Friday, August 29, 2008


Classic Ms. Benita Butrell from IN LIVING COLOR


Now I try not to use this site as my own soapbox to espouse my political views, but hey, sometimes a boy's gotta do what a boy's gotta do. Who would think that the US OPEN Tennis tournament would give me the opportunity to exercise a little political punditry?

I will preface thi
s by saying that I sincerely love and respect Venus Williams. Serena is my all time favorite, but Venus is my sentimental favorite. She is the person that drew me to the sport initially over ten years ago. There is something about her grace, her elegance, her sometimes shy and reserved demeanor and how those traits are contrasted by her sheer power, ferocity and force on the court that make me love her. But yesterday, in an interview on the historic day that Barack Obama accepted his nomination as the Democratic Presidential Candidate and on the 45th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's historic march on Washington and his iconic I HAVE A DREAM speech, Venus said the following:

“I didn’t know that was the date (of King’s speech), I am
so focused on trying to win my match and obviously coming down from (the Olympics in) Beijing. It’s been a whirlwind, so I’ve been just pretty much focused on tennis.”

Now I believe in being focused on one's work, but come on now....really. I pray that she is not in such a bubble that she could let this historic moment pass her by. Funny enough, James Blake and gymnast Shawn Johnson were also at the Olympics - Shawn went on to lead the pledge of allegiance on the day of Obama's acceptance speech. Now granted, she didn't have a competition that day, but at least she knew what the biggest headline in America was on that day.


Conversely, the gorgeous, handsome and gluteus-ly blessed James Blake said the following:

“I am proud. I am very proud of Barack Obama. I believe in him and I believe he will do good things for this county. I hope the country gives him that opportunity.”

Ironically (and sadly enough), Venus (as did Serena and James) played said match on the court named after the great tennis pioneer and civil rights activist, Mr. Arthur Ashe. What Mr. Ashe and Dr. King did allowed Ms. Williams to have the opportunities and freedoms that she enjoys today. What Mr. Obama will do will be in that great tradition. I hope she at least finds the clips on YOUTUBE.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Lovely Black and white postcards that I picked up in Amsterdam, Athens and NYC. I love composition, shape, attitude, gorgeous clothes, doesn't get much better than Miyake, Naomi in Alaia and Versace, Herb Ritts, Princess Mounia in YSL (of course), Dovima and Wally in Jacques Fath (peep the Fath hat - maybe a little SITC wedding inspiration?)....postcards are little tiny works of art that convey and share so much emotion in a little tiny package.

Shirley MacLaine giving a gutsy performance in POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE. I love a tough broad!!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008


I absolutely LOVED the OLYMPICS! I am a huge track and tennis fan so I have been living my life for the past 2 weeks. The opening ceremonies have been highly lauded for their ingenuity, artistic flair and showmanship. But let me get one thing straight, the true beauty of the games was in lycra. Where else can you sit 24/7 for 2 weeks and watch some of the most beautiful people on earth in skimpy, tight clothes? Here is just a lil' taste:

Tirunesh Dibaba - The Baby Face Destroyer

Wang Jinping - Chinese beauty

Angelo Taylor - track's very own Rockstar

David Neville - sleek like a greyhound

Tariku (1657) and Kenenisa (1662) Bekele - good looks run in the family (pun intended)

Monique Henderson (USA) gives face and attitude on the track

Nelson Evora - Portuguese Love

Irving Saladino - adorable Panamanian

Sanya Richards - Jamaican-born American bombshell

Sergey Makarov - salt and pepper stunner

Shawn Crawford - bone structure and brawn

Shelley Ann Fraser - adorable new Jamaican star

Christian Cantwell - the bear

Trey Hardee - movie star good looks

Bryan Clay - the modern All-American boy next door

LaShawn Merritt - black beauty

Usain Bolt - goofy good looks

Asbel Kiprop - the darker the berry....

Asafa Powell & Michael Frater - to be a fly on that wall...

