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Fashion

Kerry Washington has ruled the red carpet for years and it’s no wonder why. Known for having a style as chic as the infamous DC fixer she plays on her hit TV show Scandal, Washington knows what looks, silhouettes, and shades flatter her best. 

One winning color combination she consistently rocks is black & white and slays it every. single. time.

With bold accents, touches of leather and carefully placed stripes, Washington keeps the look ever vibrant and fresh.

Scroll below to see 28 times Kerry Washington wore black & white and nailed it – and get inspired to make this trend your own.   

    1. Black Leather Gladiator 

2. Poka-dot Princess
3. Cold-Shoulder Catch 
4. Power Plunge   
5. Trimmed Thin6. Grecian Goddess
7. Split Personality 
8. A-list A-line
9. Bold Bandage10. Petal Pusher 
11. Coordinated Caper  
12. Glamour Girl 
13. Lovely Layers 
14. Corset Queen
15. Pattern Party 
16. All Suited Up
17. Spectacular Spots
18. Checkered Chick
19. Plaid Professional
20. Media Model 
21. Structured Separates
22. Fancy Footwear 
23. Radical Romper  
24. Sultry Slip 
25. Boss of Bling26. Gelled Together 
27. Divine Design 28. Power (Pope) Stripes 

-XOXO Charell Star | Not Just A Girl In A Dress 

Image Credits: Instagram/KerryWashington 

Singer, actress and executive producer Jennifer Lopez is taking her shoe game to the next level. The ‘First Love’ songstress has partnered with coveted shoe designer Giuseppe Zanotti on a new capsule collaboration set to launch in January 2017.

 

The new line, called Giuseppe for Jennifer Lopez will feature footwear and accessories. Giuseppe told Vogue online, the line will include “everything you would expect from the both of us – bad-a*s high heels with shapes that are fierce and, of course, have some sparkle!”

Lopez is no stranger to the world of fashion. Besides landing spots on Best Dressed lists for decades, the entrepreneur and designer has been running her own popular clothing label JLO by Jennifer Lopez since 2001.

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Prices for the new collaboration haven’t been announced, but it safe to assume they will be within the current sales prices of Giuseppe shoes ($700 – $2,000). Although, a much higher price point than Lopez’s signature line, she shared:

“I think it goes without saying that like every other girl, I love a killer pair of shoes. Whether I’m walking the red carpet or dressed casually, the right shoes complete my outfit to make me feel beautiful, sexy, and fearless.”

JLO has had a great business sense for years and this collaboration seems like a smart move for both designers. They’ve already teased an image of blinged out stiletto on Giuseppe’s Instagram page, which has me wanting to see more.

We should have known that the On the 6 singer would stop at 5th Avenue eventually.

-Charell Star | Not Just A Girl In A Dress

Is there anything that Beyonce can’t do?

Drop a new surprise single that hits number one and causes America to lose its collective mind and debate the meaning of the rallying cry of “Formation.” Check.

A video posted by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

  Save the Superbowl halftime show and use it as a platform to sell out your 2016 tour within hours.  Check.  

A photo posted by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

Break the internet with the release images/video of your new athleisure line, Ivy Park. Check.

A video posted by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

Keep your fans awake till midnight based on a rumor that your album is dropping when the clock strikes 12. Check.  

Have your sleep-deprived fans still love you when that album doesn’t drop and keep them enthusiastically guessing on when you’ll share your musical genius. Check.

We’re only four months into the year, but 2016 is already shaping up to be one of the biggest for Queen Bey. After spending nearly two decades climbing to the top of the music, fashion and business world; the Irreplaceable songstress continues to prove that her marketing prowess is second to none.

Part of the reason Beyonce is so great at marketing is she knows that in business sometimes less is more and everyone loves a good surprise.

She keeps tight control over every aspect of her business – from album release dates to press photos – and only allows a few media interviews a year. Overkill? Maybe, but this type of control works because we (her fans) know – that when she does make an announcement/release a song/drop an album – it will be good.

Beyonce’s ability to upend traditional marketing tactics works because she has built a reputation as an artist that only delivers the best to her fans. And, she continues to build on that reputation with each new project she releases.  Beyonce doesn’t phone it in and is reliable. And, it means that we tune in when she has something to say.

Of course, not everyone can inspire legions of fans to lose sleep based on the rumblings of a new release, but every entrepreneur and professional can aim to build a reputation based on quality and reliability.

When people know you consistently deliver substance they are more likely to turn in when you have something to say.

Beyonce may be the queen of marketing and by following her strategy of building a stellar reputation and managing it closely, you can be too.

