I am the long lost child of Oprah and Gayle Winfrey-King. Unfortunately, I am still lost and have yet to inherit my gazillion dollar trust fund. This unfortunate incident, coupled with my love for luxurious fashion has led me to learn how to mix high street fashion with the occasional designer pieces. So until the day that my parents decide to find me, welcome to my version of fashion with a somewhat lax budget. Enjoy!
Well, we Texans are currently celebrating the Torch of Tejano month (occurs in August of every year)-- and what that usually entails is a push to limit one's activities to the necessary so one can avoid the Somalia like heat that descends on this great state during this time-- example... I only go to work (a garage to garage experience) as I fear my skin will melt off my bones if I am out of the AC for more than 2 minutes to say... walk the distance from the grocery store's parking lot into the store itself. As a result, all I have been wearing recently are work clothes; so in relation to the blog, I have decided to declare August as career month. Below is my most recent work ensemble:
Escada top and Tracy Reese skirt (so cute...a woven type material with branded gold stars)
Aldo necklace serving as a bib (held in place with safety pins)
To the chagrin of the men in my life-- my new red lipstick: Scarlet by Dior
Hope you have a good rest of the week and stay cool!
For every Barbie doll that I never owned or knew existed there was an Indian girl around with her long flowing locks that piqued a realization in me: I was meant to be Samson’s reincarnate.
TO WEAVE OR NOT TO WEAVE…
Authors: Ava Drake and Christiana Duodu
Sometime in the eighties, Whoopi did a sketch for SNL where she tied a cloth around her head to demonstrate that she now had Barbie doll hair. She seemed pleased with her long flowing polyester hair! I recently caught this on you tube and wondered if, in addition to her then job as a comedian, she also doubled as the proverbial mosquito on my childhood wall. No need to correct me here—as a child growing up in Ghana, I had more mosquitoes than flies swarming around me so it is only fitting that they replace “flies” in this saying. Also in Ghana, I was neither influenced by Western civilization nor Barbie dolls; yet I frequently engaged in the “cloth around my head” imitation of long hair. No one ever revealed to me that there could be beauty in long locks; as a matter of fact, cutting my hair like a boy (preferably a high top) was considered the “cool” thing. But like my penchant for all things spicy and chocolate, I innately adored long hair without any external influence and wanted stalks of it just like Dotti (my Indian neighbor).
So now…fast forward to my 20s and on any given day, you will find me diligently patting my weave to Beyonce’s “Get me bodied”. My name is Ava and I have been a gleeful weave addict for the last decade!
Sadly and unbeknownst to me, I should have been enrolled in a weave anonymous class for the last three years with an experienced dedicated sponsor (preferably Sanaa Laathan’s character in Something New): because to the masses, my love for all things “weavalicious” apparently translates to my need to look more European and a deep hatred for myself. With the natural hair movement sweeping across the nation and the popularity of Chris Rock’s Good hair – which I have yet to see— having extensions (lots and lots of it in my case) is now being seen as an attempt to be more “White”, anti black, and a fool’s endeavor (monetarily speaking).
Friends of mine, ex weave addicts, now on the natural hair bandwagon, feel they are superior, freer, and in their skin because they have now accepted themselves by giving up weave. The daunting task of a “weavalicious” woman entering the afro centric Mecca—the black poetry or comedy club— isn’t at all frightful or uncomfortable to them anymore. When the performers start to make fun of the silky, silky, straight haired girl with her nappy fronts – it was one time! And I was giving my Chi iron a rest— or the ridiculous looking hairline from a lace front; the redeemed, ex weave, now natural hair rockers can laugh along carelessly. They are no longer under the white man’s thumb because they are “Foxy Brown—ing” all over town. Well, damn it! I feel the need to stand up for us remaining weave divas.
I GET IT!!! No one race is superior to the next. From the deepest corners of the African continent to the coldest villages in Russia – we’re all created equal. I… get… it... The long, golden locks on the young Grecian co-ed isn’t any more superior to the natty dreads on the Jamaican songstress. We’re all one in the same. As an African woman, I can try on 10 different outfits with my hair the way the good Lord intended it to grow out of my head - tight, stringy coils- and walk out on the streets as confident as any 20-something New Yorker or Houstonian.
On the other hand, I can relax my hair, add a few hair extensions (okay LOTS of extensions) and transform my 10 outfits—in my opinion— from cute to fabulous just by virtue of adding longer, more voluminous locks on my head. It’s not a personal hatred of one’s self – it’s a preference…a desired look.
Don’t let it offend you; if you feel more at peace and ‘real’ when you pat your ‘fro, don’t for one second be taken aback when I pat my weave. You see, my weave is an accessory. You may wear a bold Egyptian neck piece with your long, flowing maxi dress. I wear my weave. You may strut down the street in the latest CL pumps and Prada clutch. I strut my weave. Your arms are toned, your hair is cropped, you know no bounds.
My arms are not so toned, my long weave act as a bicep cover up. I forget to wear a bra, my weave acts as a shield to my headlights. Point is: so long as clothing and shoes are required in public places, expect me to accessorize as I please. My weave is here to stay.
Christiana Duodu and Ava Drake
Have a good rest of the week everyone!
Channeling my inner Foxy Brown: this is what I have under my weave...
Nothing new under the sun here… apparently most men prefer younger women to older ones—something about the first appearing more fertile and what not. That’s all fine and dandy as this article isn’t here to discuss the merits surrounding this notion. Instead, I am wondering who decided that women also prefer younger women to older ones. I'm certainly not speaking for our whole gender here, but as a woman, I aspire to the maturity and accomplishments of someone older and will more likely buy something that a mid 30s and up woman—or a twenty something dressed up to appear that age— is selling to me rather than something a teenager endorses.
This seems to be a common sentiment amongst most women –well the women I spend my time with— so… why the current wave of teenage girls advertising for fashion houses that are suppose to cater to sexy, professionals that posses an amount of joie de vivre (i.e. women that have passed puberty, worked on a career and are willing and able to purchase items with multiple zeros as the starting price point)?*
Perfect examples of this unfortunate trend of teenagers as the face of fashion powerhouses are...
1. Miu Miu's fall campaign featuring Hailee Steinfeld-- AGE 14
2) PRADA-- I'm guessing 15 or 16?
3) Marc Jacobs featuring Dakota Fanning-- Age 17 ( I do adore her though, just not as a face of something I am skipping meals in order to buy).
Seriously, why the hell did we all rush to grow up and paint our faces during slumber parties if we wanted to at anytime actually look or act thirteen? Just because some men prefer prepubescent girls rather than women in their own age brackets doesn't mean we women, the target market for these fashion houses, have any penchant for that sentiment.
We clearly need more women serving as bosses and decision makers in the fashion world— someone needs to stand up to the suits and quench such advertising ideas before they make it to print!
*Hollywood housewives currently stealing clothes from their teenage daughter and kids with trust funds or jobs on the Disney channel are clearly an anomaly and will not fall under the assumptions of this articleJ
All these ads were in Vogue's Age issue (August 2011)-- the irony isn't lost here.
Saturday afternoon's activity... I continued my unrequited love affair with nature and dragged my sister out for a picnic. We weren't there long since Texas is now auditioning to replace hell if and when it freezes over. For the occasion, we both paid homage to the vintage gods:
head band from Urban Outfitters and bangles from India
Both of us have on vintage dresses; mine is from the store Taxi located on Montrose.
Ray Ban sunglasses, hat from Nordstroms' Men (my head is too big to fit anything made for women)
You can definitely tell who the sportier one is in our family. Flats on sis: Aldo; on moi: Chanel.