Category Archives: Fashion

Moving on the Wires: Futuristically Ancient T-Shirts


Hey everyone,

I just wanted to officially announce on my blog that I started a t-shirt campaign on Teespring. I am testing out this idea for maybe a future t-shirt or merchandise line. My idea is to include my logo or the associated names of my blog (A Future Ancient, etc.) in different designs and a memorable quotation from well-known voices. There are nine days left to get a shirt, but even if I don’t reach past my goal, I will try again with other looks. Below is the current t-shirt with the logo and the quotation from Amiri Baraka I feature on my blog, and some possible quotations I would use in the future. Let me know if there are others you would like included.

Futuristically Ancient T-Shirts

Futuristically Ancient T-shirts Continue reading Moving on the Wires: Futuristically Ancient T-Shirts

Advertisements

Behind the Mask: Interview with DOPEciety’s Denisio Truitt


Fulani T-shirt

Recently, at MoCADA‘s Soul of Brooklyn Launce and Concert, I was introduced to Denisio Truitt’s line, DOPEciety, which she described as afrofuture apparel. I was intrigued and so I interviewed her to find out the inspiration for her line and her plans for it. Read below:

1) How did you become interested in fashion and how did you start your clothing line, including creating its name? Who or what are some of your fashion inspirations?

My mother loves to tell the story of how I used to raid her closet at eight and nine years old and cut up her clothes to make outfits for myself.  Eventually she taught me how to sew clothes for my dolls and then for myself. I’d have to say though I only really took an interest in fashion a little after college. I was artistically blocked (I’m a former English and Studio Art Major), so creating outfits and clothing became a different medium for self expression. I used to make little one-off t-shirt designs for myself, and people started commenting that they loved them, so I decided spring of 2013 to launch my own t-shirt company. The DOPEciety name is a contraction of “dope” and “society”. The idea for the name, like many of the designs I create, is meant to evoke a sense of duality of being both gritty and high society.

Continue reading Behind the Mask: Interview with DOPEciety’s Denisio Truitt

Behind the Mask: Shakilla’s Visionary Loc Scultping


Covers of Bad Hair Uprooted by Mireille Liong of Going Natural featuring Shakilla

Recently I was part of Going If you would like Natural’s 10th anniversary photoshoot event at Afropunk and my hair was styled by a gifted hair stylist and jewelry maker Shakilla, who calls herself a loc sculptor, and her work is filled with truly divine masterpieces. Her styling business, A Manifestation of a Vision, is filled with her unique visions that she recently realized uses mathematics as well to structure the designs. The entire week and half I wore her design, I was like a mini-celebrity and even received comparison to a few characters in sci-fi films and shows. I was happy to be part of her first photoshoot to showcase her work and push her business out there more. If you would like to have your hair done by Shakilla, this is her number – 917-573-9937- and tell her I recommended her! Check out the pics below:

Continue reading Behind the Mask: Shakilla’s Visionary Loc Scultping

Rewind: Dapper Ladies


Currently, when we think of a black woman artist who showcases an androgynous or gender-bending look, we think of Janelle Monae. But, before Monae, other black women have challenged gender coding and in less accepting times, and possibly with less conventionally attractive features. Black women doing gender-bending often received less attention than when it is black men who do it, but it is just as important to highlight it as one way black women confront a world that can be sexist, misogynistic, misogynoiristic, and LGBTQ-phobic. This is a way of showing your womanhood and black female sexuality through a traditionally masculine mask, even as society already declares you as too masculine to be feminine or attractive. These woman were groundbreaking in their own right and paved the way for artists like Monae to do her thing. Let’s take a look at other ladies who have broke the mold in the past:

1) Gladys Bentley: If you study deeply into the Harlem Renaissance, you will come across that several of the major creative people were not heterosexual, like Langston Hughes, but that is often suppressed. One known figure was Gladys Bentley, a lesbian, cross-dressing singer and pianist of the 1920s. She was out and proud as a lesbian, known as the bulldagger of the Harlem Renaissance, and was known for her top hats, coat tails and suits.

However, during the McCarthy Era, she feared for her life and family, so she forced “back into the closet,” so to speak, and supposedly fabricated a story of being cured of lesbianism, returning to the church, and marrying a man. Still today, she is celebrated for her bravery in an era that was not comfortable with black women (or woman in general_ expressing themselves in such a manner. Ms. Magazine did a piece comparing her to Monae. Several people have paid tribute to her:

*Rapper and poet Shirlette Ammons dedicated an album to her, Twilight for Gladys Bentley, which you can listen to below.

