Fashion in the Fast Lane: The conundrum of fast fashion vs slow fashion.

What is Fast Fashion? Well according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary: fast fashion “an approach to the design, creation, and marketing of clothing fashions that emphasizes making fashion trends quickly and cheaply available to consumers”. And according to Wikipedia: says “Fast fashion is a contemporary term used by fashion retailers to express that designs move from catwalk quickly to capture current fashion trends. Fast fashion clothing collections are based on the most recent fashion trends presented at Fashion Week in both the spring and the autumn of every year.”

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While Slow Fashion is described as (according to Wikipedia): “the alternative to fast fashion and part of what has been called the “slow movement”, advocates for principles similar to the principles of slow food, such as good quality, clean environment, and fairness for both consumers and producers.”

Now it’s no secret that I’m one of fashions biggest fans, however my conscience does play a major part in the big picture of it all. Most people don’t think much about their fashion choices when they see a clothing item that appeals to them, including me (guilty as charged). Now the conundrum: low-cost/low-quality (fast fashion) vs. high-cost/high-quality clothing (slow fashion).

Both have their pros and cons, both have their respective “must have” item trends. We often find ourselves purchasing fast fashion to satisfy our instant gratification needs (wants) that we’ve seen on the runway, or in a magazine that resonates with our sense of style (disposable). At other times, we find that we are saving up, and or breaking the bank to purchase a higher price point fashion item (slow-fashion) that will be a staple in our wardrobe for some time to come (investment).

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Very seldom do we consider the moral implications of our choices in the fashions that we buy (for some, not at all).  Do we consider the factory workers that work long hours, for low wages, and in most cases in unsafe conditions? Do we think about how the use of synthetic materials (acrylic, polyester) impact our environment when just after a few wears our “fast fashion” items are discarded? Just in the U.S. alone 11 million tons of trashed clothing was dumped in landfills in 2010 releasing methane gas into the atmosphere and causing global warming by the decomposing synthetic fabrics. When do we think about that? Do we want to?  No not really, we just want to look good, and feel good in the latest fashion trends!

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As I stated before……I Too AM Guilty of this. But I also must heed what my conscience dictates just as much as the runways at fashion week. Now fast fashion is not going anywhere, anytime soon and neither is slow fashion (and I’m not sure if I want it too). But what I Can Do is be more responsible with my fast fashion choices. Instead of throwing my disposable fast fashion items in the trash, I can donate them, drop them off or send them to a recycling facility to reduce my carbon footprint on the earth. I can shop more at vintage stores. I can spend more on slow fashion and shop less, and constantly look for ways to balance my fast fashion/slow fashion ratio.

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To be honest, there is not hard and fast answer to this troubling conundrum. However if we all care just a little, maybe if we tried, we can make it just a bit better!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gentlemen Prefer Ladies: What a true gentleman really wants in a woman.

It is commonly thought by women that men want only one thing (Sex), while this is more or less true for most men, as we are sexual creatures, the gentleman requires quite a bit more before he decides to commit to a woman. There are four basic elements that build the foundation of a gentleman’s criteria which I like to call R.I.S.E. Respect. Intelligence. Sex. Emotional Intimacy.

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If a woman does not respect herself, she will not have the ability to respect you. Many women demand respect but are inept in giving it. A woman who is disrespectful to others is automatically dismissed by a true gentleman, as well as her beauty and physical endowments. A women who is rude and disrespectful has no place at a gentlemen’s side.

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A real gentleman is captivated by a women’s intelligence, not threatened by it (unless she uses her intellect for immoral self gain and harm unto others). A gentleman values a lady who can converse on many different topics, and by that I mean CULTURE, not popular culture, reality shows, hollow trends and topics of no substance. A lady well versed in art, politics, science, literature, and the humanities is most attractive to a gentleman (even on a mediocre level), and is worth more than her weight in gold. This is true also if she holds no educational degrees, and is self-taught.

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Sex is important to a gentleman (Men need sex), but not the most important aspect. However, sex with an intelligent, confident and well-mannered lady is more meaningful to a gentlemen than can be described, and is proportionately different from other women who use sex to capture and manipulate men for their own selfish ends.

Emotional intimacy is not just the emotion that we call love. Emotions are temporary and unstable, but when the reagent of substance is added than it becomes emotional intimacy. Emotional intimacy is exposing the inner secret parts of yourself, laying yourself vulnerable and exposed. A gentleman will cherish and protect a lady who can offer this, and most of all return it in kind.

