Fashion: The Last Collection of Virgil Abloh.

The founder the luxury brand Off-White, Virgil Abloh and artistic director of Louis Vuitton men’s wear passed away due to cancer at 41 years old. After selling his luxury brand to Louis Vuitton and joining the same in 2018 had his first show in June of the same year began an exciting chapter in fashion history, by bringing streetwear into the luxury fashion industry!

Virgil Abloh

In a statement posted to his Instagram, Virgil’s family wrote: “We are devastated to announce the passing of our beloved Virgil Abloh, a fiercely devoted father, husband, son, brother, and friend. He is survived by his loving wife Shannon Abloh, his children Lowe Abloh and Grey Abloh, his sister Edwina Abloh, his parents Nee and Eunice Abloh, and numerous dear friends and colleagues.”

Virgil Abloh

Virgil privately fought a rare and aggressive type of cancer (cardiac angiosarcoma) for two years, after being diagnosed in 2019, undergoing various treatments while running several companies. Louis Vuitton paid tribute to the creative genius by presenting his Spring/Summer 2022 Collection, on Nov 30th in Miami.

Virgil Abloh

“We are all shocked by this terrible news. Virgil was not only a genius designer and a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom. The LVMH family joins me in this moment of great sorrow and we are all thinking of his loved ones on the passing of their husband, father, brother, son and friend.” CEO Bernard Arnault of Louis Vuitton said in a statement.

The Haunted Harlem Paranormal Investigations 2: The Elegant Classy Gentleman Paranormal Division.

This year in October, the Elegant Classy Gentleman Paranormal Division went scouting for possible paranormal activity sites in mid to upper Manhattan. Here’s what we investigated.

The Amiable Child Memorial: Riverside Park

Amiable Child Memorial

This rare private 200 year old grave site belongs to a 5 year old child (St. Claire Pollock) who died (it is said) from a fall from the parkland cliffs to the rocks below on the Hudson River on July 15, 1797.

The Urn of St. Claire Pollock

Their are different accounts of his family origins. Some say that that a linin merchant which was either his father, or uncle lived in the mansion on Strawberry Hill (which was later renamed Claremont), and on January 18th 1800 he sold the property to a former neighbor, Mrs. Cornelia Verplanck in which he presented her with this request: “There is a small enclosure near your boundary fence within which lie the remains of a favorite child, covered by a marble monument. You will confer a peculiar and interesting favor upon me by allowing me to convey the enclosure to you so that you will consider it a part of your own estate, keeping it, however, always enclosed and sacred.”

Now is the spirit of five year old St. Claire Pollock still attached to the grounds of the monument?

We went to the site to see if we could pick up any evidence of a haunting of any type. while this site is a perfect candidate for a haunting (especially at night) we were not able to detect any paranormal activity at the time. We will definitely return another time with more powerful equipment to test the waters again.

Central Park /59th Street & 5th Ave/AKA: “Swan Lake”

Swan Lake/Central Park

The oldest “Ghost Story” at this site is that of Janet & Rosetta Van Der Voort, aka the ice skating ghost sisters.

The Van Der Voort sisters lived with their wealthy and overprotective father in southeastern central park. They were rarely allowed to go anywhere alone, with the exception of ice skating in the winter at (right you guessed it) the pond, which was near their mansion.

The Van Der Voort Sisters

The years went by and the sisters grew so close that they rejected all male suitors, and died spinsters only a few months apart in 1880. After the their deaths (and many years after into modern times) people have reported seeing the sisters (or rather their ghosts) skating on the pond during the summer and winter in ghostly figure eights.

The Pond/Central Park

We waited at night by the pond, hoping to get a glimpse of the sisters to no avail. We will try again this winter when the pond is frozen over, which seems to be the best time to capture the sisters on camera.

Vintage Ghost Stories

Everyone (mostly) loves a good fright and ghost story, so in the spirit of Halloween we present a few “vintage” ghost stories for you’re enjoyment.

This is why the basement is locked.

“My mother was having dinner at a friends house. It was a small old cottage that’s been around for 100 years. She tries to find the bathroom and pulls on a door that is locked. The friend sees and says “Sorry that goes to the basement, the bathroom is over there.” Thinking it is odd, my mother asks why the basement door is locked. “Its always locked, in fact I don’t even have a key for it, the real estate agent advised me not to go down there as its not been upgraded like the rest of the cottage. Its little more than a root cellar.”