Continue reading Rewind: Dapper Ladies

Moving on the Wires: Colored Girls Hustle Hard Mixtape and Afro Aliens Video Premiere


After watching their Colored Girls Hustle videos, I wanted to give special highlight to these two women and artists, Taja Lindley and Jessica Valoris  and their Colored Girls Hustle artistic creations, including jewelry, poetry and music. I am definitely attracted to their positive message and mission of self-affirmation and self-expression for women of color, whether through physical adornment of jewelry, through their creative and world-building passions or uplifting other women.

Currently they are fundraising on Indiegogo for their Colored Girls Hustle Hard mixtape. Also, on Wednesday at the Caribbean (yay!) restaurant, Dee and Ricky’s, in Brooklyn, they will premiere the first single video for “Afro Aliens” (some of the behind the scenes you can see at the end of the campaign video). Here is their headline for the event:

“Afro Aliens call us weird. Traveled through the galaxy and we landed here. Xigga.

Brooklyn is a planet and we’ve landed.

Break the boxes of normalcy. Embrace your quirky, weird, queer, alien, extraterrestrial selves and come through to our “Afro Aliens” video premiere event. Peep the event on Facebook.”

Continue reading Moving on the Wires: Colored Girls Hustle Hard Mixtape and Afro Aliens Video Premiere

Rewind: My Interview with Jane Odartey


A while ago I interview my friend Jane Odartey on this blog, and since then her accessory and clothing shop, Mawusi, has grown a lot, so here is an updated version of the interview I did with her:

Jane Odartey is one of my friends from college. She is also a photographer, poet, and funny, too. Here is my interview I did with her:

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Thanks so much for featuring me on your wonderful blog, Reese!

Home used to be Ghana, then I moved to NY because my Ma had made it her new home. I value simple things, like strong laughter, good friends who would tell you about the spinach between your teeth, and people who would laugh with you even when the crowd around you look down their noses at your “lack of civilization.” I love life only because of the people I love. I also find that icecreams and tall glasses of milkshakes are a necessity.

2) When and why did you become interested in poetry and photography?

I used to write poetry when I was bad. I wrote it as an apology to my mother. It felt proper because I came to know poetry in a sandwich of fear; my sixth
grade teacher made sure of that. In my junior year of college I met Prof. Grace Schulman. She convinced me that I ought to give poetry a chance.

Growing up, we took pictures, like, once a year. There was always a need to look perfect for the pictures. It was a real fuss. When I got my very first camera in high school, I wanted to take pictures of things that didn’t matter. I wanted them as they were without any preening. It was, however, in college that I realized my love for the art. I was working on majoring in Business Management and all that calculus was weighing me down so I thought a semester of Basic Photography, would be some sort of therapy; it proved to me more than that.

Read the rest here!

Behind the Mask Interview: Butch Diva


Tiffany and Patra

Since I am doing a Caribbean focus, here is my interview with Tiffany Rhodes, designer of Butch Diva, whose first major patron model for her fashion line (and one of my favorite artists, too) was dancehall queen, Patra. Rhodes’ designs are vibrant and colorful, and look as much fun to be in as it is to look at them. They look like extensions of skin making whoever is in them moving artwork or like Diana turning into Wonder Woman. Take a look at her interview as well as the photos and promo video for her upcoming lookbook. Enjoy!

1) Growing up in Brooklyn, how did fashion in Brooklyn inspire your clothing line? What other experiences influenced your fashion?

I think growing up in Brooklyn influenced my fashion sense because the rawness of it. I was always kind of attracted to the real, raw, DIY sense of style—standing out in a crowd. This came from people in the streets. Trends start in the streets and work themselves up, even in high fashion when you see trends go from street to the runway. I was also influenced by TV, film, music–90s music, and the 80s and 90s in general. I was drawn to films where the female roles were sassy and bold, and empowering. Basically, growing up in that whole era and the fashion trends that came with it.

_
2) Why did you choose spandex as an important fabric in your fashion?

I was drawn to working with spandex ever since high school. It’s flexible, comfortable, and makes women feel RLD_6686like super heroines.

_
3) You also use the phrase “spandex and chaos” to describe your line.
What does it mean?

The story behind it is that a peer designer had dismissed it as “spandex and chaos.” At first I was offended because I didn’t want my work to be categorized in a box. But then, I embraced it because it really did embody what I was doing at that time in terms of specializing in spandex and using bold and colorful prints.

4) Why did you want to incorporate a sense of androgyny yet femininity
in your clothes?

Because I think that realistically that’s what today’s female is composed of. Also, what society considers as masculine tendencies, such as being in charge or having particular roles of power are things you see women doing more of these days. I wanted to represent the change in times by expressing the modern day female.

Continue reading Behind the Mask Interview: Butch Diva