Silvia is a burst of energy. I just had to ask her for a photo on my way to a fundraiser in Manhattan earlier this week. Sylvia is originally from Los Angeles and now living in New York City. Represent Cali!
One of my first lessons as fashion writer under the tutelage of Marcy Clark of The Women's Mafia is that women don't necessarily dress for men when they go out. Ok, got it. But, the implication is that if men find themselves struck by awe at the sight of a well dressed woman, we are innocent victims, collateral damage rather, in the fashion wars and style competitions that women have with each other.
I playfully protested the above notion in a story "Here, Kitty" casting men not as hapless bystanders, but rather big game hunters at the sight of a woman in cat print heels.
Time has passed since I wrote that post. But what was true then is still true today: from the concrete jungles of Gotham to Washington DC's untamed corridor; and from New York Nights to London sites to Stockholm's street styles that I adore...
Intended or not, cat prints have the power to inspire. And to set mens' hearts afire in "haute" pursuit.
(Kitty cats, what in fashion sets your heart afire?)
Photo: Row of PRP (London)
New York: Rick's Favorite Cat Woman :)
3/27 Update: I see that Peony Lim - one third of the former PRP triumvirate and one of my favorite style bloggers - also rocks cat print heels in a more "boy girl" look on her personal site. You can find Row on Twitter. Show them some love.
Jocelyn Taylor and Alexa Winner joined Icon Americana to celebrate International Women's Day on March 8. Recently, I learned these lovely ladies also have birthdays that occur during this month honoring Women's History and are lending their star power to charity events to raise money for Haiti and for the New York City Chapter for the Habitat for Humanity. Icon Americana supports both worthy causes and hopes to see you at these amazing events!
Heroines for Haiti
Jocelyn and seven other phenomenal women of color from various industries will be honored by Celebrity DJ Jon Quick, Hip Hop Loves Foundation and friends hosting “Beauty and the Beat Vol. 2 – Heroines for Haiti” on Friday, March 25, 2011 at Cielo Nightclub (18 West Little 12th St. NYC) from 6pm-10pm.
DJ Jon Quick is also using this opportunity to raise much needed money for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. All money from the door proceeds will go to the Hip Hop Loves Foundation as well as Partners in Health's Zanme Lamaste Haiti Project.
Click here for press release and for information about the other honorees.
The Red Party
Model and Stylist Alexa Winner is teaming up with Marcy Clark & The Women’s Mafia and others to produce on Wednesday April 6, 2011 The Red Party, a charity event to raise funds for the New York City chapter of Habitat For Humanity. The charity builds homes for families and individuals in need in the five boroughs of New York City. Designers, makeup artists and stylists are coming together to produce this fashion-themed benefit and to celebrate the beauty of Habitat for Humanity’s vision of affordable, decent housing being available for all New Yorkers.
Click here to purchase tickets. Dress Code: Red Cocktail & Couture and Red Tie for Men
Happy Birthday, Jocelyn and Alexa!
Photos: Courtesy of Jocelyn Taylor and Alexa Winner.
Each moment is a celebration of women at Icon Americana. Still, when the President of the United States issues a Proclamationcalling upon all Americans to commemorate the month of Marchand to celebrate International Women's Day on March 8, 2011, with activities honoring the history, accomplishments, and contributions of women, we salute. On this 100th anniversary of International Women's Day, Icon Americana is celebrating with a few style inspirations who have graced its virtual pages. These women pack substance as well as style: hailing from the ranks of CEOs, Founders, International Supermodels, media experts, masters candidates, social enablers and authors. We asked each the question, "What Does Women's History Month Mean to You?" and their responses revealed that although women have made tremendous progress over the past 100 years, there is still work to be done as society strives toward full gender equality, including for future generations of women and girls. It is with honor to present thoughts on the matter from Marcy Clark, Erika Joseph, Maya Murofushi, Amy Palmer, Mara Schiavocampo, Monica Phromsavanh, Jocelyn Taylor, Carmen Wong Ulrich, Merina Vo and Alexa Winner. ~ Sincerely, Rick/Icon Americana
Marcy Clark,Founder of The Women’s Mafia and Director of Publicity for Yellow Sky Agency
“Women throughout history are often the lifeblood and heartbeat of the most important periods of social, civic and cultural change. The beauty of Women’s History Month is that it acknowledges both the women who are named in the history books and also those who are not: the women who dressed as men to fight in the Revolutionary War, the brave women who worked with Sojourner Truth on the Underground Railroad, the women who staged the Food Riots of 1917 to demand affordable sustenance for their families, the women in the government and politics who fought to ban child labor and include a provision for a minimum wage, and the women in the arts."
