Category Archives: Sessilee Lopez

Fashion Week: Arise Magazine Fall 2010

Hey Glamazons!

When a stunning garment, the perfect model and beautiful lighting come together, it’s like magic. All the editors, stylists and celebrities live for that rare Fashion Week moment. The Arise Fall 2010 show was full of them.

The show that featured Grace Jones on the catwalk in its debut season (a moment I will never forget!) brought out the most powerful names in Fashion on Saturday evening. Featuring three up-and-coming African brands, Black Coffee, Deola Sagoe and Loin Cloth and Ashes, the event was hosted by Arise Magazine, the first global style and culture magazine to celebrate African achievement (Please do yourself a favor and subscribe. It’s one of my favorite books).

In the third row with my girlfriends (see pic below), I sat directly across from legendary supermodels, Liya Kebede, Coco Rocha and Veronica Webb. To the left of me sat the Holy Trinity of African-Americans in Fashion: June Ambrose, Harriet Cole and Bethann Hardison. You could feel the beauty and power in the room before the show even started.

The Glamazons and Elaine from “Meeting in the Ladies Room”
Me, Beautylicious of Suite Suede and Sandrine of LDVAG in the third row

When the show finally began, the energy in the air was palpable.The lights dimmed and a hush fell over the elite crowd. The models were preceded by a lighted display of leaves against the wall. With light African-themed music playing in the background, the models stepped on the runway one-by-one with only their silhouette peeking through the light.

A sole spotlight hit the catwalk and the models, including the beautiful Chanel Iman, began to walk, wearing South African brand, Black Coffee. Taking inspiration from Pablo Picasso’s reinterpretation of African masks, designers Jacques van der Watt and Danica Lepen presented a line of flesh tone cocoon-shaped coats, structured shoulders in architectural shapes and fluid dresses in soft, mint green colors.

The second collection was presented by Tanzanian designer, Anisa Mpungwe, of the brand, Loin Cloth and Ashes. Inspired by her father’s hometown of Ifakara, Mpungwe’s collection was a melange of body-skimming dresses, billowy pants and flowing skirts, energized with touches of metallic gold, electric blue and sharp stripes.

And last but not least, I discovered one of my two new ‘It’ designers of Fashion Week (the other is Laquan Smith, more on him later!): Deola Sagoe. Hailing from Nigeria, the beautiful designer showed her collection of bodycon dresses, slim pants and military-inspired jackets with metallic, embroidered and lace flourishes. Inspired by East African Maasai warriors and 18th century European military uniforms, the looks were sharp, valiant, sassy and strong.

And who better to model that look than my favorite, Sessilee Lopez? Leading the army of models, Lopez stormed the catwalk with the fiercest strut ever (Rae Holiday of Stuff Fly People Like remarked, “Sessilee walked off the runway and took the show with her!”). Each model followed her lead and enraptured the audience, who applauded after every look. At the close of the show, designer Deola Sagoe walked out to a standing ovation from the crowd.

The designer, Deola Sagoe, walking out at the end of the show.

While mingling in the Tents after the show, I ran into the one-and-only, fabulous stylist du jour, June Ambrose! She turned the hallway outside into a catwalk, serving up the most ferocious runway walk while a crowd of bloggers cheered her on. Midway through, she stopped and posed for my pic like a pro. See why The Glamazons love her? Such a fun night!

What do you think of the Arise Fall 2010 designers? Who is your new favorite designer?

Kisses,

Coutura

Fashion Week: Zac Posen Fall 2010




The Fashion Gods love me. The day after Valentine’s Day, I woke up to an email inviting me to cover backstage at the Zac Posen Fall 2010 show—and started jumping for joy. This was better than chocolate, champagne and a dozen roses, since I’ve been smitten with the young designer for as long as I can remember. (Anyone who reads this blog is fully aware of my love for Zac…and yes, in case you were wondering, he knocked my boy toy out of the park and took the title for my Valentine this year).

I flew to the Altman Building on 18th Street faster than you can say “Posen” and was ushered downstairs and through a long corridor to backstage. The scene was chaotic with hairstylists, media, celebrities, models and make-up artists all scrambling hurriedly in preparation for the show. Check out Ferocia’s rundown of the backstage beauty looks here and some pics I snapped backstage of the scene below.

Sessilee Lopez getting her makeup done.

