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V spotlight: demestik new york by reuben reuel: pre-fall collection MMXIII

" i was inspired by feminine and strong women. i have a love for vintage clothing as they are classic and timeless and i wanted the mood of the collection to pay homage to the past yet still keeping the line fresh and new. i constantly keep in mind who my customer is and where she is going. it’s a very relaxed collection yet the colors and silhouettes are flirty. generally, i wanted to create styles for every woman. ” - designer, reuben reuel

 www.demesticksnyc.etsy.com

V: kimee brown

fashion director

2

 | fashion |

force of peculiarity

sarah richards, manhattan native, rhode island school of design graduate, and founder + designer of richards is an explorer of all things peculiar. from sarah’s use of fine fabrics, to her hyper-real graphic print imagery, richards eponymous collection creates an earthly + surreal extraterrestrial mood.

no stranger to design, sarah richards, has worked with a range of top fashion brands like proenza schouler, peter som, diane von furstenberg, and opening ceremony.

 

V: so sarah, how was richards brought to life?

 

sarah richards [sr]: i started working on the line a year after graduating from rhode island school of design [risd] in 2011. i wanted to continue working on the ideas that fueled my thesis, by translating the prints i was working with onto accessible silhouettes, as well as creating new print compositions. i started first with a silk button down and the collection has grown from there.

 

V: what is the design aesthetic at richards?

 

sr:  the look is always a bold one, and can tend to be on the surreal side. i am attracted to strong colors and symbols. there is often a pairing of the manmade and the organic in the images i am drawn to.

 

V: how does the design team at richards work?

 

sr: in terms of design, patternmaking and sample sewing, richards is a team of one. however, i am lucky to have a great number of people, mostly other risd grads, who have been generous collaborators and integral to the success of the brand’s endeavors.

 

V: how important is the work space to your creativity?

 

sr: i design the prints on my computer, so having streamlined technology is the best way to achieve a clear focus in that realm. patternmaking and sewing clothing is a completely different task, but one which i enjoy just as much. i work in a very tight space, so the design of my studio is purely functional. i have never been one to surround myself with many objects or images for inspiration in my space. my mood changes so fast; i would rather keep my thoughts cataloged on my desktop. 

 

V: what is your favorite design tool to work with?

 

sr: i definitely have a soft spot for photoshop, but i have recently fallen in love with blender, which i use to create 3d shapes.

1/3 | click here to keep up with richards.

source:

+ © neonV volume III: bare |MMXIV | neonVllc                                           

V: kimee brown

fashion director  +

managing editor

3

so yea this happening! in today’s unbothered news, the topic at hand is yeezus tour merchandise, the confederate flag design to be exact. if you do not get it by now, allow me to break it down, kanye is on a mission to make white people uncomfortable. this is clearly not new news, his hit song new slaves’ title and lyrics are a clear indication.

in the south the confederate flag is a southern staple and iconic piece of history. it is so funny that i’m actually quoting this person but @cthagod said it best, “the only people that is still holding on to racism are old white men and black people.” so my question to all of you progressive thinking, peculiar women: what is all of the fuss about?

V: kimee brown

managing editor + fashion director

image sources:

bomber

merch

3

V spotlight: gabrielle of i am the nu black


V: what inspired viv + clair t-shirt collection?

gabrielle: i think for me and a good number of people my age aunt viv and clair huxtable, although fictitious tv characters represent attributes of women we know. i count myself privileged to have grown up in a period where these images were on television as i feel they’ve definitely had a positive influence on me.

it’s interesting that even now that so many years after both of those shows ended that those characters are still held in such high esteem - almost as a benchmark for well-rounded black women; a complete 180 from what we see on tv today.

the sketch was created by illustrator ron ackins whose work i’ve admired for a long time, so when i decided on the concept i knew he’d be the right person to interpret my vision.

it received such a huge amount of positive feedback after he posted it on facebook and tumblr that selling making it into a t-shirt seemed like a wise choice!


V: why did you choose the original aunt vivian, janet hubert-whitten?

g: i pose this question to nearly everyone i have a discussion about the show with: name a memorable scene that daphne maxwell reid was in. 

 i felt i didn’t have much of a choice, she was badass!

V: i stumbled upon a blog titled: 'five reasons why the first aunt vivian was better than the second aunt vivian.' what are your thoughts on society comparing the two; especially when it comes down to their skin complexion?

that’s an interesting question. from what i remember at the time of the switch i was quite young and don’t recall a big fuss being made about it. now i’m older and especially understanding history and how the media works i feel their comparison stems from a long history of what the media sees as ‘acceptable’. i do find it interesting that in terms of common stereotypes of black women that although the first aunt viv is seen as more memorable - janet hubert's character was a lot more outspoken and 'sassy' whereas i feel daphne reid's character was a lot more passive. 

i would have loved to be a fly on the wall in the meeting when they started casting for janet hubert's replacement lol. can you imagine the backlash there would have been if that had happened today?!

do you have plans on continuing the adaptation of african-american tv moms? a few that comes to mind are: florida evans, from good times or a modern day tv mom, like rochelle rock, from everybody hates chris.  

that would be really cool! i’m a huge supporter of collaboration and after 4 years of featuring artists from africa and the diaspora on my own blog the:nublk, i’m keen to continue working with creatives to come up with awesome collaborative projects.

someone requested an uncle phil and cliff huxtable shirt which would be hilarious! the viv & clair line has really evoked a sense of nostalgia with a lot of people so who knows…

purchase your viv + clair t-shirt here!

