The Elusive Anna Wintour

“Anna Wintour lives next door you know,” Kelsey, the big haired, big breasted, stout cashier informed me.
“Shut. Up. You’re lying!” I replied astounded. The Anna Wintour, of Vogue Magazine, the first and last word in fashion.
“Yeah, I’ve seen her a few times and she always just stares at me disapprovingly. I feel so self-conscious every time I see her, she always looks me up and down frowning.”
Noted, my level of anxiety skyrocketing at the prospect of being on the receiving end of a fashion don’t. She’s notorious for her unyielding critics, but I hadn’t figured it transferred off glossy print pages to pedestrians. The Devil Wears Prada scene where Meryl Streep drags Anne Hathaway (over a cerulean sweater) was a real moment for Kelsey, a look saying it all. The scars remain, heard in her intonation as she told the story.

One.
The first time I saw Anna Wintour I was heading over to Melvin’s Cafe from the main restaurant, Miss Lily’s. There she was standing on the sidewalk as I walked in her direction. Wearing a white floral dress and signature shades. Rocking one dangling gold double triangular earring, a maroon skirt with slits on both sides, and a sleeveless black and white vertical striped shirt, that buttoned downed to tie at the bottom, a gold necklace, that had pendulum shaped pieces hanging, I freak out internally. Upon seeing me she moves back in surprise. It was a wordless exchange, her face conveying shock. Not only because she approved of my look, from bantu knots to heeled booties, but that I worked at such an establishment. Unable to control my facial expressions my eyes widen with joy. A sign of the future friendship I always imagined.
Pulling the door to enter Melvin’s, I take one last look in case I never get the chance again. A man exits his vehicle, handing her a package. Taking it, she enters her townhouse.
“OMG,” I screech seeing Kelsey behind the juice bar counter, “I just saw Anna Wintour!”
“You did? Told you. Did she give you a disgusted look?”
“NO! She liked my outfit!!”
“Oh, wow,” Kelsey says disheartened. In all fairness Kelsey in her Hawaiian shirts, loose fitting clothes and plain face made no effort, which is part of why she was relegated to the cafe as a cashier. She didn’t have the look, sexy, colorful, skimpy, to be a server at Miss Lily’s; the hierarchy was real. Despite not seeing eye to eye, the owners and Anna agreed on Kelsey’s ranking.

Two.
I’m in a rush. Although my tardiness had no consequences, I hate being even close to late. However, I ran out of eyeliner as I was about to start my second lid! Meaning I had to make a pitstop at CVS, where the line was too damn long. It’s the dead of winter, the sidewalks are runways with room for only one person to walk at a time. A strip of dry pavement is exposed, both sides covered by frozen, mounted snow and garbage. Lo and behold, as I’m about to traverse this obstacle course, Anna Wintour is pacing back and forth at the end of this makeshift runway. As if breaking in these over the thigh, leather, heeled boots weren’t enough, I have to walk for Anna without busting my ass. Not only would I be humiliated, I’d have to walk pass her afterwards.
Pairing another floral dress with a white jacket, cellphone to ear, shades on, Anna senses me and what does she do? She fucking stops to judge. Standing at the almost end of this runway, she faces me. Glaring. My heart literally seizes, then pounds against my ribcage. Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Only. Fucking. Me. Thanking God for throwing on my oversized Chloé sunglasses on a sunless day (had she seen my uneven eye makeup I’d be mortified), I walk, having no choice.
Balmain fur over a red dress that connects in the front, with a cutout back and sides, I catwalk for her eyes only. She stares. Starts to smile. Catches herself. Goes back to stoic. Then as a gesture of her approval, she makes room for me to get by, sans stepping on piled snow. Had I failed she would not have done so. This is a moment I’ll cherish forever. An actual highlight of my life, unlike some, I didn’t have to pay a million bucks for Anna’s validation (hi Kanye).

