beauty Fashion

MODESTY AND MODELING: Kylie Bisutti Retires Her Wings

With the launch of Brooklyn designer, Nailah Lymus‘, newest venture the UNDERWRAPS Agency, just days away, the news of Kylie Bisutti‘s retirement from Victoria’s Secret seems so timely.

Hear why the famed angel has retired her wings and the new direction she is taking her modeling career in (click on Kylie’s image to view the video courtesy of ABC).

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Goddess Magazine has announced their nominees for their upcoming 2011 Awards. Some of my favorite curvy vixens are up for awards this year including:

Christina Mendez (nominated as the Fashion Icon of the Year)

  • Monif. C (nominated as the Designer of the Year)

  • Gwen DeVoe (nominated as the Celebrity of the Year).

Congrats to all the nominees and please place your votes for them here.

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FASHION WEEK RECAP: Special Guest Blogger, Nadia Daeng!

By Nadia Daeng (@nadiadaeng)

How did I start my Monday for New York Fashion Week? I didn’t spend my time wishing I could fit into sample size dresses; I was introduced to food that is “GOODNESS with a touch of BADNESS”. Model/ philanthropist Elettra Wiedemann (pictured below) has teamed up with restaurateur/Michelin star chef Ed Brown to bring a full service pop-up restaurant that provided New York fashionistas with the fabulous of option of fast, fresh and healthy cuisine! From September 11th through the 14th, GOODNESS served up not only healthy and delicious appetizers, entrees and desserts by Ed Brown but also more “sinful” options created by daily guest chefs from a stellar line-up of New York’s up-and-coming culinary talent scene.

Delectable specials to look out for included Pan-Seared Bream Mash with Truffle Vinaigrette and Montauk Swordfish with Zucchini Succotash – it all tastes as good as it looks. The equally stunning Elettra explained her rational behind GOODNESS is to provide a highly convenient, healthy and fast option for the Lincoln Centre fashion crowd. What are you waiting for? Time to dine among the models, designers, industry insiders and epicureans of New York Fashion Week. This little piece of culinary heaven was open for breakfast and lunch from 7am to 3pm at 44 West 63rd Street. For more information, visit

beauty Fashion Opinons

Vogue Italia– Something to Love!

Featured on the cover: Tara Lynn, Candice Huffine and Robyn Lawley

After hunting high and low for the June issue of Vogue Italia, I finally snagged a copy from the Universal News in Chelsea. I’m so glad I did.

I had been reading the posts and saw sneak peeks here and there of the spread featuring some of the industry’s most beautiful plus models (Tara Lynn, Candice Huffine, Robyn Lawley and award nominated singer/plus model Marquita Pring). All I can say is that Steven Meisel, who photographed the amazing spread, captured the essence of what it is to be a woman. With hair by Redken and make up by superstar Pat McGrath, readers are transported to a time when curvy was definitely sexy and the feminine form was celebrated in all its glory.

The entire spread can be viewed here



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SAD NEWS: R.I.P. Mia Amber

It is with a heavy heart that I share with all of you that model, actress and size-positive blogger, Mia Amber, passed away today. It’s been confirmed by Plus Model Magazine (where Mia was the editor-at-large). Details are scarce at this moment, but I will keep everyone posted as soon as I hear anything.

My condolences to Mia’s husband, family and friends. A beautiful face and spirit gone from us so soon.

Click on link for article from the Village Voice about Mia's passing
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NEW YORK FASHION WEEK: Byron Lars Beauty Mark Fall/Winter 2011

In the early ‘90s, Women’s Wear Daily anointed Byron Lars with the illustrious title of “Rookie of the Year,” after only his second season.  An amazingly talented designer whose works have graced the pages of some of the industry’s top magazine, Byron Lars became a household name when he was tapped by Mattel’s Barbie to design a line of limited edition collectible dolls. After a hiatus, Lars is back and again establishing himself as one of America’s premier designers.

Tatu and Moja Barbies by Byron Lars


On Friday, February 11th, the world was reintroduced to Byron Lars with the presentation of his Fall 2011 collection brand Byron Lars Beauty Mark at the Stanley Kaplan Penthouse at Lincoln Center. Bringing a sexy, distinctly feminine collection together, Lars showcased Native Americana, a vintage feeling collection with a very strong Native American influence.

Known for his attention to detail, Byron Lars created a collection that showed a love of the female body with lines and fabrications that compliment a woman’s curves. My first thoughts upon viewing the collection was of the award women series “Mad Men,” with the pencil skirts, lace hosiery and ‘40s and ‘50s-esque accessories and detailing. But upon closer investigation, one could clearly see the Native American influence in the types of fabrics featured—particularly the feathers and furs.

The collection wooed those gathered for the presentation including Atlanta-based bloggers Shakira Hightower and Ashia Sims, famed stylists Shatonia Amee and Spry Lee Scott as well as Ebony’s Creative Director Harriette Cole (who was on crutches).

