New Pin Board! Black Beauty and Style in the mainstream UK Media

Another day, another idea for a Pinterest board!

As an increasing number of black models are being used for the beauty and fashion features in the mainstream British glossy magazines, I have decided to capture these images over the remainder of the year.  Follow this board here!

As well as featuring vetran supermodels such as Naomi Campbell  and newer faces such as Leomie Anderson, I will also pin the press features that depict a positive representation of the modern Black British woman – women like myself, who are educated, professional and wish to make a valuable contribution to the British society – as unfortunatly such coverage is still few and far between.

I have added this pin to my  board which was featured  recently in InStyle magazine’s SS12 Get Smart Workwear Special supplement.  ‘How real women Get Smart’ was the title of the feature and it showcased 4 professional women and their working wardrobes.  It was great to see Paulette Stephens, an interior design consultant, included in the group.  I am looking forward to showcasing more women such as this!

Is there anyone missing?   Do let me know!

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The Brit Pack – my Favourite Black British Beauty and Fashion Bloggers!

Which Black British beauty and fashion bloggers are on my hot list?

I took inspiration from my recent post that showcased the leading Black beauty bloggers from the US and thought that I would start a Pinterest board to collate my fav Black British bloggers – we to are doing some fabulous things right here in the UK!

I have really gotten into Pinterest – it is such an easy way to document your thoughts, ideas and aspirations to create a visual feast that is a reflection of the very essence of who you are!  What fun it will be to look back at your boards in 1, 5 or 10 years time!  It will be a montage of your evolution as a person and a snapshot of the history of your presence here on this earth!  If you are not on  Pinterest request an invite!  If you are on Pinterest follow me!

So which bloggers am I loving right now??  Check out my board to find out!

Who should join the list? Do let me know who your favorite Black British beauty and fashion bloggers are too!

If you are on Pinterest, happy pinning! Leave your Pinterest address in the comment box below and I will be sure to follow!


Afro’s & headline fashion shows AW12

Afro’s & headline fashion shows AW12.

 

A great follow up to my post Afro-tising! If you are not following Afroblush, you should be!

 

Enjoy!


The Caribbean Collections: LFW AW12

2012 is a big year for the Caribbean; both Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago celebrate 50 years of independence, the fastest man on the face of the planet – a proud Jamaican – is set to take centre stage at the London Olympics and the crème de la crème of the Caribbean Fashion and Creative industries showed at London Fashion Week for the very first time – as part of the British Fashion Council’s inaugural International Fashion Showcase.

The event was established to mark the Olympics and ‘honour the Olympic values of international respect, excellence, equality and friendship’.   The Caribbean Collections debuted at the start of LFW on the 17th and 18th of February and is  supported by the Caribbean Export Development Agency, the Caribbean Fashion Industry Association and JAMPRO – Jamaica Promotions Corporation.

I was ecstatic when I heard about the showcase, as a proud Briton of Jamaican heritage, it was marvellous to hear that a side of the Caribbean – the creative, industrious side, which is so often overlooked by the mainstream media – would be showcased for all to see.

Caribbean fashion is a well established industry, with Caribbean Fashion Week celebrating its 11th anniversary last year.   The industry leaders are now looking to export markets for the next phase of growth.

The Chairman of the Caribbean Fashion Industry Association, Kingsley Cooper states that “..the exhibition is really about showing the fashion industry that we have design talent to compete in a global arena. The contribution which the islands can make to fashion has gone under the world’s fashion radar for too long. We are delighted to be a part of London Fashion Week and as organisers of Caribbean Fashion week, we see this as a big step for Caribbean fashion, as we continue to develop our industry and position our designers to take their place on the world stage – our time is now”.

I visited the showcase on the Friday, which was hosted in the Charing Cross Hotel and was awed by the extensive range of designs, styles and themes that were on display.

The exhibition featured designers handpicked from fifteen islands across the Caribbean and creations inspired by the cultural melting pot that the Caribbean represents – African, Spanish, French and British influences were evident in the pieces on display.

Haitian born Phelicia Dell, creator of  VèVè Collections was showcasing her line of handcrafted bags, inspired by the distinctive style of her home nation.

Dell was once a struggling artisan, who began to build her empire by giving away samples of her work for free.  This foresight and sacrifice paid off, for in 2008, she had the opportunity to enter Diane von Furstenberg’s ‘Global Handbag Design Competition’.  The DVF competition solicited designs from women artisans in Haiti, Guatemala, Nigeria and Cambodia.  Phelicia won the competition and in 2009, Diane von Furstenberg featured her winning handbags online and in DVF stores around the globe, to mark International Women’s Day.

www.vevecollection.com

Sandra Kennedy’s (Jamaica), Beach Collection represents the definitive resort lifestyle.  Hand crafted in 100% West Indian Sea Island Cotton – the rarest, silkiest and strongest cotton in the world – the Montego Bay based designer pays homage to her mother for her career in fashion and design.  Her mother began working in fashion here in the UK for none other than Marks and Spencer.  She then returned to Jamaica and passed on her love for sewing to her daughter.