Bernard Lagat - what a striking face

Roman Sebrle - Czech Mate


We all know that Patti Labelle is THE VOICE. That title has been bestowed upon Mariah, Whitney, among others. BUT, NO ONE can come for Miss Patti and her vocals. She was never the recipient of the wealth and the fame of some of her contemporaries, or most of those who came after her, but this is a woman who can take a song, make it her own, and then hold an indefinite lease on said song for decades.

OVER THE RAINBOW is a classic American song made famous by the iconic, legendary Judy Garland. This song is in many ways the embodiment of the American dream and Judy made that dream come to life with her sheer vocal perfection and infusion of controlled emotion. But then came Patti. What Patti added was blazing, raw, unbridled soul and passion. There is a part of each of us that wants to scream, wail, flap our arms and go flying across the stage, unleashing all the pain, hope, frustration and dreams that we keep bottled up all too often. When I see her perform this song, I truly get a glimpse of the rainbow.

This is sheer perfection - the wedged natural bob tucked back on one side, the red lacquer nails, high gloss maroon lips, the oil based 80's shiny makeup, the Bob Mackie/Tony Chase-esque dolman sleeved, dropped waist gown - and that performance. Patti takes you to Oz, Harlem, church, therapy and heaven, all in less than five minutes.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Kevin Aviance - Din Da Da. The video for this classic house/voguing song takes directly from Grace Jones/Jean Paul Goude with it's surreal imagery, oversize props, colors and multiplied images of the star. If you are going to be inspired, then be inspired by the best! Unfortunately, Kevin's video quality pales in comparison to the pure genius of the song.

Grace Jones - Slave To The Rhythm. This is absolutely beautiful, artful and thoughtful video making. Mr. Goude's questionable use of negative black stereotypes (golliwogs, pickaninnies, overly sexualized black body parts, blacks-as-savages, etc.) has been extremely questionable, but I do consider it amazing art - visually, emotionally, audibly and mentally stimulating.

Friday, August 22, 2008


Daisy Dukes, short shorts, booty shorts, cut-offs - they have many names, but they all add up to mile long legs. My 70's and 80's childhood was so shaped by pop culture, and these are some of the original influences of my long time love affair with hot pants.


Catherine Bach as Daisy Duke was the quintessential Hot Pants Hot Mama.

I loved this commercial in all it's many incarnations over the years. Just sassy!

The hottest pants - hot panties! Very 80's, very Whitesnake, very trailer park. She won't be able to fit much into her pockets!!!

Hot pants maestro, the late, great James Brown.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


The Olympics are my current Obsession - so much so, that I feel like a naked Kate Moss writhing in crisp, white sheets on a beach when I watch track and field.

Tuesday night was the final in the women's 110 meter hurdles, starring one of my longtime favorites, the gorgeous and talented LoLo Jones. How can you not love a girl named LoLo. She reminds me so much of some of my cousins that it is eerie. She was the clear favorite in this event and her gold medal was inevitable.

Well, girlfriend was out of the blocks like a lightning bolt - she lead the way over the first eight hurdles.....then it happened. That damn ninth hurdle must have jumped up and caught her heel. Actually, what it looked like to me was that she was not clearing the hurdles straight on and because her lead leg was on a bit of an angle, it caught the hurdle and did my girl in during the race of her life. Well, my heart broke for her and for the US Track & Field team who has not had a good showing this year.

ith the 3rd place showing of the great Sanya Richards, the complete medal shutout of the women's 100 meter sprinters, no Bernard Lagat in the 1500 meter final and no gold or silver medal for the guys in the 100 meter sprint, this year has been a real letdown for the team and the fans. Allyson Felix, girl, you better do the damn thing in the 200 meter sprint or I am going to lose it!!!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Tyra Banks covering Harper's Bazaar - September 2008


During the summer time, I was the kind of kid who enjoyed going outside and meeting up with my friends to play kick ball, 4-square, dodge ball, go bike riding, rollerskating, and even hop around on my pogo stick. But I also lived for a good round of game shows and soap operas. One of the best parts of my tv watching was the TV commercials. I loved a good fragrance commercial because they usually had a combo of raw sexuality, glamour, humor, sassiness and a sense of breaking out of a mundane existence. Isn't it hilarious that a 9 year old lil' fat, black, gay child in Detroit got all that?!? Well, they spoke to me!!! Here are some of my favorites:

The chick in this ad had a very Valley Of The Dolls quality - she looked like she might end up at a swinger's party after she finished with the stranger at the front door!

