Category Archives: Mary J. Blige

GLAM OR SHAM?: Mary J. Blige at the Grammys





A pop of color goes a long way on the Grammys 2010 red carpet. With Rihanna in white Elie Saab, Beyonce in Stephanie Rolland nude and Ciara in Givenchy black, Mary’s magical magenta Gucci gown brought some life and energy to the mix.


Her bold hue shined against her glowing brown skin and golden hair. Her subtle makeup and dazzling jewelry were the perfect accompaniments (I would’ve chosen a silver clutch over black though). But these aren’t the best parts.


The body-skimming silhouette showed off a toned, curvaceous figure that put even the young celebs to shame (It certainly put me to shame. Heading to the gym after this post).


And the detailed neckline, a theme at the Grammys (see Rihanna’s high neckline and Jennifer Lopez’s halter neckline) gave the gown some interest with its purposefully-placed cut-outs. It highlighted Mary’s pretty cleavage, toned shoulders and muscular arms in a way that was feminine and elegant. Love.


For her performance with David Foster and Andrea Bocelli as a tribute to Haiti, Mary J. Blige wore another stunning hue: a cobalt blue jersey gown with beaded detail from Roberto Cavalli’s Pre-Spring 2010 collection. Color looks good on her.





Check out her performance via my beloved hip hop site, Rap Radar, below:









What do we think of Mary’s boldly hued looks? Glam or a Sham?

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GLAM OR SHAM?: Pre-Grammy Looks from Rihanna, Jay-Z, Katy Perry and more

The Grammy Awards are upon us which means for the last few weeks, stylists, make-up artists, eyelash artists, PR girls and designers have been scrambling to outfit stars in the latest and greatest fashions.

Judging from the latest pics from Pre-Grammy events, some celebs will push the envelope in avant garde looks (a la Rihanna) stay safe and trend-friendly in sequins or silk (like Mary J. Blige and Katy Perry) or show up in a tacky cringe-worthy ensemble that anyone can pick up at your neighborhood Rainbow store (sigh…Ashanti).

Check out the looks from Clive Davis’ and Neyo’s parties below and give your verdict: Who was Grammy Glam and who was a Sham?

Rihanna’s multicolor pastel look was delightfully avant garde but the shape and hue was a lot to take in at once. I will say her light green make-up and polished hair was uberfabulous.

Ciara, is this a joke? The cheap-looking shaggy fur top paired with shorts and knee boots (darling, pick a season) was proportionally and aesthetically all wrong. The loud fashion faux paux is sure to turn heads—just not for the right reasons.

Fergie…the part lingerie/part electrical tape dress would make sense on a Vegas party girl, not a pop star. It is cheap and tacky and looks like it smells like plastic. Sham.

Though Mary J. Blige, Katy Perry and Taylor Swift’s dresses were sequined and safe (aka you could see a thousand of them at any New Year’s shindig or gala), atleast they looked glamorous and presentable. I live for the multicolor sequins on Katy’s dress.
It seems leather was a staple on the red carpet (see Ashanti’s disaster below) but Jennifer Hudson’s trendy purple color, shoulder detail and blunt bangs make the look undeniably chic.
The fellas stole the night. In all black everything, Jay-Z redefined cool in a New York City rockstar vibe with a motorcycle leather jacket, a chain necklace and black separates. Jamie Foxx brought his signature suave style in a one-button blazer with a shirt and tie.

Neyo’s signature fedora, shirt and vest captured his “perfect gentleman” motif to a tee, but I hate the sneakers. English gentleman meets street culture? I’m not buying it. And raise your hand if you’re tired of seeing a fedora on this man at every event…I understand hats are your thing but they make different styles.
Precious star, Gabourey Sidibe wore a black banded sheath dress and…flats? I LOVE Gabourey and what she represents as a full-figured woman in Hollywood who readily embraces her out-of-the-norm body size. But this dress is just not flattering. It makes her look ill-proportioned and does nothing for her shape. 

Ashanti is on my list. The gray leather zippered mini is cute, yes. But why did you borrow your sister’s dangly earrings from prom and clip on a blonde, curly weave from the beauty supply store? (Did anybody tell her that her hair doesn’t match in the front?!) No matter how chic she starts off, she always gets it wrong. Sham.
What do you think, Glamazons? Glam or a Sham?

Glam or a Sham: AMA’s

Hey Glamazons!

By now, we’ve all seen and heard about the spectacles at Sunday’s American Music Awards that everyone is talking about: Jennifer Lopez falling on her ass-et (what’s more appalling to me is performing a “Louboutin” song not wearing Louboutins), Adam Lambert making out with a man, Jay-Z taking an alleged jab at 50 Cent while Chris Brown tweets “Cornball” and Q-Tip tweets about “cocky rappers.”


