[Part 1] – Top 10 Black Fashion Movie Moments

1. Boomerang – Decadence & Glamour

The first time I watched Boomerang I distinctly remember wanting to become some kind of executive when I grew up. Marcus Graham, played by Eddie Murphy made it seem like the coolest job ever. He was a hot-shot, advertising executive that lived the ultimate player’s life – then he meets his match in Robin Givens – a major man – eater. The film  was set in the 90’s where men happily went shopping for suits and fine touches like cashmere scarfs and silk ties.  The women of the time wore clip-on earrings, pearl choker’s, shoulder pads and hair was teased and feathered whether it flowed down your back or was shaped like a mushroom (see Halle Berry).

Other notable moments – anytime Strangé, played by Grace Jones came into the frame & John Witherspoon’s mushroom shirt/jacket/tie “you got to coordinate” moment.

Get into these looks.

2. Love Jones – Dark & romantic minimalism. A poet meets a photographer – swoon. Nina Mosely, played by Nia Long was so chill. She wore a mixture of textures in muted color palettes of black, white,  brown with very little jewelry and always a dark, vampy lip.

Spoiler alert – Music by Maxwell… that’s all!~

3. Mahogany – Diana Ross and Billy Dee Williams. Chile…get your life!

The movie was about Tracy, played by Ross leaving Chicago to become a GREAT fashion designer. She ends up in Rome, gag! This movie should be required viewing at every fashion school.

One of the most inspiring songs ever written is from this movie: (Do You Know Where You’re Going To).

True Story: Diana Ross designed some of the costumes in Mahogany

How these so-called “diverse and progressive fashion institutions” continuously miss the significance of this film..

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4. B.A.P.S

If white people can have Dumb & Dumber, and Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion then dammit WE GON’ HAVE B.A.P.S. & Soul Plane!!! Black people, yall gonna let Halle be great!

Anyway, these “Atlanta Diva’s” started out a little rough around the edges, yet remained true to themselves; and after an intuitive trip to Los Angeles they cleaned up pretty nicely.

Listen, Halle was committed to this character.” Billz

Honey, All I know is Halle had ALL the vinyl suits!! Not to mention the most lavish hairstyles and gold teeth!

5. Carmen Jones – The pioneers on which all of the above and myself stand. Carmen Jones was SO mean that in 1992 “the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.The filmed starred Dorothy Dandridge, Harry Belafonte, Pearl Bailey, Diahann Carroll and others. The costume and musical numbers are so well executed I can’t understand why we don’t have more musical films today.

I hope you enjoyed. So often I see post that list the top fashion films and they never include a black and/or minority film.

As if we don’t have careers, interest, or impact within the fashion industry. So I decided to compile my own list. These films continue to inspire and motivate me.

Come back for Part 2 later in the week. Leave a comment an let me know your favorite Fashion Films starring African Americans!

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My Fair Lady

I swear it’s taking everything in me not to pass out. I’ve already had a morning cup of joe, later a Red Bull, but I am STILL very much exhausted. The last 2 weeks have been a series of transitions. After Mercury came out of retrograde, praise Jesus, things sped up in my life very QUICKLY. I literally went from having causal conversations about opportunities and/or ideas to them coming together in a matter of days.

Thursday before last I went from a TV pilot call back in midtown Manhattan to shoot a pick – up shot for the ID Channel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, then went BACK into the city, this time the Lower East Side to perform for the 2nd night in the play I was in. I didn’t get home to somewhere near midnight and was up at 5:30am the next day to continue working my new freelance job, Social Media Manager for Black Enterprise. Ironically, the girls I was an afternoon nanny for are upstate for the summer, so the new job was certainly divine timing. I told myself I would not worry about what was next, that God had it all under control and he showed up and showed out! But I am tired. The first week of the new job I did remotely as I was still a nanny and had to perform in the play. This week was my first week in Black Enterprise’s Madison Ave offices. I haven’t worked in a “typical” office since moving to NYC in 2005 and honestly its been so refreshing and certainly challenging with all the new responsibility. I had so many meetings last week at one point I was looking like…

 
 I am in such a bigger position than I have ever been in before and am adjusting, as best as I can.

Am I overwhelmed, YES!

Is it challenging, YES!

Am I enjoying it, YES!

I have to take this opportunity and run with it,  it’s just God taking me from the background to the forefront!

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This Friday I’ll be doing extra work for the new Martin Scorsese – Mick Jagger HBO Pilot. I am pretty excited. Though I am simply a “subway rider” my little dress I got fitted for is super cute and they’ll be blowing my hair out for full Afro realness! After this project though, I am done for the summer, acting wise and will focus on my new position with Black Enterprise and also take some classes: on-air hosting and voice-overs.

My sister and I made it over to see the Kara Walker – “A Subtlety” aka the Marvelous Sugar Baby exhibit at the old Domino Sugar Factory in Williamsburg last weekend. Smelled like straight sugar and to see the mammy sphinx in all her glory was…remarkable.

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These sad little sugar babies, and the sugar baby corpses (not pictured) were…disturbing to say the least. Nevertheless, remarkable.

Welp, that’s all for now! In the meantime…

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Flawless Has Many Faces…

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I’ve started rehearsals for the multimedia performance of Raw Death, the true story of Anthony Ray Hinton. I play his new defense attorney, as “Ray” was without representation for 13 years. This is the first project that I’ve really had to research. Its rather disappointing reading over his deposition and seeing the amount of suppressed evidence that never made it into the court room. Ray has been on death row now about 3 decades for a crime he did not commit. The evidence fully supports this. His case was recently heard at the Supreme Court which did rule that Ray had “constitutionally deficient” counsel. I am honored to be bringing awareness to this case and hopefully aid in getting some discussion going about our criminal justice system and the racial bias it continues to perpetuate. Below is a picture and a couple of videos of our recent rehearsal. Karen, with the fro is playing Ray with the writer and director Vassilea Terzaki.

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Other than preparing for this project and finishing up the NBC Comedy Playground one, I’m just chill-in like a villain. Enjoying the beautiful weather we’ve been having and preparing for my 1st Vparty.

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No matter what comes your way, enjoy the day!