Fierce - Halston and Pat Cleveland - doesn't get much better......

70's supermodel Shelley Hack, later of Charlie's Angels fame, really personified the 70's girl - strong, feminine with a masculine edge, saucy, smiley, jaunty and skippy. Loved it!

My absolute favorite - this is the iconic 70's fragrance ad - the Peggy Lee jingle, the skirt suit, the Mary McFadden-esque gown - Amazing!!! This 70's iconography has greatly influenced my aesthetic view of fashionable women - the fiercely, strong woman who wears her femininity and her sexuality on her sleeve.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


The blonde brigade - Jerry, Rachel, Patti and Estelle. Statement jewelry, stark black gowns, attitude, face, face and more face.

Do you want hair? Do you want face? Well Rosie, Patti, Rene and Beverly are serving you face, hair, with a side of shoulders and lame'.


Iconic Meisel photoshoot starring Linda and Kristen - THE iconic super-chameleons of their day. Minimal set, minimal wardrobe, minimal hair & makeup, maximum effect.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


STAR SEARCH was the American Idol of it's day. They used to feature a TV Spokesmodel category that had me running back like a druggie on the 15th. This used to give me my fashion life as a kid. If it wasn't Miss USA, Miss Universe, Style with Elsa Klensch or Charlie's Angels, then it was definitely STAR SEARCH. I particularly LOVED Tracey Ross, winner of the show's first season. That blunt bob was so fierce and timeless and mother gave you Virginia Slims realness every week in the photo shoots.


.....then do not buy this hilarious piece of junk. Take yo' butt to the gym!!! This chair is only good for a real laugh!!! Even the people in the infomercial had to struggle to keep a straight face. It looks like if you sit on it long enough, you might achieve 'a special moment', if you catch my drift......


Kudos to photographer extraordinaire Nick Knight for telling it like it is. "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?". We should be past this by now.


Aaron & DouglasSays - Munich Hauptbahnhof '07

Designer DouglasSays is launching a new line called Plus-U for full figured ladies. He staged a runway show in NYC a couple of days ago featuring the new collection. I loved it - it was the perfect blend of sexiness, glamour and practicality. The line is primarily jersey so the comfort and care factor is a no-brainer. Douglas' palette included chocolate brown, lime green, fuchsia, black and beautiful shades of royal, iris and baby blue. What was so fresh about the palette was the way he mixed the colors via color blocking and peek-a-boo facings. My favorite standouts were the opening piece, an amazing, sweeping tweed opera coat with harness belt; a puzzle-piece jersey wrap dress in orange, chocolate and lime; an asymmetric crystal dusted royal blue gown; a simple black and red T-shirt dress with trompe l'oeil halter effect; and a feather paisley printed wrap gown with sexy high slit. I personally think this collection is aesthetically and commercially viable and would appeal to many a big girl. Here are some pics:

I loved seeing voluptuous women on the runway embracing their femininity, sensuality and their diva attitude. These girls turned it out. The bride of the show was none other than The Original Runway Diva, Ms. Sharon Quinn. Sharon is THE plus size runway girl and has parlayed her talents into many runway, TV and performance gigs. The crowd always GOES UP for Miss Sharon and she never fails to burn up the runway. My big question is why is it that a Sharon can't be in every runway show? A little diversity is good for the eye and the soul. Here are a couple of videos of Sharon in action - catch the patented twist, twirl, dip and then side step....