Beach Collection 2012

Kennedy is inspired by her home in every sense and the indigenous and unique hand crafted detail is incorporated into her collection.

Sandra Kennedy Collection, Half Moon PO Box 2450, Rose Hall, Montego Bay, Jamaica WI

I also caught up with Kevin Ayoung-Julien (Tobago) of kaj Designs and Arlene Martin (Jamaica) of drennaLUNA.

Kevin launched his brand in  2005, as a boutique operation producing custom-made, one-of-a-kind pieces.

kaj Resort Collection (Image: Yaisa Tangwell)

In 2009 he debuted his inaugural resort collection, Shore Culture.  Ribbons of ombrè and tie-dyed chiffons, silk rayons, satins and organza are constructed to flatter the female form and highlight her sensual silhouette.

 A self-taught designer, Kevin is not defined by convention and likes to be guided by his

Image: Yaisa Tangwell

intuition and a creative openness.  I found this to be evident in his creations and I too am also a big believer in following your heart as you pursue your endeavours.   His partnership with Liza Miller (General Manager of kaj Designs), a leading marketing consultant and publicist in the Caribbean, has created a powerful collaborative force combining the creative and the strategic, which will undoubtedly set the company up for future success.

www.kajdesigns.net

Arlene Martin of  drennaLUNA  debuted her recent collection – The Collection 1975 which  is a breath of nostalgia of the fun, funk and fashion frenzy that was the 1970s , and would not look out of place in a swanky bar or classy cocktail party right here in London.

drennaLuna by Arlene Martin

Arlene has had a passion for design and sewing from as far back as she can remember, and she warmly recounted to me  the memory of being given her first sewing machine at the age of 12 years old.   With skills that have largely been self- taught, she actively took up the craft as a hobby in her late teens and over the years, her eye for detail mushroomed into something extraordinary.

Although passionate about fashion she was encouraged by her father to continue with her academic studies and she is now a MBA graduate and a practicing business consultant who has worked on varied national and international projects, proving that one’s creativity does not have to be stifled as one develops a more traditional career path and that following your dreams should always remains a priority.

She describes her design aesthetic as ‘simple yet sophisticated’ and the drenna LUNA woman as ‘confident and bold’ – who wouldn’t want to fit that description!!

www.drennaluna.com

Caribbean Fashion Week 2012 will be held between the  7th and the 11th of June, in Kingston Jamaica and the Caribbean Collections are set to return to London for the SS13 London Fashion Week in September – so with a few gold medals in the bag (hopefully!) – there is a lot to look forward to and to celebrate from the beautiful islands of the Caribbean!


Beautiful Black Britain

Happy New Year!!

I am so excited about the year ahead.  There will be no other place to be than in London this year! So you will see that I have updated my blog name to BeautyPulseLONDON.  I will be bringing you more beauty and fashion news and views from this incredible city in 2012.

As we look ahead to all that 2012 will unveil, I thought that it would be apt to first take a look back.  As 2011 drew to a close, I felt immensely proud to be a Black woman in Britain – our beauty, intellect and talents really shone for all to see.

Here are some of my highlights:

Jourdan Dunn – RELOADED

Jourdan Dunn for YSL Beauté

At just 21, West London born supermodel Jourdan Dunn had a stellar 2011.  She was the face of the YSL  Touche Éclat campaign that launched the iconic product in 2 new shades – suitable for darker skin tones.

Dunn and Delevinge

Her relationship with British superbrand Burberry continued to blossom.  She featured in both the S/S and A/W campaigns and also was the face of the 2011 Burberry Beauty campaign (alongside Cara Delevinge).  I love this tutorial that can be found on the Burberry YouTube channel showcasing how Jourdan’s nude look can be recreated.  Can I just say I *heart* the powder brush!!

Another strong  partnership that Jourdan has forged is with the cult British  fashion and culture magazine i-D…I will say no more about this image – as a picture speaks a thousand words!

Stunning!

Jourdan proved that she is more than a pretty face last year, she was very vocal about the way young black people were being portrayed as the main perpetrators of the summer riots that revenged many of the nation’s major cities.  In an article in the London newspaper The Evening Standard, Dunn stated that she was “annoyed by claims that all the rioters were young and black, adding: “Not all young people are criminals”.

I am looking forward to seeing and hearing more from Miss Dunn in 2012 as she continues to do a stellar job representing British Black women in a positive light.

