Eye Wear

I wear glasses…

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So… I have a strong affinity for eye wear. I call these beauties “Pearly Victorious”. I was worried that they would be to light but they actually look pretty good  (to say so myself). These are a fashion accessory I can’t see (going) without.

I have a style icon. I think most fashion conscious culture iris apfel_2people do. Mine is Iris Apfel! She is a style maven. Her glasses are iconic. Many figure her to be in the fashion industry but if you take a closer look you realize she does not have the trappings of fashion but that of style. An interior designer, Apfel wears what she likes, and among her likes are  her iconic glasses not to mention her baubles and trinkets.

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Jill Scott and her Tom Ford glasses as seen on The View.

Everyone loves to add on to their look. More and more celebrities are being more fashionable with great specs. There is a resurgence of folks that have to ask… “Do they have medicine in them?” For me the answer is…Yes, I need the medicine. The interesting thing is as a youngster… glasses were not this cool. I always sought unique frames though. My philosophy is since I have to wear them and the people I come across have to see them… they might as well be entertaining. I feel like why not give folks something fun to look at.

If you want to create a signature look and you are a glasses wearer like moi… Zenni Optical is your friend. There are other friends in my arsenal like Warby Parker, Coastal, See… but Zenni and I have a relationship. We get along well. More times than not without trying the frames on I am satisfied and ecstatic at the fit and the look.

Look at these fabulous EyeBaubles!!! Or what about this EyeCandy? Try them. Zenni Optical has great glasses at low prices. These maybe next…

Don’t leave the kids out…


The Sondai Souq

I Dream of African Prints… Nubian Hueman Provides

There is a simple beauty in loving your culture.  I grew up super militant… this was of my own accord. No one in my family was overly vocal about our cultural make-up. We just lived it. Growing up with a librarian as a grand-mother and a family many shades of brown, I was a curious kid. I read everything, encyclopedias, poetry, fiction. I was really partial to biographies and autobiographies. I loved learning about my folks. I really loved learning about the “Motherland”. (Which I thought was the only Motherland until I heard a Russian man talk about “Mother Russia.” But still…)

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Nubian Hueman owner, Anika Hobbs says  [Africa is] “in my spirit” and I can certainly agree with her sentiment. Just two years ago I was excited by the idea of injecting more African prints in classic American cuts into my wardrobe. I didn’t broadcast this idea to many. I would tell a few folks in passing. I even searched for fabrics and contacted a designer to start with a pair of pants.

The history of African print fabric can be discussed in the context of imperialism and exploitation incorporating Indonesia, West Africa, China and Europe. “The fabrics are not really authentically African the way people think,” Shonibare has said. “They prove to have a crossbred cultural background quite of their own.”(Slate) However, while many prints are European made they are strongly associated to the continent and more specifically to West Africa. And as always WE as African people adopt it, own it, flip it and work it. Our ingenious selves are reflected in the beautiful finds that Hobbs comes across and shares with us through Nubian Hueman.

My (albeit) late discovery of Nubian Hueman set my heart a flutter. All of these beautiful prints on everything from ties to bags to pants, tops and dresses. I had to leave the store… I had left my wallet in my purse with my friend and I had to get that.

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Saturday, September 27, Anika and the Nubian Hueman team celebrated the first year of the brick and mortar business at their Southeast, DC location. Started in 2011 as an online shop it has grown to host a “myriad of talented designers” and artists all under the roof of the Anacostia Arts Center. I have fallen in love on numerous occasions in this boutique, some of those loves have come home with me.  But this past weekend, love is an understatement. I am not even sure where to begin. Whew!!

Myria M Maxo

My mother started buying me teddy bears each holiday at an early age. She was the reason I began my collection. Build-A-Bear has nothing on the bears I had. I stopped collecting sometime during high school. I just thought I was too old to be collecting teddy bears. Featured artist Myria M Maxo, fresh from NY Fashion Week, made me reconsider and want to add another bear to the family. Here is another moment of love that happened due to Nubian Hueman…

DSC_0308 copyMMaxoI posted my adoration of these “teddys” as Myriam calls them and she confirmed yes I need to have one. I totally agree. What excites me is the traditional idea of the teddy bear with the nontraditional fabric. Classic meeting a different idea of classic. I believe Maxo’s “teddys” should be in the bedroom of every little brown girl growing up. As a big brown girl I surely want one in my home and whatever future children I have will have them as well.

Chen Burkett

One of the reasons I walked out of the boutique during my first discovery of the fabulous Nubian Hueman was my wallet but the other reason was because I was overwhelmed. The kid in the candy store… YES that was me, hunty! I wanted everything. I am not sure if Anika noticed but I was in and out of her shop about 5 good times that night. This time around was a jaw dropping experience.

I am a fan and love the clothes and style on “An African City” (which I hope returns). It is cosmopolitan, upscale, gorgeous and AFRICAN! Love it. The styles of Chen Burkett reminded me of the elegance and confidence of the designs on the show. These were must have wardrobe pieces. They were certainly regal and fitting of our shapes and curves.

DSC_0301 copy2chenBurkettThis is exactly what I was talking about when I said a whole closet of classic cuts with African inspirations.

Amazed. Excited. Enthralled. I am a Nubian Hueman supporter and you should be too. Oh… I almost forgot… Belated birthday presents are accepted and these beauties… should be on my ears. Thanks in advance.

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Cheers to Anika Hobbs and the crew of Nubian Hueman. You truly are wearing that crown!

Dandies, and Fashion, and Films… Oh My!

Living in DC can be a social navigational challenge.  There is no shortage of events now-a-days. Everyone  and there mother are on or forming a scene. I have my opinions  about that, but it is not the focus of this post. But errr uhhhh… for those who don’t know the art scene existed in DC before the art scene blanket that is being laid over it. I’m just sayin’.

Bespoke

Last week started at a refined gentleman’s party hosted by the Trystin Kier Company. The company specializes in residential and commercial Interior Design, design education, and design therapy. The Bespoke party was a fine event that provided many dandies and professional business men with an evening of good music, liquor infused cigars, specialty vodka, lapel accessories, and skin care products on a rooftop over looking the city. As a woman who loves a fashionable man it was a complete  joy being the official photographer for the event. Men of all statures, skin tones and ages… fabulous darling… simply fabulous! Here is a peek.

Nubian Hueman celebrated 1 on Saturday

Sometimes I talk about my sugar addiction (it is REAL). Well here is something I am equally addicted to – Nubian Hueman. Since finding a store that speaks to a verbal commitment I made to myself some years ago I can not resist. I will tell you more about my addiction and my commitment. Stay tuned for the full story. Until then I will leave you with some visuals.

Parallel Film Collective presents – District Riots @ Art All Night/Nuit Blanche 2014

Talk about a huge event. So proud of Ariana Austin and her team. There was art all over Washington DC happening all night! ALL NIGHT! Well at least until 3am the next morning. What was even more awesome was District Riots, curated by Jami Rambersan for Parallel Film Collective. District Riots is a dissent display of short films from around the world by filmmakers of color. It featured films from Ava Duvernay, Akosua Adoma Owusu, and many more! Folks sat down to view moving pictures at the corner of 7th and Rhode Island Aves with a mega music mix from DJ Ausar.

Action packed weekend kinda. Major love, hugs and shout outs go to Koumani Holistics for bringing out the Savory Maize. You need this popcorn if you have never had it. Also, shouts to my community partner in “hood” business Seshat Walker of The General Store. More events coming. No sleep til Brooklyn! Well… actually til Deanwood. DC Baby!

sondai,

kimberly c. gaines