But to me, the fashion was just as troubling.

While some celebrities looked beautiful, others took fashion risks that didn’t quite pay off (Rihanna) or made amateur style faux pauxs (Whitney, where was your shapewear?).

Take a look at the celebrities that made us turn heads or scratch our heads and give your verdict: Glam or a Sham?


We loved Whitney Houston’s ruched white gown but a Spanx would’ve smoothed out her (tiny) tummy.


Not at all crazy about Rihanna’s Marchesa ballgown with floral cut-outs, and Easter Sunday ready white Mary Jane pumps. However, the red cat eyes (and Neil Lane jewelry) were everything.Bold

We think Rihanna’s body is AMAZING but the Fifth Element meets Amber Rose bandaged suit was way too much for us.


Lady Gaga’s antics always amuse but the unsightly strap over her panties looks like a diaper or holster. Odd…not in a good way.

Alicia Key’s Armani Prive dress was adorable, fresh and sexy. We love how she highlighted her amazing legs and kept her Lorraine Schwartz jewelry simple and stunning.


Her fall may be the talk of the town, but Jennifer Lopez’s Marchesa feathery dress with beaded bodice totally makes up for it.


I live for Fergie’s studded Armani Prive gown. Equal parts daring and dazzling.


Does it get any chicer than Shakira’s yellow Versace minidress and Lorraine Schwartz jewels? Note to Rihanna: this is how cut-outs should be done.


I think the Biker Chic trend is completely overdone here. And Leona Lewis’ soft hairstyle with cascading ringlets seems out of place when paired with her leather Vivienne Westwood dress, chains AND a three-finger ring. Not a fan.


We thought Mary J. Blige looked elegant but a tad too dressy for the event. Nonetheless, her expertly-styled blonde cut was the perfect complement to her glowing skin.


We loved Keri Hilson’s sparkly Louise Golden minidress and Alaia booties. She always gets it right.


Though some critics feel Toni Braxton’s dress is a bit too revealing for a 40-something star, I think her gown—and body—look stunning. The messy updo, on the other hand, is not red-carpet friendly. And she could’ve put that boy in a suit.


I think velvet is always a controversial choice, but when done right, it looks expensive and dapper. Jay-Z slightly misses the mark, in my opinion, with the brown color.

What do you think about these looks, Glamazons? Glam or a Sham?

Kisses,

Coutura

The Truth About Weave Part I

Hey Glamazons!
Ever since Chris Rock called us out in the documentary, “Good Hair,” everyone has been discussing why weaves are…well, horrible. Men are complaining that they can’t run their fingers through weaved heads without hitting the tracks or “speed bumps,” or “choo-choo’s” as they call it. Women are applauding celebs like Kandi from Bravo’s Real Housewives of Atlanta for wearing their own hair while side-eyeing her castmate, Nene’s weaved haircut.
In fact, on our magazine’s website, commenters talked about weaves like they were for bald-headed misfits that secretly hate themselves. Like the natural hair on weave-wearer’s heads is so nappy, thin and sparse, the only way we can get out of bed and face the public is if we put some poor Indian woman’s hair on our heads. Not true!
On behalf of weave lovers everywhere, Ferocia and I are doing a two-part post breaking down myths about being weave-a-licious—and proving that it’s not a bad thing.
-MYTH: Only women with short or no hair wear weaves.
I recently had a weaved bob (see below), took it out last night and wore my real hair to work the following day.
My hair in a (weaved) bob
My real hair after I took the weave out
Everyone—from men to multicultural women—had the same question:

“If your real hair is long and healthy, why do you wear a weave?”
Huh?
I thought such ignorant concepts about weave disappeared in the 90’s, but maybe I’m wrong. No longer are weaves the saving grace for people with no hair.
In my opinion, it’s old news that women with flowing beautiful hair down their back (and even white women…hello Khloe Kardashian! (If you don’t believe it, watch her segment on Wendy Williams where she talks about putting a bobby pin on her track) are wearing weaves for a number of reasons. Let’s name a few:

(1) To try a new color or cut without committing. I wanted to rock the asymmetric bob trend without cutting my real hair and having to suffer through that awkward stage as the hair grows back. I also wanted to energize my look with a sexy new honey blonde color. A weave allowed me to experiment with cut and color…and take it out as soon as I was over it (for me, this is a two week span). Genius! A lot of celebrities—from Rihanna to Mary J. Blige—wear weaves for just that reason.
(2) Some weaves are easier to maintain than real hair. As I prepared to travel to Southern Spain this summer (most amazing trip…ever! btw), I knew I would want to swim in the ocean everyday. Instead of wearing my real hair, which would entail me washing, blow-drying and flat-ironing daily, I wore a weave that could withstand daily trips to the beach.

