Month: August, 2010
Where were you when news broke that the King of Pop, Michael Jackson died? I was in Harlem, NY, home of the Black Renaissance, just one block from the legendary Apollo Theatre. True to form, Rev. Al Sharpton was one of the first figureheads on scene and quickly consoled a growing crowd of devastated fans. Stereos from every corner played MJ tunes while nostalgia filled the air as people cried, laughed and danced in the streets. It was a true life and legacy celebration of the greatest entertainer of all time. *pulls sequined glove out of pocket* Of course, I had to join in and city boy slide one time for ya’ boy *in my best South Florida accent* as Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough played in my head. #iLoveFAMU
I was also in the middle of my first lifestyle shoot with VH1 & CNN correspondent, not to mention huge Michael Jackson fan, Janell Snowden. She has to be one of the coolest and most supportive people I’ve ever met. One look into the shoot, Janell’s phone started to blow up with calls from CNN to be on a panel within the hour. In my mind, I’m thinking, “Party done”. *Jamaican accent* “This shoot is about be rescheduled.” However, in a world/city of people that jumped in reaction to MJ’s death, Janell insisted we stay the course, demonstrating our mutual passion for fashion. *bbm surprised face* Not many people in Janell’s position would have passed up that opportunity. It spoke volumes about her character as a journalist and person. It’s a pleasure to work in this industry with people that share your passion; the end product is always better. Check out Janell’s fashion story with a special MJ tribute in the last look.
***Photographer, Elton Anderson
Forget keeping up with the Jones – I’m trying to keep up with the Kardashians! Well, not really, lol. Earlier this year, I styled Carrie and Donovan of Next Models Miami. Carrie starred in the first season of Khloe and Kourtney Take Miami as an employee of DASH Boutique and Donovan was a new face to the agency.
For this shoot, I chose to keep the styling simple. I wanted to focus on the chemistry I could pull from the models to strengthen my creative direction skills. Carrie was a natural in front of the camera, while Donovan required a bit more coaching. This is often the case with newer models. I had to create stories and concepts to evoke the right emotion out of Donovan, in addition to posing him on set.
Seasoned models tend to change position every time the camera’s shutter clicks. New faces – eehhhhh, not so much. That’s one of the reasons agencies set up test shoots with different photographers. It helps the inexperienced models create a portfolio, get comfortable behind the camera, learn how to take direction, and work with various shooting styles. It’s a testament to the photography team if they can foster the right energy to capture great shots. Who knows, the images from your test shoot could be the ones to propel a model’s career to the top. *crosses fingers*
After a two-month hiatus from Miami, I returned to the Creative Hostel to continue work on launching my website and blog. Unbeknownst to me, Toye Adedipe, a fellow FAMU alum and celebrity stylist, had taken up residence at the Hostel for the weekend. He was in town to style Island Def Jam recording artist Git Fresh Crew’s debut album artwork, and video for their hit single, She Be Like. *singing* Bom Bom Bom…1st round!
While on location styling the seven looks for the album, Toye called and asked if I could come on set to help out for awhile. At that point, I had been up all night putting the finishing touches on my site and blog, but nonetheless, I obliged and hopped in a cab to downtown Miami. It was a great opportunity I was not going to pass up. Besides, sleep is for the weary, and I have moves to make, lol.
After a $20, three-pack cab ride (Sidebar: As a freelance stylist, I count every penny, and equate it to packs of bacon or a meal. $20 = 3 really good packs of bacon or 3.5 meals), I arrived on set and immediately asked Toye how I could be of assistance. Tape shoes? Don’t mind if I do! I have a patent pending technique that will ensure most shoes can go back to the store after being worn. *bbm lips are sealed face* In the middle of my fourth pair of shoes, Toye comes over and tells me the creative direction for tomorrow’s video has changed. He has to stay on set to finish styling the other looks and needs me to go shopping. Toye hands me the keys to a rental car, $2,500 in cash, and gives me a brief description of the three-member group’s aesthetic.
Can we say OVERWHELMED? It was the middle of rush hour traffic, and I had just been tasked with getting three looks apiece with options within a specific color range for each member of Git Fresh Crew. With a smile on my face and book bag on my back, I headed to the mall to GET ‘ER DONE. Needless to say I shut the mall down. I wanted to make sure Toye was in good position to style tomorrow morning because there would be no time for mall runs.
Back at the Hostel, Toye reviewed my pulls and was extremely pleased. A number of looks, including the literal shirt off my back were used in the video. It goes to show that when you’re destined to do anything, your steps are ordered. You just have to be quiet, watch for the signs and follow the path. I could have stayed in DC until I launched my website and blog, however something told me to go to Miami, and I listened.
Check out some behind the scenes pics and the video below….Bing Bing Bing…It’s going down!