Friday Fashion Feature: Danimal Deville

This stunning person caught our eye the last week at the Chicago jBar lobby. It was about the hair at first, and then it was the outfit. And what completely sealed the deal was the sweet and charming personality of this gorgeous person….

Friends, meet Daniel. Freelace stylist, occasional model and cast member on popular fashion reality series House of Consignment on VH1 as the show’s E-Tern! Stay tuned, they’d love the support! Wednesdays@ 10/9c. And of course, Daniel has a blog as is on twitter, so follow him!!

The outfit:

‘My style can be described as whimsy.’

Pants: Pink Metallic Cropped Trouser-Womens Top Shop
Salmon Button Down- Mens American Apparel
Blazer- Mint Green Vintage
Floral Cut Out Canvas Oxfords- Dr. Martens-Womens
Neck “tie”- fresh florals arrangement (taken right off a tree!)

I have been living in Chicago my entire life, I studied Architecture in Chicago at UIC, and studied in Copenhagen, of which I fell in love with. I am an aspiring Architect, Conceptual Designer, Fashion Stylist, and also a Retail Visual Installation Artist.

 

With my style, I am always looking for a chance to shift the expectations and perceptions of what ‘fashion’ and ‘architecture’ can be vs. should be, with a twist of art, humor, theory, and creativity, of which I ultimately call my ‘whimsy.’ In such serious times, fashion is here to remind us of what makes us human, our ability to shine, and a sense of humor to keep those Mondays more upbeat!

 

Fashion sometimes is taken too seriously, and we need a reminder that it’s good to laugh at ourselves because this world is too stiff, and that fashion should be easy, not over thought or looked over. You either get ‘it’ or you don’t. I’m a firm believer you are born living fashion, it’s in your blood and is a part of your soul. You can try to learn ‘it,’ but you will never embody fashion like a true stylist.

 

I say, ‘Dress yourself everyday as if it were your last.’

 

You can catch Daniel on House of Consignment on VH1 every Wednesday at 10EST/9C as the E-Tern whose always getting in some sort of trouble with his snazzy commentary. We love the show and we love watching him!

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Racial Backlash to The Hunger Games: A Few Personal Thoughts…

Normally with our blog we try to stick to Art, Fashion, and Events, but recently there has been a lot going on in the media and online with respect to racism and injustice that we’d like to bring awareness to, and what better way than with our blog.

We do not want to sway anyone because of our strong opinion on these issues, but we are enraged; our anger has compelled us to speak and bring more awareness to these social trends so that we all can strive to do and be better in our personal lives. Hopefully that will inspire change in way we all interact with each other, regardless of race, gender, sexuality, religion, class or any other discriminating category. Bullying is never acceptable nor should it ever be tolerated.

The Hunger Games, the movie that opened last weekend to rave reviews and a staggering $155 million box office, has been accosted with racial tension in regard to their casting. Many ‘fans of the book’ were outraged that two of the most beloved characters were cast as black people, despite the literary description of them having dark skin. In fact, Katniss Everdeen, the main character and protagonist, also was described as having dark hair and olive skin…..which if you think about it, leaves her ethically ambiguous (the term olive connotes something other than white).

This is problematic both in how people may have subconsciously imagined favorable characters to fit within the white majority, the ways that media represents people of good and evil as white and black, and then of course the blatant hateful, racist names and slurs that the actors of color have been called since the release of the film. Aside from Hunger Games ‘fans’ having difficulty reading and remembering the book accurately, it is both sad, disturbing and ironic that the whole running metephor in the entire book about oppression, hunger, and excess is meaningless if none of the main characters are people of color. Think about it.
If you haven’t seen or heard the ‘discussions,’ read a bit here: http://www.usmagazine.com/entertainment/news/the-hunger-games-amandla-stenberg-responds-to-racist-tweet-scandal-2012283#ixzz1qWBu4jXb

Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/therootdc/post/the-hunger-games-elicits-racist-reactions/2012/03/28/gIQANOVrgS_blog.html

Read the most outrageous comments here: http://www.complex.com/tech/2012/03/the-25-most-racist-tweets-about-the-hunger-games

People, racism is disgusting! Hatred is ugly. NEITHER are fashionable.


ARENA Bikini Beach baby: Behind the scenes by Lucie Jane

This past Saturday I had the great pleasure of modeling for the 5th annual ARENA Bikini show! This year’s theme was ARENA Bikini Beach Baby! inspired by the vintage silhouettes of the 40s, 50s and 60s.  I walked for 5 designers: ArielSimone <3, Kelly Ver Duin, Drama Boutique, Nani Nalu, and Emma Berg. I loved working with all the designers and seeing everyone’s beautiful work!

Here are some behind the scene shots:


Lounging (Photo: Corey Tenold)

Kevin, myself, and Elijah Chhum. Elijah was the first agent/booker I worked with when I got into modeling! ❤ (photo: Corey Tenold)


Hair done, waiting for makeup (Photo: Kevin C Walker)

The ArielSimone models! (Photo: Kevin C. Walker)

Giggles backstage! (Stefani Arden)

My male model counterpart for ArielSimone, you can’t tell in this photo but Reid has on swim trunks that match my suit!  (Stefani Arden)

I had a great time and especially loved working with the lovely ladies of ArielSimone! Love you girls!

