Friday, December 14, 2007


My crew took me out for a lovely going away dinner last night. I had a wonderful time with the people I will miss immensely. They even surprised me with some amazing gifts.

They all know that I have a soft spot for coffee table books. I particularly love fashion and photography books and they gifted me with 2 that mix fashion, photography and history brilliantly. The first is the amazing DIOR book which chronicles the entire history of the house - from Dior to YSL to Marc Bohan to Ferre to Galliano. This book is awe inspiring and completely breathtaking. The Dior aesthetic has influenced me so much - luxurious fabrics, workmanship, silhouette, femininity. BRILLIANT BOOK!!!!!!!

The next book they got is called THE PARTY DRESS. Via illustrations and photography, it details party dresses for every event from garden parties to nights out on the town to weddings. The hugest surprise was the fact that I had illustrations in it!!! I had NO clue. I had already loved the book before I saw that but that was the icing on the cake. Here you go:


A quick scan of the inside sketches.


I also received an amazing card which was created by my favorite intern in the world, Laura. Laura has collaborated with me on many designs by creating some of the most amazing embroidery layouts ever. I did a dress for the 100th anniversary celebration of a premiere American department store recently and she took the sketch and reinterpreted it three dimensionally as a beautiful card. It was then signed by everyone with well wishes and love - SO SPECIAL. Here is the card - from Laura's hands to my heart!



Weezie has received a couple wonderful going away gifts - perfect for any worldly little girl. She received a custom made fleeced lined denim jacket, complete with embroidery and Swarovski stones spelling out LITTLE ESCADA PRINCESS - how appropriate. This she received from two of her favorites - Beate and Karen (thx girls!). She also received from a true love of her life, Mrs. Pethran, a custom quilted blanket - it reverses from Colombo camel cashmere for winter to Taroni chocolate duchesse satin for summer and is bound in Boggio Casero wool glen check. Each side is hand decorated with Swarovski crystals. She really has stolen everyone's hearts and will miss them as much as they will miss her.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


When I left Detroit to head to NYC to go to Parsons School of Design at age 17, I was totally green and The Big Apple seemed like Mars to me. I had never been exposed to so much at one time. I was very afraid and very leery of everyone and everything. But God works in mysterious ways. Next door to my dorm in the East Village lived an angel on earth who would become a good friend, spiritual adviser, colleague and go-to person for advice, wisdom, a good laugh, a prayer and a good dose of fierceness.

That woman is none other than the amazing Sharon "Magic" Jordan-Roach. Magic, as she is so affectionately called by her friends, is truly the Grand Dame of black fashion. Having been a muse an
d mannequin for Patrick Kelly, Isaia, Michael McCollom and every other black designer with a sketch pad, Magic has inspired and supported so many for so long, both on the runway and backstage. This woman is one of the world's great beauties - both inside and out. She has a smile and a spirit that will light up any room (and skin that women would die for). She is fearless and inventive, always taking the steps that designers dream that women will take. No one, and I mean NO ONE, can rock some hair, real or otherwise, like Miss Magic! That unbelievable face has taken her around the world and landed her on a million runways as her genuine, loving character has landed her in the hearts of all she meets. She is an accomplished model, producer, designer, entrepreneur, wife and mother. With Magic, what you see is what you get. There is no pretense, no fakery, no chicanery, no attitude - just pure love, creativity and humanity.

Many times people do not realize the scope, the range and the impact of their influence on others. This post is to let her know how much I adore her, admire her and respect her for all of her contributions to our community and for the love she has shared with me. Here is my friend in all of her fabulousness:

Magic - Essence Magazine January 2007 - FABULOUS AT ANY AGE. This woman epitomizes the fact "...that black don't crack". If she could, she should package her genes, bottle them and sell them at your local pharmacy because she'd make a fortune!


Tuesday, December 11, 2007


...and Papa was moss free.

