The Thrifted Project Runway 

Everybody does not have to know you are broke! That’s one reason I love thrifting. You can look marvelous on a budget, find artisty pieces, and even mimic celebrity looks. People are jumping on this frugal bandwagon, even to host fashion shows.

On this past Friday, Max Rykov hosted an free but amazing charitable thrift store runway event in Birmingham, Alabama at Trim Tab Brewing Company.  This was not your ordinary fashion show. The runway consisted of wacky, tacky, and creative wardrobe pieces.

The awesome host: Max Rykov

Racks were filled with plenty of patterns, fabrics, and designs donated from the finest thrift stores in the the Greater Birmingham Metropolitan Area.

 How did the event workA total team of 8 with groups of 4 signed up with a fee of $20 each to compete. Each team was assigned a stylist, model, and a seamstress. The profits benefited the non-profit organization Bib&Tucker Sew Op. Teams had unlimited time to shop the racks and then pass their items along to the seamstress who then sewed together the outfits. The models were to rip the runway to be judged by local panelist.

Shoppers

While outfits were being sewed, Birminghamians were able to shop racks, try on clothes, visit the food truck, socialize, and purchase beverages. There was even a professional photographer taking free photos by the name of Marika Johnson.

Squad
Model
Model
Model
Judges
A look

Great things transpired on Friday night. Money was raised for a great a cause, individuality was at an all time high, and people had an overall amazing time. I’m always down for anything invovling thrifting, so as soon as I heard about a Thrift Store Runaway I immediately contacted Max for more information on how to be apart of this extravaganza.

What did I wear? 

A $1.99 tan crop top| $2.99 oversized burgundy pants| Target brand of Tevas shoes|Purse?|Hair by me. 

A Million Dollar style for < $20.

I came thrifted and ready to be with my thriftsociety.

Photo Cred: Marika Johnson

Why & Where do you thrift?

The Perks of Vendor Shops

We all have to get out and shop periodocally for the things we need and want. Sometimes going inside the mall is just not an option. Dealing with traffic, people, and long lines can be a headache especially on a busy day like Saturday. This is why I am so grateful for the vendors that participated in the Magic City Market this past Saturday at the Ensley Live Loft hosted by Magic City Fashion Week. Several vendors packed the venue with creativity and astonishing gifts.

You had vendors from all walks of life such as Boarderlandcreations. Shopping with boardercreations was fun! You can find custom made pieces for all ages. My daughter even fell in love with a pair of earrings that were on the clearance table. Yes!! Clearance items were on the market Saturday. You also had more jewerly vendors like Paparazzi, where all jewerly is $5. Of course, you can not have a market without clothes and shoes. Desginers Splashed by DKG, Velvet Lux, Seamstress and desginer TaQuimia Baseemah owner of Q´z Closet and many more were present.

If you needed a handbag, K &T’s Boutique had you covered along with speciality handbags by AdaChic Designs which are made from Africa.

I spoke with the ladies of SoPerfect Studio located on Lorna Road. At SoPerfect Studio you can purchase hair extensions for a reasonable price. There were samples of their product to test during Saturday’s market and I will be visiting these ladies soon for my next hair extension purchase. Besides, us girls are always looking for a friendly place to buy great hair.

After the excitement of shopping and networking more than likely you will work up an appetite. That part was covered nicely as well. Food and drinks were served during the market keeping your energy levels high and the vibes flowing. I don’t know about you, but a snack is always welcomed during my shopping time. This way I can continue my shopping needs without having to leave for lunch.

My favorite highlight of the market was the juice station. Test tasting natural healthy juices with Rochelle Liston was a new experience and regreshing since we’re still topping out at 85°. There you can get all your fruits and vegetables in one setting. She gave out samples for her customers to taste as we guessed what ingredients were used to make the natural juices.

I love markets for these very specific reasons.

  • I like to support local vendors
  • No long lines/traffic jams
  • Network, the learning of new businesses and upcoming entrepreneurs
  • Custom made items to purchsse
  • If your as luckily as I was, your event will serve mimosas too.

