onsdag 21. juni 2017

Styleinspo a la Diamond Mahone

Some people just ooze style. They seem so sure and at ease in their aesthetic representation that by through observing images of them or coming into contact with them, you are instantly inspired to more boldly step into your own. Diamond Mahone is one such individual. Through billowy jumpsuits and culottes to vintage ensemble and oversize frames - Diamond shows that versatility can still birth and nurture consistency in style.

For more of Diamond's style, visit her Instagram page or the site for her styling collective, the Clad Life.

fredag 16. juni 2017

100 Days of Positive Thinking: Day 2 (Misty Copeland, New Books and Wild Thoughts)

What's good, good people? As usual over here trying to be the perfect blend of happy, constantly learning, and just a little bit petty. Here are some things helping me accomplish this today.

1. Misty Copeland and Barack Obama chatting it up.
2. Kathleen Cleaver was and is one of the baddest.
3. New Broadway star Denee Benton is one to watch. 
4. Can't wait to check out Teju Cole's new book, Blind Spot
5. What does DJ Khaled mean bringing Rihanna and Bryson Tiller together on this dope sample of Carlos Santana's "Maria, Maria"? I am shooketh.

torsdag 15. juni 2017

Swoon: James Earl Jones

I love this picture of James Earl Jones from 1961. I mean look at him slaying that beard and sultry look into the camera. #GoodLord

Photo c/o Carl Van Vechten

tirsdag 13. juni 2017

100 Days of Positive Thinking: Day 1 (Ending and Beginnings)

Moving countries, even when returning home is quite challenging. Author and all-around bad-ass, Taiye Selasi said: "I am often asked if I plan to go back to Ghana. I go to Accra every year, but I can’t go back to Ghana. […] We can never go back to a place and find it as we left it." 

Being back in the village where I grew up, I find that nothing is quite the same. The buildings and buses are revamped and shiny, and I don't recognize the faces of the drivers. Kids I once taught dance lessons to and babysat are teenagers now, some towering over me in height. I am constantly being reminded that my friends and I are now adults, though I am not sure I have earned that identity marker quite yet. My home feels familiar, yet is full of new faces and facades. I am looking for the little space I used to occupy, but after five years I realize it no longer exists. It has grown over with moss and lichen, filled with bits of soil and rock.

This makes think of the place I have left behind, my home for the past five years - the people, patterns, and places. It may be warm with the memory of me yet, but soon it will also grow over and be filled too. I guess this is the nature of endings and the beginnings they spill into - a constant state of melancholic reflection. Mulling over moments past, images of streets and stories whizzing through my mind. While also trying to be present and appreciate the start of this new stage in my life, to be open to what it may bring. 

In that vein I think it is time to begin a new round of 100 Days of Positive Thinking. In this time of transition, I find myself in need of reminders of simple things that have either broadened my mind, made me smile or fed my inner Petty Labelle. Here is my list for today:

1. Daddy Moments with LaGuardia Cross and his two little girls.
2. Zerina Akers's wardrobe is to die for! Taking som skin care tips from her too.
3. I am convinced that Zadie Smith and I are operating on the same wave-length, since this piece of her's on Lynette Yiadom-Boakye dropped today and I wrote one on the artist  (though hardly comparable) a few days ago.
4. In Living Colour's parody ft. Jim Carrey as Snow singing "Informer" has me laughing so hard.
5. The way Kofi Siriboe stans for black women.
6. Donna Summer was baddd.

What's made you smile, chuckle, and/or learn something new today?

torsdag 8. juni 2017

On Lynette Yiadom-Boakye and The Worlds She Creates

An artist whose work I have become increasingly fascinated with over the past few years is Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. The British-Ghanaian painter creates works of fictional characters with so much depth, it is often difficult to imagine that they have not been rendered from a model or even a photo. Boakye conjures these figures and the viewer is able to engage with them in whatever snapshot they have been captured. Some dance with abandon. Others appear to pose for their portraits, poised and seemingly self-assured, their gaze always shifted away from the beholder.

The Hours Behind You, 2011

The Cream And The Taste, 2013

 Citrine By The Ounce, 2014

Switcher, 2013 

Complication, 2013

Her art has inspired the works of fellows artists like Solange Knowles and Duro Olowu, who Yiadom-Boakye counts among her friends. Of her work, Olowu said in an interview with Vogue: “If you walked into a room with a thousand people in it, and one of the people in her paintings was there, that’s who you’d want to meet.”

A portrait of Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.

With an already impressive catalogue of work, it will be exciting to follow the trajectory of Yiadom-Boakye's work.

