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

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!

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!

Pretty Girl Pillow

Pretty Girl Pillow, curated and founded by Ashley Turner in April 2017. Yes, girl April! Yes, girl it’s only June, but, when God puts a fabulous, innovative new product on your heart you do what He says, and get it on the market!

it was all a dream

Pretty Girl Pillow is literally a dream come true for its founder and curator, Ashley Turner. The inspiration came in a dream. Like most of us, Ashley has grown tired of spending so much money on maintenance just to end up having time, money, and efforts wasted by the next day from sleeping on traditional pillows.

out with the old

Traditional pillows smash, cause breakage, and absorb oils from the hair. They damage eyelash extensions, decrease extensions or tabs. Pretty Girl Pillow is a custom shaped satin covered cushion that preserves your pretty while you sleep. Get a full night’s sleep without compromising your hair, eyelash extensions, or comfort level.

in with the new

The PGP has a satin cover which is designed to accommodate your neck and shoulder areas. The pillow’s design props you up so you’re not resting on the bed allowing you to get a full night’s rest. PGP is a custom, handmade, U-shaped pillow. It has a removable cover, and washable assembly (wash on cold, dry on low).

It is a little bigger than a travel pillow, but still small enough to travel with, and comes with a tote for storage. You can sleep on either side of it, and it’s made to accommodate side and back sleepers. It can also be manipulated to your desires.

It comes in six colors: Serenity (Teal), Tangy (Coral), Royalty (Purple), Fiyah (Red), Candi (Pink), and Stormy (Black), and retails for $39.99.

Within one month of her visionary dream, Pretty Girl Pillow had been designed and on the assembly line. In less than two months, PGP launched and is now available for purchase -no games played, and no time wasted.

love it

I love the feel of satin against my skin, and the texture and weight of the pillow are heavenly. As a naturalista, loc wearer, the pillow helps to preserve moisture by not stripping and absorbing all the oils from my hair. It also helps in preventing lint from getting stuck in my locs.

I spend a lot of time lounging at home, and use my PGP throughout the day as well. I usually walk in and immediately throw my hair into a ponytail, or throw on my bonnet. Sexy, right? With my PGP I’m able to leave my hair down and uncovered while relaxing. PGP takes snuggling up with a good book up a notch. It’s a great head rest, and allows me to be comfy and cute. I’ve caught my husband lounging with my PGP more times than he’ll want me to disclose.

While we’re on the topic of husbands and significant others, here is a little nugget for those of you who may be curious. Yes, girl you can use it for THAT too! It’s designed to accommodate your neck and shoulder area, won’t smash your hair, and won’t damage your lashes. Got it? No? Then I’ll be blunt. Use it during sex, it’s great (thank Ashley later)!

Another one of my best experiences with PGP happened the night I had my hair rolled on perm-rods. I had over sixty rollers in my hair, and the plan was to wear them overnight. PGP came through! Of course, the bottom row of rollers were a pain, but this was my first experience sleeping in perm-rods that didn’t end with me getting little to no sleep.

I use my PGP every night. So much so, that it also serves as a decorative pillow on my bed when not in use, and my children know that when I say, “Go get my pillow.”  that I want my PGP.

The Launch!

The Pretty Girl Pillow launch party took place on June 3rd 2017 at The Beauty Lab Salon in Arlington Texas. Light hors d’oeuvres were served. Terelyn Freeney kept the cocktails rolling, and we mingled and grooved to the sounds formulated by Dallas DJ’s, DJ Madd Scientist and DJ 50 Grand.

Being in the house for the PGP launch came with perks! Upon entry, guests received tickets that landed grand prizes in the laps of two lucky winners. Angela Bell won a Pretty Girl Pillow, and Zerontrea McCullough won 6 months of credit repair from BK Credit Consultants.

Lady Jade was also in the building, showing support, and mixing and mingling it up with the crowd.

Pretty Girl Pillow will definitely pique your interest when you see it online, but seeing, touching, feeling, and experiencing Pretty Girl Pillow in person is unmatched.

