For me, December has always been about tradition. A holiday hustle of buying and making gifts, decorating my apartment and my parents' house, constantly ensuring the scent of balsam or freshly baked goods hangs in the air, and belting jazzy Christmas carols at the top of my lungs, regardless of how terrible I sound.
Suddenly, December is upon us, and things feel different (and not in a socio-political, the-world-is-a-garbage-fire way). Change and opportunity are in the air along with scent of those piney boughs and notes of passionately sung carols this year. I'm perched on the edge of something big, but I'm running towards the edge, and just like those ten lords in "The 12 Days of Christmas," I'M LEAPING.
This month's mood board includes LOTS of colors and sequins / sparkly goods. Now, more than ever, I am reminded to live boldly and authentically. Color used consciously radiates deliberate vibes out into the world. Sparkles, in the form of jewels or sequins, reflect light and turn people into glimmering constellations. Confidence, boldness and love seem to be necessary to achieve that authentic glow, and I'm rising to that challenge. I say, bring on the paillettes, the tiaras, the crystals and let's get glowing.
Tracee Ellis Ross:
in white fur: This year TER hosted the AMAs and absolutely SLAYED. She had so many outfit changes I nearly lost count, but one of them was this luxe af Shrimpton Couture coat. Her cheeky side eye over the shoulder slayed me. Her style and her bubbly personality bring me so much joy!
in red: TER recently accomplished one of her life goals: designing and seeing through an entire capsule collection to production. This photo of her in all red was taken at one of the JCP promotional shoots for the collection. Tracee's tearful reaction to seeing her collection for the first time, the "ready for sale, in stores" version, moved me on a fundamental level. I related to her passion and joy so deeply-- I felt so lucky to be partaking in her moment.
in hot pink: This photo of Solange, looking over her shoulder, was shot as a part of a profile being written on her for the New York Times. It's not particularly recent, (as you might know, she's been rocking very short platinum blonde hair as of late) but the composure coupled with attitude in that hot pink bomber jacket perfectly encapsulated the ~vibes~ I've been looking to curate.
in light pink: While it isn't particularly obvious in the mood board, Solange's eyelids are actually coated in crystals / sparkles while posing for this. I loved the way it fit into the theme of "sparkling on the outside" and the way the pinks played with one another. Traditionally, I don't associate pink with either one of the Knowles sisters (rather favoring earth or cool tones for Solange and golds / jewel tones for Beyonce), but it is WORKING.
tiara: Recently I felt the urge to start looking at tiaras. Maybe it was from watching "The Princess Diaries", maybe it was from incessantly searching for copious amounts of sparkly things to wear to Daybreakers (see below), regardless of what caused it, it definitely happened. Suddenly, this Dolce & Gabbana x Swarovski tiara popped up in my Instagram. I squealed so loudly and for such a sustained time that my poor parents darted into the room in a panic, where they found me clutching my phone, eyes wide. In my mind, this meant I had intuited the return of tiaras as a glamorous accessory / now think I predicted the future royal engagement on a subconscious level. Maybe all of this is just nonsense blabber and it is just word association because I talk incessantly about the "Badass Kweenz" (queens < - > crowns)...
purple sequin dress: The moment I saw this dress by Attico, I fell in love with it and all its paradoxes. It's so luxe yet so spunky, so boho, yet so polished! I'm not usually a huge fan of the color purple, but suddenly this electric lavender has me rethinking things. The deep v-neck and high cut leg slit add sexiness, while the long bell sleeves and floor-length skirt tip the scales back towards modesty. A few weeks ago I went to a totally sober morning rave (they're called Daybreakers and they're amazing) and regardless of theme or how overdressed I might have been, I wish I could have worn this dress. I swear there's something about sparkles/sequins that makes me feel like a more fun person / dancer.
bling lips: A true work of art by Pat McGrath. She has got to be the MOST talented makeup artist of our time. This looks like a sculpture / work of art in it's own right, not to mention the fact that it's a livable piece being worn on a human being. Mind boggling!
pink "armor" embroidery dress: This dress by Reem Acra does the amazing double duty of being regal af and also looking a bit like the world's classiest, most glamorous armor ever. If I were to be represented as some sort of warrior queen, this is one of the main dresses that I would like to have in my repertoire. Preferably accompanied some sort of circlet or crown coordinating in style with the draped pearls on the dress' bodice / shoulders.
bling boots: I think everything I need to say about these can be summed up in two short phrases: CRYSTAL-COVERED STILETTO BOOTIES. BY LOUBOUTIN.