Fast forward a few weeks, when my mother (who works for the police department’s community division) is working on a project about the history of the police department in the town. An old man comes in with news clippings about various community events, as well as a news clipping from the 50’s about a gruesome murder. My mom was a bit taken aback. “Sorry, I forgot those clippings were in here too.”

“No…I know this address, its my friends house! What happened there?” “Oh…” said the old man. “Well, that use to be my mother’s house. She had been dating this man who was cruel to her. Beat her horribly. She tried again and again to break it off with him, but he’d always come back. Finally my aunt moved in with us, and my mother finally broke up with him.” He starts getting emotional “Then one night he broke in, and tied my mother, aunt, sister, and brother up in the basement. He shot them all in front of my mother. Then he shot her, and killed himself, leaving a note that she would never leave him again. I was away at college….” He started to sob.

And that is how my mother’s friend learned she has a haunted quadruple murder-suicide scene in her basement. She moved out a year later.”

The two little girls were dancing in my bedroom.

My fiancé and I rent a house together, and we live alone.

About two years ago, my fiancé and I were lying in bed. It was actually pretty late in the morning– 10:30 or 11:00 AM., or so. I’d been awake for about ten or fifteen minutes, and my fiancé was just waking up.

We lied there, talking softly about whether or not we should get up yet, or try to go back to sleep for a bit, since he had the first half of the day off of work, and it might be nice to catch up on sleep since we’d had a busy couple of days. He was lying on his back, staring up at the ceiling, and I was on my right side, facing him, with my hand on his chest while we talked. In that position, I had my back to our bedroom door, which was maybe 8 or 9 ft. away from the bed behind me.

Suddenly, an odd feeling came over the room. Seriously, it felt like the air in the room was suddenly either sucked out, or made very, VERY heavy, and it almost felt like I was under water, or gravity changed… and the room seemed to almost feel like it was tilting to the side. It felt like the air in the room was pressing down on top of my body, while at the same time slowing down time and making me dizzy and loopy. My ears were popping.

Well, I thought it was just me feeling this, and for a moment, I wondered if I was having a blood pressure drop (I get those sometimes, though it still wasn’t quite what it felt like), but my fiancé said in a very frightened voice that sounded like he couldn’t breathe very well, and like he couldn’t get out the words without struggling, “Do you feel that, too? What’s happening?!…” And that was when I knew something odd and scary was going on, because he was feeling the exact same thing.
I tried to speak, but my speech actually came out kind of slurred and I had to force the words out of my mouth to say “I don’t know…I can’t move…”

He said “I can’t…either…” and I saw him trying to turn over onto his side, and trying to raise his arm up. He just kept saying “what’s happening? What’s happening?”

I tried to raise my arm up, too, and found that I couldn’t. Again, it was like being under water, and in an intensely pressurized room. I started trying to push myself up, to see if I could sit up… I couldn’t do it. It was just too heavy.
Then, we both heard the doorknob of our bedroom door turning.

It was turning over and over again… almost like someone was trying to come in, but they weren’t jiggling it, or trying to open the door… it was actually turning in a rhythm. It was turning back and forth, back and forth, in a rhythm at about the same tempo as a metronome. Like a beat to a song. It was very deliberate.

We were both terrified and we froze– the first thought in my mind was that someone had broken in, though I couldn’t figure out why they would turn the doorknob back and forth, back and forth in a deliberate rhythm, especially because our bedroom door has no lock on it. They could just open it and walk right in.

We couldn’t move, that weird heavy-gravity feeling that was holding us down still would not allow us to move, but I was trying to, and I could feel my fiancé trying to, as well. All I was able to do was turn my head very slowly and look over my shoulder at the doorknob, and watch it turning. I could see it.

Then, we both heard it… singing. Two children’s voices, what sounded like a pair of young girls, started singing a song that I could not make out most of the lyrics to, and the only clear lyrics that I could make out was the very last word at the end of the sentence: “dancing”.

So let me clarify what I’m trying to describe: These two young girl’s voices were singing an almost nursery rhyme type song outside our bedroom door, while turning our bedroom doorknob back and forth, to match the tempo of what they’re singing: the doorknob is going chhck-chhck, chhck-chhck, chhck-chhck, chhck-chhck, as these little girls’ voices are singing:

“Something, something, something something! Something, something, daaaaancing! Something, something, something, something, something, something, daaaaaancing!”

…and the doorknob would turn with each word they sang, keeping perfect rhythm.