After these four basic criteria’s are met, than and only than will a true gentleman consider you “marriage material” and pursue you with wild abandon, for he has found the elusive treasure that he seeks. A lady of virtue per se.

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Now there is a huge difference between a woman and a lady. A woman is any human who is of the opposite sex. A lady is something else entirely indeed.

For example there are many women who go about dressing half-naked to get attention from men (the gentleman ignores these types) or over compensate by covering half or most of their bodies with tattoos, body piercings, fake boobs, butt’s, lips, etc. (you get the point). Most of these types of women suffer from low self-esteem, daddy issues, personality and emotional disorders and so on. Not all, but most.

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I once went on a date with such a woman, and from the time that I arrived at the restaurant to the time that we left, she was on her cell phone for 85% of the time. When she was telling me about herself, she mentioned that she was “attentive”, and when I commented that she was on her phone for most of time, she tried to over compensate by inappropriately placing her hands between my legs and rubbing my crotch. While this might excite most men, being a gentleman I removed her hands from my person (without embarrassing her), she accomplished that on her own. Needless to say, I was immediately turned off and did not extend the offer of a second date (despite the fact that I was physically attracted to her).

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A lady dresses in a way that compliments her body, without looking like she’s for sale. Showing just enough to leave to the imagination of a gentleman. A lady is polite, gracious, generous, cares about others, and does not see herself above anyone else. She gives her full attention to the gentleman that she’s with (not on her phone most of time that she with him). She is not a hypocrite nor a prude, but the right balance of a refined women and wild girl.

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Another date I went on with a lady, initiated a conversation of an academic nature first, than asked questions about myself to get to know me better. She also touched me, but here’s the difference, she lightly and casually stroked my arm while we were conversing (showing her interest), and allowed me to be a gentleman. She did not look at or pick up her phone not once (giving me her full attention). She even offered to pay half the check after dinner and drinks (which I would not allow, for I invited her). The simple fact that she was not pretentious and offered to pay distinguished her as a lady. Needless to say she was invited out again. And she is welcome to touch my butt if she is so inclined.

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Remember, any female can become a woman, but only exceptional females become ladies……….which a true gentleman prefers!

Gentlemen’s Fashion Tips: Living and looking your best Style.

With fashion week just two weeks away, it only makes sense for the gentleman to be mindful of how his attire reflects his personal style. It is also interesting to note that New York’s 2019 fashion week, and men’s fashion week will be combined this year where it was traditionally held separately. Yes 2019 is a new year with different ideas…….so shouldn’t you’re dress and style be?

Here are some tips and ideas that can help you upgrade your look (without downgrading your wallet):

  • Whenever you wear a sports jacket or blazer, use a pocket square every time. They don’t have to be expensive, they just have to look good. Be creative with it.002
  • Visit vintage and thrift stores, and buy a couple of jackets (that fit you) for under $20.00. Vintage jackets not only give you a unique look, they will also make you stand out from the crowd.
  • Learn to use and tie a new necktie knot (yes there is more than one), two or three should do the trick, and bask in the glow as others whisper “oh how stylish”.
  • Start a tie collection. Try different patterns, colors and prints. (remember that wearing the same outfit with a different tie, looks as if you are wearing a whole different outfit).
  • Buy and collect as many different dress shirts as you can (much like the ties). Soon you will realize that some are classic, and other will become classic.
  • Organize your wardrobe, so that you can easily pick out items for a quick outfit if you are pressed for time, as well as to choose the right attire for the right event or engagement.005
  • Get a tailor. Get all of your nice pants, jackets and shirts adjusted by a tailor. You will be glad you did.
  • Spent time developing your “personal style”. And shift and adjust it to reflect your personality. Use a classic style as your focus until your personal style is refined and second nature.
  • Ignore Trends. After you are more adept with your individual style, you will understand the logic of this. Don’t be a follower, be a leader!
  • Choose Quality over Quantity. Buy the best quality that you can afford at any given time, one or two good pieces will do. And continue this over time.
  • Build your confidence the way you build your wardrobe, slowly but surely.
  • Develop you personal scent. Experiment with different fragrances to find your very own signature scent to partner with your personal style.
  • Have fun. The most important part of all this is to enjoy yourself (take the attitude of dressing for you). Remember the goal is look good and feel good, when you see the reflection of yourself in the mirror!

Now go out there and join the ranks of the Stylish!

Brunch at Ruby’s Vintage Harlem.

On Sat January 12th Harlem’s new upscale lounge Ruby’s Vintage started their new brunch menu. being a fan of co-owner Brian Washington Palmer’s culinary creations for over a decade, I just had to go and try it!