What I wore? …. Thrift with a mix of desginers. 

Shirt:Thrifted 

Cardigan: K&G 

Money bag: Coach

Shorts: Old Navy 

Shoes: New Balance

Thanks Magic City Fashion Week for an amazing gathering! I enjoyed shopping, sipping, and socializing without having to fight for a park and stand in a big crowd of people. Looking forward to more events in the city. Hopefully, you all can check out the vendors listed and find great items to bring home.

We all have fears: Networking is mine.

Being a newbie to networking, I always get this feeling of anxiety and “bubbleguts” in my belly when I have an event to attend with a room full of strangers. In the past, I have chickened out on events and meetings from fear of having to interact with my peers. Wondering if I will make a good impression or say the right things. I could find 99 reasons why I could not make a networking event. Although, there are times when things do get crazy around my house since I am a mother first and I work a full-time job, I knew I was using this as a crutch to not network. Depsite the networking anxiety I had to prepare myself so that I would not miss another opportunity and to learn new things.

I missed the first Blogger’s night out hosted by Magic City Fashion Week back in August, but I made a vow to myself that I would mark my calendar and show for part II of the event. It was not an easy task. All day at work I sat at my desk and thought of again, 99 reasons why I could not make this event. The devil was on one shoulder and a angel on the other. I turned the negative switch off, fought my demons, got dressed, and went to blogger’s night out on the rooftop at The Redmont Hotel. 

As I arrived, the ambience was amazing and seeing smiling faces put me at ease immediately. We had two beautiful professional guess speakers; Javacia the Founder of See Jane Write and author Curtrice Williams. These two ladies gave us a precious gift of knowledge, wisdom, and tips that we as bloggers can carry along the way. No matter if your a beginner, intermediate, or expert blogger here are a few things to remember.

  • Staying consist and being transparent to your readers.
  • Treat your blog like a job, show up and write something even if it’s just a sentence.
  • Write daily or else it takes away from your creativity.
  • Before writing, ask youreslf how do you feel right now and why?
  • Find your niche.

What did I wear???

Simple. A $4.99 dress shirt I picked up along the way at the thrift store. I like layers, so with that being said I placed some biker shorts found at H&M underneath my shirt, threw on a pair of ankle boots and accessorized with some fun socks and a hat. I try not to over think when it comes to dressing myself especially since I’m already on overload with the thought of “networking”. Typically, I find one piece of clothing I love and coordinate everything else around that one favorite piece.

My favorite piece was my shirt.

Not showing for part II of bloggers night out would have been a disservice to myself. I’m so glad I did not allow the demons to deter me from attending. I left conquering my fears, feeling ambitious, and energetic.

~No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, show up, and never give up.

 

Velvet Crush

I’m going to be quite honest with you, I was not always a velvet fan. Anytime I thought of velvet, I imagined a gross ugly fabric color that old people wore that made you hot and sweaty. You could not pay me to wear velvet anything. As I vibrate higher and become older my taste buds for fashion has changed. I have come out of the simple-minded way of seeing fashion and began thinking more broadly, leaving me with this crush for velvet.

Designers are using bold and vibrant colors to bring out the best in this luxurious trend. During New York Fashion week, velvet made a bold statement in royal blue, yellow, and soft pink. You may have seen celebrities from Kendell Jenner, to Iman, and Rita Ora jump on the bandwagon with the velvet trend. Yes, of course wearing the ordinary black velvet is still an option, but be creative if you chose this color. Personally, I plan to go against the grain and pull out as much velvet colors this fall season as possible.

I understand you may not be walking down a runway like the models at NYFW or in London, so you maybe asking the questions…

Where might I be going wearing  velvet? How do I wear velvet with style and grace? 

Glad you asked!

  1. Weddings– If attending a wedding this fall or an anniversary celebration, this would be a perfect time to pull out your velvet dress and glamorize it with some bling bling jewels.

