Jay Kay, Lead Singer of Jamiroquai… Style, Soul & Swag

The name Jamiroquai sparks such fond memories of countless good times. Front man of this UK based band, Jason Luis Cheetham, better known as Jay Kay is the reason. I remember when Jamiroquai first launched on the scene in America with the release of Emergency On Planet Earth, it was love at first listen, and what a beautiful journey it’s been ever since. The soulful sound of Jay Kay’s voice along with the funky, eclectic vibe of his band drew me in like a Stylista to Christian Louboutin’s. I was front row and center at his very first performance in Chicago, which was in this little ‘dive.’ It was so intimate, in fact, a few of us in the audience were invited on stage to perform side-by-side the man himself. Memories like these are absolutely priceless, Jay Kay had a way of bringing the audience into his world, as well as each others.

My friends and I never missed a Jamiroquai performance, and when we would leave the respective venue they happened to be performing, we found we had formed a litany of bonds, of course this is no longer the case, the days of enjoying Jay Kay in such intimacy are long gone. With the release of Virtual Insanity from Jamiroquai’s third album Traveling Without Moving, the band catapulted to new heights here in the States.

Jay Kay is known for an array of elaborate hats and headgear, not to mention a quirky take on style choices on stage, while keeping it tasteful, effortless and streamlined off, which is probably another reason I have such an affinity for him…the man’s got a great style sensibility along with serious swag, and his offbeat dance moves are such icing on the proverbial cake. With the thousands of artists in my iPod, Jay Kay is one I haven’t grown tired of after all these years. His music is timeless, soulful and takes me back to a time when life was so much simpler.

This first video, Emergency On Planet Earth, is an oldie, but oh so good, from Jamiroquai’s debut album of the same title.

Stylista Muse-Special Edition

One of my personal favourite segments on Musings Of A Stylista are the Stylista Muse posts. I have such an appreciation for women who make fashion choices based on individual tastes, preferences and personality, versus wearing trends simply because the fashion industry dictates whether it’s “in” or “out.” As much as I love fashion, it is not at all difficult to allow it to become an obsession, coveting every new trend on the horizon. After many years I finally wised up, and kudos to those Stylistas who’ve mastered the art of making fashion their own.

Deanna Lawson is wearing a vintage dress with boutique shoes, and this is further confirmation of my adoration for vintage shopping. This dress looks modern, feminine and effortless with the integration of Deanna’s choice of accessories.

Tanya Diallo wears this tribal print maxi dress very well. The pattern is great with the perfect balance of colour, definitely the ideal dress for a walk along the beach, vibrant city streets or a great summertime al fresco dinner… this dress is so versatile, and apropos for many occasions.

Quiana Grant is wearing a Rag & Bone blazer, top and skirt, the mix of edgy and soft is so appealing to the eye. The pop of colour creates such a seamless look, and these pieces are also great apart from one another as well, which allows Quiana to pair them with other pieces to achieve a completely different look and style.

Nadine Hounkpatin is wearing a vintage mix from Paris, and the flow is like the perfect melody of your favourite song. From Hounkpatin’s hairstyle to her feet, this is such a great illustration of the marriage (albeit polygamous) between relevant pieces to create a fabulous outcome. White shoes are an absolute ‘no-no’ for me, however, this put-together stylista proves they can be done quite well.

I am not one to mix more than three colours at a time, however Ms. Enyinne Owunwanne has helped to change my perspective. I see more than four different colours here and wouldn’t change a thing about how she pieced each together. The jacket is Hayden Harnet, the blouse Heritage 1960 (for which Ms. Owunwanne is the founder), and the shoes are Calvin Klein. The frames, hairstyle, scarf and handbag add so much flavour to this look, Enyinne owns this style.

Courtesy: Essence/Photos: Hannan Saleh

Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2012/2013, Pure Decadence

So here we are in summer, which I couldn’t wait to arrive, and now I’m phening for fall/winter.  Many of the trends for summer (albeit lovely on those opting for them), simply do not fit my personal aesthetic.  I’m not into bright colours, or boots with shorts and dresses, however, I am smitten for luxury fabrics in jewel tones and rich, subdued colour…and I melt for the perfect platform pump.  This is probably the reason my heart rate increased dramatically upon seeing the Louis Vuitton Fall 2012 collection, leave it to Mr. Marc Jacobs to deliver an extravagant show, seasoned with just the right amount of pure flavour.  The man incorporated a train into a runway show… genius.  For all you stylista’s out there, the photos and footage to follow will be no surprise at all, however, for those of you who may not be in the know, I feel it is my civic duty to share a bit of fashion decadence with you…enjoy!