While I’m always on the lookout for suitable places in Harlem to eat, network, write, entertain and conduct casual business, and more importantly relax. Few places have the right combination (especially with good places closing, and new places opening at an almost breakneck pace) of ambiance, good music, exceptional food with flair and variety.

It would seem Harlem Vintage has achieved all the criteria mentioned, to my delight without a doubt. The introductory menu included such dishes as, Eggs Bennie with Canadian beacon or smoked salmon, a curious dish named “The Devils Mess” which consists of scrambled eggs, chorizo, tomatoes, carmelized onions with jack cheese, Chaliah French Toast with fresh fruit, Steak and Eggs, Organic Pasta with brown butter, mushrooms, and truffle oil. Southern Breakfast, scrambled eggs, turkey sausage or bacon, home-fries, and cheese grits! And of course Shrimp and Chedder Grits. For $16.00 you can have unlimited Rum bunch or Mimosa’s for an hour and a half with your entrée.

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I choose the Southern Breakfast which was served to me hot, and cooked by Brian himself. All the items on my plate seem to blend and compliment each other, flavors, aroma’s, and visual presentation all combined to create an enjoyable as well as a favorable experience. With my meal I had the unlimited mimosa, which was not overbearing with the champagne or the OJ (which seems common in many places), but blended perfectly to my delight. The music was also very delightful, a combination of “balaeric beats, world music, and smooth groves” (I slipped into a momentary reverie when Blonde’s rapture slided in rotation).

I highly recommend Harlem’s Ruby’s Vintage Saturday/Sunday brunch, alone, with a date (It’s very romantic) or with friends, either way you will end up elevated and satiated.

The Science and Psychology of Men’s Fashion.

Being trained in both medical science as well as psychology, it only makes sense that I examine the subliminal aspects of men’s fashion, and how it relates to male dress patterns.

According to a study of doctors conducted in England by Gary L Brase & Jillian Richmond from the University of Sunderland, United Kingdom (The White Coat Effect: Physician Attire and Perceived Authority, Friendliness, and Attractiveness). When a doctor is dressed in professional formal attire, it augments the appearance of the said doctor’s authority.

From the time of Hippocrates (who is hailed as the father of modern medicine) said: “A physician should be clean in person , well dressed , and anointed with sweet smelling scents”.

A study (actually three studies) was also published in 2010 in the Journal Evolutionary Psychology on what colors seemed more attractive on people wearing them, and made them seem, or feel more good looking and confident.

The results of the first study showed that females rated males more attractive when wearing Black and Red.

The 2nd study presented that males felt more confident wearing Red and Black. The 3rd study showed that when a man is wearing a more “submissive color” (Yellow and white), he will feel and look less attractive & confident.

Experiments conducted at the Wharton School University of Pennsylvania by Albert Mannes, PhD; which studied how a shaved man’s head had on social perception concluded that a man with a shaved head was perceived as more masculine, confident, and dominant strength.

While some may say that “Fashion is not a Science”, know that behind and underneath everything lies a scientific law that can be practically applied to all.

References:    

Roberts, S, C., Owen, R. C., & Havlicek, J. (2010). Distinguishing between perceiver and wearer effects in clothing color-associated attributions.

Brase, G.L., & Richmond ,J. (2004). The white -coat effect: Physician attire and perceived authority, friendliness, and attractiveness.                                                                                                    Mannes, A.E. (2012). Shorn scalps perceptions of male dominance.

Hashimoto Contemporary: Showcases French Artist/Illustrator Petites Luxures.

On Sat Jan 5th I attended the opening of French illustrator Petites Luxures at Hashimoto Contemporary art gallery on the Lower East Side. In this inaugural solo exhibition the artist explores intimacy and sexuality in his signature minimalist style.

For the first time in New York, artist Petites Luxures mixed media installations and ink on paper at Hashimoto Contemporary art gallery.

The venue was packed as I arrived, with a very chic artsy crowd which even extended unto the sidewalk on Rivington Street. I found the artists work interesting, sexy (of course) as well as very thought provoking with many hidden (in plain sight) and witty innuendoes.

What was almost more interesting than the artists unique creations, was the fashionable artsy patrons filling almost every square inch of the gallery itself.


The exhibition will run through Saturday Jan 26. 210 Rivington Street New York, NY. I highly suggest you bring a date. Who knows, maybe you will be inspired into something………..”out of the box” for Valentines day!

Just a provoking thought……………