-XOXO Charell Star | Not Just A Girl In A Dress

H&M has just announced the release of its 2016 Conscious Exclusive Collection, which launches on April 7. The collection features dresses, skirts, tops and accessories made from organic silk, hemp, recycled linen and Tencel® blends as well as beads and rhinestones made from recycled glass and Denimite − a material made out of recycled worn-out denim.

This is the third year that H&M has created a sustainable fashion line and this year’s capsule collection takes its romantic-styled inspiration from the Louvre in Paris.

Check out the complete 2016 Conscious Exclusive Collection below:

-XOXO Charell Star | Not Just A Girl In A Dress

Singer, songwriter and entrepreneur Sean “Diddy” Combs just launched his first girls’ fashion line under his label, Sean John. The pastel and geometric rich line will be carried by Macy’s starting in February and was inspired by his daughters Jessie, D’Lila, and Chance Combs.

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“My girls have been a continued inspiration in all that I do so it only made sense to create a collection with them in mind” said proud papa Combs.  SS16SJ Girls_cfox_1157

 

The Sean John Girls’ collection features shirts, shorts, A-line printed dresses, and rocker moto jackets for Girls sizes 7-16 and range in price from $35.00-$100.00.

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Combs first entered the children’s fashion market in 2000, with the Sean John Boy’s collection and has featured the sons of celebrities in his marketing campaigns including the sons’ of NBA stars Lebron James and Carmello Anthony.

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It makes sense that Combs is expanding his foothold in the kids clothing space considering the global market for children’s wear is expected to hit $173 billion in 2017.

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With that kind of money on the table Diddy may want to update his favorite saying to, “bad kids for life.”

-XOXO Charell Star | Not Just A Girl In A Dress

With women starting more that 1,288 new companies each day, it is no wonder that they’re rewriting the rules on business and success. Dress For Success (DFS), the international organization that helps women gain economic independence through mentorship, job training, financial literacy and professional attire, is making sure that the women writing these new rules get to share their lessons with those outside the boardroom.

The revered, non-profit provided a lively and engaging atmosphere for these hard-won business tips to be passed on during its recent empowerment breakfast held at the Rainbow Room in New York City.

Crowd Shot 4- Women Helping Women 2015

The annual Women Helping Women fundraising event brought together some of the top female leaders (and a few amazing men) in business to network, encourage and celebrate key professional achievements.

Francine Royan, Marise Tenenbaum, Stephanie Hinton, Christina Cotterell (DFS Client), Gail van Brugge, Sue Kim + Moon Kim from Gail van Brugge - Women Helping Women 2015
Francine Royan, Marise Tenenbaum, Stephanie Hinton, Christina Cotterell (DFS Client), Gail van Brugge, Sue Kim + Moon Kim from Gail van Brugge – Women Helping Women 2015

The Power Breakfast included an amazingly informative empowerment panel hosted by NBC’s Erica Hill. The panelist – designer Norma Kamali, BaubleBar cofounder Daniella Yacobovsky and Equinox’s president Sarah Robb O’Hagan – discussed their journeys and ways women are advancing in the workplace.

Norma Kamali, Daniella Yacobovsky, Joi Gordon, Erica Hill + Sarah Robb O'Hagan - Women Helping Women 2015
Norma Kamali, Daniella Yacobovsky, Joi Gordon, Erica Hill + Sarah Robb O’Hagan – Women Helping Women 2015

This was not my first time attending the Women Helping Women breakfast, so I knew the room was in for a treat. The panelists, event honorees and DFS CEO Joi Gordon did not disappoint and left everyone feeling inspired, uplifted and ready to conquer the day.

Wasidah Francois, Joi Gordon and Charell Star
Wasidah Francois, Joi Gordon and Charell Star – Women Helping Women 2015

There were a ton of juicy business tidbits and knowledge dropped in the room, but I narrowed the mornings’ tips down to the top five success lessons that would apply to professionals everywhere seeking to get ahead.

Jessica Coppola - Women Helping Women 2015
Jessica Coppola – Women Helping Women 2015

Here are 5 lessons on success from the Women Helping Women Breakfast that you should apply to your professional life right now:

You Have to Do More Than Want It

Panelist Daniella Yacobosky of BaubleBar shared, “my mind is 24/7 thinking about BaubleBar. It is not uncommon for me to wake up at 4 o’clock in the morning and say, ‘Oh my God, I have an idea.’” Her co-CEO even texted her while she was in labor, “that she had a new idea.” While I am not co-signing on being so work driven that you can’t sleep or check-out during child-birth, I recognize that lesson of needing to commit on a deeper level to your goals. Wanting to be successful is one thing. Dedicating yourself to it (within reason) is another.