I couldn’t make out nearly any of the other words of this song they were singing, except for the word “dancing” at the very end of each stanza.

And they were singing it in a way that was kind of playful and taunting… maybe, for instance, kind of like two little girls would do if they were teasing an older sibling, or their mom or dad, by coming up to a room they’re in, shaking the doorknob and singing at them, just to tease– the song almost sounded made up, the way kids sometimes sing little made-up songs to be silly or playful…. Just trying to give you a feel as to how this sounded. It also sounded like they were laughing, or trying not to giggle while doing it.

So, as this is all going on, and I’m watching the doorknob turn as these voices sing at us, and near the end of the song, I turn my head– in slow motion– back to my fiancé to see if he’s seeing and hearing the same thing I am, and I can now see has finally managed to be able to turn his head and he was watching the doorknob, too, and the look on his face… was just… I’ll never forget it. His eyes were as big as dinner plates, I’ve never see him that shocked or that scared…his face was just white.

And then the song ended. It was short, just two stanzas, then just as soon as it started, the doorknob just stopped turning on the very last word of the song, “daaaaanciiiing”, and all at once, that heavy, dizzy weight that had been holding us down and making it so hard to move and breathe just lifted. Just went away. Just like that. Suddenly we could move again, and the air and gravity felt normal.

It seriously was all over, from start to finish, in about 10 seconds.

My fiancé sat up and goes “What the hell just happened?”, and he jumped over me and out of bed, raced to the door and yanked it open. Nothing was there. We don’t have a hallway, it’s a small house and our bedroom door opens right up into the living room, and he just looked out into it and goes “Nobody’s out there!”

I got up and ran over to him, and looked for myself. No one there. House empty, and our two cats were both backed up against the far wall of the living room, hissing and growling. They’d either heard it, too, or even seen what did it… and from the spot right in front of our bedroom door, all the way through the living room, through the dining room, and out to the kitchen door, there was this trail of heat. I don’t know how else to describe it, it was just a trail of heat. The air just felt hot and oily, and you could almost see a haze, like fog, trailing from our bedroom door, through the house, to the kitchen door.

We checked both the front door and the kitchen door. Locked. Both locked.

We both sat back down on the bed, and we were just shaking. We kept asking each-other “Did that really just happen? We both heard the same thing right?” and yeah… we both felt the air pressure holding us down in bed and making us move in slow motion, and we both heard and saw the bedroom doorknob moving back and forth in rhythm, and then both heard the two little girls singing that song. So, I know it wasn’t a hallucination or anything.

The only difference was that my fiancé understood a couple more of the lyrics of what they were singing, though not many– he said it sounded something like “and we come in a’dancing!” or “and we go a’dancing!”

It was just so unsettling and spooky. And to be honest, the way the girls’ voices sounded, they didn’t sound mean or creepy– they seriously sounded like two, real little girls who were just having fun and teasing us. It didn’t feel or sound malevolent, or anything… it still creeped us out, just that it happened, though. We were both shaken up for the rest of the day, and I BEGGED him not to leave for work that afternoon (but he had to). The whole time he was at work, I kept every light in the house on, along with both the TVs in the living room and our bedroom. It’s never happened again, but it still creeps us both out just talking about it.”

Articles: Fashion Therapy, Does it Really Work?

Having a Degree in Psychology, it wasn’t long before I delved into this “relatively new” field of therapy (who knew?) only to find out that I’ve been doing this sort of therapy almost all my life, and didn’t even know it!

Men’s Style Therapy

According to Isabel Slone’s piece in Fashionista: “Fashion therapy purports to offer something that, though not coming from a trained mental health professional, parallels real therapy in at least one way. It’s meant to be a safe space in which one can spill their ugliest thoughts and feelings and work through them.” 

Style Therapy

In fact the Columbia University-educated professor Dawnn Karen, who currently teaches at FIT in New York says Fashion psychology: is “the study and treatment of color, beauty, style, image and shape and its effect on human behavior while addressing cultural sensitivities and cultural norms.” 

 “Clothing can be used as a therapeutic modality.”

Now how you feel about yourself plays a very important part in your daily everyday life, in just about every aspect. By using fashion therapy to feel good about who you are, where you want to go, and how you want to get there is an excellent form of (mental) self care.  “Clothing can be used as a therapeutic modality.” This (psychological placebo) technique has been very useful in overcoming certain fears and anxiety in my own life. If you love the way you look, you will love the way you feel!