Bonnets were being ditched left and right, and Pretty Girl Pillows were flying off the shelf.

Great product, grand prizes, good music and good company are always a great time. If you missed the launch party, do not fret! Pretty Girl Pillow is available at www.prettygirlpillow.com and you can stay in-the-know with Pretty Girl Pillow on Instagram @prettygirlpillow.

Photo Gallery

 

 

Makeup Mixer with Glamour Rx

Glamour RX kicked off an Initial Introductory series, where its founder, and celebrity MUA, Bridgette Washington is personally conducting makeup classes with small, intimate groups  in the Dallas/Froth Worth Metroplex.

Let me start off by saying, “I’m sold!” I’m on a mission to lessening the toxins in my beauty routine, and Glamour RX  is a win-win for me. Not only is brand black owned and brown girl friendly, the products are made with consideration of our well-being, and Bridgette is passionate about providing a product that is healthy to wear daily. “We’ve sourced the best!”  Glamour RX foundation is zinc based, made with no fillers, has concentrated silk amino acids, and sourced minerals from around the world.

makeup monday

Monday night’s Makeup Mixer was hosted by Donisha Reed of Love-N-Hair, in Garland, TX, where ladies learned 10 steps for a fresh everyday look in 10 minutes.

Bare-faced, and armed with makeup bags and hand mirrors, everyone was ready to learn and play in makeup. Skill levels ranged from novice to advanced, and by the end of the night everyone had leveled up and walked out beaming, with a new attitude.

10-in-10

Skin prep, conceal, foundation, brows, blush, highlight, shadow, mascara, lips, and set! Bridgette provided individual, hands-on instructions and techniques to each attendee. She explained the different functions of liquid and cream foundations in comparison to Glamour Rx’s mineral foundation. She also demonstrated how to use different carrier’s such as water, setting spray, and lotion with the the mineral foundation. The ladies even had the opportunity to try new products that have yet to launch!

I’m not one to gossip, but keep your ears to street about Glamour Rx’s new primer and eyeshadow/highlighter pots. Just pre-order all of it when you can, you won’t be sorry!

Bridgette demo’d covering hyperpigmentation, redness, and acne scarring with Glamour RX Mineral Foundation using a variety of application methods. She also explained and demonstrated how to skip concealer and use the foundation for under eye coverage, and answered a host of questions down to cleaning brushes.

Girls Night!

There was no way the ladies were going to let their fabulous faces go to waste, and by the end of the night, the Makeup Mixer shifted to a Girls Night Out. A few of the women came in as non-makeup wearers. They strutted off rocking a full face (including lashes), with newly purchased Glamour Rx, and the knowledge and tools needed to recreate their look over and over again.

Follow Glamour Rx for product updates, and celebrity MUA, Bridgette Washington for upcoming makeup events near you!

Greatness Within -10 Shades Of Success

I attended the 4th Annual 10 Shades of Success Gala in Dallas TX. 10 Shades of Success was founded by Dallas’ own Meko Krout and Karen Michelle, whose mission, through 10  Shades of Success, is to bring forth influential, empowering and successful women; utilizing their involvement in the community to generate awareness towards charitable initiatives. The vision is to become one of the most successful, leading example women organizations within the Dallas sector to raise a generous amount of funds to donate to a non-profit organization and impact the message of charity.

Photo by: Nikki G Productions

Getting the call

I received notification of tickets being available for me in the eleventh hour.  My allergies and sinuses were out of control, and, to be honest, I just haven’t been in the best headspace lately. Doubt and insecurities set in and my original thought was to pass. But, if you know me, then you know that I never pass on an opportunity to get full-on glam. Plus, this year has been Godspeed, so I knew there had to be a reason the opportunity became available for me, so I decided to rest as long as I could and take full advantage of it. My friend, Jaquithia, Let’s Start Giving Foundation, served as my plus one -shout out to her for showing up and showing out on such short notice.