ship painting: A few months ago, Architecture Digest profiled Mindy Kaling and her brilliantly colorful home. In it, she has several works by Andy Dixon. Since Mindy and I are soul sisters, and I too am obsessed with color, I immediately sought out Andy and started following him and his work. This ship, it's dynamic sense of movement, and my favorite color palette of all time, caused it call out to me.
surrealist painting: Soooo... Dana Schutz is one of my favorite artists of all time. I discovered her via a New Yorker profile written about her and her somewhat controversial decision to paint Emmett Till. Her work is far more broad, though, and one of the many works that I love is this one called "Breeders". It's got this sci-fi / dystopian vibe to it that I love. Are the pink worm-y things tails? Are they part of the humanoid torsos? Ahhh, I could spend a lifetime pondering her artwork. There's so much color and life and vibrancy to it that resonates with me on this deep, personal level. But I guess that's what truly great art does, doesn't it? It speaks to you on a level that your brain may never comprehend consciously.
millennial pink embroidered sweater + skirt: This line by Alexander McQueen has been getting a lot of traction recently. Jennifer Lawrence was spotted in a similar version of this ensemble (but in black) on the red carpet a month or so prior, and the millennial pink version, especially the cropped sweater, has been popping up in many winter fashion spreads. I was also surprised to see McQueen embark on a considerably "tamer", or at least more classic, style route this season, given the eclectic (yet gorgeous) looks presented on former runways. On a personal note, I'M SO IN LOVE WITH THIS EMBROIDERY. The darker / metallic thread with the light color / "soft" textures have such a dynamic contrast. I've been rocking a J.O.A. embroidered leather jacket a LOT for the past few weeks and I think the similarities resonated with me (pastel to mid-tone embroidery on a black leather jacket-- the combo seems likely to be at odds, yet it works SO WELL).
turquoise suit: This delectably bold suit is by Argent. I discovered Argent when I went chasing down a basketweave blazer that Hillary Clinton wore to accept Planned Parenthood's Champion of the Century Award back in May. Turns out, it's this amazing workwear company started by and for millennial women who want trendy, colorful, practical, professional attire. Who would've thought women want to be comfortable at work and still be able to express themselves through fashion!?! Gah. Sometimes the world baffles and annoys me.
blue sequin dress: This amazing white shift dress that looks like it's been dipped in glittery blue paint / sequins is by Oscar de la Renta. I love the contrast between the simplicity of the lines and the impact of the color and texture.
red liquid lipstick ("stunna" by Fenty Beauty): While lipstick can't provide you with money, housing, food or shelter, I'd like to argue it can still change your life. At the very least, Rihanna's latest release can provide you with insane amounts of newfound swagger and confidence. Stunna is the result of hours of research, trial and error, which has resulted in a shade of red that looks AH-MAZING ON EVERY SKIN TONE. I cannot emphasize this point enough. It's TRUE. At this point, I'm half convinced she's just bottling her own magic. This point was further driven home when I literally became friends with the nurse giving me my pneumonia and flu vaccines because we had a very intense bonding session over my lipstick / how radiant and #inspo-worthy Rihanna is.
pink strapless top w bow: This is actually just the top half of Zendaya's jumpsuit that she wore to this year's Glamour Women of the Year Awards. Let me just say, GURL KNOWS HOW TO SLAY A RED CARPET. This is the second time she's heated things up and "sent millennial pink running for the hills" (cliché, I know, but there are many a blog posts about this very phenomenon, hence the quotes) by wearing a hot pink getup. I love the youthful-yet-polished playfulness that this giant bow brings the jumpsuit. A perfect reminder to humans everywhere that boss ass bitches can be feminine and cheeky as hell, too!
ferns + gold staircase: This was actually part of a larger Giambattista Valli Haute Couture shoot featuring Emilia Clarke in a magnificent floral dress with the most divine train that hung down the staircase in the most dramatic fashion. However, that obviously is not featured, due to an editorial decision on my behalf. To be quite frank, I just wasn't feeling florals this month. Instead, I choose to fixate upon the luxe greens and golds featured in the ferns and staircase in the part of the photo that I did choose to include.
bold bracelets: Leandra has been leaning into the "almost ugly yet not bc they're actually delightful" bracelet trend with a vengeance, put on perfect display in many a ManRepeller Instagram post. Her cheeky use of color and unabashed way of throwing unlikely pairings together make me feel more confident and inspired to do the same. So if you see me pulling out my old bracelet box and piling on the bangles, you know who is to blame...
typography: This month there are several different words / phrases tucked into the piece. Some harken to inside jokes and secret smiles, two are "hat tips" to Kweenz in my life, last is a very straightforward, but semi-transparent, "Badass Kweenz" tucked in near the bedazzled lips (a subtle reference to November's mood board).