Time to Unwind and Recharge is Required

The burnout struggle is real. As driven and dedicated to reaching your goals as you are; you need to be equally committed to allowing yourself time to decompress and recharge. The bosses of BaubleBar impose a required week-long company shutdown the last week of December to allow their employees to unwind. “We want people to take a break, to power down, be with family, friends and loved ones, to lie on the beach, to go skiing, to just sit in your room and stare at a wall and not be bothered,” said Yacobosky. You cannot be stellar at your job over the long-term, if you do not take time away from it.

There’s a Difference Between Donating and Investing

Dress For Success CEO, Joi Gordon reminded everyone that there is a difference between making a donation and making an investment. Supporters don’t just give time and money to DFS; they make investments in the women that the organization serves; knowing that their will be a positive return on their investments. The same should be true of your professional expenditures. The time and energy that you spend in your career should be an investment in not only you but in the lives of others.

It’s Ok to be Competitive

Equinox’s president Sarah Robb O’Hagan reminded the room that being competitive is ok. “I used to be in denial but I finally realized I’m in a competition with myself. It doesn’t occur to me that there are other people around me that I’m competing with. It’s all about what I want to do and how I’m going to get there.” Being unafraid to challenge yourself is a requirement, if you want to break barriers and create an impact. You can learn a lot by pushing yourself and reflecting on really matters to you.

We’re More Powerful Together

One of the events highlights, was the speech from Columbia University graduate Jessica Coppola. A DFS success story, Coppploa shared her personal challenges and how her she has moved her life forward since walking through the doors of Dress For Success. She is now part of DFS’ Professional Women’s Group and is helping other women like her, gain financial independence. Copploa reminded the room that with success comes the responsibility to help others get to where you are. The more people that do that, the easier the journey becomes.

à bientôt

Charell Star | Not Just A Girl In A Dress

*Photo Credits – Ilya Savenok

Most people know actress Rebel Wilson for her comedic turns as “Brynn” in Bridesmaids and “Fat Amy” in Pitch Perfect, but she has been an entrepreneurial force to watch for more than a decade.  The Australian native started making noise in 2002 in Sydney, when she wrote, starred in and produced a popular musical, The Westie Monologues. So, she not only created the show, but she figured out how to fund it as well.

Wilson has most recently brought that creative business ingenuity to her partnership with plus-size retailer, Torrid. The Rebel Wilson Collection, which is on sale now, puts Wilson’s, “unique style and personal loves into the clothing.” The collection includes 30 pieces and runs from $16.50 – $98.50.

Rebel Wilson Collection 1

The comedy boss was clear on why she opted to partner with the American retailer on her first fashion line. “I’ve had a ‘torrid’ affair with buying clothes all my life,” said Wilson. “I’ve never really felt like there’s a brand out there in the plus size world that is creating cool stuff, that fits well and is good quality yet affordable. It’s really only been in the last few years that I’ve seen companies try. So it was awesome to team with Torrid, who I think are doing such a great job in making plus size fashion relevant and dope.”

The Collection of loose tops, fitted dresses, accented pants, and statement jewelry is colored in blacks, whites and greys and looks comfortable, happy and chic – which is how many people would describe Wilson, herself.  Rebel Wilson Collection 2

Wilson’s sense of style, business savvy and determined spirit resonates with millions of women of various sizes, not just those 12-28. She has brought the “Rebelution” to the fashion industry and it will be exciting to watch her line (and Wilson) take over.

– à bientôt

Charell Star | Not Just A Girl In A Dress

One of the biggest recent tech announcements came not from the scions of Silicon Valley, but from the [web] pages of Vogue Magazine. The Met Gala, chaired by godmother of fashion Anna Wintour, announced the theme of the 2016 Ball: Fashion in the Age of Technology. The annual, $25,000-a-ticket affair is one of fashion’s biggest nights of the year and serves as the annual fundraising event to benefit the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City.

So, for tech to play the starring role at the Gala is a pretty big deal.

Source: Instagram
Source: Instagram

The fashion and tech industries have been courting each other for a while now. Wearables like Google Glass (RIP) and smart watches have been showing up on Fashion Week runways for the last few seasons. Designers are ready to stab each other with sparkly stilettos to be the one with the hottest iWatch band or phone case design. And that’s not to mention tech’s introduction of smart clothing into our closet rotation with fabrics that cool the body, wick away sweat and monitor your heart rate.

