29 April 2008


Posts have indeed been very infrequent for the past week or two. That is soon to change. I just completed my BSc/Honors Thesis which has kept me locked up, typing away on the effects of hypertension and hypotension on frontal-executive functioning (a type of cognitive ability like memory) in middle-aged African Americans. I'm happy with the work I've produced and shall soon be rewarded for my efforts with an Ipod Touch... YAY!!! Well, that's the rumor going around the Honors Program and I'm praying there's more than an ounce of truth to it.

Anyway, Chike-Ikechi will soon be back in effect. Sorry again for the lethargic posting, but it is soon to change.

25 April 2008

WASHINGTON, DC -- At School...Tribal Chic, Howard University

Summer is literally at our door step, knocking and wanting to be let in. The transition into a season that boasts a plethora of looks, colors, and moods can be an easy surmount for some and difficult for others. Trends may help frame how you should approach the upcoming season, but if you have a confident, personal style then working those trends into a unique concoction will be no problem. Take the lovely lady above (she's a familiar face). This has got to be the most creative take on the tribal/ethnic trend that's set to blossom this summer. The layered bracelets and necklace adds a bold, textural contrast to warm colors that define summery, ethnic look.

But please peep her stockings! By incorporating a very original take on the animal skin prints, she goes above-and-beyond the routine tribal look. The run-of-the-mill snake skin clutch or shoes is the safest bet for most, but she opts otherwise and executes it brilliantly!

23 April 2008

WASHINGTON, DC -- Street Beat...Tailored and Traditional, Kenilworth Avenue, NE

Owing to his slender physique, I love how he has gone for a more form-fitting presentation with his traditional ware (i.e., agbada) thus exposing the intricacies of the lace material and the tailoring. The agbada is usually worn with a very flowing, wide-sleeved robe that functions more for show than for ease of wear. We see here he's gone for the latter. The shoes are an added love!

22 April 2008

WASHINGTON, DC -- At School...Corduroy as Seasonal Mainstay and Eco-Friendly Option, Howard University

Today is World Earth Day and the global community's heightened awareness of the Earth's environment could not coincide better with the flurry of interest being generated around eco-friendly fashion. Environmentally sensitive fabrics and production techniques are the new rave in these eco-fashion circles. Advocating these eco-friendly clothes/brands is one way to support the movement or one can simply adopt a frugal approach in how they meet with fashion and choose to define their style.

Even in the spring months, we see here that corduroy is still rearing its head proudly. Corduroy can be differentiated according to the width of its cord or the "wale." Finer-wale corduroy (as pictured above) is not too stuffy and can be transitioned into more temperate weather conditions. Nonetheless, corduroy's durability has made its use to be largely reserved for slightly nippier climates. However, the disordered, up and down nature of weather this year is an indicator that the environment is in a phase of change. As a result of the erratic weather, the corduroy fabric is becoming a mainstay look throughout much of the year sans the extremely warmer and humid months of summer. Experimenting with corduroy fabrics during the not so cold months of the year is not completely taboo (as previously thought) since it is a great way to maximize on the fabric's sturdiness and also practice conservation when it comes to our wardrobe. Let's face it, predicting a stretch of consistent weather has been tough to come by of late so safeguarding oneself against the elements à la corduroy is not a bad start.

It's not reserved for the wintry months. A navy cotton henley corduroy jacket makes an all to unfamiliar appearance in DKNY's 2006 Spring/Summer collection.

Photo: Marco Madeira (men.style.com)

WASHINGTON, DC -- At School...Architectural and Colorful, Howard University

16 April 2008

WASHINGTON, DC -- At School..Blue Planet, Howard University

Men.Style.com just issued their Spring 2008 trend reports and this young gentleman struck me as a perfect fit for this emerging Blue Planet look that is steadily creeping up at mens runway shows. His outfit definitely exudes an aquatic-theme (à la boat shoes) that makes me literally want to go deep-sea diving or hop aboard a cruise filled with stylish denizens the world over. On second thought, maybe thats too much blue to handle.

WASHINGTON, DC -- At School...Ms. Bintu Kabba, Howard University

If you know Ms. Bintu Kabba, then you are well-aware of her position on Howard University's campus as one of the most lauded students when it comes to possessing an extremely polished sense of style. As we can see, Ms. Kabba is not intimidated in the slightest when it comes to experimenting with color palettes.

On this note of color, I've been tinkering of late about the similarities that are shared between African dress and that of the culture that surrounds African American dress. Ms. Kabba is from Sierra Leone, but spent most of her formative years in Philadelphia so to me her perspective of dress is figurative of both cultures. I've seen her fashion lovely, multihued African lace ensembles and at the same time very modish, Western-influenced pieces that are nothing short of vibrant when paired together.

So I ask you this? What is the difference between the vibrant colors that adorn African lace, ankara, or kente cloth fabrics and those that are consciously mixed and matched resplendently in a style definitive of todays contemporary African American youth? The fabrics may not be similar, but owing to the African ancestry common to both cultures, there is a shared aim that can be seen in the affinity towards embracing energetic color schemes in ones dress.

I'm just pondering for future projects, but in the mean time enjoy what Ms. Kabba has to offer!

