Accessories In The Nude 2017 Fashion Show

“If you aren’t wearing the right accessories, you may as well be nude.” -Meko Krout.

For nine years, Accessories In the Nude has produced the highly anticipated A.I.N. Fashion Show! On Saturday, July 22nd, at the Esé Azenabor Fashion Gallery, A.I.N. held its annual showcase where the 2017 Accessory Designer winner was announced. Six local designers also showcased their collections.

Out of a necessity to support fashion production, creator/owner, Meko Krout founded A.I.N. in 2008.

“We started off wanting to do a fashion show, then decided to branch off into helping other designers build their brand,” she says.

According to Krout, wardrobe designers get highlighted more. “We wanted to focus on accessories and make it a competition,” she says. “Our goal is to help designers build their dream and keep building. The winner receives  money  towards their business.”

A portion of the proceeds from this year’s showcase will be donated to the  non-profit organization, The Birthday Party Project! TBPP  provides birthday parties to homeless children in the metroplex.

Krout explains that, “The decision to donate a portion of the proceeds is because we always want to give back. The Birthday Party Project gives back to children! They have birthday parties for homeless children! I try to have people visualize. How did you feel when you had a birthday party experience growing up? Everyone should have that experience. I thought that was something fun, and something everyone would want to jump on.”

“It is a blessing that we continue to grow,” says Krout. “Shout out to my A.I.N. team, especially [Executive Producer] Willie [Johnson].  I think he loves the brand as much as I love it. We couldn’t do it without him, and the entire team; the makeup team and everyone who steps up and assists.”

Master  of Ceremony,  Housewives of Dallas star, LeeAnne Locken kept this fashionable event rolling, while DJ M*Knight rocked the house, setting the stage for the show.

The competition!

This year’s winner is Michael “Bow Tie Mike” Williams. Mike has been designing bow ties since 2005 when boredom inspired his creativity.

Last year’s winner, Tina Peters announcing Bow Tie Mike as this year’s winner.

“I was bored with seeing the same style of ties over and over again,” he says. “I wanted something that stands out. Something to draw people’s attention; get people going. I wanted to do something to put smiles on people’s faces. This tie took five days to create,” says Bow Tie Mike.

Mike is a humble, yet appreciative artist. “Bow ties are my life. God is good!”

Look for Bow Tie Mike @bowtie_mike on Instagram

The show!

Six designers. Six collections. Plucked from Dallas’ Fashion Scene. Indigo 1745, Yvonne Johnson, House of No Lady, Jamel Hawk, RADKEEM SIMS, Uyo by Udoh Atelier and Josette Couture made up the montage of futuristic, innovative, avant-garde looks that set the runway on FIRE!

Indigo 1745

 

This collection was eclectic and easy to wear.

 

Yvonne Johnson

 

A fun, colorful collection with class.

 

House of No Lady

 

This collection was jaw dropping. A literal take on survival of the fittest.

 

Jamel Hawk

 

The swanky side of calm, cool, and collected.

 

Radkeem Sims

 

Stylishly daring, this collection is for the Bad Girl/ Bad Boy hidden inside.

 

Uyo by Udoh Atelier

 

Afro beats and chilled drinks. This collection will have you summer festival ready.

 

Josette Couture

 

This lady sings no blues. The Josette Couture collection by Josette Gollatt is classy and feminine, with just enough drama.

“I love black. Black is beautiful baby, and white is alright. And what makes us both the same is the Red, the Blood. That is where I come from, says Golatt.”

Gollatt is not new to fashion. Her experience spans from her childhood and continued throughout adulthood.

Gollatt says, “I started sewing at nine with my lunch money. I started then.”

Even as a young girl, Gollatt knew that she had a gift, so she did-away with patterns.

“I wanted to experiment, so mistakes weren’t mistakes,” she says.

“It’s great when someone else loves what you love, and it’s ok if they don’t. That’s the cherry on top, because when you’re designing, you’re in your own headspace, in your own zone and you have to do what comes out of you first -not concerning yourself about anybody else.”