  2. Parties– A birthday party  is also a good time to keep velvet in mind. Especially for Christmas and New Year’s parties, all eyes will be on you.

  3. Dinner dates- whether with friends or a nice intimate setting, your velvet pieces will give an elegant vibe at the dinner table as you sip your wine or water whichever your drink of choice maybe for the night.

    Ri Ri knows exactly what to do with her velvet. Moto jackets are a great asset to your velvet trend.
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    Layering never gets old. Add long sleeves and turtlenecks to your dress.
    Adding color to your soild black velvet pops out more.
    Spunky and creative. Oversize sweaters and jackets are a nice combination to pair with your velvet skirts.
    Beautiful color to have in your closet. Lazy velvet is cool too.

    While growing with the fashion industry and no longer being afraid to express self confidence, my perspective for velvet is now viewed as glamorous, elegant, sexy, and bold. Make a statement this year, I promise you will not regret this trend. 

    To be a “velvet crush” you do not have to break your bank account. Be sure to check your local thrift stores for apparel. I’m all for looking good on a budget. Feel free to send me photos or express your thoughts on the fall velvet trend.

    *Shoutout to Pinterest for these photos.*

     

     

    “An Ode to Decades”

    All my fashionista are aware this past week was big for New York. NY Fashion week was definitely popping all over social media, but don’t count out the dirty south. You see we are putting Birmingham, Alabama on the map with the hottest models, designers, and artist giving everyone a chance to shine regardless of age, shape, color, size, or gender.

    Ms. DeAngela Pippens A.K.A. Dee Dee put together an amazing vintage show at the Bessemer Civic Center: D Hollywood Royale “An Ode to Decades” were proceeds went to E.Y.E.S., a Young Girls Mentor Program located in Wennonah. 

    In the building we had designers such as: Rebelle Threadz, Styles by Jay, Handmade Brillance, London‘s Touch and many more just to name a few. 

    Rebelle Threadz opening the show with our babies!
    Hip Hop cultural graphic tee and skirt.
    Throwback school days when girls wore ruffle socks.
    Styles by Jay could be talking makeup or fashion. He was one of my favorites throughout this show. 
    A caramel button down off the shoulder dress with a custom Styles by Jay belt. The suede is perfect for fall season! 
    The owner of Handmade Brillance Ms. Sakovia Finklea rocks a casual but sexy oversized denim jacket with plum color pumps.
    80’s fashion with Janelle Monae vibes. Another one of my favorite looks from the show.
    Boonie and Clyde energy. Windbreaker pants are making a come back.
    Red is your go to color for fall season. The lazy pajamas sets are sexy|cool|fun.
    This screams “The Great Gatsby”. Very, very Vintage and classy. Wear your white after Labor Day honey and wear it well!
    Radio personality “Krys Cole” hosted the show in her beautiful and creative Deck of Cards.
     Model Megan Lucinda spreads her wings gracefully giving the audience butterflies.. Literally!
    We could not forget about the men’s fashion. Again we see the fierce red color. I love the scarf accessory added to the right.
    Models tearing the runway to shreds.
    Ms. Dee Dee makes a statement “Big Girls Been Winning”  boss, thick, fine, fab all of that and more!
    Ms. Dee Dee closed out her magnificent show with love, leaving me as an honoree!

    If you missed the “Ode to Decades” show, you missed a wonderful treat but don’t worry I have you covered as always with the best fashion topics, ideas, and designs. Hope you enjoyed!

    Trash to Treasure Silver to Gold.. What’s old???

    What if I told you the items in your closet that you consider trash or outdated is actually what you need this upcoming season?

    I’ve been in the DIY spirit for the upcoming fall season, flipping through magazine after magazine looking to piggyback off ideas. Fall is one of my favorite seasons. This time of the year is when I feel more alive, enthused, and creative. 

    There will be a shopping trip in my near future, probably nowhere fancy but the thrift store… but I wanted to also see what old items I had stashed in the back of my closet that could be made new again and you can do the same!