PAPA WAS A ROLLING STONE stands as one of my favorite songs of ALL times. This is one of the coolest, funkiest, most down and dirty tunes ever. That mean base, those rich strings, the lush and varied mix of voices, vocal perfection and the amazingly sad but true to life lyrics all add up to PURE SOUL GENIUS. This song goes down as a pure classic along side songs by James Brown, Aretha, Prince and The Isley Brothers. Not to diminish their talent, but those brothers were wearing the hell out of those tuxedo jumpsuits!!! Nothing like polyester double knit 2 sizes small!!! Don Cornelius had the afro of all life and those SOUL TRAIN dancers were pure fire. THE SOOUUULLLLL TRAIN was the go-to place for the best in soul and R&B, and this classic clip is no exception:


Today's words of wisdom come from the incomparable, the indelible, the soulful, THE MIGHTY O'JAYS. Sometimes we have people in our lives who you think you know, you think you trust and who you think want happiness for you as you do them. But sometimes, unfortunately, your feelings are dashed. There are people out there who are so wrapped up in their own misery, suffering, pain, insecurities and unhappiness that they cannot see the forest for the trees. Those negative attributes sometime cloud the fact that you really love them and want the best for them. That is so sad. There is an old saying that 'Misery loves company', and no matter how cliche' you think it is, it is true. Insecurity and self doubt in my opinion are the root of most angst in the world - it breeds jealousy, envy, hatred, indifference, sabotage, rumors, etc. The reality is that these types take something that is completely internal and personal and visit it on those around them. They can have people around them who honestly love, respect and admire them, but that insecurity blinds them to their blessings. In announcing my good fortune of a new fab job (and I am by no means a braggart), I have had people who were suspect show their truest colors. But I just say 'God bless you and I pray you find true happiness and peace'. I know that is very Iyanla Vanzant, but it is very true. They WILL NOT draw me into their web of negativity. I will remain positive and triumphant and focus my energy on the many people who love, support and wish me the best. So, thank you to the O'Jays for their warning against these types of folks. They can be living next door, working in the cubicle across from you, sleeping in your bed or saying Hallelujah! next to you at church. Look out for THE BACK STABBERS.

(What they do)
(They smile in your face)
All the time they want to take your place
The back stabbers (back stabbers)....
........low down, dirty....
......Smiling faces tell lies (back stabbers)
They smile in your face...I don't need low down dirty bastards.

Y'all betta preach!!!!!!!!


I have always loved Ms. Uma Thurman. She is that singular actress that combines other-worldly beauty with an amazing, statuesque physique and a to-hell-with-anyone-who-doesn't-get-me attitude. She has generally done a great job of balancing commercial fare with art house flicks as to stay relevant on both sides (Dangerous Liaisons and the Kill Bill series are some of my faves). She is kinda like Angelina Jolie, but less kooky (and I say that with all due respect because I LOVE Ms. Jolie). And on top of all of that, she is a real ACTRESS - talented, versatile and real, not a wanna-be.

Some of you may not realize, but Uma was once a top model in the mid 80s. She was so amazing editorially because of her unique face, her ability to move and her ability to act and emote. Plus, that face was and still is sitting in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. See Uma then and now:

Uma circa 1985 Italian Vogue - serving face and a fierce bob as a teenager in buffalo check and lacquered high water trousers.

Uma now - one of the great natural beauties of our times. Here she is working natural waves, piercing eyes and asymmetric lemon chiffon.

Monday, December 10, 2007


Now I try to be as positive as the next person, but growing up in the 70's and 80's exposed any TV junkie to a very popular, if not politically incorrect, institution - the girl fight (popularly called CAT FIGHTING). Most men love cat fights because they can attach a sexual innuendo to it (definitely not my POV!). For me, in a way, it was ultra feminine, showed total strength and ferocity and showed a side of many women commonly kept under wraps. No, it didn't say a lot for sisterhood, but it said a hell of a lot about being fed up and not taking anyone's mess.

