Monday, September 17, 2018

Black in Fashion III - September Issues and Fashion Week

New York Fashion Week has come to an end and as I sit here in my unfashionable sweatshirt and sleep cap, I can only dream of the day when I get to be fabulous enough to be wearing the same ensemble while blogging from my hotel room after a whirlwind weekend of shows and parties. Just putting it out there for February 2019, btw...

This has been a crazy week, so I will admit that this third installment of my #BlackinFashion series is posting later than I anticipated and is abridged from my initial vision. Instead of a series posted to social media, there is just this digest because I ran out of time. And in a week that included the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Conference, an unending news cycle of Presidential insanity, a hurricane, and life in all of its chaotic glory, I think this is pretty good four five days after the fact.

Somewhere I saw a headline that touted the presence of black women on every major September fashion issue...but that wasn't exactly the case. THE major September Issue with a black woman on the cover this month is VOGUE, and this is not just another Beyonce picture on the cover, it is a photo taken by an artist that she personally selected. And that artist, Tyler Mitchell, is a 23 year old who has the honor of being the first black photographer to shoot a cover for VOGUE. There is also a rare interview. If you haven't gotten the issue yet...(yeah, me too).

I did happen to snag a copy of Glamour, a magazine that I only ever read at the nail salon. But the September cover girl is comedian Tiffany Haddish, who is definitely having a moment. In addition to pissing off Katt Williams for no apparent reason other than jealousy, she is in at least three forthcoming films. Since they both won Emmys maybe they can hug it out (and maybe some generous designer will give her something other than that Alexander McQueen dress to wear...not that we don't appreciate her keeping it real). But once you appear on the cover of a fashion magazine, designers should be taking note.

I came across this cover of ELLE UK featuring a pregnant model named Slick Woods, who just in the past couple of days made headlines for giving birth hours after walking in the Savage x Fenty show! Apparently, she was in labor during her trot down the catwalk, but no worries because Erykah Badu was chilling backstage just waiting to be her doula.

Speaking of Rihanna, she appears on the cover of Edward Enninful's first September Issue as editor at British VOGUE. I shan't address the matter of Kanye West and his children on the cover of Harper's Bazaar, but will point out that Zoe Kravitz is on the October cover. Zendaya is on the cover of Marie Claire and if you are looking for anyone else, take a look through this list of September Issue covers.

I am still old school when it comes to following fashion, so as everyone else turns to Instagram to keep up with the trends, I am unsure if the author of this article is right. However, if the outpouring of emotion over the death of fashion blogger and influencer named Kyrzayda Rodriguez, who succumbed to stomach cancer last week is any indication of the future, perhaps Anna Wintour is presiding over a dying medium?

Unlikely, at least in the short term. Anna still gets front row seats at the shows, and her magazine has helped to spotlight some of these black designers and models who were featured during New York Fashion Week September 5-12, 2018:

Bella Rene - website

Cushnie - ELLE article

Carlton Jones - website

Pyer Moss - VOGUE article

Salem Mitchell - VOGUE article

Telfar - PAPER article

Finally, I have to mention that I learned a new term this week, "lewks" thanks to my imaginary sister-in-law, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. I just happened to be reading through my Twitter timeline the other day and read how she had been attacked over an expensive outfit she wore for this interview. While I am convinced that this pettiness has a lot to do with Ocasio-Cortez's refusal to buy any of the wolf tickets sold by the folks who need better hobbies, this entire controversy emphasizes the point of this series. A fashion statement has social, economic, personal, and political implications. And the statements aren't just made by the clothes (take note of the model in the Tommy Hilfiger ad, Winnie Harlow). Fashion can be dismissed by people who take themselves way too seriously as superficial, but in the process they miss the broader message.

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