For more about Byron Lars or to view his past collections, visit

Here are images from the Byron Lars Beauty Mark Presentation:

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LOVING THE SKIN YOU’RE IN: Plus Model & Blogger, Asia Mone’t, Shares Her Feelings About Loving The Skin You’re In


Curvy, Sexy Diva Asia Mone't

Curvy Socialite friend (and contributor), plus model Asia Mone’t recently shared her feelings about being comfortable with her curves with her readers on her blog. A big proponent of size acceptance and loving yourself for who you are versus who you wish you were, Asia’s words are very timely and very much needed. Check out her blog here.


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FASHION WEEK RECAP: FNO, BeSpoken Clothiers and Jose Duran

Fashion Night Out (FNO) served as the official launch party for New York Fashion Week. Virtually every fashion retailer on the island of Manhattan (and for that matter, city and country wide) kept their doors open late to entice the masses to shop. They really did everything possible to ensure that everyone knew that the event was taking place—full page ads, TV spots (see below), billboards, window displays, Facebook, Twitter—you name it, they did it. However, I’m not sure the economy really got a much needed boost Friday night. Everywhere I went I saw more cocktails and celebrities than I saw shopping bags.

Fashion’s Night Out 2010 PSA from Fashion’s Night Out on Vimeo.

This year, fashion stylist extraordinaire, Hayden and I stayed in midtown and the Upper East Side for our FNO jaunts. We walked along 5th Avenue and poked our heads in Lord & Taylor, Saks, and Versace. At Versace, I ran into long time friend and designer, Takiyah Jerome. After taking a brief tour of the store, we continued our sojourn north where we bumped into stylist, Oluwakemi “Kemi” Omoyosi, and agency head Katie Sellu of Sellu Management near Barney’s. We happened to see this guy with the Swarovski crystal and studded motorcycle helmet. I had to grab a shot.

The ladies joined our little party as we headed north towards Dolce & Gabbana. As we neared D&G, all you could see was utter chaos. But Hayden and I kind of expected that since Miss Naomi (Campbell) was making an appearance there. That and friends were telling us they were lined up outside the Madison Avenue retailer at 3 PM (festivities didn’t start until 6!). Not ones for waiting on lines, our little quartet headed a few doors down to Max Mara, another amazing Italian brand. Peaking in at Max Mara gave me a chance to inquire about one of their lesser know but definitely fabulous brand, Marina Rinaldi.

A luxury lifestyle line catering to the curvier figure, Marina Rinaldi is probably Max Mara’s best kept secret. But I will let you in on something ladies….they are opening up a Madison Ave store this month. I heard it should be open by the 22nd (the perfect birthday gift—this socialite’s special day is three days earlier). I can’t wait!

We actually ended our little FNO trip there and headed back downtown for a quick bite to eat and to part ways home. I have to admit that FNO this year seemed more like bar or club hopping versus a shopping event. But a good time was had nonetheless.

The next day was an absolutely gorgeous day despite it being a day of sadness and protests (September 11th). In an effort to enjoy the sun and keep my spirits up, I headed down to the SoHo Grand Hotel to meet Hayden for the BeSpoken Clothiers Spring/Summer Presentation.

The weather was absolutely on BeSpoken’s side as the event took place in an urban “garden” under the clearest blue sky ever. Brining a modern interpretation to the age-old made-to-measure tradition, BeSpoken describes itself as part “Savile Row, part Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Can I tell you I love this line?
The looks that were showcased at the presentation were the quintessential marriage of urban and tailored styling. Beautiful, vintage like styling in a youthful skinny fit. They even tailored the wait staff in a classic “newsie” look! Hayden aptly described the new BeSpoken collection as “a 1920s flair for the urban man.”

Here are some of my favorite looks for the presentation.

With a sometime to kill before our next show, grabbed a bite at famed Lincoln Center Asian eatery Ollie’s where we bumped into fashion writer, Troy Artis. After our quick bite, we headed over to the tents. For both of us, this would be our first appearance there since Fashion Week’s move from Bryant Park.

While being nosey before our Jose Duran show, we ran into fashion maven, Stacy Armand, and make up diva, Miyako Marie Johnson. Also spotted at the tents: June Ambrose on her way out of the tents, Kimora Lee (Simmons) Hounsou on her way into a show, and Russell Simmons giving an interview.

We made our way over to the Samsung Experience at the Time Warner Center, a few blocks down from Lincoln Center at Columbus Circle. We had to wait nearly an hour and a half to be seated…but it was well worth the wait.

Jose Duran is a designer whose creativity comes through his work. After a hiatus which took him to Paris for inspiration, he came back even stronger than ever.