The best cat fights ever were on Dynasty and usually pitted Alexis against Krystle. These bouts were usually staged as ratings grabbers because the producers knew that viewers loved to see them go at it. This was also the first time you commonly heard women call other women 'bitches' on TV. My particular fave fight was between Krystle and Alexis in Alexis' design studio (HA!!!!!! - priceless - it is all about her sketching in that sunflower organza blouse!!!!!) Look out Donna Karan:

Then came Dominique Devereaux - the quintessential strong, rich, powerful, black diva - played by none other that the brilliant and gorgeous Diahann Carol. This scene mixes classic fighting technique with the most vicious, faggalicious quips - "We all know that you are nothing more than a second rate lounge act"; "Retract this or I will cram it down your throat" - Now you know some queen somewhere was writing this stuff. These girls had more wigs and hair than humanly possible:


One of my other faves as a kid also scared the Bejesus out of me - Jaime Sommers vs. the FEMBOTS on THE BIONIC WOMAN. This was a favorite show of mine but often times scared me - FEMBOTS, Bigfoot, et al - it was intriguing and horrifying all at the same time. I loved that all of the fembots wore neck accessories and fierce wigs to hide the mask lines. When their faces came off and exposed all that circuitry, HONEY, I was scared out of my mind. See for yourself:

Friday, December 7, 2007


I have to first apologize for my absence on my blog. I appreciate all of the people who take time out of their busy lives to check in with the goings on of my life. I love this blog and am glad to have a vehicle to express myself and pay tribute to the inspirations that have and continue to shape my life. Life brings about so many unexpected changes, both good and bad. We have to try to keep up with the pace and not get left behind. I am a strong believer that we have to fill our lives with as much love, peace and happiness as we can to buffer the sadness, hurt and pain that life naturally brings to all of us. But, even in those bad times, there is a lesson to be learned. The old saying goes that "...every cloud has it's silver lining'. Well, I am putting on my mining uniform and praying for the Silver Rush of 2008!!!

I have had the privilege, honor and blessing to live a dream of mine. For the past two years, I was living abroad in Europe designing for one of the most well known fashion houses. I have met many new people, made some amazing friends, traveled to countries that I had never seen before and had the chance to experience brand new cultures. To me, this is what life is all about - a mutual exchange of love with our brothers and sisters everywhere. I definitely had my ups and downs in this experience, but it is something that I wouldn't change for the world. Professionally and personally, I have grown leaps and bounds. This is truly an experience everyone should have as it literally opens up worlds unknown. You learn things that enhance and fine tune who you are as a person. I have to credit much of my success abroad to an absolutely wonderful boss and two guardian angels that live across the hall from me. DB is such an amazingly creative, expressive, fair and funny person and he has inspired me in so many ways - I truly thank God for bringing him into my life. He is a special man and I have grown to love him as a boss and a friend. I will miss him greatly. God truly blessed me with 2 amazing friends that happen to live just across the hall from me. They have been my guides, friends, confidantes and hang out buddies for the past 2 yrs and I am a better person for knowing them. They have taught me many things they probably don't even realize and I love them dearly - CF &BC are friends and brothers for life. (They have also become surrogate parents to Weezie who loves them to pieces!) All of my wonderful colleagues - the designers, patternmakers, tech team, the couture department and all of the people that made it all happen made such an impression on me and I will miss them all.

This amazing experience has opened up a door back home in NYC. For the past month or so, I have been traveling back and forth between Europe and NYC all too frequently trying to organize, reorganize and make sense of my life. Part of this reorganization is being given the opportunity to be the Design Director for one of Seventh Avenue's premiere fashion houses. WOW!!! I have to pinch myself sometimes. I have one last trip to wrap up my European life before I return to NYC for good with a whole new life to live. I am super excited about the new position, it's potential and working with my wonderful new boss and team.

So in honor of my return, I have selected a rendition of HOME, sung by Ms. Melinda Doolittle, the hands down best vocalist ever on American Idol. This song was originally done by the great Stephanie Mills, one of the best vocalists EVER, in the Broadway musical THE WIZ. In thinking about this song, I truly realize that she isn't just talking about a physical place. She is also speaking of a mental, spiritual and emotional place of comfort, peace and love. On some level, HOME is our quest in life. Sometimes we have to readjust and reevaluate what HOME means to us. HOME isn't just about your home, your partner or your family - it is about finding a place of serenity so that no matter what life brings, you can keep going with the knowledge that nothing and no one can bring you down.

Please keep coming back as I will be back in full swing bringing you all more of the interesting experiences and influences that keep me on my toes.

God bless you all.