15 April 2008

WASHINGTON, DC -- At School...The Boots - Part 2, Howard University

I'm kind of over the keffiyeh craze (actually, I was never really on it) so that's not what drew me to capture this shot. Yes, the keffiyeh/scarf is a lovely accessory, but these days the eccentricity of ones scarf is what will save the individual from being branded as too cliché.

So what had me spellbound you may be asking? (1) The cowboy boots and (2) the creased jeans. These are two elements of style that are both audacious and not too often attempted by the weary-hearted. Moreover, they work hand-in-hand in complementing the overall ensemble. The creased jeans is a trend that is popping up of late and we see here how its utility helps in revealing the rustic elegance of the boots. If in the event he had chosen not to exercise some sort of amendment to the length of the jeans, the boots would have been hidden and the visual transition from the jeans to the boots would have been a far cry from pleasant with its crumpled appearance.

The nice fit of the leather jacket is an added aesthetic bonus!

14 April 2008

WASHINGTON, DC -- At School...Eyewear is my Specialty, Howard University

I love how he kept his accessories consistent with the illustrations on the t-shirt. Whether it was a conscious attempt or not bemuses me.

WASHINGTON, DC -- At School...Friday on the Yard, Howard University

WASHINGTON, DC -- Street Beat...Michael & Kingston, Sherman Avenue, NW

Yes, this is Mr. "Blue Velvet Pants" himself from the Midnight Marauders post! I hope this look makes you equally as happy.

13 April 2008

WASHINGTON, DC -- Street Beat...Muted and Loud, 17th Street, NW

I really love the mellow blends of pastel colors, but the move to punctuate it all with a rather vivid, multicolored ascot (in the day time, mind you) is truly a bold, fearless statement.

WASHINGTON, DC -- Street Beat...Howard University Bison Ball, Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center

9 April 2008

WASHINGTON, DC -- At School...Psychedelic Paisley, Howard University

Of late, finding an individual who is striking out daringly with their sense of style has been tasking.

Part of it may be due to some unsinspiring weather that has hit The District. Another is owing to my busy research/graduation schedule. Outside of fashion, my other alter ego is that of a scientist immersed in neuroscience, psychophysiology, and dealing with cardiovascular disease epidemiology from these two frameworks. I'm in the process of writing up/completing my honors thesis!!!

But science aside, I was relieved when I ran into this young lady. The colors represented on her paisley patterned blouse excited my sensory palette from across the room. I'm not sure where she got the blouse from, but its vibrant, warm colors instinctively made me think of the desert-swept, semiarid topography of Persia where the paisley motif draws its roots from.

WASHINGTON, DC -- At School...A Hint of Floral, Howard University

Spring must really be in the air. The floral pattern on the tie in addition to its stark juxtaposition with an entirely black suit lends a relaxed, playful feel to the look. Also I must call to attention the nice fit of the suit. For my male collegiate peers here at The Mecca, this is how a suit is to be worn--fitted and not 2-3 sizes bigger than you. I'm not a big fan of three button suits (I'm a short chap so they look rather long on me plus a great deal of three-button suits are worn in a Bernie Mack, oversized style), but the fit makes me overlook that.

In order to replicate this fit and overall look, the lovely folks over at GQ and Men.Style.com put together a "How To Buy A Suit" guide.

8 April 2008

WASHINGTON, DC -- At School...Those Earrings, Howard University

Fashionably speaking, the spring/summer months are looking to be fruitful and full of color once this shoddy east coast weather clears up. In meantime, earrings like these give us that glimmer of hope for the better days to come.

3 April 2008

WASHINGTON. DC -- At School...Casual Plaid, Howard University

Yes, we often yearn for that complete look coupled with the overall wowing feeling, but at times settling for subtle "ooh's" and "ahh's" can be just as fulfilling. In my opinion, sometimes it is the individual items and how their worn that can edify you the most on style as opposed to mirroring an entire Marc Jacobs runway ensemble item-for-item. Training your eye to pick out what works, what doesn't, and what is expressive of your person safeguards you from coming across as a runway replica with no sense of individuality.

With that being said, plaid is experiencing a renewed resurgence in fashion. Regardless, I've always been smitten by the pattern. I spent some time playing football (i.e., soccer) in Scotland so I became a real sucker for plaid and the whole Scottish culture (haggis is a scrumptious dish)! Despite teetering on an almost everyday feel, the plaid colors above are bold and enthusiastic and give off that mood of reverence to heritage that defined the early Pringle of Scotland collections.

Pringle of Scotland, Fall 2005

Photo: Marco Madeira (men.style.com)


Hello folks...I know the posts have been coming in rather slow of late. Well it's all for a good cause! I've been tied up a wee bit with an article I was writing for a dear friend of mine--Dammie--who is the brains behind Fashion Africa. She is honestly a pioneer in my eyes in actively trying to espouse everything that embodies African culture, in particularly the fashion. Do check out Fashion Africa as it offers a wealth of information to its readers on fashion from an enriching African perspective.

Again, persue through all that Fashion Africa has to offer and check out the write up on "Labo Ethnik," a universal fashion showroom held exclusively for African designers during Paris Fashion Week.

Love you Dammie!