    I came across a jean jacket from the Bershka Collection (shoutout to Pinterest) that I immediately fell in love with, but I didn’t want to break the bank to have this specific look. The jacket was different and I had never seen anyone wear something as experimental as this tie jean jacket. Seeing this piece triggered my trip to Hobby Lobby to pick up $10 worth of items, in which this sistah had a coupon bringing my total to $8 and some change. I bought ring hooks, fabric glue, and ribbon.. Oh and a couple other nick nacks for a future project that I will be sharing with you soon.

    The original Bershka tie jacket

    Revamped $3 thrift store jacket.

    In all honesty, this project was fairly easy. If your going to recreate this look the only advice I would give you is to add as many silver hooks and ties as you want. When I recreated this look I was skeptical about how many ties to add but if I could redo the Bershka project, I would add more everything I just might go back and add distressed effects. This revamped jacket may get revamped a second time depending on my mood and the occasion.

    Stay tuned there will be more inspired revamped pieces coming soon. Especially sweaters, those are always fun to play with and create.

    What are you going to revamp, recycle, or recreate this season? 

    “Don’t fit in let people fit you”

    CEO of BGR Bevercyle Bond

    “Don’t fit in let people fit you” quoted by actress, writer, director, and producer Issa Rae on tonight’s Black Girl’s Rock 2017. Being a black woman myself raising a black daughter, this quote hit home  and stuck to me like glue.

    As a black girl you have all these comparisons to other races and standards of what society says you should and shouldn’t be. You may not fit in with the crowd or your peers but that’s not such a bad thing, you see you have to be you in order to be great and once you find you and loose the mentality or stop squeezing into that box that society wants to place us in, you will then affect others who see the beauty in your magic.

    Taraji Henson is a jack of all trades

    Tonight’s BGR17′ was phenomenal. From the all girl band to the starring host Taraji P. Henson who looked amazing in every piece she wore. The performances were amazing, SZA was the opening act setting the high energetic tone for the show. Mrs. Tasha Cobbs served God and us with her metallic max dress bringing many blessings. We then had the heartfelt performance with India Arie and Tyrese Gibson duet “Feels Like Makin’ Love”  and “Where is the love”.  To top it off the blackboy joy Anthony Hamilton hit the stage looking like 24karats in his gold suit, giving a elegant and vibrant black love performance.

    Mrs. Cobbs blesses us with her voice and this magnificent maxi dress
    Indian Arie our flowerchild shirt states “WORTHY” while on stage with Tyrese

    The way the black girl house was lit, you would have thought there was an disco ball with all the glowing, sparkling, and glitter that was shining like diamonds. There were so many beautiful woman in the room, different personalities, hairstyles, skin complexions, and they all had one thing in common….. black girl magic! Although i was on my couch watching from a far, the energy made me feel like I was in the room with strong black mentors.

    Blackwall street engineer Susan Shanks

    Some of my favorite inspirational quotes from BGR17:

    • “We are all awkward”~ Issa Rae
    • “The sky is not the limit only the view” ~Taraji Henson
    • “Thrive together and rise together” ~ Yara Shahidi
    • “Be the author of our own stories”~ Beverly Bond
    • “I am you and you are me” ~Maxine Waters

    Favorite moments from BGR17 is seeing my soul sistah Solange receive her Rock star award. I adore the rich love she has for our people and the art she presents without apology. Her hair and wardrobe is always what I need.

    Solange giving an Ode to black woman
    Aunt Maxine, Issa Rae, & Harvard student Yari Shahidi

    Congresswoman A.K.A. Aunt Maxine Waters received the social humanitarian award which was breathe taking. She moved the crowd with her powerful speech and her inspiration to continue to be a powerful strong black woman.

    Roberta Flack gives her speech from her wheelchair telling us we are all beautiful

    This ceremony is much needed to inspire, give ambition, and motivate more black woman to reach their peak. I am so grateful to be alive in a time where black woman are celebrated! I have to get out and do more for our community. How are you influencing the community?

