Making black and white fun and chic

IMG_9767You don’t have to define fun in color when it comes to apparel.  Truth is that black and white can offer just as much fun and sassiness than its more colorful counterparts when you take a play on cut and textures as opposed to colors.  When done correctly black and white can pair to have a striking effect on your look and still give some of the fun that gives life a little zest.  At the event Art of Conversation I play the role as mastermind and moderator as we welcome an open forum to discuss some of days most interesting and challenging issues.  IMG_9765As with any outfit, I like my look to be an expression of not just the occasion but the part I am playing in it.  In wanting to evoke both power and openness I chose strong contrast such as black and white commanding fabrics like leather combined with the airiness and freedom I found in a cropped blouse.

IMG_9762For the base of the outfit I started with a black pencil leather skirt from BCBG.  Pencil skirts are a great way to elongate the figure at a length that gives the coverage to allow me to be comfortable to sit at the front of an audience.  The pleats in the skirt help break up the straight lines of the skirt and give a little leeway in problem areas that might arise giving an overall smooth and sleek look.

IMG_9766The blouse was a great balancing act as it took some of the structure of the skirt and turned it on its heels.  The softness of the material made the blouse free flowing and soft.  With contrasting black trim on the collar and arms made the look a lot more striking that a regular white blouse.

And to finish off the look of course there are the shoes.  In my nod to something old and something new I pulled some Gucci patent leather peep toes out of my closet.  The white piping was a great match to my color palette choice and the throwback shape and design of the shoes made the shoes modern day classics.

How do you think black and white pair for a chic classic?

The Art of Conversation: Money, Power, Respect: Choose One

Masterminds, Bum B and QueenieA great conversation can draw you in so that you not only can see someone else’s perspective but also provide clarity for your own motives and beliefs.  Being able to have those conversations in a forum where you feel free to share and open enough to respect other’s opinions is one of the ways we can unplug and genuinely reconnect to others around us.  In this manner conversations can inspire growth in a way few forms of communication can mimic.  At last week’s Art of Conversation, the masterminds challenged everyone to think of the old order of Money, Power, Respect and give their perspective on how to choose one and the risk that comes from making that decision.

Money, Power, Respect has become an American standard on how to get the life you want.  It is what we see on TV and read in books and sing along to in music.  But is this really the right order to obtain the things you want in life?  To be sure money does a great deal in both attaining a certain level of comfort to your life and because of it is the first goal that many people often set for themselves.  Once you have it you certainly can buy a certain lifestyle or things that you want but you can never buy the hearts and minds of people with money alone.  So where do you focus to get to where you want to be to have a life that has it all or is that even possible??  Indeed the answer to that question is personal to us all.  With every start of the pursuit comes the opportunity to earn all three.  A job, for instance, gives you the ability to make money but also garner power over your assignments and respect of your peers.  By working to empower others, but just use your power over them and to receive respect by giving respect you can work to balance not just money power, respect, but how your own value system.

The great things about the conversation is that you don’t have to completely agree with someone else to get in on it.  At Thursday’s event we welcomed Bum B, a Houston and rap legend, to share in the conversation.  Hearing from someone who has seen it all it gave some real perspective on the fact that balancing the three is something that many don’t even aspire to and the perils that come in the fall when your whole focus is on just one.  The truth is that in balancing the three it can be easy to lose the other two with all your focus on one thing.  It’s why we see people with money become disrespectful such as Kanye West or people with power abusing it.  What’s your take on Money, Power, Respect???

Make sure to stay tuned to the next installment for the Art of Conversation on December 20th.