Zac Posen and head MAC makeup artist, Stephane Marias

Zac Posen greeting Alek Wek backstage.

The man of the hour, Zac Posen, showed off his charming, boyish good looks as photographers snapped away minutes before the show—which was styled by his true Valentine, boyfriend Christopher Niquet. Meanwhile, celebrities like Miss J of America’s Next Top Model, Veronica Webb and legendary supermodel, Pat Cleveland (whose daughter Anna walked in the show and is Posen’s new muse) chatted and smiled for the photogs.

Veronica Webb interviewing Miss J for her talk show.

After leaving the backstage area and securing a spot in the Standing section (Yes, I stood in my studded boots with a sprained ankle to see the show. Clearly, I’m a fashion addict), I mingled with friends until it was finally time for the show to start.

Celebrated hip-hop violinist, Miri Ben-Ari, stood to the left of the runway and gave a rousing rendition of songs by rapper, Styles P of the Lox, and Run DMC. While Ben-Ari’s electric violin filled the room, backed by a thumping beat, Alek Wek, Sessilee Lopez, Anna Cleveland and Coco Rocha (who closed the show), stormed the catwalk. I love that Zac directed the models to bring some life and personality to their strut, smiling and flirting with the crowd as they walked. Sessilee Lopez even modeled with her hands on her hips, swaying them from side-to-side. (I met her backstage and she’s a sweetheart! And totally, my new favorite model. She KILLED the Arise show, which I’ll fill you in on later). All in all, it made for a youthful, fun, flirty show!

The front row was just as star-studded with industry legends, Sex and the City wardrobe stylist, Patricia Field, American Vogue’s Anna Wintour and Grace Coddington, The Washington Post’s Robin Givhan and Elle Magazine’s Joe Zee absorbing the fashions. Oh and a Glamazon Blog fan, Joy Adaeze of www.fashiondivalicious.blogspot.com  made sure to say Hi to us at the show. Check out her fabulous blog! 

And now for the Fashion: The collection was fresh, vibrant and lavish with luxurious, colored furs, bright, flouncy skirts, swing coats and sleek pantsuits! The 40’s style trousers were a study in exquisite tailoring and proportions. The colors were vivid and energetic with hot pink, purple and mustard hues invigorating muted camel tones. Posen experimented with texture with fur booties (a trend on the runway!) and velvet dresses and suits.

While his Fall 2009 collection (which I also had the pleasure of attending) centered on opulent, lavish gowns, Fall 2010 is decidedly wearable by comparison. My educated guess is Zac ventured away from more elaborate designs in an effort to curb recent financial troubles, as chronicled by the February 3rd New York Times article blasting the designer’s business management. With a new collection for Target on deck, and the affordable line Z Spoke, Zac should be back to economic stability in no time.

What do you think of the collection, Glamazons?! Do you miss Zac’s gowns or are you on board with his new “wearable” looks? 

Kisses,

Coutura

Baby Phat Spring 2010 Show

Hey Glamazons!

Amber Rose. Ice-T and Coco. Letoya Luckett. Teyana Taylor. Terrance J. Wale. Fonsworth Bentley and girlfriend, Faune Chambers. Nicole Ari Parker. Boris Kudjoe. June Ambrose. Emil Wilbekin. Mikki Taylor. Ursula Stephens. Alesha Renee. All these celebrity sightings can only mean one thing: The Baby Phat show. I attended the circus last night at the Roseland Ballroom, with fellow Glamazon, Ferocia, and Chantal Borgella, the publicist for Young Mel, Jay-Z’s nephew and the new rapper signed to Roc Nation that everyone’s talking about. While we caught the Spring 2010 lineup from the fourth row, hundreds of Baby Phat fans and critics saw the fashions on a jumbotron in Times Square where the show aired live. Yes, people. Kimora is as glamourous as it gets.

When we arrived at 52nd and 6th, the line outside looked like Summer Jam or worse, Saturday night at BB King’s in Times Square. Inside, was even more chaotic. We ran into Wale and Terrance J in the hallway, spotted Teyana Taylor giving an interview, saw fans take pictures with ANTM’s Miss J and pushed our way to our seats to spot June Ambrose and Emil Wilbekin chatting in the front row. While photographer Johnny Nunez snapped photos of every celebrity you can imagine, editors and fans mingled and chatted for what seemed like forever (50 minutes to be exact) before finally settling in their seats for the show to start.