Erika Joseph, Masters Candidate 2011, New York University
(Public Relations and Corporate Communication)
"Women's history month means empowerment. It means continuing to stand up for women's equality and using our power to lift-up women and girls across the world."
Maya Murofushi, Miss World Supermodel 2010
"The power of women is surging all around the world. And this power won't create any coercion, or competition. But it will create a harmonized, androgynous and balanced planet Earth."
Amy Palmer, CEO/Founder, PowerwomenTV
"This month is an opportunity to reflect on who has come before us to pave the way for our lives and opportunities; it's also a time to be conscious of our current actions and how they are paving the way for the next generation of women."
"When I think of Women's History Month, I think of all the career opportunities that are available to women now that were not accessible in the past. In the early part of the last century, women were expected to be housewives, but now many are running their own companies in a wide variety of industries."
Mara Schiavocampo, Correspondent, NBC News
"There's a saying that women hold up half the sky. That's something we see in individual relationships, in families, and in countless communities worldwide. It's so important to stop and recognize those contributions, even if just for 30 days. But this month shouldn't be about celebration alone. We must always remember the struggles of girls and women all over the world, and stay committed to working for their rights and freedoms."
Jocelyn R. Taylor, President & CEO, JRT Multimedia, LLC
"As with Black History Month which was initiated to increase the general consciousness and knowledge of African American history by taking one month of the year to remember the contributions of notable and extraordinary men and women, the purpose of Women's History Month is recognized for these same principles. As a person experiencing the human conditions of both distinctions, I feel that this month should be viewed as a time of reflection of the true meaning of what the foundation of the women’s suffrage movement was built upon. On August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was finally ratified, enfranchising all American women and declaring for the first time that they, like men, deserve all the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.
We have come a long way. However, with the misogynist/stereotypical practices and “glass ceiling” limitations still brewing in corporate environments and the daily lives of women around the world, we still have a long way to go. Instead of relegating our thought processes to one month of celebration, I feel to really honor this special month, I encourage all people to focus on women's ongoing universal struggles and our current contributions 365 days a year."
Carmen Wong Ulrich, Author of "The Real Cost of Living"
"We juggle so much and many of us struggle so much. This month everyone, no matter the gender, can take time to appreciate and reflect on all our accomplishments, in every field. May it motivate us to go even further!"
Merina Vo, Artist/Model/Motivator, Haute Rooster
"As a woman and a mother I have come to realize the power I have. We are the force of life and we are our own creator. Today let us celebrate. Happy Woman's Day to all woman around the world, especially my mother."
Alexa Winner, CEO of Alexa Winner Inc., A Styling and Design Company
"I think the fact that America dedicates an entire month to the appreciation of women, both in present context as well as historical, is as beautiful as the women themselves who have helped us achieve this notoriety, equality, and respect in our culture. The feeling of empowerment is what drives the most creative and educated minds to accomplish the most fascinating of achievements. As a stylist and designer myself, I take particular note of women both past and present who serve as terrific role-models and inspiration that no matter what you hide under your skirt, given the affirmation of empowerment (and a months worth celebration at that!) I feel that myself or any other woman can strive to be as great as some of my favorite female icons, particularly innovators and risk takers in the world of fashion today such as Liz Claiborne, Maggie Norris, Fern Mallis, Rachel Zoe, and Sarah Burton to name a few, as well as acknowledging a great respect and appreciation for female fashion risk-takers of years past, the likes of which include Coco Chanel, Isabella Blow, Jacquelline Kennedy Onassis, Princess Diana and Edna Woolman Chase."
Thank you, Ladies. Enjoy the celebrations, and congratulations on your remarkable achievements!