(3) To add texture and volume to your real hair. Many women just sew in a few tracks of weave (of the same length or shorter) to make their own hair fuller. Run your hands across the scalps of your favorite famous Hollywood starlet and I guarantee you’ll find one or two tracks in the center or bottom to give her that glamourous red-carpet volume.
(4) To give your real hair a break. Curling and flat-ironing your real hair takes a tremendous toll. Many women circumvent this by applying heat to style weaves while their real hair remains safe from harm.
Sure, weave has its share of setbacks. For example, sometimes, your scalp just needs to breathe which is why it’s good to rock your hair out every couple of months.
Also, sewn-in weaves can cause breakage by tugging at your real hair in cornrows. For this reason, when getting a sewn-in weave, it’s important to avoid braiding the hair so tight that the weave pulls at your real hair. My hairstylist even braids synthetic hair into my cornrows so the tracks don’t strain my real hair as much.
One complaint that isn’t a setback? That men “can’t run their fingers through weave.” Trust: I wouldn’t let you touch my hair, real or weaved, anyway. =)

Discuss: What’s your opinion on weaves?
Kisses,
Coutura

Compassion in Fashion: Gucci & FFAWN party with Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keys and Lebron James!


Hey Glamazons!

Mary J. Blige became famous singing about sorrow. Now, she’s using her painful experiences to spread joy to millions. Enter FFAWN, the Foundation For the Advancement of Women Now, which she founded with marketing pioneer, Steve Stoute. The organization seeks to inspire women to overcome difficulties and achieve success through scholarships, grants and programs. The cause is one close to the singer’s heart, as she has spoke candidly over the years of her resilient, unwavering spirit in the face of adversity. I commend her for using the pain of her past to encourage and inspire women to reach their own unique potential.

Just in time for Fashion Week, Mary J. Blige collaborated with Gucci Creative Director, Frida Giannini, to celebrate Gucci for FFAWN day on September 16th, where the 5th Avenue flagship store donated 10% of its day sales to Blige’s charity. To commemorate the special day, Blige hosted a ceremony at the Empire State Building, lighting the landmark in FFAWN’s colors, purple, yellow and white, and threw a private cocktail party that evening at the flagship store.

I had the good fortune of attending the latter. Guests, including Lebron James, Serena Williams, Alicia Keys, Estelle, Russell Simmons, Ryan Leslie, Vanessa Simmons, Dwight Eubanks and Estelle,came out in dazzling cocktail dresses and sharp suits to show their support.


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Powerhouses, Estelle, Mary J. Blige and Russell Simmons take a moment to chat on the red carpet.

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Ryan Leslie is the perfect gentleman in a dapper, all-black suit.

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Lebron James and Savannah Brinson make a handsome couple at the event. Love the houndstooth jacket, Savannah! [Sidenote: Go Cavs!]

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Beauties, Mary J. Blige, Serena Williams and Alicia Keys, sneak in some girl talk between posing for photos.

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Serena Williams poses with blogger and make-up artist, Beautylicious, inside the store.


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Dwight Eubanks and I give good face at the event. Love him!


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Vanessa Simmons and I take a picture after the event.

The oldest Simmons daughter chatted with The Glamazons about how she plans to design a clothing line for Pastry, her popular sneaker brand. She even modeled one of her designs, a black skirt with sparkly line details, for us at the event. We’re all about sparkle at the Glamazons (check out my leather and stone vintage necklace)! Vanessa, you better work! Can’t wait to shop the collection =)

Speaking of shopping, the Gucci flagship store was an ideal venue to host the event as since 1921, Gucci’s clothing, shoes, jewelry and watches have made women feel luxurious and beautiful. Creative Director, Frida Gianninni, continues that tradition with a limited edition black PVD twirl watch she designed specifically to commemorate the collaboration with FFAWN. Check out the watch below, which is available in Gucci stores and on gucci.com. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to FFAWN.

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Stunning.

With all the focus on shopping and party-hopping, it was great to see celebrities and designers put their energy toward a significant, worthy cause. It actually inspired me to clean out my closet, which is currently overflowing with never-worn dresses and jeans, and donate to the clothing drive at my grandmother’s church. Glamazons: how are you using your love of Fashion to give back to those less fortunate? Whether it’s the purchase of a Gucci for FFAWN watch or a clothing donation, every little bit helps.

Kisses,

Coutura

Photos: Getty Images.