    Feel free to comment and follow my page. Thank you for reading.

    *I don’t own rights to these photos*

     

    Food, Shoes, and Games for $20.

    Whenever there is an event I plan to attend, my mind automatically goes to the famous question “What do I wear”? I prefer to know ahead of time for events, that way I can plan accordingly for my outfits, babysitters, and other stress factors that I can eliminate.

    This week I was excited to hear that @MagicCityFashionWeek was hosting an event for designers. There was an event hosted for bloggers on last Wednesday that I had to forfeit due to motherly duties, so once I got word about this week event and I saw my schedule was clear I jumped on outfit ideas.. After planning for a birthday party and back to school my coins are pretty tight so I knew I needed to mix and match clothes from my closet and if buying something was an option, it would have to be in a $20 budget.. Well guess what people?!!? I beat that $20 limit by $16.50 let me tell you how.

    I always admired the Gucci mule slippers and I never got around to buying a pair nor were they in my budget, although the Gucci’s were never an option for me I wanted the knock off version. I went on a venture to the local thrift store in hopes of finding a pair of mules but there weren’t any, a plus is I found a camouflage jacket but that’s a post for another day! Went next door to Citi Trends and BOOM! A size 8.5 was there waiting on mama(me), but wait there’s more….the mules were marked down to $3.50. In my mind nothing else was needed, this was a blessing for me and surely I had something in that closet of mine I could match up.

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    My mule slippers aren’t Gucci branded but they were fashionable and cost efficient. I used the money I saved from these shoes to purchase a Baron’s game ticket and support the black business of Tot Spot with friends. By the way you should definitely support the black business of Tot Spot they have delicious gourmet tater tots and awesome customer service!  Follow him fb @Totspottruck.

     

     

    Teen Choice 2017 Favors

    Last night’s red carpet was smoking from the hot celebrities that hit the LA scene for Teen Choice Awards. Everyone looked fabulous whether they took home a surfboard or was there to perform. Narrowing down my favorite looks was challenging but here are my top 6 fashion choices from last night’s award ceremony.

    1. Zendaya gave an amazing speech to the young and took home her surfboard for the Spider-Man: Homecoming film while wearing her effortlessly pajamas and heels. Did you feel TLC “Creep” vibes? I surely did!
    2. Naya Rivera served double denim on a silver platter. Destroyed jeans and denim cleavage was a statement for sure giving conformation denim will not go out of style!
    3. Yari Shahidi Kept it high school flirty sporting red track pants, a sequin top, and a pink bomber jacket. She even stopped to speak with ET about the tragic events happeing in Charolettesville. 
    4. Rita Ora colors couldn’t have been a better match. She wore a hot pink wrap around dress accessorizing with body jewelry, in addition to her spunky yellow hair color for more flavor. Smoking mamcita!
    5. Vanessa Hudgens received the “See Her” award, and boy did we see her! Expressing her individuality in purple feng shui. Giving off royalty and high spirituality vibes.
    6. Ryan Destiny melanin was so unapologetic that I almost forgot to mention her amazing outfit. She wore a yellow uplifting above the knee length coat by Damir Doma putting the icing on the cake.

    I do not own any rights to these photos.

    Thanks for reading my top choices. Subscribe to my page to follow more news, ideas, and creativity.

    My Summer Obsession

    As summer comes to close I would like to share my favorite summer items used in varies ways. BASKETS. Yes… Baskets can add flavor to your outing. See how I chose to utilize my favorite pieces.

    Straw hats are very stylish. @SwankyD’s Fashion

    • Picnic baskets-  I picked up this from the local thrift store. Pack your yummy treats for summer fun and hit the park, beach, or pool.

     

    • Basketbag- Convert your picnic basket into a fashion piece. I used my basket as purse for my vacations, partying, and dinner dates.

     

    Shoes @ Nine West

    There’s still a few days left in the hot summer months, check out your local thrift stores for cost efficient baskets.Take these ideas and end your summer with a bang!