While it may not work for everybody…..it certainly worked for me and many others!

Fashion: The Best Summer Fashion Trends of 2021

I found it very interesting that in the spring, I could think of nothing else (much else) but “what would be trending in fashion this summer?” After over a year of not being able to dress up to go out, how will people express themselves in what they will wear in summer 2021.

I found it very interesting that in the spring, I could think of nothing else (much else) but “what would be trending in fashion this summer?” After over a year of not being able to dress up to go out, how will people express themselves in what they will wear in summer 2021.

Now right smack in the middle of summer, I look at everyone (and myself) and scrutinize what their wearing. Here are a couple summer fashion trends that caught on (or came back) in Summer 2021.

NEON:

Neon Comeback

One trend this summer I thought would never return “Neon.” Now wearing neon was known to be a bit tricky back then, but now wearing a few bold accessories you can pull it off swimmingly! Who knew?

Trucker Hats

Trucker Hats

I just could not believe that Trucker Hats made a return from the mid-seventies! And they just caught on out of nowhere in so many different colors and styles! Really a surprise! You go “Good Buddy”!

Mom Jeans

Mom Jeans

Gen Z has declared (with much push back from millennials) that skinny jeans are out! And Mom Jeans are in! I never had a problem with “Mom Jeans” as they are more comfortable and allow for it to be paired with anything!

Not what you expected…..Right?

Fashion Styles: Cyber Fashion. Fashion’s Quantum Leap.

When I think of “virtual fashion”, it’s really a challenge not to also think of cyber fashion as having an (expensive) wardrobe that you cannot actually wear in the “real world” (or this place of three dimensional space) but…..just in cyber space! So you would wear these “virtual outfits” on your social media post to display your most resent (albeit expensive) cyber outfit that can make you look (very real) like a super hero, a God/Goddess, or a sexy otherworldly being!

Yes Cyber Fashion can encompass a broad area from Technology and A.I. to having a personal wardrobe that only you own (if you have it custom made) , or a few people who brought the limited amount of “digital pieces” from one of the futuristic brands that make them.

I as a “futurist” have been following these trends (which the pandemic seems to have fueled) for several years (even have my own “future wear” brand), and could not help but to notice fashion’s quantum leap!

Futuristic Wear is Hear! After all this is the 21st Century, and fashion may have gotten ahead of us a bit in this regard (right under our nose). I for one am still wrapping my head around technology intergration into wearable outfits, stylish and practical. Now fashion has gone Quantum!

So Yes….when I think of cyber fashion, I can also conceive of a fashionable wardrobe in the quantum realm.

Fashion: Futuristic Face Masks:

Futuristic facemasks has become sort of a fad following the pandemic and fully opening back up (to some sort of “new normal”) within the past year. One of the most interesting is the “Project Hazel” face mask by Razor! (Yes the software gaming company) The Project Hazel face masks won’t be available till around Oct 2021 (no exact date has been given), however the difference is the built in technology! This custom futuristic mask is equipped with a N95 respirator, transparent front, RGB lighting and voice amplifiers to cure muffled sound from speaking.

Razor’s Project Hazel Facemask

The next futuristic facemask on the list is the concept by Will.i.am’s and Honeywell. Xupermask the new mask (designed by Will.i.am) which was released on April 8th 2021is marketed as a “Intelligent mask” with intergrated bluetooth headphones, which allow the wear to listen to music and make calls. It also features LED light (glow in the dark) HEPA filters to insure breathable air is as clean as possible. The designer Jose Fernandez, who designed the space suits for SpaceX (and superhero movies like Black panther and spiderman) thinks the market will really take off. The price for this piece of futuristic technology will cost about $299.00. The price for this Futuristic Fashion Forward model of this caliber might become the standard for futuristic luxury facemasks.

There are other such futuristic masks on the market: such as…..

The Elon Mask

And the……

The Incogito Futuristic Full Face Mask

So It’s not just me. THE FUTURE IS NOW!

Fashion Designer: Edwing D’Angelo

Upon hearing the designer Edwing D’ Angelo returned to Harlem, I set out to arrange a meeting with him at his brand new “Style Lab” to take a look and meet the fashion week legend himself.

Edwing D’Angleo

Having made an appointment for the following Friday, I prepared to meet this wonderful fashion creative at his new flagship atelier in Harlem. When I arrived Edwing had stepped out to run some errands (I was unaware it was his birthday) and his assistant fixed me a drink (the style lab has a full functioning bar on site) and made me feel at home in this beautiful space.

