and the clouds were made of cotton

Today Dushane and I went to my roof to snap some photos in this fantastically perfect fall weather. Perfect fall weather makes for the best outfits possible, the other seasons should feel shame.

Then we had a little too much fun with the automatic timer...


The Power of a Watch

When Wall Street meets the fashion industry, there's no telling what will come out of it. Really, you couldn't pick two more opposing industries - except perhaps that both value men in beautifully tailored power-suits.

Recently, swimming in a sea of said suits, I attended a party at Tourneau on Madison Avenue. The wine was flowing, the watches were glowing, and holy good god were the brand ambassadors hot. I had the opportunity to chat with Jim Seuss, CEO of Tourneau, who not only talked to me about ventures in re-branding and the premier of the new Devon Tread 1 Watch (below), but personally escorted me to the third floor so I could try the new time piece on for myself.

I died. Not only is this design completely fresh and unique, but it single-handedly (no pun intended!) bridges the gap between Wall Street and the fashion industry...I'd even go so far to say the artsy downtown community. It's a statement. It's trend-setting. It's sexy and sophisticated and bold. It can say "Oh just hanging around the Lehman offices in my elegant watch and Versace suit," or "Oh this watch? Yeah I thought it complimented all of my funky wooden jewelry and bleached out half shaved head."

Does the price bridge the gap as well? Let's ignore that question for now.
Happy shopping!

red red hair

Remember when I said I was gonna dye my hair the color of my bra:

Today I did! Well...close enough anyway :)

Feel free to ignore the makeup smeared all over my face and the bloodshot eyes, I just got home and I've been awake for more hours than I care to think about. But I had to snap a couple of pics with the hair professionally blown out. No way do I have the patience to ever do that on my own.

But RAWR! Red red hair is definitely where I wanna be for now.

Aaaaand passout.


my outfit, your outfit

women with a profound affinity for style don't dress for men... we dress for ourselves. we dress for like-minded women.

...until we meet a man who shares our hunger...then we re-evaluate.



the red lace bra

The nice folks at American Apparel just sent me a package with a few gifts, and in it was the bombest red lace bra ever. Something I've been seeking for quite some time actually. I'm not the type of gal to post half naked pics of myself online, but I still wanted to model it for you - so I had some PG-rated fun with photobooth instead.

Oh, and I maaaay or may not be dying my hair the same color as my bra at the end of next week.


the pendleton + opening ceremony coat

Pendleton is a truly Oregon-based clothing brand: plaids and Native American prints galore in amazing quality wool. The product is a North Westerner's dream and can be seen on the streets (...in the mountains...in the forest...) on everybody from northern Washington to southern Oregon.

I walked by the store the other day and saw this coat, the "Toggle Coat", in the window:
I had to go in and at least try it on. When I looked at the tag, it said Pendleton + Opening Ceremony. Dun dun duuuuuuun!! For those of you who know nothing about Opening Ceremony, what it means in basic retail speak is they essentially have the power to turn an otherwise $350 coat into a $1000 coat just by putting their name on it.

Needless to say I didn't buy the coat.

I feel like this is the fashion equivalent of gentrification - I have been forced from the comfortable woolen home I've always known, and now the retail hipsters are taking over and making something cool out of something that has always gone under the radar. And now I'll never be able to afford a Native American print jacket ever again. Sigh.


the vintage t

Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey t-shirt...perfectly worn in...$3.
Unfortunately - or fortunately - most of my t's look like they're in the same family as this one. I've never really been into strictly regular t-shirts, they're almost too structured for me. So I cut them, I shred them, I tear them - I opt for the tattered, worn in look.

Couldn't resist the weird photo effect - especially the part where it turns my tan belt turquoise.


plaid at night

Visiting the folks in Oregon. Had the opportunity to pick up this little number at the vintage store and snap some pics before sushi with the girls last night. I feel as though I can't possibly go wrong with a plaid, fringed parka.
parka: vintage, chambray: esprit, denim: bdg, belt: zara, shoes: vintage


Street Etiquette - The Fine Art of the Style Blog

I recently had the pleasure of sitting down to coffee with Joshua Kissi and Travis Gumbs, the dapper duo behind the upwardly famous style blog Street Etiquette. The blog is gaining rapid popularity not only due to the creators themselves, but also because of their unique emphasis on clothing detail and historical context. Dubbed by Vogue Italia as single-handedly changing the perception of male urban fashion, these mild mannered young men - barely of drinking age - spoke humbly and thoughtfully about the fashion industry, their favorite midnight snacks and of course, girls. "The attention is nice," Gumbs admits after a charming bit of laughter, "it definitely inspires us to keep going."

Gumbs, originally from the Caribbean island of St. Kitts, is currently a digital marketing major at Baruch College. Kissi, a Bronx native born to Ghanaian parents, left medical school last year and currently works a retail gig. Make no mistake though, Street Etiquette is where their hearts lie. Gumbs and Kissi were both raised in the Bronx, went to high school together in the Bronx, and though they've collected an impressive amount of frequent flier miles to the elusive country we call "The Fashion Industry", they're not about to abandon their roots anytime soon. "Being from the neighborhood, we know we have a responsibility and we definitely don't take that for granted." reflects Kissi. "We know we have to model a certain type of image for the youth - that's where style and character come together."

Mihal Freinquel: Street Etiquette was up and running for about a year before you started posting pictures of yourselves and highlighting your outfits - how did it evolve from an NYC lifestyle blog into a personal style blog?
Travis Gumbs: Before we started blogging we had been contributing to a lot of online forums and built up a following through those. We realized people were digging what we were doing and that's actually what encouraged us to start the blog in the first place. We started off with the standard kind of [lifestyle] blog that everybody was doing - I think it just took us a little while to get enough confidence to actually put on an outfit and post pictures of ourselves.