Positive Hair Day

Sarah Naomi Lee (Image: Plenty Productions)

I was having a lazy morning in late November,  listening to Women’s Hour on  my favourite radio station, BBC Radio 4 and my ears pricked up when a lady of mixed  heritage discussed the ‘issues’ that British Black and Mixed- Raced women face when dealing with their hair!  Her name was Sarah Naomi Lee and she is a playwright, former BBC producer and Creative Director of Plenty Productions – a community interest  company that facilitates high quality, collaborative, community-based arts and media projects.

Sarah recounted her experience of growing up in Brigton and coming to terms with her own cultural identity which was expressed in many ways, including in the way she wore her hair.  She went on to found the Postive Hair Day workshops  – a fantastic project  based in Brighton which uses hair as a focus for building a greater understanding of  Black and mixed heritage people’s identity and culture.  The project runs free workshops and activities including  a regular Hair Care workshop where free  advice and tips are offered on how to care for Black and mixed heritage hair.  She was on the radio program to promote her latest venture – Snakes and Ladders.  Snakes and Ladders is a bold and powerful comic drama about race, identity and the testing of family loyalties and waspartly inspired by stories and memories collected form the  Positive Hair Day project.

The work was showcased in November of  last year – and unfortunately I couldn’t make the the performance …so I delighted to find a couple of videos of the play on YouTube.

Got It Covered

Black women graced the covers of numerous UK glossies last year. Leading the pack was none other than Miss Rowland – who featured on the covers of Cosmopolitan, Stylist, Health & Fitness and Marie Claire to name but a few.   Kelly’s make-up for many of these shoots and her X-Factor appearances was the handy work of  the talented British  MUA, Pauline Briscoe.

Celebrity MUA - Pauline Briscoe

 

Recreate Kelly’s celebrity looks with tips from Pauline featured on the glamourmagazine.co.uk website.

 

 

 

 

 

Stylist also featured supermodel Alex Wek on the cover of the special London Fashion Week edition of the magazine….

Incredible! (Image: blog.fabmagazineonline.com)

…and even John Lewis (yes – John Lewis – the epitome of middle England) featured the stunning black model Aba (of Zone Models) on the cover of the Christmas issue of their consumer magazine Edition.

Fabulous.

Never knowingly under sold or fashionably upstaged!


Shala Monroque for NET-A-PORTER

St Lucian born, New York dweller  Shala Monrouque is one of four ‘Faces of Fashion’ for the British designer fashion e-tailer,  NET- A-PORTER.

Shala Monroque for NET-A-PORTER AW11

Shala Monroque for NET-A-PORTER AW11

Shala’s variegated yet elegant style has enraptured the fashion community and she counts leading designers such as Prada and Wu as personal friends.

Shala shares her style inspiration and AW11 must have peices here:

The muse of the moment – Shala has graced the pages of numerous glossy magazines including Australian and Italian Vogue and Essence magazine and she recently featured on the cover of the Fall fashion edition of the famous New York publication.

Keep abreast of this style mavens ruminations by visiting her blog: Shala’s Rabbit Hole 


Northern Star

In my first blog post I enthused about my love for the city of London…well I love London EVEN more during London Fashion Week!

This vibrant, cosmopolitan city plays host to one of the most famous of fashion weeks  – and the fun and frolics kicked off last Friday.

I had the privilege of attending a fabulous show hosted by Le Geneve North Events (LGN Events) in the sumptuous interiors of the Charing Cross Hotel.

LGN Events has a clear mission – the LGN team are dedicated to assisting emerging and independent designers from around the world – offering them a platform to showcase their collections to the public, press and influential buyers during key fashion buying periods, such as LFW.

The show is aptly named A La Mode (French for ‘in fashion‘), and the designers most definitely showcased fashion forward, unique and cutting edge styles.  It is in its 6th season and is going from strength to strength.

Anniss - A La Mode, LGN Events (LFW Sept '11)

My favourite designers included Polish born Anniss – who brought an avant garde flair to the evening and the debonair Omar Mansoor, whose collection of alluring evening wear was breathtaking.

Omar Mansoor - A La Mode, LGN Events (LFW Sept '11)

The success of the show and  LGN Events is down to its founder and CEO Yolande Letshou – a pioneering and enterprising young woman!

Yolande is a natural entrepreneur with a passion for all things fashionable!  She has a stellar CV – which includes working for blue chip corporations such as the John Lewis group and organising major fashion events internationally.   She was also recently featured in the OHTV  ‘Black Women in Media‘ series.

Miss Letshou is definitely one to watch!

I had a fabulous time at the show – and the goody bag was the icing on the cake!

The enclosed items ranged from hair care to make up brushes, however I was particularly struck by a small vial of fragrance called Blessings.  The juice was exquisite and upon investigation I discovered that it was developed by a client of the fragrance authority and aficionado, Roja Dove.  The story behind the fragrance is SO compelling… all will be revealed in my next blog post!