Edwing’s Style Lab

As you walk in the door, you are in the spotlight surrounded by his beautiful creations and a real life runway running straight from the front door to the back of the space, with a full length mirror at the end. enough to make any client feel like a fashion model!

The Runway at the Atelier

While I waited for this Fashion Week superstar to return, I inspected both the women’s and men’s creations of this artistic genius (enough to make your jaw drop) to my delight.

Stylelab
Stylelab

After an hour or so, Edwing had not returned and I had to go and interview another designer. Edwing’s hostess informed me that Edwing had left his phone in the atelier, but invited me to return later as guests were to arrived for a party to celebrate the designers birthday.

A couple of hours later I returned and Edwing was attending to his guests (and clients) and welcomed me to the atelier. I decided to watch Edwing in his natural element, as he moved about with grace and style.

Service with a smile…and Style
Beautiful Guests

Not wanting to ask interview questions while in the middle of his birthday gathering, I decided to defer the Q&A for another time in the future.

Edwing D’angelo

But in the meantime stop by his 2000 square foot Style-lab on the corner of Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd and 131st Street in Harlem and get yourself a designer outfit off the rack (or have him custom make you one) and feel like you are a model in fashion week.

Restaurant Review: Alison Harlem.

Alison East Harlem, literally on the corner of 104th Street & Lexington Ave is a new restaurant which opened back in September of 2019. I was riding around Central Park North and happened to make a detour (Lazy Summer Days) off of 5th Ave and spotted the place. I stopped in for glass of wine and some clam sliders, and decided to return to a dinner review.

Alison East Harlem

The out door space is very cozy, and of course spacious.

The music playing on the speaker is a mix of chill songs that appeals to everyone. I was offered a choice to dine in or outdoors by my waitress, so I grabbed a seat right on the corner of the block of 104th (I could see everything) and scanned my table for the menu (becoming standard now) to check their petty good selection of wines.

View from my Table

While they did not have a Chardonnay selection, they did in fact have a blend. Santo Toma’s Chenin Blanc, Colombard & Chardonnay 2020– Beja California, Mexico.

To start I ordered the Clam Strips, which was Panko-crispy clams on top of Sambal aioli.

Panko-Crispy Clams on top of Sambal Aioli.

The clam strips are a must have here, fried okra well mixed in the sambal aioli made this a very tasty and appetizing starter.

Oysters

Not one to pass up some sea food, I ordered a dozen oysters as well. But what really made my eyes widen, was the Roasted Quail laid on top of a shallow pool of Black bean puree, and carrot rice!

Roasted Quail & Claim Strips

Now I love me some Quail! (I have been known to order all the quail in some spots) And this dish did not disappoint. The black bean puree gave an extra level of flavor and texture to the small delicious bird. I was impressed, and more than satisfied with the meal.

Alison East Harlem

This new restaurant pretty much has it all, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Wine Bar, Oyster Bar, Beer. And they seem to do it very well. Alison has something for, and is for everybody! I can’t wait to return for Brunch!

Alison East Harlem

Alison is located at:1651 Lexington Ave East Harlem, New York 10029. 104th Street & Lexington. www.alison.com (646) 876-1054.

Bows Nouveau: Renaissance Neck Wear for The Modern Gentleman.

Ties are an obligatory as well as inexplicably bound to being a Gentleman. Bow ties are especially so! There is a certain elegance that comes with wearing a bow tie that simply cannot be denied. However when I met the distinguished gentleman (OG) Gregory Bruce he showed me how he took the concept of the Bow Tie with his custom brand Bows Nouveau to a more loftier level!

Mr. Bruce’s unique and unconventional bow ties are not only hand made by ⁸him, but are also named. Wearing bow ties since a boy, it was always part of his core wardrobe. Unhappy with the poor quality (and the high prices) of bow ties in Lord & Taylor (a birthday gift for himself) he decided to make his own.

Bows Nouveau

Gregory takes great care in choosing the fabric and textiles for his custom hand made ties, quality is a must, perfect fit…a must! Self taught to sew by hand, and then teaching himself to operate a sewing machine Gregory launched himself completely into his (late in life master craft) brand (made in Harlem!) to create a whole new vision in men’s fashion neckwear!

Bows Nouveau Bow Ties

Check out more of this new renaissance in fashion neckwear at his website: http://www.bowsnouveau.com to purchase. Also see his social media on Facebook and Instagram: @bowsnouveau