A combined men’s and women’s wear collection, the line immediately made me think of a luxury spa retreat in Paris. Earthen tones of deep tans, khakis, olive, black and grey coupled with relaxed fabrics that moved evoked a calming feeling. But as each model appeared on the runway (including one of my favorites, Sessilee Lopez), the pieces started moving into a realm of evening wear glam. A quiet sophistication screaming style. Interspersed amongst the organic tones were red-carpet ready pieces in pink, green, purple and red.

Duran even changed things up a little by having male models strut their stuff on the runway in sky high wedges and relaxed jersey knit dresses….definitely making sure his celebrity filled audience ( including June Ambrose, Ebony’s Harriette Cole, Memsor Kamarake, Angela Simmons and style don Spry Lee Scott) was paying attention. A remarkable comeback for a talent with renewed passion. Jose Duran is definitely looking to be here for the long haul.

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FASHION WEEK RECAP: Candela, Elise Gug, & LaureLuxe

So let the festivities begin!

Today was the pre-cursor to the Fashion Week festivities—and after being cooped up at home fighting a nasty cold for the past two weeks, it was nice to spread my wings and be out amongst the masses. Never one to hold back, I jumped right back into the social scene with 4 appearances today.

First stop, downtown at the Jane Hotel for the Candela Spring/Summer 2011 Presentation.

I met up with Shatonia Amee, the style maven behind Pink Suede, Inc. and together we headed over to view Candela collection. As we walked into the venue we were met by bright lights, flashing bulbs and something that looked like a scene right out of a Laura Ingalls Wilder book. A reflection of the collections title, the first floor of the Jane Hotel had been transformed into a trading post for the Candela presentation. Aux Armes, who designed the set, did a wonderful job.

On three staged scenes, models looked like they were right out of the pages of books in what was a blend of rustic versus Native American with a modern twist and a little hippie chic thrown in for good measure. Sounds busy, but it so worked. The collection had a very natural feel with cotton, silk, leather and crocheted pieces. Even the coloring of the clothing was very “natural and organic” with white, navy, wheat and olive tones. The collection featured floor length prairie dresses and skirts paired with saddle shoes and boots, knee military like shorts paired with very fine, very femme cotton tops and silky, ethereal dresses coupled with latticed leather boots– tough by very feminine at the same time.

Shatonia snapped a few pics of well dressed models (styled by Kate Sebbah) before we headed north to Nexus Showroom for the second stop of the evening.

We headed to midtown for our second stop at Nexus. There we got an up-close- and-personal look at Elise Gug.

Elise Gug is a Danish designer that caters to the ultra femme and ultra chic, but also to those who desire comfort and a sophisticated simplicity. Drawing inspiration from the Italian Riviera, the collection featured sun-kissed hues mixed with neutral tones (beiges, creams, whites, blush pinks, and black).The line featured dresses that emphasized the waist, A-line jackets, pants, shorts and skirts—all designed to be mixed and matched and all made to flatter the shape. Looking at the collection inspired thoughts of Lucille Ball, Grace Kelly and Jackie O with their quiet sophistication that spoke volumes. I also saw hints of design greats like Elie Tahari and the classic Yves Saint Laurent. Definitely a line to watch.

After grabbing a cup of ice-coffee at Prêt-A-Manger, Shatonia and I headed downtown to Tela Design Studio in the Meatpacking District for the Women’s Mafia Fashion Show. Though time didn’t allow us to stay for the actual show, we ran into a few friends including styling diva Mary Lafayette of Fashion Luv Joenz and retro-chic designer Shantell Richardson of Shauntele.

After showing our face at Tela, Mary, Shatonia and I headed over to the Gates in West Chelsea for the Laureluxe fashion show. The famed metal Jewelry designer’s event was another reunion opportunity. Before even walking through the doors, we bumped into Fashion Week mainstay, Aminah Benjamin. Inside, we ran into Shelly Castro, jewelry diva Tammiko Beasty, Arthur Donaldson of Arabelle Modeling, and Devora Wooden of Dig Deep Inc. Scanning the room we saw other faces we knew including famed stylist Spry Lee Scott and hip hop couture designer Lexx Perry, After a few cocktails, we all ushered to our seats where we were greeted by host, Amanda Diva. Then the show started….

Laureluxe opened sporting the men’s pieces first which included chainmail tees, metal plated skinny ties, chained suspenders, arm and shin guards and “spiked” shoulder pads that would make any defensive lineman shudder. Definitely more than just “jewelry,” the men’s collection brought simple, classic looks to a whole new level with pieces that brought to mind 300 and the Gladiator. Definitely couture. But the best was yet to come…

The women’s collection for Laureluxe was phenomenal. Evoking memories of Grace Jones and Tina Turner in Mad Max, the line was surreal—chain mail dresses and hoodies, swimwear pieces made of chain mail, even lingerie (garters and even a chained “legwarmer.” There were definitely pieces that I could see Amber Rose and Rhianna glamming on a VMA red carpet.