Images c/o Jack Shainman Gallery and Google

onsdag 10. mai 2017

Song of the Day: "Petit Afrique" by Somi

It's always exciting to come across musicians who are artists in the truest sense of the word. Somi is an an artist, through and through. From her thoughtful and playful lyrical constructions to the gorgeous melodies on which they dance. Somi makes music for the African diapora and for the people who inhabit it. She makes songs that make you feel understood, that make you feel connected to those who live within the words and sounds of her songs. Her newest album is called Petit Afrique. The songs I have heard so far are "Alien" and "Black Enough". The first is a reworking of Sting's "Englishman in New York" that re-imagines the protagonist as an African. The second takes up the topic of identity politics within the black diaspora. Both are spectacular song. Somi and her music are blessing. If you haven't already, get hip and marvel in her artisty.

søndag 7. mai 2017

Ghanaian Bliss, Cheddar Jalapeño Cheetos, and Rei Kawakubo

Another day, another list:

1. I want to go Ghana so bad, I keep daydreaming about it. The photo above is from my 2014 visit,
2. Cheddar Jalapeño Cheetos are nectar of the Gods!
3. Rei Kawakubo is my hero - introverts unite!
4. This giant and very old book is being digitized. The museum nerd in me is every excited about it.
5. I feel so understood watching this video. Quinta Brunson is ace.

fredag 5. mai 2017

Styleinspo a la Yamilla Beers

 Yamilla Beers is a master of sartorial minimalism. Her style is trademarked by solid neutrals and clean lines. She infuses flavour into her outfits by combining different textures and cuts, often tying looks together with a cool pair of sneakers. She is master of blending classically masculine and feminine pieces to create seamless ensembles. Beers shows that simplicity never goes out of style.

For more of Yamilla's dope style, check out her blog or her Instagram page.

Image c/o Beers' Instagram

torsdag 4. mai 2017

100 Days of Positive Thinking: Day 100 (Cruel, Crazy, Beautiful World)

After working on these 100 Days of Positive Thinking for almost three years (wow, I still can't believe that it took me that long), I have reached the very last day of this endeavour. After a strong start, a dwindling middle and a return to form over the last few months, I have really enjoyed this. Growing up is hard. It can be difficult to maintain the optimism we possess when we are little as life's challenges rock our proverbial boats, letting on water and all manner of driftwood. I guess when I started this I was looking for an opportunity to regain some of that. 

Yes, the world is wild place. Bad things happen every day. But the world is also a mind-blowingly beautiful! Good, beautiful things also happen every day. It is good to be conscious, it is good to care. But it is also incredibly important to pay attention to the good things that happen. To notice how shockingly blue the sky is. To fall in love with a song, put it on repeat, and dance till you're out of breath. To let a ray of sunshine wash over your face, blinding you with bliss in the process. Life is weird and beautiful, you gotta take the rain with sunshine. Like my dad told me a few weeks back, hope is what life is made of, what keeps us moving. So here's to positivity and joy in this cruel, crazy, beautiful world (cue Johnny Clegg). Here is to hope. Here is to my last list for this challenge: 

1. My amazing family. Quoting Shonda Rhimes, we are "never perfect, constantly evolving, always united."I love me some them.
2. Obsessed with the dress Quinta has here (and maybe cop some Adidas Superstars too)
3. Chimamanda Adichie and Trevor Noah in conversation - pure gold!
4. Haruki Murakami's wildly impressive record collection (music and literature are my ish)
5. 21 Badass Black Feminist to follow on Instagram
6. This Fader article on the band, Ibeyi and their home in Cuba

I might continue these lists just as a regular feature on here. They've been fun to put together. Or maybe restart the 100 Days? Who knows. Hopefully it won't take me 3 years to get through the next installment!

tirsdag 2. mai 2017

Song of the Day: "Speak Low" by Billie Holiday

The first hint of warmer weather tends pull me toward jazz music. Recently I have been particularly drawn to Billie Holiday soulful croon. As mentioned a couple of posts back, I am getting back to my musical roots and have made it mission to learn "Speak Low" and put my own spin on it. While I practice, I am drawing plenty of inspiration from Lady Day.

Speak low when you speak, love
Our summer day withers away too soon, too soon
Speak low when you speak, love
Our moment is swift, like ships adrift, we're swept apart, too soon

100 Days of Positive Thinking: Day 99 (Dad as Toddler, Zadie Smith, and Entrepreneurs)

1. An adorable photo of my papa (on the right) and his big sis when they were young 'uns
2. Zadie Smith and Anne Patchet chatting it up
3. The caption to this photo (Upile Chisala is an amazing wordsmith)
4. This dude has me straight cacklin' (that twerk!)
5. Entrepreneurs who made it after the age of 30 (keep chasing those dreams!)

mandag 1. mai 2017

Swoon: Jeff Goldblum (in a food truck)

I am living for this photo of the baest of baes, Jeff Goldblum, manning a food truck. I would buy all the sandwiches he selling. 
Image c/o Google