Xo, Lucie Jane

Dance, Environmentalisms and Mixed Media by Jesse Leaneagh

Nkechi and I went to Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s red, black & GREEN: a blues (rbGb) at the Walker last Saturday, and we both walked away pretty stunned. The piece opens with an interactive element where the audience walks onstage while the set is assembled and reassembled as the four performers mingle among the crowd. At one point, Joseph cut a watermelon and squeezed lemon juice on it, and we tried to get closer to smell it. Surprisingly, we were handed a slice and able to eat it while watching, taking our participation to an even more visceral place.

{Source}

rbGb as a performance explores the challenges and victories of connecting urban America and multicultural America to the green movement, including “the challenge of living green where violent crime and poor education pose a more imminent danger than ecological crisis,” according to Joseph. You can hear more from the artist in the full interview I conducted.

The piece took us through the journey of Joseph’s national work with the LIFE is LIVING Festival: A Tribute to Green Living project. Drawing together several political issues at the nucleus of progressive culture– environmental justice, the lives and communities of under-resourced people and people of color (what Joseph calls “urban America” and “multicultural America”), Joseph is a natural genius at combining art, politics,  public space, and community into one performance.

The piece opened with the lament of a mother whose son was tragically gunned down by a stray bullet, which was an anecdote from on of the LIFE is LIVING experiences.  And for me, it was difficult not to connect this to the recent tragedy of Trayvon Martin in Florida. The 17-year-old, African-American youth was carrying only a bag of skittles he had just bought at the convenience store when he was inexplicably shot and killed by a neighborhood watch captain, George Zimmerman. If you are unare of this cuurent event, there is no rational explanation for why Martin was shot, and the neighborhood watch captain is not being prosecuted. There is currently a change.org petition you can sign to pressure the Florida’s 18th District State’s attorney to investigate the murder and prosecute George Zimmerman.

I guess for me, rbGb reminded me of the potential for art to be connected to real life. The potential for art to be involved in discussions that led to actions that change peoples’ lives. We began out of our seats, on the set. Our position as passive audience members was challenged from the start. In that way, it was art that feeds back into life; it didn’t stay still and it asked me to think harder, make new connections, and question states of mind I had held previously.

You can catch rbGb next month in Chicago at the Museum of Contemporary Art: April 12-14.

by Jesse Leaneagh

ARENA Bikini Beach Baby Recap!

Well , we certainly had a fabulous time Saturday night at the Calhoun Beach Club. If you missed the 5th Annual Arena Bikini show on Saturday, you missed a great production! The Beach Baby!  themed swimwear show was awesome, and packed with well over 300 people! This year we really loved how each designer was given the same vintage theme with the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s as inspiration. It really helped in producing a cohesive show, even with the dancing. Mathew choreographed great dance segments that really highlighted many of the popular moves from those eras.

Our segment of six looks ran first, complete with three men’s and three women’s looks; the theme being vintage lingerie swimwear. We are still waiting for our photos in color, which we will upload to facebook. In the mean time, take a peek at a few b&w photos:

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I really wanted to show the different styles of that time but still mix in current trends. So we showed the white bridal one-piece as something a beach bride could wear today, and classic high waist that speaks of a past time, but I also still wanted to keep the ‘sexy’ aspect of lingerie with the garters and micro mini skirt!

Here is a video of the final walkthrough– would have been amazing if Corey had captured the begining since we were behind stage and did not get to see our models. http://youtu.be/hscYohwVDbM

All of these styles and more will be available for purchase on our site in a few weeks, but until then feel free to contact Adrienne directly via email if you need one sooner: Adrienne@ArielSimone.com.

{All photo and video credit goes to Corey Tenold Photography}

ArielSimone Making and Baking

Hey everyone! As you know, we are having a beautiful time in Chicago. The weather is unseasonably warm and before we spent a day out in the sun, we worked along side Jamie Arlin of Cake Bite Girl to assist with our fashion show tonight. We made a little video (our first time ever using imovie, OMG) capturing her process and our assistance. We are so excited for the show tonight, we are hoping to have some more video from that as well as some amazing photography! If you are in the Chicago area, the event details are on facebook.

Voila!

ARENA Bikini Beach Baby!!!

We are so excited for the upcoming Arena Bikini Beach Baby! Event this Saturday. The event is supporting local dance company ARENADances, which is directed by Mathew Janczewski. We have participated in Arena Bikini for the last three years, and each year has been better than the previous. Going on its 5th year, Arena Bikini is an event celebrating the art of modern dance and fashion. The evening will be segmented with dance performances by Mathew’s company members commingled with short runway shows.  Each designer/ boutique will present three men and three women looks. And the best part?!? It’s all swimwear.  Details for the event are as follows:

This year’s event will be held at the beach – the Calhoun Beach Club, doors open at 8pm and the event will feature a silent auction and cash bar with the biggest and most bodacious beachwear fashion show yet. Models from Arquette & Associates will strut their stuff on the runway wearing fashions from local designers and boutiques including, Emma Berg, Adrienne Yancy, Jay Anderson, Kelly Ver Duin, Anita Jensen, Nani Nalu, Drama, and ARENA Bikini sponsor, Martin Patrick 3. Tickets for the party are just $35.00 and can be purchased in advance at www.arena-dances.org. VIP tickets are available for $50.00 and will get you a reserved runway side seat. VIP ticket packages that include access to the VIP lounge are available by contacting arenadances@gmail.com.

We teamed up with Carly Aplin of he CW to create a short video, which allows you to see where our inspiration for this collection came from. Not only is she an amazing live/ on-air host but seriously  fantastic at making videos– thanks Carly! Enjoy and feel free to let us know what you think! We hope we are able to see you at the show.