Photos courtesy of IMAX

Summer Fashion For The City

Summertime in Los Angeles is quite delightful.  No matter how hot it may get during the daytime, it cools off substantially by nighttime, which is why many of us keep our fall pieces in rotation year around, and with plenty of dinners al fresco, some nights require stepping it up a few notches.  These lovely stylistas show us how it’s done.

Model Dewi Dreigen keeping it casual with a pop of colour and a few simple additions
Carly top from Weekday // T-shirt from Mango // Coral hotpants from Topshop // Bag from H&M // Boots from Chiara Ferragni

Swedish model Frida Gustafsson dons this cozy sweater, very apropos for a cool summer evening, and achieves just the right amount of edge with accessories.
Boyfriend jeans from Current/Elliott // Burgundy snakeskin mary jane shoes from Zara // Leaf trellis collar from Topshop // Knit from Topshop // Clutch bag with studs from Zara //

Caroline Issa, fashion icon and fashion director of Tank Magazine looks just right for an evening dinner party in this rich, jewel-toned blouse and leopard print skirt.  The green in addition to the animal print translate into fun…we don’t want to be too serious and stuffy for such an occasion.
Animal print skirt from Topshop // Snake skin shoes from Zara // Earrings from Edblad // Shirt from Monki // Floral clutch bag from Zara // Ring from Kum Kum

Couture Nails Hit Just The Right Note For This Songstress

Songstress, Asiah Kosaka, is no stranger to bling, which is why her nails look more like a work of art than the average manicure. Of course, at the moment, average is quite passé when it comes to manicures. Women are spending as much time in the nail salon as the hair salon, yes, hours to achieve the perfectly sculpted nails infused with plenty of creativity. Seems manicures have gone couture, is it simply a fleeting trend or the new staple? Only time will tell. As for Asiah, it’s probably safe to assume, she will surely be forging ahead with vigor on this front, and proud of it.

Asiah hails from Japan where she has performed and launched several albums, she is currently bi-coastal traveling between the Los Angeles and Japan as her career continues to thrive. To learn more about this lovely lady, visit here.

Good Times At Tuscali

Good Times At Tuscali

This past weekend was a very full and eventful one for me, however, the highlight was a dinner party I attended. There is something for everyone here in Southern California, everything from fast-paced city living to the quaint and serene. … Continue reading

Homage To My Dad, Happy Father’s Day!

As I thought about what I’d give my dad for Father’s Day this Sunday, June 18, I continued to draw a blank… one of my best friend’s inspired me to pay homage to my dad via written words, after I read the heartfelt poem she wrote to her father. Take a moment to let your dad, uncle, grandfather or whomever played an integral part in your upbringing know how much he is loved. This is a bit of a deviation from my typical blogging, however, I’ll be back in full swing this Saturday. As for now, here’s to you dad…

My Dear Dad

There are so many special words left unspoken as we go about our lives. Words our parents should hear as time goes by. Dad, I want you to know how special and loved you truly are, even though the distance between us seems so far.
Although we don’t talk every day, I hold you in my heart. The lessons learned so long ago will never depart. You taught me what it means to be a woman of integrity, you taught me how it isn’t necessary to sweat the little things.
When we were growing up, you made sure we had the very best; we always thought we were rich, as we never endured one test. Living in the ‘lap of luxury’ in our home in the ‘burbs, never knowing any problems existed as the world turned.
You always made me laugh and that continues to this day, your sense of humour is so refreshing to me, in every way. I often find myself reflecting on the good old days, sometimes wishing they hadn’t gone away…I know this is impossible, but dreaming is okay.
I love you more than words can express, you were always the coolest dad. You introduced me to the best ‘food for the soul’, as your stereo emitted the chords. Now as time seems to quickly progress, the memories seem all the more precious, I feel like I can connect the dots, to see God’s bigger purpose.
He knew what He was doing when He ordained you to be my dad, and I wouldn’t trade you in for the most valuable riches on this planet.

Happy Father’s Day!!!

Love Always, Donyale Anise Stokes June 2012

What are some of your fondest memories of your dear dad?

Shorts Trend Done Well And Oh So Wrong

Although shorts are all the rage at the moment, they are not necessarily my style, however, I can appreciate a shorts ensemble when done well.  Anais Mali is a great example of this.  There is nothing contrived about the way she is rocking this trend, the look is super stylish with effortless results, and the platform sandal takes it up several notches…

on the flip side, PLEASE do not pair summer shorts in 80 degrees weather with Uggs, and stop justifying this ridiculous trend by saying the fleece insoles keep your feet cool.  I own Uggs for my trips to Chicago and other cold climates during the wintertime, and my feet sweat in them when its 20 degrees, I can’t imagine what is happening in them at a whopping 80 degrees and up.  I thought for sure this trend was over and done, but to my dismay, I am seeing this fashion faux pas sprouting up again as the temperatures heat up.  This is one fashion mishap, which will be the source of much embarrassment, as those who partook reflect back on photos years from now.  I’m not sure if this is just an LA trend, but whatever the case may be, oh happy day when it finally goes away!