100 Days of Positive Thinking: Day 98 (Roadtripping, Feeling Your Feelings, and Brazilian Music)

1. Road-tripping to Iowa this weekend with my sister and two friends
2. Bilphena Yahwon on feeling your feelings and calling them by name
3. This entire thread and Solange putting her stamp of approval on it
4. Lupita Nyongo being luminous as usual
5. Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil on their music, friendship, and shared homeland

søndag 30. april 2017

Dubie Book List: "Year of Yes" by Shonda Rhimes

Over the weekend, I started reading Shonda Rhimes' "Year of Yes". The book has had me chuckling, nodding aggresively, and suspiciously glancing sideways to see if anyone has noticed how exposed a paragraph has me feeling. If you are in a moment of transition and/or transformation, I highly recommend this read. I think we can all benefit from not allowing fear to rule and daring to say "yes" to new experiences and opportunities. Rhimes opens up about the woman behind the shows and words we all love so much. The result is this witty, entertaining, and downright profound book.

Below are a couple of my favourite quotes:
“Who you are today . . . that’s who you are. Be brave. Be amazing. Be worthy. And every single time you get the chance? Stand up in front of people. Let them see you. Speak. Be heard. Go ahead and have the dry mouth. Let your heart beat so, so fast. Watch everything move in slow motion. So what. You what? You pass out, you die, you poop? No. (And this is really the only lesson you’ll ever need to know.)” 

“They tell you: Follow your dreams. Listen to your spirit. Change the world. Make your mark. Find your inner voice and make it sing. Embrace failure. Dream. Dream and dream big. As a matter of fact, dream and don’t stop dreaming until your dream comes true.
I think that’s crap.
I think a lot of people dream. And while they are busy dreaming, the really happy people, the really successful people, the really interesting, powerful, engaged people? Are busy doing.” 

100 Days of Positive Thinking: Day 97

1. This poem by Cleo Wade
2. Laura Mvula made a really informative documentary about anxiety
3. All about flatform sandals for the summer (and for life. tbh)
4. Black men who love, support and protect black women
5. This vine (it's make me laugh so hard!)

fredag 28. april 2017

Styleinspo a la Jenn and Vicky

I have not been following twin sisters Jenn and Vicky on Instagram for very long, but they have already become major sources of style inspiration. And I love to see sisters who are close and sartorially slay together in the process. Check out some of their dope outfits below.

Love this illustration Ben Biayenda made of them.

Images from here

100 Days of Positive Thinking: Day 96 (Formation Scholarships, Michael Scott, and A Long Lost Bollywood Track)

1. Throwback to this gorgeous Chicago view from two summers ago
2. Beyonce is offering Formation scholarships
3. I would have loved to see this happen #MichaelScottTedTalk
4. Oprah' hand placement brings me so much joy
5. This Bollywood song I have been looking for for years

torsdag 27. april 2017

Song of the Day: "Nine Out Of Ten" by Caetano Veloso

I'm on major Brazilian, particularly Bahian, music tip at the moment and cannot stop listening to Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil. The last few days I have not been able to get this song out of my head and it's been on repeat (maybe that has something to do with why I can't get it out my head?). I watched an interview with Veloso and Gil where they talked about being exiled from their homeland and having to relocate to England. This song, I imagine, was written as they dealt with this transition. It's definitely speaking to me and reminding me of moments of change in my own life. 

100 Days of Positive Thinking: Day 95 (Frida Kahlo, African Fairies, and Jeff Goldblum)

1. I'm ready to get some travelling in this summer. Throwback to road-tripping to Devil's Tower with my sister and two friends three years ago.
2. Frida Kahlo's incredible wardrobe
3. These African fairies (yes, they exist all around you)
4. Jeff Goldblum working in a food truck
5. Never not listening to A Seat A The Table

onsdag 26. april 2017

Swoon: Issa Amb

I have often come across photos of Senegalese artist, curator, and visionary, Issa Amb taken by street style photographers, but I had honestly never taken the time to learn more about who he was. I learnt of his passing today and the name of this amazing artist who image had repeatedly caught my interest with his incredible style and dignified air. Samb was one of the founding members of the Laboratoire Agit'Art in 1973 and an internationally recognized artist known for a ground-breaking approach that incorporated sculpture, painting, and performance. He has brought so much to Senegal, Africa, and the world as an artist and a human being. I am sad that I did not know more about him while he was alive. I am grateful for his contributions and look forward to learning more about his work. 

Image c/o Christa Holka

100 Days of Positive Thinking: Day 94 (Octavia Butler, Group Chats and Victorian Collars)

Today's list of cool things:
1. Loving this manifestation by the legendary writer, Octavia Butler and how true these came! Going to print this and frame it. I also want to work on writing out my own  manifestations.
2. Group chats where you feel understood, loved, and get all the lols (you know who you are)
3. I'm all about Victorian collar shirts for the summer, taking inspiration from Jenn and Vicky
4. This photo shoot with my Fellow Ghanaian fave, Stephanie Afrifa is so dope
5. 7 Africa-focused documentaries on Netflix right now (though I wish more of them were produced by black/African people)