Amber Rose looking gorgeous in the front row.

Jessica White dazzles in a metallic minidress.

And the best looking couple of the year award goes to…Nicole Ari Parker and Boris Kudjoe.

Wale and Terrance J. cracked jokes with us and hung out before the show.

Teyana Taylor rocked her signature funky, fresh look on the red carpet.

Kim Kardashian and Melody Thornton were anything but basic in black.

Kim Kardashian and Kimora get chummy at the afterparty.

The diva of all divas, stylist June Ambrose, worked the red carpet. Love that she said she liked my bob!

Ice-T and Coco pose for a picture in the front row.

As we sang along to blaring tunes including Wale’s “Chillin'” and Kid Cudi’s “Make Her Say,” we caught our first glimpse of the collection, aptly titled ‘Moroccan Kiss,’ which rendered a cacophony of color, eye-catching pattern and bold jewelry. Inspired by exotic Moroccan style and carefree 70’s fashion, Kimora showed a line-up of sweeping maxidresses, lace blouses and acid-wash jeans that invoked a summer romance on the beach. “It’s 70’s Morocco, but a bit modern, sexy, beachy. The colors are very steamy and romantic, smoldering,” said the newlywed mother of three. “I love color, the whole sultriness of it, the opulence of the people and the culture.”

















While other designers explored muted palettes of blush and gray, Kimora presented flirty, feminine looks in the resplendent colors of the beach, from sultry coral to oceanic turquoise. In keeping with the beach theme, Kimora’s take on swimwear was surprisingly subtle this season: a one-piece suit with ruffles adorning the bustline, a basic black bikini with a sheer purple cover-up. But her foray into minimalism ended there; the accessories—oversized, snakeskin printed bags—and sequined leggings delivered the signature excessive glamour expected from Baby Phat.

Kimora walked out at the end of the show with her two daughters, Ming and Aoki Lee, by her side and her new son, Kenzo, on her arm. But the real treat was the Micheal Jackson tribute at the end, where four models walked out to “P.Y.T.” in shirts that read “Baby,” on the front and “Phat,” on the back, bright liquid leggings and one glittery glove. Fab! The show definitely lived up to its title as the most dramatic show during Fashion Week.

What do you think of the designs?

Kisses,

Coutura

Photos: Imaxtree. Getty/Johnny Nunez. NYMag.com.

NEW! i-D Magazine Spread: Chanel Iman, Arlenis Sosa, Jourdan Dunn, Sessilee Lopez


Hey Glamazons,

The magazine glamour continues! As a fashion assistant, I know how hard it is to nail an amazing shot with more than one model. When one model looks stunning, the other has a hair out of place or needs her eye make-up touched up or is too stiff to deliver a great pose. Furthermore, the energy and the model/photographer chemistry has to be perfect in order to arrive at that rare moment where everyone looks striking and flawless.

i-D Magazine accomplishes this with their September 2009 Cover spread and their success is a testament to the photographer, Emma Summerton, the fashion editor, Edward Enninful, and the phenomenal models, Arlenis Sosa, Chanel Iman, Jourdan Dunn and Sessilee Lopez. These women prove why they are the best black models in the business. They are each a beauty in their own right and together, they are simply breathtaking.

By the way, after seeing the September issue yesterday, I have to say I lament the fact that supermodels no longer cover magazines. While celebrities aren’t always the best posers (this clearly excludes Rihanna) and have outrageous demands like 400 white candles and separated M&Ms (true story), models come to do a job and just deliver incredible shots. Proof? Take a look at the spread below (courtesy of our friends at The Fashion Bomb).









Kisses,

Coutura

Magazine Glam: Pretty Young Things!

Hey Glamazons!

Sorry we didn’t post yesterday. We were busy getting facials and hair and make-up (Shout out to MAC and Beautylicious) for a Glamazon photo shoot! Exciting Fashion Week news coming so stay tuned…

In the meantime, check out my latest obsession: the i-D Magazine cover with brown beauties, Chanel Iman, Sessilee Lopez, Arlenis Sosa Pena and Jourdan Dunn. It was photographed by Emma Summerton and styled by Edward Enninful (love the colorful make-up and black fitted looks and gloves against graffiti). i-D Magazine was the only September issue to feature black models on their cover. Progress?


Kisses,

Coutura