It looks like the feisty fashionistas and boys from the valley are ready to make their civil union official with a fairytale wedding next May. It’s about time. People were starting to talk.

Source: Twitter
Source: Twitter

But, before you start imagining what their future collaboration will spawn – personal 3D printers that print the latest kicks at the push of a button, affordable self-sewing machines that can stitch an entire dress in a hour, startups that will lend you a wardrobe for an entire season –  instead question if this union will stick in the long-run.

Will an industry built on apprenticeships and a working your way up from intern model be willing to play house with an industry built on an ask-forgiveness-not-permission culture? Following the rules isn’t Silicon Valley’s strong suit and Fashion Avenue isn’t known for its fast innovation (DVF has been selling the same wrap dress for 40 years, after all).

So, will this marriage be a paper wedding or will each partner bring their best to the relationship?

Vogue Image 1
Source: Instagram

Fashion could desperately use some of that challenge authority spunk to make improvements in its manufacturing process and chain (reduce its carbon footprint and bring some production elements back to the US) and tech could urgently use some of that debutant charm to learn how to play within the system (eliminate wage law violations and improve relationships with government officials). Both industries are already stellar at making their individual offerings as revered like art in the minds of consumers. Maybe the best is yet to come.

Apple is the 2016 sponsor of the Met Gala and the accompanying exhibit that will be displayed at the event and it is anyone’s guess what Cupertino wonders they’ll unveil. Will they surprise and delight their new in-laws (yes, please) or try to blend in with the old society crowd (I really hope not).

Whatever happens on May 2 as these industries come together for a spectacular night, it will set the tone for how they create together in the near future. Hopefully, they realize that they can do amazing things together and consumers are ready for them to make the future reality, now.

– à bientôt

Charell Star | Not Just A Girl In A Dress

Featured Image Source: Twitter

If you were in a coma last season, you totally missed the turning point when Fox’s hit show Empire became a cultural phenomenon. The Dynasty-esq musical drama did something no show has done in a long time – inspired people to want to go home and watch TV as the show was airing. Empire transformed Thursday evenings at 9PM into can’t miss TV (or Empire Thursdays). That is a huge accomplishment in a world increasing dominated by cable cord cutters and “I’ll catch it later” Hulu-subscribers.

Empire also set download records on iTunes with its emblematic songs and brought business lexicon to water-cooler conversations across the country. The show also upped the ante on business style and fashion in general. Cookie’s look (played by amazing actress Taraji P Henson) has become iconic in such a short time captivating the minds of women and the fashion community. So much so, that Saks Fifth Avenue recently announced a fashion Collaboration with the show.

Empire Saks 3This fall, Saks will feature a special collection of fashion items inspired by the show for sale in its New York and Beverly Hills flagship stores and store windows. The collection will include women’s ready-to-wear from Cushnie et Ochs, women and men’s footwear from Jimmy Choo, and jewelry and accessories from Alexis Bittar and MCM. The collection launches on September 10, just in time for the Empire season premiere on September 23 at 9PM EST (of course).

So, far the collaboration looks great and I’ll be excited to see what items they introduce as the season gets started.

 

à bientôt

Charell Star | A Girl In A Dress

Serena 3The word triple-threat should have Serena Williams image next to it in the dictionary. The athlete, business mogul and fashion designer aces everything she puts her mind to. Her Serena Williams Signature Statement Collection debuted at Fashion Week last fall and is currently available on HSN. The ready-to-wear collection ranges from $19.95 – $69.95 and includes a host of colorful tops, skirts, dresses and slack.

Serena 2NY Mag featured Williams as the covergirl on its August 10 issue and spent some time with her on-set of her most recent HSN fashion showing. The busy entrepreneur hasn’t declared retirement from tennis (yay), but is building out the next stage of her professional life for when she is ready to put down the racket.

 

Serena 1I’ve loved the Williams Sisters since the first day I picked up a tennis racket. As I was learning to play the game, Venus and Serena were dominating the courts and winning match after match without breaking a sweat. Their style of play made me a fan, but their courage made me a supporter. The way they have dealt with insults and indignities over the years – from the name to the unequal opportunities – is what has made them truly champions. They made the sport better by being a part of it.

Serena may be figuring out her post-tennis move, but professionals everywhere should be taking notes. She (and her sister) are great examples of the old adage: “It doesn’t matter if you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.” (Ok, but it is also awesome that she won, a lot). I’m looking forward to seeing her bring that style of play to the fashion world.

à bientôt

Charell Star | A Girl In A Dress