 

The honorees

10 Shades of Success has created a platform of inclusion. Representation matters, even for adults. We see women receive awards and recognition all the time, and we sit on our hands in anticipation of honorees that represent us. There is always usually that one ‘fly in the glass of milk’, and we are grateful for her, but there is still a disproportionate number of women of color completely overlooked. There is a force of women of color who are out on the front lines, sacrificing themselves and time with their families to serve the (our) community, and they, just like everyone else, deserve recognition. There were ten honorees: Dr. Omai Karathrobei Kofi, Tristen Paige, Dr. Estrelita Bruce, Elizabeth Navarrette Savage, LaToya Jones, KJ Bland, Dr. Faith Oliver, Dr. Stacia Henderson Alexander, Jocelyn Ja’Net Willis, and Lady Jade. Each left a nugget of inspiration and motivation upon accepting their award.  

Photo by: BandRi TV

keynote betta’ say that!

Dr. Regina Spellmon, the keynote speaker, delivered a powerful message of steadfastness when faced with obstacles and oppression.  She explained the importance of perseverance, because trouble doesn’t last always! It touched me beyond words, I held back the ugly cry. Before speaking, she told us that she purposely removed all the scriptures she’d originally wrote down to use within her delivery, and let me tell you, we would have had CHURCH up in that building if she hadn’t. We almost had it anyway, honey she did not come to play with us!  

well entertained

 Letitica Owens and Fred Thomas win-hands down as the host and hostess with the mostest. How often do you have hosts who make you laugh to the point of tears, promote selfie taking, AND perform? The DJ turned it out! I’m learning that when DJ Dr. Mack is on the 1’s and 2’s my seat better have strong legs, or it’s gonna be empty, because he knows how to rock a house.  

black excellence, opulence

Style and grace, an overwhelming theme for the night. I felt proud and honored to be amongst such poised women in my community. Tangible, down to earth women who pour their strength and love into my community. The night was nothing short of Black Excellence, and I have heard that next year’s 10 Shades of Success will be a 3-day event! I cannot wait, but until then, I will tap into the greatness in me that I was so eloquently reminded has been with me since conception!

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Top 5 Beauty Influencers

Beauty is in the eye of the be-blah…blah…blah…blah! It’s 2017, and beauty is whatever you want it to be. You like what you like and I like what I like. That doesn’t make either of us wrong, just different.  I’ve listed the top five influencer that I draw inspiration from.

Jackie Aina

Need I say more? Jackie Aina is one the first YouTube beauty influencers to captivate my attention. If you’re a brown skinned girl, you cannot go wrong with the information she provides in her videos. She’s real and I like how she’s not afraid to get these brands together for overlooking anything darker than caramel complexions. I also love that she continuously promotes her blackness and is damn proud of it – and I just can’t get enough of her and Denise!

Alissa Ashley

Alissa has dry skin, like me, and she also has hooded lids, like me. She is my go to for techniques, tips and tricks fin those areas. If you have hooded lids, then you know the struggles of eyeshadow application. I love her Mystery Makeup Monday’s, where she uses a spinning  wheel to determine her look for the day. I’m amazed at how she always pulls the looks off!

Khloe Dosh

We aren’t going to talk about how many Khloe Dosh Snapchat tutorials I’ve sat through, and will continue to sit through. I like Khloe because she hasn’t forgotten about those of us who are still in the learning/struggle stages of our love for makeup. She features artists on her Snapchat from all skill levels, and you will not talk crazy to people who take over her page that aren’t the best. She’s creative, and I actually get mad at the people who come for her when she makes her makeover tutorials with creative tools. Don’t come for Khloe on my watch -NOT ON MY WATCH!

Makeupshayla

So yeah, Shayla slays, and she plays really good music when she’s working out.  I love to watching her snaps. It’s nice to see a beauty influencer kick-ass in the gym, then go home and slay-it. She’s also gorgeous!

TheSocialiteLife

I stuumbled upon Sande maybe a year or so ago while  desperately researching a particular foundation  I wanted to try. Sande is my jam, and if you don’t mind an F-bomb here and there, she’ll be yours too. Her product reviews are honest, raw and funny!

 

Who are some of your favorite influencers and why? Comment below!