Three.
Halloween 2019. I finally left the apartment Genc Jakupi setup to have me spied on. I hated everyone there, especially lying, delusional, talentless Mallory, the girl I sublet from. His former The Box employee. Mallory who got us temporarily evicted, spending our rent money on a music video she made for Youtube. Had I not gotten word, we would have come home to locked doors the next day. She owed $5000. I made it so we could take what we needed while the issue was resolved. I digress.
Celebrating the thinning veil, Nani and I are dressed up. She’s an angel and I’m Dominque Deveraux. A wig, a skin tight, cream dress, backless, braless, a crossed string drawing attention to my spine. Walking down the street I see a woman dressed as Anna.
“Yes bitch, you’re Anna Wintour! You look major honey, major down to the bob. Work bitch, workkkkkk, yasss. You nailed it!”
The woman laughs, gripping my arm and tells me, “You look beautiful, absolutely beautiful,” she squeezes my arm while appraising me.
“See Anna I told you going out would be fun,” a scantily clad brunette says emerging from their shared cab, a blonde lady following behind her.
“Wait what! OMG you’re actually Anna Wintour!!! Omg stop!!!! I can’t!”
My eyes are bulging in pure disbelief. She’s literally wearing a bobbed wig, dressed up as herself. The color two fractions lighter than her own, her attire a dress and a dark caramel coat. She touches me a few more times, laughing her ass off before entering Indochine. Third times a charm, we were meant to be.

So I thought. Now I realize she tokenizes us, or is she just evil? Meeting her in person, meeting her standards, then seeing her allow the gutter rats known as the Kardashian Jenner West family to lower her standards. A family built on sex tapes, black magic, lies, an empire made of cards, no talent, no style, Kanye paid for her to care. To hear and experience her racism…there’s a great chasm between the two and I’m trying to fill the void.
Wasn’t L’wren Scott your friend? Why were you aiding big faced, small brained, ungrateful, mediocre, jail and hell bound Georgia May Jagger?
All I know is it’ll be handled accordingly. I’ll love those moments forever, then again I adored all the people who are now enemies. Via: Miss Lily’s





How To Find Your Purpose

What comes naturally to me? For just a moment, ignore what you have been taught. Ignore what society has told you. Ignore what others expect of you. Look inside yourself and ask, ‘What feels natural to me? When have I felt alive? When have I felt the real me?’ No internal judgements or people-pleasing. No second-guessing or self-criticism. Just feelings of engagement and enjoyment. Whenever you feel authentic and genuine, you are headed in the right direction.” Do what you love, if you’re having trouble figuring it out, do the above. Photographer: Kuo Huan Kao

RIP Andre Leon Talley

I don’t have a lot to say. I yelled at him, then protected him til the end and beyond. I just couldn’t leave him and his legacy like that. He was a hypocrite for that VP Kamala Harris Vogue cover, but I didn’t turn on him. I guess you can be mad at someone and still love them, idolize them, be inspired by them. That’s what he taught me amongst many things. A legend. I’ll be rewatching his documentary tonight, The Gospel According To Andre. All I asked was no more January deaths, but he had to do it. He’s in heaven.

His life story was not only relatable, but resonated with me out of all the fashion mentors the most. Black people aren’t a monolith, being different is hard, to see someone else doing it makes it easier, makes you feel less alone. Don’t let anyone dim your light, shine brighter. A trailblazing icon. Thank you for your work, for elevating the culture. Rest in Prada. Via: The Talk Of Shame, Kurt Rowe, Dameon_Priestly_Artist, I Am Judith Heard, Murray’s My Name, CNN Style

Supermodel 101: Laetitea Casta

Oh la la, the French always sends the greatest gifts, and this bodacious bombshell is one of them. Discovered by photographer Federic Cresseaux while on family vacation, Laetitia Casta blew up when she snagged a Guess campaign in 1993. Sultry, with cascading hair, full lips, bedroom blue eyes and a body to die for, she went on to a deal with Victoria’s Secret in 1998.
Casta at 5’7 has done over 100 magazine covers (Rolling Stones, Vogue, Elle), has cat walked coveted runways (Paco Rabanne, Roberto Cavalli, Vivienne Westwood), bagged big campaigns (L’Oreal, Bulgari, Tiffany’s, Swarvoski, H&M) and was the last muse of designer Yves Saint Laurent. This iconic nineties supermodel has also been shot by major photographers including Herb Ritts, Annie Leibowitz and Albert Watson amongst others, I mean look at her profile, duh.