Finally, if you love fashion, you will not miss the 2018 show. Stay in the know. Follow A.I.N. on Instagram @ainshow.

For more information about being a part of the A.I.N. Showcase, visit Accessories in The Nude Showcase or e-mail Meko Krout at mekokrout@accessoriesinthenude.com.

Photo Credit: Cy Davison- Beyond Reach Media

Advertisements

Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number!

I’m a few years away from being forty, a mom of two, and my husband and I are eight months away from our tenth wedding anniversary. I think it’s safe to say that I’m seasoned with noteworthy life experiences, and for the most part, I’ve settled into who I am confidently. But that doesn’t mean that I’m unwilling, too old or too set in my ways to embrace change (or a little fun).

We planned a five day getaway to Grand Bahama Island, Freeport, Bahamas with my brother, his girlfriend, and my cousin and his wife. My anticipation for the trip grew daily in the months leading up  to the trip. Between feeling my way through this new blogger-life and work-life balance stress, I NEEDED THIS TRIP!

We aren’t new to traveling. My husband and I travel with groups of friends regularly, and it’s always a good time. This trip was a little different because I was traveling with my brother (his girlfriend) and male cousin (and his wife), and both couples are a decade younger than us! Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a damn good time. But, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I was concerned about how things would play out being a generation older than the other couples. We automatically claimed our roles as the elders of the group, along with a list of things that “we” do  (or don’t do) while on vacation. You know, in true old people fashion.

Y’all, this was the best destination vacation trip I’ve been on to-date! The island was crazy, sexy, cool. The people where friendly and welcoming. Our travel group was lit! And I learned three valuable lessons from this trip!

Always, always, always be that girl!

Photo by: CreateHer Stock

I’m mindful about keeping it sexy and spicy at home, but when it comes to vacation all I want to do is relax! I pack books and loungewear for all vacations. The girls reminded me that even while relaxing, I should to be sexy and spicy for my man. A vacation without the children is the perfect scenario for taking a few additional minutes to oil up from head to toe, throw on a face and prance around scantily clad all day and into the night.

Don’t put so much focus on age appropriateness (especially while on vacation) and relaxation that you miss the opportunity to be reminded of the girl you were when you were younger, and playful undivided attention from your man.

Seek out the fun you want to have and make it happen!

Photo by: Shebatty

We wanted to experience night life on the island. We asked around, googled a few spots, then called a taxi! While out, we twerked, drank more drinks and took more shots than we should have, and did a damn good job of being hype-men for whomever we pleased. With  five days blocked out, there was plenty of time for sleeping in and nap time.

Let your hair down, order the extra drink, take the shot and dance like nobody is looking! What happens on vacation stays there…well kind of, social media has blurred those lines a little. But, there is no crime in wilding out every once in a while.

Expect the unexpected (and still have fun)!

Photo by: CreateHer Stock

When we finally arrived to our destination, all I wanted to do was freshen up and lay down for hot second, but, of course, our room wasn’t ready. Then, a few days into the trip, someone came down with a stomach virus. Inconvenient? Yes, but we didn’t allow those moments to ruin the entire trip.

Hurry up and wait is definitely a thing during travel. Flight delays, long lines, getting sick, and hotel rooms not being available until check-in are inevitable, so make the best of it. In most cases, your significant other is the only person you might inconvenience on a trip. The rest of the group will find their way and make the best of the situation. Yes, everyone will wish you well with hopes of you getting well or ready soon, but the show will go on. When things are more under control or you start feeling better,  hop on the party train and enjoy your time.