Stylista Muse-Special Edition

On the heels of my recent job with Kristin Adams on Catalina Island, it became evident she’d make a great ‘Stylista Muse,’ which spawned this special edition with a bit of a twist. Kristin gave me full rein of her closet and left the styling solely to me. I pieced together a couple of fresh, simple summer looks with accessories, and the results were quite apropos with summer at our doorsteps. It turns out Kristin’s wardrobe expanded that day, as she hadn’t thought of these summer ready combinations…I’d say that’s a win-win scenario. Without further ado, here are the two looks, which will take Kristin from daytime to dinner by candlelight with hubby.

White may be cliche for summer, nevertheless, summer wouldn’t be the same without it. In this first look I coupled this light, cotton tee with embellishments, with these figure flattering , white bootleg jeans.

This ivory and gold bracelet, helped to keep this look streamlined, and is the perfect summer accessory. The ring pictured with it, happens to flow well, and is a very special heirloom piece gifted to Kristin by her lovely mom on the big day she tied the knot.

This slate blue weaved platform completes the look perfectly in it’s simplicity while adding balance. The photo does the colour no justice, as they look black, however, the shade is so unique and flattering in person.

Now to prepare for that romantic dinner, by adding a soft summer blazer with a pop of colour, in preparation for a cool, summer night here in Los Angeles.Since we’ve stepped it up a notch with these dangle earrings, pulling back the hair in this simple ponytail showcases them, while taking this look more toward the romantic and feminine.

An effortless, summer daytime look has been transformed ever so slightly with just a few additions.

Kristin Adams has hosted a variety of shows on USA Network, AT&T U-Verse, G4 and the list goes on, to see a sampling of her work, check it out here. Coming soon, I will be engaging in a one-on-one with Kristin about her favourite fashion and beauty must-haves, career, family and more, so stay tuned.

Embellished white cotton tee: J. Crew/ Jeans: Joe’s/ Blazer: Zara/ Shoes: Maypol/ Earrings: Banana Republic/Bracelet: Soto

Photography: Donyale Anise

One-On-One With B. Luu Owner, Bachmai Luu

After my recent shoot at B.Luu clothing boutique, I sat down with owner, Bachmai Luu to talk fashion.  If you missed the shoot coverage, and would like to see what the day held, click here.

Musings of a Stylista:  When did you realize your appreciation for fashion?

Bachmai Luu:  Growing up as a tomboy, I probably didn’t discover fashion until my junior or senior year in high school, and even now having a store, I still prefer to be in jeans and a tee shirt.

Musings of a Stylista:  When did you decide to begin a career in fashion?

Bachmai Luu:  After receiving my MBA from Pepperdine in 2000, I realized I wanted to work for myself and not be in corporate America any longer.  I then made a decision to go for it without any fear of failure.

Musings of a Stylista:  Clearly, seems like one of the best decisions you could have made.  How long has B.Luu been in operation?

Bachmai Luu:  Since September of 2001

Musings of a Stylista:  Entering into the world of fashion at such a young age did you have a personal fashion aesthetic?

Bachmai Luu:  Yes, I’ve always been pretty conservative and tend to stick with neutral colours more, but I don’t mind wearing colours and prints as long as it’s not too much.  A simple dress in the summer with my Balenciaga bag and Louboutin wedge will do well for me.  I don’t accessorize much although I love to see it on others.  Winter for me would be skinny jeans, YSL boots and a cute long sleeve top with a scarf and classy leather jacket.  So I would say simple with a twist.

Musings of a Stylista:  Who inspires you?

Bachmai Luu:  My family, friends and clients all have played a role in inspiring me and allowing me to get to where I am today.

Musings of a Stylista:  How do you maintain inspiration and excitement for your career?

Bachmai Luu:  Being in tune and in touch with what’s out there in the fashion world, and always thinking outside the box with what I can do for my business, and how to be different.

Musings of a Stylista:  What is your favourite season for fashion and why?

Bachmai Luu:  I am a summer girl, but for fashion, I love fall.  I love all the jackets, coats, chunky knits, scarves and boots.  To me, you can do so much more for fall because you can layer and be more creative to keep warm.

Musings of a Stylista:  What are your top staple picks for every girl’s closet?

Bachmai Luu:  Denim, denim, denim!  White tees and tanks, a few blazers, some cocktail dresses and a few casual dresses.  A black and nude pump, and of course flip flops.

Musings of a Stylista:  What are some summer must-haves?

Bachmai Luu:  Colour denim, maxi dresses and a great cropped denim jacket.

Musings of a Stylista:  Any advice for aspiring boutique owners?

Bachmai Luu:  Don’t go into business being in too much debt… my motto is ‘Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.’