Sunday, February 5, 2012

black style

I realize that we're in a weird racial place in the world. A Black President and First Lady, megastars and Nobel Prize winners give the illusion that Black people and particularly Black Americans have "made it". But then there's French Elle telling Black women that until Michelle Obama we didn't know how to dress chic and the GOP talking about how Black people should be demanding paychecks instead of food stamps. So as I walked around First Friday drinking wine and checking out art, I wondered what people would make of this? Black and brown folks freshly dressed and deconstructing art. Twisted locks and kinky curls right next to blowouts and perms, clad in jeans and bright dresses; all dapper and chic and intelligent. Surprise, surprise. I took a few pics just to document the moment. It's all Black, all beautiful.

Anyka is my friend and the owner of Betti Ono gallery & shop in downtown Oakland. This month she's debuting a collection of all new original work by Joshua Mays. The show is outstanding featuring lots of paintings and affordable drawings and limited edition prints. And the owner herself has a great sense of style. As my friend said, "She looks like a gallery owner". Here she's wearing a black and white striped sweater and black boots with a pair of aqua skinny pants. The pants are a perfect pop of color in an otherwise simple outfit. The entire thing is offset with a gray pageboy cap. Simple, classic and modern. It reminds me of this outfit worn by Ashley Madekwe.

There were lots of fun moments with style, like bow accessories. Here's a pair of dark, red booties with a demure bow that I saw paired with jeans and a simple black jacket and top. Also, my favorite teen fashion inspiration was rocking her signature hair bow in an African print. The matching scarf was a nice addition of color to her black, white and gray outfit.

I was really excited by the amount of color that I saw as well. I loved this outfit: a simple white tank and jean jacket with a colorful, striped skirt. I love how the skirt falls. And the dark blue heels echo the outfit without being too matchy-matchy. It's a neo-soul version of Gossip Girl's Serena van der Woodsen.

Overall the night showcased fabulous art but also everything that makes Black style so innovative. The ability to mix the high-end with the low-end and come out on top.

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