 

Hair Extravaganza at The Texas Intern’l Hair & Trade Show

I attended my first Texas Hair Shows’ International Hair Show, the Texas International Hair and Trade Show, this year. And I have to admit that I must have been living under a rock for the last sixteen years, because the show was amazing! I’ve attended hair expos in the past, so I had a general idea of what to expect as far as the set up, vendor booths, and class breakouts. But I had absolutely no clue what to expect nor what I was in store for during the America’s Next Top Stylist Competition/Hair Battle and other competitions!

favorite finds

From classes, to live demos,  to vendors, if you have any interest in the beauty industry there was something there to benefit you. The exhibition hall hosted a variety of vendors, a main stage, and Barber’s Island; a stage set exclusively for barbers to showcase their work live on stage! The vendors ranged from hair & body product manufacturers to jewelry and fashion. Mocca Cosmetics and Pretty Girl Pillow were in the house. I also spotted all natural, organic and handmade products from Like Second Nature and Unique & Natural!

let’s get it started

As the vendors shut down for the night, the crowd shifted to the ballroom of the convention center and the mood changed drastically. The lights were low, the music was bumping, and the stage was set center to two large projection screens. K104’s Dede McGuire of DeDe in the Morning and actor/model, heartthrob, Christian Keyes opened the show and introduced the opening act, Dooney da Barber.

The performance was followed by the presentation of the Ultimate Groomer Award. Diana Fowlks crowned, or better you could say cloaked, Marcus (Tipp) Mitchell  with an Ultimate Groomer bomber jacket! Up next were the Souljahs Steppers. These young men killed their performance, and had a cheering squad like no other!

Our hosts for the evening were the beautiful Michelle Barber, and Glynn Jackson. Glynn kept me in stitches with quick-witted, comical antics throughout the night. The battle was a fist-pumping, edge of your seat, you betta work, yaaasssss type of production. The pressure was on, as the contestants were first critiqued by Tracy Jones, Anita Hawkins, and KC Fox. Then judged by a host of industry giants: Zerlene Rogers, Keya Neal, Dave Raye, Hair Majesty, and Texas T.

I’ve seen hair battles on TV before, but being in the room and feeling the energy of this show was amazing. I loved every minute of it!

There were twelve creative and innovative competitors with industry experience ranging from five to twenty-plus years, all competing for a Grand Prize of five thousand dollars! Each stylist showcased their skills through themed performances ranging from African Safari’s to The Great Gatsby. I had a great time the entire time, and as the millennials would say, “It was LIT AF!”

This year’s Grand Prize winner was Toni Ancher from Spoil ‘Em Rotten salon in Waco, Texas. Toni’s Toy Story Hair Tale brought down the house! It was colorful, had insane energy, and she showed off her skills from natural to fantasy hairstyles.  Toni left us in awe -she shut it down!

Loc Love

Sunday night’s festivities were fun, fully of energy and long, but I couldn’t miss Monday’s Loc Competition and I didn’t.  All five contestants had dope loc-styles. I’m always delighted to see locs on a platform showcasing their versatility and beauty.

Beautiful Braids

And while everyone isn’t quite ready for the commitment required for locs, we can all get down with braids and corn rows! The braid competition was fit for a queen, the styles were majestic mixed with some ‘around the way’ vibes.

I also had the opportunity to see the Fantasy Hair Competition and the Cosmetology School Competition. Another display of talent and innovation that left me wowed.

All I can say is that I’m kicking myself for all the other shows that I missed. This may have been my first time attending the Texas International Hair Show, but it will not be my last! Follow Texas Hair Shows on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with what’s happening next!

Wheels Up!

We are slightly into the second half of 2017 and I have no complaints. God had blessed me, my family and friends alike. Phone calls report good news, goals reached, and the squad is stepping out on faith with blessing two -fold. I made a conscious decision to grab the bull by the horns this year and go to it. 
As with all things, when there are ups there will be downs. I did go through a couple of months of feeling stuck in a rut, and experienced some emotions that I can’t say I’ve ever felt before.
Have you ever felt like running to the edge of a cliff and screaming until the sound disappeared? That’s where I was at. However, in the midst of my disparity I was comforted, because I knew that I was in a state of growth and this was yet another storm that I would have to overcome. 
I am blessed to have mentors who pour into me. I also have a praying mother, and a therapist who doesn’t mince words with me. So seeking council is never an issue. 
I allowed myself time to experience the emotions I was feeling at the time. I took some time to clear my mind, and took some time for selfcare. I’m in a much better place, and happy to be moving forward.
Work-life balance for momprenuers is a juggling act, it’s a lot of work, requires sacrifices, but it’s what we thrive on, and we would not trade our passions for the world. And in the same breath, all the hard work, and time and attention we put into everything and everyone else is deserving of coming full circle for us . And by full circle I mean VACATION! 

