the way for the up and coming artists in today’s society.  According to Alfrena, there is not one piece of artwork today that one cannot say mimics a previous artist’s technique, style or skill.

Art has affected Alfrena by influencing her sense of creativity and love for color.  It also has given her the self confidence, that she can be the best in all facets of her craft as long as she continues to work hard, stay true to herself and never be afraid to approach something others might be unsure of.  Looking at her creations and her hands is a constant reminder to her of the gift she has been blessed with.


Although Alfrena doesn’t have a favorite artist, her favorite genres of art are realism and abstract.  She loves to combine both and looking at her artwork, she does a extraordinary job at this difficult combination.  Her methods to start a project begins by asking herself, how she can express herself through the narrative of each picture or idea before her.  Her next step is to make sure that each proportion of her piece is correct.  Then she uses her imagination and music as a guide for the placement of lines, shapes and color.

In closing, I was only able to get a little bit more from this brilliant artist before she was pulled away by a few other journalists.  When asked about her future and where she envisions her art work,  Alfrena wants to start a foundation that encourages teens to use their gifts that they were blessed with as a pathway to a productive future. Alfrena also envisions her works in various public spaces such as hospitals, museums, galleries and of course on the cover of a book or magazine.  More importantly, she wants her artwork to be the motivation, inspiration and the reason to what makes a person smile or say “Wow”, just by one glimpse of her work.

(This First Piece of Artwork is Titled “Follow the Rainbow”)
(This Second Piece of Artwork is Titled “Emotionally Balanced”)