Hola amigos y familia!
I joined the Museum of the African Diaspora (MOAD) Vanguard for a colorful celebration of the French and Spanish speaking countries of the African Diaspora! This day party with a purpose encouraged guests to get in the spirit - from Ankara to Kente and patterns in between - and come dressed to impress in your flyest African fashion.
With stylist pressure running high, I found myself scrambling at the last minute to get my life in order! I didn't want to half step and just come in bright colors so I reignited my Google search to find any locally owned stores that carried African clothes.
Unfortunately, I came up empty handed because I waited until a few days before the event to make moves and a lot of the artists sold their items during Oakland First Fridays or at the Berkley Flea Market on Sundays.
Fail. For me.
But alas, I was speaking to my local Park partner in crime Jeff about my crisis and we discussed a worst case scenario move - buy some fabric, wrap up your hair and keep it moving! Okay - solid plan B. Except that my head is really large and I have faux loss ... so my usual head wrap styles would need some fine tuning.
And then it happened. Magic. In literally less than 1 hour.
In the middle of my Google search on the bus ride home after my Saturday AM Zumba class I found a fabric store in THE CITY OF SAN FRANCISCO that had African prints. Amen! So I jumped off the bus, caught the California Street Cable Car to Powell street and set foot to Britex Fabrics in Union Square.
After getting sidetracked with a quick run into Zara. Because. You know it's Zara...I made it to Britex.
Upstairs on the second floor I started to get a bit overwhelmed by the ABUNDANCE of options surrounding me, but a nice employee helped me take a few deep breaths, calm down, and walk through the options until I stumbled on a print that spoke to me - a true 2 for 1 deal!
Don't you love those!?
This African print was bold AND highlighted the colors of my Jamaican heritage. Done and done. Yes, I'll take 1 yard of this print.
$15 later I was on my way home. Actually, I didn't make it far because there was an Indian street fair between me and the climb back up Powell Street. So I stopped for some quick street food and inhaled a samosa while listening to some banghara for a few minutes outside - yummy...but tchau work out gains! :/
Okay - back to the main story. So I hike back to my apartment with this beautiful print....but what was I actually going to do with it?
A few creative iterations later - viola! I created this top on top of a bra for shape and support. With no thread, no needle, no pins.
+ then I tossed on one of my favorite skirts from Zara, my go to nude heels and a hat - just because #whynot and this vintage clutch find from my Mom.
Ba ding ba da boom.
Hola beautiful people!
Can you believe I styled my first wedding?! Talk about the pressure to deliver on one of the most important dates in someone's life. But the smile on this bride's face, my lovely cousin Dawn, made it all worth it.
The process really kicked off 4 months ago - which may seem crazy to those of you that have planned a wedding before. But for me - no big deal. I bought my wedding dress (well the one I actually decided to wear, lol) 2 months before my big day. When I reached out a month before the wedding and still no dress...hmmm...okay no big deal. I have an idea of the look we are going for and the budget.
But when we were entering the week of the wedding and still no dress - the pressure WAS REAL. But as most procrastinators know that adrenaline rush created by time constraints can bring out some of your best high performing moments. Thank God this was one of them - for me and the bride. As most West Indians know, we are not a forgiving people in holding our tongues to tell you exactly how we feel!
Together, with Dawn putting her trust in me to bring her vision together, the behind the scenes magic of how I work to understand my clients desires, online and in person shopping, and knowing which designers are best for you client we were able to find a dress that:
Best Moment (really only one!? There were SO many!): The dance-floor. Family from all over the world (Canada, England, etc.) jamming to Ed Sheehan's Thinking Out Loud - reggae version smoothly mixed in at the end of the first dance - to the classics from Beres Hammond - to LMFAO Shots! Priceless.
Melanin queen, with high expectations who only knows how to do the most.