We’ve had this vacation planned for months and I am elated that the time has finally come. Hubby and I burned rubber getting our girls to their grandparents house. My plans include late nights and “Did we sleep through breakfast?” mornings. You can definitely call me an Island Gal for the next couple days, and I can’t wait to tour the city with my new Sony a6000! 


And I got my people with me! 


This weekend is going to be one for the books. To stay up to date with my vacation, follow me on social media (links available at the bottom of the Home page)!

The Black Bridal Experience Fashion Show

Our Weddings Magazine is a bridal lifestyle magazine that excluIsively promotes the Black bride and the Black groom. Its Publisher, Ivy McCain (BLI Publishing) saw a need for the uplifting of Black love and marriageafter hearing several youth state that Black people don’t get married. McQuain immediately began working to create a vehicle to remind the world that Black marriages and Black love is real and a staple in the community across the world. She put out a call to action and created a team of industry professionals to help her execute the vision from the very first issue. Janean Wadley, editor and owner of Forever Yes Weddings, and Shellye Lyons, social media director and owner of Your Media Girl have worked tirelessly since day one. Our Weddings Magazine initially released a sneak peak issue in Southern Dallas County Magazine in its June 2014 issue and later debuted full independent issues in June 2015.

Our Weddings exclusively showcases Black love and community, which sets it apart from the rest. Our Weddings is providing tangible proof that our daughters and sons have every right to  vision love and nuputals on grand scale. They are disapproving the stereotype that “Black people don’t get married” and that, Black people, as any other socio-economical class are more than a troth of baby mamas and baby daddies.

Not only does Our Weddings exclusively showcase Black couples and weddings, it promotes Black designers, event planners, and vendors within the wedding industry.  Our Weddings celebrated its one year anniversary in June 2016 by hosting its contributors to brides-to-be at the Hilton Inn in Duncanville. This year McQuain and her team decided to make the event larger and highlight more Black wedding vendors; thus The Black Bridal Experience, a two-day showcase of designer wedding fashion, wedding planners, and vendors. The extravaganza was held at the Manderley in DeSoto, Texas and was on Friday, June 23 through Saturday, June 24.

I had the pleasure The Black Bridal Experience Fashion Show. It was exquisite and oh-so fabulous! Backstage prep filled me with excitement and anticipation for the show to start. Once the show started, I fell in love with being in love all over again. By the time the show was over,  I’d decided on a 10 year vowel renewal, picked a location, decided on my dress, bridesmaids and junior bride dresses! Wadley did an amazing job ensuring everything ran smoothly and everyone was well taken care of.

Designs by @masterpiece_boutique_ , @thefashionopera@faith.diva, @martaruizdesigns, @whiteweddingworkroom, and @pantorabridal from Brooklyn, New York. ripped the runway.The gowns featured in this show were the embodiment of Queening and absolutely stunning.

Backstage Preperations

Hair whipping and face painting are a must for the runway.

Designers busy fitting the best look on each model, ensuring perfection and adding finishing touches  up until the very last second – it’s a beautiful storm to stand back and watch.

As the dust begins to settle, attention is given to even the slightest details and there’s just enough time snap a few pictures before showtime!

Showtime

The room was was dim, with the spotlight  focused on the runway. We sat in anticipation for the show to start, and when it did the room filled with ooh’s and ahh’s. The ladies moved strategically,  and with grace and elegance.

The after party!

Following the show designer @stephengoudeau displayed four breath taking gowns in the courtyard, and VIP guests spoke one-on-one with the designers while enjoying light hor d’evour’s and cocktails.

More details about The Black Bridal Experience weekend will be in the next issue of Our Weddings Magazine. If you are a bride, know a bride, or are dreaming of being a bride and find yourself coming up short on  wedding inspiration that speaks to your inner Queen, then subscribe to Our Weddings Magazine and be sure to follow on Instagram and Facebook!