MF: You guys have garnered a pretty big following. Not only have you been featured in multiple American and international publications, but recently you've started collaborating and consulting with major brands. Why do you think the industry's eyes are on you? Why are people drawn to your opinions?
Joshua Kissi: Our opinions are not what people get from the corporate world. A lot of opinions or campaigns are forced on [the public] through advertising, and people can see through that. From us it's genuine, and people want to listen to a genuine voice. Blogs have thrown off traditional marketing - so now big corporations have to reach out to guys like us if they want to have a real connection with the consumer.

MF: So what would you say your location is within the fashion industry?
TG: We're standing right at the door, mediating between the inside and the outside. I think one of the reasons we've gotten the exposure that we have is because we play every field - we're everywhere and we relate to everybody. Plus our whole upbringing revolved around the street level, so of course it's important to us to stay connected there. We like our position at the door.

MF: Speaking of the street level, let's talk about the style movement in the Bronx. Three of the blogs that I follow are guys who come out of that borough - you two, The Post Cool and Kadeem Johnson's blog, but other than that it seems pretty quiet.
JK: Anybody involved in any kind of style movement in the Bronx is somehow connected. There's no real movement - the area that we're in really hasn't changed at all since the 90's.
TG: We all kind of came together because if you're from the Bronx and you're doing something like we're doing, you stand out way more than you would in, say, Brooklyn...you get lost in the sauce over there.

MF: As many dudes aren't these days, you're both not wearing socks. How do you keep your shoes and feet from getting smelly?
JK: [Laughs] Foot powder!
TG: Lotion.
JK: Or loafer socks, we wear those too. But my feet don't smell bad, they smell like roses.

MF: Last thing you listened to on your iPod?
JK: Jesse Boykins, "Before the Night is Through".

MF: Favorite midnight snack?
JK: Ham and cheese Hotpockets.
TG: Wow, that's nasty. I like Eggo waffles...with syrup.

MF: I agree, totally nasty. Favorite outfit color combinations?
TG: Maroon and olive.
JK: Navy and brown.

MF: How many pairs of shoes do you own?
TG: No clue.
JK: No idea, I stopped counting. I just keep buying! That's one benefit of living at home, I have a whole room that's just dedicated to my stuff.

MF: Ah, so you have a walk-in closet-room...
JK: Yeah I basically have a walk-in closet-room. My parents got tired of all my stuff so they just gave me a room.

MF: Hobbies?
TG: I like to play basketball.
JK: I play several musical instruments - drums, bass, a little piano - most people don't know that about me.

MF: Favorite bloggers?
JK & TG: Jake Davis, Robert I Brown - he's a 16 year old blogger out of New Orleans, pretty much everybody in our circle. In terms of girls: Karla's Closet, His Hers Chicago, Jazzi McGilbert - Jazzi was just featured with us in Essence's 10 Fashion Bloggers You Should Know. There are so many bloggers out there it's amazing.

Luckily for the charismatic fellas of Street Etiquette, the rising popularity of bloggers has helped them in their journey. They were recently guests at several New York Fashion Week shows, crediting G-Star with the most impressive presentation. (Want to know what they wore to the NYFW shows each day? Well it just so happens that GQ chronicled their outfits). But it's not just about outfits with these guys - as exemplified through their blog, style is most significant when examined within a greater social/historical context.

MF: You guys recently posted a video project entitled "The Black Ivy" and it was received with mixed reviews. It seems as though people were either overwhelmingly supportive and appreciative, or hyper-critical of its racial representation.
TG: I think a lot of people lost the message under all of the pictures and video. [People who reacted negatively] didn't get that The Black Ivy is about more than just looking good. The message is about being progressive, about unity and upward mobility, and also paying homage to the past.
JK: The Black Ivy project is an art-form and art is always judged both negatively and positively. I think as long as we're getting people to think, and we're reaching out to them emotionally, that's always a good thing.

Don't forget the names Joshua Kissi (aka Josh or JKissi) and Travis Gumbs (aka Trav). These creative and totally dashing young men are just at the beginning of their adventure. I wish them much success and many, many sharp outfits to come.

All photos courtesy of SE.

asymmetrical silk

The silk patchwork tunic, another gift from the Edun gods.
 It's wonderful in all it's silkiness and asymmetrical glory. No plans to dress this shirt up, give me a pair of jeans and a leather jacket and I'm good to go. The shoes are a recent Jeffrey Campbell addition. Perfect lace-up wedge boots for the self-proclaimed wedge queen.


linen into fall

Yes linen is perfect for summertime, but this Edun linen blend sweater will fully be in my fall rotation.
I had the pleasure of going to the Edun runway show during NYFW, click HERE to see the coverage. They can do no wrong as far as I'm concerned. Their mission: 80% of their product is made in Africa and Edun requires every factory to be audited by a third party on an annual basis to ensure that they follow their strict code of conduct. Mixing fashion with socially conscious politics is pretty dope and definitely worth supporting. I got a couple of things from them so more photos to come...

Oh and you can't totally tell from these pics, but I'm wearing the Topshop Ark Clog Ankle Boots that I posted about HERE.


ARK CLOG ANKLE BOOTS are destined to be on my feet.

This pair of boots is the answer to all my dreams. A chunky ass heel that won't eff up my back or busted ankle (yes, I'm a gramma), a black/brown combo (one of my FAV'S), and a tough but not too tough vibe. Do I indulge in the $160 at Topshop?