The activist and self-proclaimed rebel went on to have two children with Italian actor Stefano Accorsi, and is now married to French actor Louis Garrel (super hot couple). Laetitia still models, but has a successful acting career. A legendary bad bitch. Which picture is your fave? Via: Laetitia Daily

Maxing N’ Relaxing Beach Vibes

Laying on the sand with your hand behind your head for optimal beach vibes, check. But who did it better Janice Dickinson and Patti Hansen, or Wham? Photographers: Irving Penn & Gered Mankowitz

De-Conditioning: Paris Is Burning

I would like to be a spoiled, rich white girl, they get what they want.
Venus Extravaganza

A two for one special; in honor of The Black Lives Matter Movement and Pride Month, watch Paris Is Burning. A timeless, poignant documentary that chronicles ball culture, which birthed Voguing . The balls were created in reaction to systemic financial disparities between blacks and whites. As Venus from house Extravaganza stated, as implied throughout much of the film, as the world turned, being white is the best way to attain wealth. Screaming black is beautiful, the creation of the black panthers, are reactions of beating ‘white power’ into the world by force. To counter the hate you give, we have movements and mottos and more. White power has resulted in oppression and hate globally, that’s why it’s vile. Via: Cinephile IG

Seafoam Pigmented Lids

This seafoam pantone is perfect for a summer aesthetic, reminds me of my beloved beach. Try these looks with Milk Makeup’s eye pigment, a cream based eyeshadow. Unlike traditional dust it last longer and doesn’t crease. Which color would you like? I’m starting with lavender. Photos: Vogue, Toma Miu & Platinum D

Supermodel 101: Penelope Tree

The coolest of the Swinging Sixties It girls by far. “Hot, hot, hot. Smart, smart, smart.” This is how John Lennon described the effortlessly cool, aloof Penelope Tree. Once the girlfriend of photographer David Bailey, she got her start after being photographed at one of Truman Capote’s infamous soirées. Absolutely striking, with large, round, doe eyes and chiseled rosy cheeks, there is no face like hers. When I first saw her I was enthralled by how odd looking she was, like a tribal, sage alien from a jungle on some far away planet. A fucking icon. Which Tree is your favorite? Photos: David Bailey, Richard Avedon & Clive Arrowsmith.

Supermodel 101: Jean Shrimpton

My love of art in all forms and the vessels who produce it, knows no bounds. All of which I’ll share with you. Teenage me went through this OBSESSIVE phase with the 60’s and 70’s, believing myself ill-fated for being born afterwards. I was suppose to be a swinging mod, a rockstar groupie (maybe in the GTO’s with Pamela De Barres shagging Mick Jagger). Even though the term supermodel was coined in the 80’s, I still acknowledge Penelope Tree, Donyale Luna, their contemporaries and the lady above, Jean Shrimpton folks. Her sister Chrissy Shrimpton was Mick Jagger’s ex-girlfriend, he wrote the song Under My Thumb for her. But I digress. Jean Shrimpton was the muse for iconic photographer David Bailey. The British model appeared on countless covers, helped launch the mini-skirt and was coined “The Face Of The Sixties.” Big baby blues, pillowy pink lips and a jawline to chisel ice, she personified the swinging mod. An icon folks. Which photo of Jean is your mood? Photos: David Bailey, Gianni Penati and Richard Avedon.

Supermodel 101: Janice Dickinson

Before she was a botched face, loud mouth, controversial aught’s reality star, Janice Dickinson was super fucking hot. The self proclaimed “World’s First Supermodel,” was Mick Jagger’s lover and Jim Belushi’s best friend, who frequented Cosmopolitan and Vogue covers. She was definitely an 80’s It Girl. Large almond shaped eyes, pouty full lips, can’t tell if she’s naughty or nice demeanor, this party girl was a knock out.