Look into a mirror, preferably one of full length. Now, take a look at yourself - an honest look. Do you like what you see?
If you are like most people, you can probably pick out things about your body that you do not like and that you would change. But, it's "OK." When it comes to personal style, the trick is to fully embrace who you are and make choices that flatter the positives making each of us unique. This was the central message from Stacy London, co-host of TLC’s ”What Not to Wear” and a celebrated style expert who earned her stripes in fashion editorial for publications including American Vogue and Mademoiselle. She spoke at 92nd Street Y on March 3 in remarks entitled "On Style and Self-Esteem" covering how we form our own “sense of style” and how we use of it to reflect our unique characteristics.
DENISON Pant - by Theory
External Factors & Self Esteem
Messages from the fashion world could have the effect of reducing a person's self esteem if these are the only metrics for comparison. For example, the fashion industry develops standards of beauty that are not achievable for most people, according to London. Comparing oneself to Natalie Portman can easily lead down the road of despair, since few can possibly measure up. Meanwhile, trying to keep pace with the latest trends amidst ever shortening fashion cycles is another "impossible standard" being set before us. Few have those types of resources.
Societal influences can also have a negative impact on how we view ourselves, London added. Indeed, at an early age, children can be teased quite mercilessly if they have physical features that make them appear "different" from their peers.
But it's OK to be different. Step one is to take inventory of physical features that make us unique and accept them, according to London. The next step is to add to our wardrobe pieces that flatter and embellish these features -- all in a way that makes you still feel comfortable. This in turn leads to confidence, which is attractive to the outside world.
During her presentation, London remarked that she resisted, for example, selecting an outfit that was very trendy. Instead she went with a "post modern" look that made her feel comfortable while speaking. (Note: The DENISON Pant by Theory and black platforms were definitely a "good look" in this writer's opinion. The flare leg adds a little "flair." The height from the platforms enhanced her presence on stage, which she naturally commands through her ability to engage with people).
Know Thyself (Other Advice from Stacy London)
Find out what works for your body type; cut is always more important than color
But, don't be afraid to splash color in your wardrobe
With age comes wisdom, and age appropriate attire
Accept who you are, not what you have seen in the world
Style can't replace how you feel about yourself, which comes from the inside. Style can, however, enhance how you feel. What you wear is a communication to the outside world.
Fashionable friends: How did you develop your own “sense of style”?
Acknowledgement: Special thanks to staff at 92Y for providing press access to this event.
Alithia Gomez is familiar face on Icon Americana. She was named one of our favorite American Girls in a tribute post to WWII pin-up girls a few months ago. Later, you saw Alithia audition to earn a spot as a runway model for Queens Fashion Week. She wrote me recently to let me know what that experience was like and what she's been up to lately. She graciously allowed me to share the news with you all.
All the best to you, Alithia! We wish you all the best. Rick, Icon Americana
Just wanted to let you know that Queens Fashion Week was a great experience! It was a great learning experience for everyone involved. Designers, make-up artists, stylists, and models all collaborated to put together a showcase of what Queens has to offer. The focus of QFW was to bring more awareness to the public and to let them know that we are a borough full of talent. The designers were Fire Cry Twins, Calder Miller, Michi knitwear, Angels and Divas, and Osun designs. Check out Queens Fashion Week 2011 on YouTube to find footage from the shows.
Recently, I also did a shoot with photographer Alan Barnes for Doll Domination by Aya Takano. That shoot was so much fun!!! All the accessories and sunglasses were funky, cool, and stylish. March is looking pretty busy for me as well: the first weekend I will be modeling at the Jacob Javits Center (NYC) for the International Beauty Show; and, the weekend after I will be having my own personal shoot… all I’m going to say is that it's "pin-up" inspired. There’s also the casting for Fashion on the Hudson, so spread the word to any other models you feel may want to try out. And lastly, I will be featured in my first music video. I don’t want to give away too much lol but just wanted to keep you updated. There’s a lot more but you’ll just have to wait and see!
Photos courtesy of Alan Barnes for Doll Domination by Aya Takano. Alithia's comp card designed by Alan Barnes.