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

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting Back in the Saddle

Never Miss a Monday

I ended my workout hiatus this week. So far so good. When I showed up on Monday, I was embarrassed, afraid and walked in with my tail tucked. But the fam welcomed me back with open arms and, as usual, it was like I hadn’t missed a beat -until the workout started! I was inspired when I saw the board, because the workout looked like I could actually get through it without throwing up or falling out. 

The workout consisted of push ups, sit ups, kettle bell swings and running. I was able to keep a nice steady pace, and was proud when finished my run with a little spirit. I’m guessing my trainer noticed the pep in my step too, cause when I glanced at the board ‘2 ROUNDS’ suddenly appeared.  After about a 3 second fit, I started up on the second round.  By the end of my second run I had to take it slow and on a few occasions I felt the need to throw up -I didn’t, what a great workout!

Mid-Week Mommy/Beast

I rarely bring my children with me to the gym because I have a hard time seperating the mommy in me when I need to be in beast mode. On Wednesday my husband had something come up  and wasn’t able to pick the girls up. My original thought was to skip working out that day, but I knew that if I skipped I wouldn’t make up the workout. Since I’m just getting back in the game I knew I needed to bring them along and get er’ done. Equipped with snacks, drinks, and hand held toys we headed off to the box.

As anticipate, my toddler didn’t stay in the childrens’ play area. But have no fear, I’m a mom and I am here! I had already pulled out and set up her stroller, and positioned it out of the way of others, just in front of my workout space. Thankfully the workout didn’t require me to leave the area I was in. It was actually a nice bonding moment for my baby and I. She helped me count out my dumbbell presses, push ups and box step ups. I’m so glad she was there, cause I was tired halfway through the first round but her smiling face kept me going.

This was my first time taking my toddler old to the gym. She did so good! I don’t have as many reservations about taking her any longer.

Friyay!

Friday rolled around and I had begun subconsciously sabotaging it’s workout in my dreams on Thursday night. I woke up and decided to go ahead and throw my workout clothes together and take my gym-bag to my car. During work I thought about how tired I was and  how I should just go home since I had plans for the night. Up until I got in my car and headed in the direction of the gym I was talking myself out of going. But I decided to snap the hell out of it. I cranked up some 2 Chainz (my get crunk, ratchet artist of choice) and got my attitude togetha!

The workout was intense and I had to dig deep to get through it. Dumb bell thrusters, sit ups, and running. I simply wasn’t prepared for the intensity of this workout. I hadn’t eaten enough food or drank enough water that day. It showed in my performance.

This week is done!

I am proud of myself for completing a week of working out after having missed so long. It’s great to be a part of gym that is family, that looks for you when you don’t show up and welcomes you with open arms when you return. I may have thought that missing the gym for all that time was a much needed break, but it wasn’t. Time waits for no woman, and our workouts gradually gain intensity. Missing that time in the Box makes it that much harder to get through the workouts I’m doing now.  I don’t plan to miss a month of working out again, even if I can’t make it to the gym, I’ll just take a brisk walk or do some other exercise.

Carried a key…Karaoke

My travel day seemed to take forever, it was wonderful to finally land in Punta Cana.

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We had to sit idle on the runway for maybe 15 minutes. Afterwards we were escorted off the plane and shuttled off to Customs.

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Image the horror that consumed me while standing in line to clear customs, when I realized that I had no cash on hand. Luckily, I’ve traveled enough to know that I had to remain as calm as possible. Becoming frantic in that situation would only have made things worse. But, not having cash actually helped me get through customs with a breeze.  I got to skip past all the lines and was escorted to the Currency Exchange Station.

My next challenge was finding the travel booth with the information for my shuttle ride to the resort. I, again, found myself in a panic. The employees at the airport spoke very little English, add a heavy accent to that and….yeah, I got nothing.

I felt a better when I realized that, even though I don’t speak Spanish, there were people strategically place throughout the air port to ensure we got to the right place.

There were two stops before mine on the shuttle ride to the resort. By the time we got to the Hard Rock I was tired and couldn’t find much excitement. I’m lying, I was excited at the thought of ordering room service, a drink, and laying down for a while.

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The resort was massive and beautiful. My roommates met me in the lobby and took me on a brief tour of the main building. There were bars, clubs, a mini mall, and a variety of eateries to enjoy.

The day of traveling had me pretty beat, my roommates (who arrived about 3 hours before me) were feeling good from cocktails but ready for some rest as well.

We ordered a light meal from room service, took naps, showered and headed out for more drinks and more fun.

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We found ourselves at the Sun (Karaoke) Bar and I was introduced to a drink made with honey, red wine, rum, and herbs. It’s called Mamajuana…. and Mama is one smooth tasting bad girl! After my first three shots I decided to make Mama my drink for the night.

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After my 8th or 10th shot (like seriously, I lost count) the hostess shoved a microphone in my hand and I found myself belting out the lyrics to ‘Someone Like You’, then doubled as the hype man for my fellow karaoke singers.

We had a good time that night!