V: kimee brown

fashion director

p.s. check out this hilarious huffington post: our favorite black tv moms

4

the grand budapest hotel

i can’t explain my level of admiration for wes anderson,  producer of such visually aesthetic + imaginative films that sticks to specific code, color schemes. the the grand budapest hotel is no different with hues of royal purples, vibrant reds, soft pinks and baby blues illuminating the screen. i sat in the audience gasping at every minute detail, it was exceptional. i am biased, so i really can’t speak to the actual story line; anderson could produce a film about water running from a faucet and it would be the most visually pleasing film ever, lol! 

the grand budapest hotel is playing in select cities but to all of our dc metro area neons check it out at e st. cinema

V: kimee brown

fashion director +

managing editor

2

i want! 

"i mean marilyn monroe, she’s quite nice but why all the pretty icons always all white?”

fashion bomb daily editor-in-chief claire sulmers joined forces with illustrator nicole updegraff to create a series of t-shirts uplifting black icons in music, entertainment, and fashion. 

cop yours here!

V: kimee brown

fashion director + 

managing editor

5

studying the greats

we’re currently in the process of prepping neonV vol. II; and with the internet, creative friends, instagram, and other resources, inspiration is abundant. researching is actually my favorite part, mainly because i enjoy the learning and discovering process. so in preparation of a shoot i’m creative directing, i’m researching photography/filmography styles, and terry richardson’s instant film signature style is one that i’m currently obsessed with! however, i do aspire to venture out into nature, which also brought me to, film director + writer, wes anderson. thanks to the royal tenenbaums, i’ve been a fan of mr. anderson prior to knowing his name or incredible catalog. his set designs: ingenious; the formula: simplicity; the characters: original; and the costumes: uniformly beautiful.

continue to study the greats, in hopes of becoming one.

live in neon.

V: kimee brown

fashion director

image source

| fashion |

V: how do you produce and distribute your designs?

 

sr: i work with a factory in midtown manhattan to sew the production garments. i personally represent the sales team and press office for richards.

 

V: do you scope out the competition, or are you so tailored in your aesthetic that it isn’t necessary?

 

sr: i love to look at what other designers are creating, i think that is immensely important for anyone with creative output. you have to be aware of the dialogue to be a part of it.

 

V: what lessons have you learned in your career, how have they changed the way you approach design today?

 

sr:maybe it is cliché, but i have learned to go with my gut in terms of my designs. the only way i can promote and stand behind my output with complete assurance is if i am 100% behind it conceptually.    

 

V: is there anything else you would like to add?

 

sr: i love to post images that inspire my prints on my tumblr. i like to think of it as a public mood board and i am always happy to have fans of the brand check it out to see the inside of my visual brain! http://khlorophyll.tumblr.com/

 

some people may be surprised to hear that sarah richards also did freelance design work throughout the year to support her a/w MMXIV collection. sarah richards is the epitome of everyday hustlin.

3

time to block them haters!

let me start by saying, i dislike the word “haters”, no one except your mama cares that much about you. however, i am guilty of using the term “hater blockers” (in small group settings) it just sounds funny, just like “i have haters” sounds funny but whatever.

*hops off soapbox*

 i’m currently prepping a weekend get away with “papi” which means countless hours of online shopping. i’m an extreme planner so i purchased most of my items weeks ago, however, the last item(s) are your guessed it: sunnies, hater blockers, coolies, sunglasses, etc. 

here are my top picks: 

miu miu - tortoise octagon 

celine - audrey

retrosuperfuture - gals francis

V: kimee brown

fashion director + 

managing editor

needle thread heart soul

in volume II, i had the pleasure of working with amazing fashion + costume designers. i searched high + low for peculiar women with an equally peculiar eye for fashion. racquel dwomoh, founder and creative director behind quellyrue designs, is one of them. i was drawn to her handmade designs with an extraordinary afrocentric flare.

check out her fashion accessories here!


want to know exactly what we collaborated on?! pre-order your copy of volume II here.

live in neon.


V: kimee brown

fashion director


4

what to wear to solange knowles concert 

if you’re anything like me, you’re probably on the verge of a fashion meltdown attempting to figure out what to wear to solange knowles' upcoming concert.  while surfing the world wide web i stumbled upon complementary looks of a few peculiar women who’s personal style i admire.

prints + tailored looks + vibrant colors are a sure fire way to catch the eyes of the singer/model/rising fashion icon.

i’m super excited about the show february 21st at black cat dc. be sure to tweet your solange inspired looks @neonVmag!

live in neon.

V: kimee brown

fashion director

image credits: demestiks skinny hipster elise rita ora

6

bow down bishes…..crown(insert princess crown emoji)

womenswear designer, textile slaying, and former princess, diane von furstenberg celebrated 40 years of her signature wrap dress.

"the wrap dress is the one thing that i owe everything to. she paid for all my bills and as a matter of fact, in french, we call the wrap dress ‘portefeuille,’ which means wallet … but sometimes i ever resented the wrap dress because whenever my name is there, it’s always ‘diane von furstenberg, the wrap dress’ and i always say ‘but i do other things too.’”

i love this quote! dvf is letting the industry know, look this is my staple and claim to fame but please believe i am not to be placed in box because i does this. facts only and if you don’t believe it, check out her trophies at lacma west in los angeles, ca.

details:

lacma west building

6067 wilshire blvd

los angeles, ca

free admission

january 11- april 1, 2014

monday, tuesday, thursday 11a-5p | friday 11a-8p | saturday + sunday 10a-7p

V: kimee brown

fashion director +

managing editor

5

conversations with june ambrose

friday, april 4th, marks a day that i will always remember. i met the fabulous, charismatic, and inspiring, june ambrose, for the second time! first time, was a quick chat after j. mendel 2012 runway show. she complimented me on my look (stoked) but more importantly she dropped a gem, “always introduce yourself using your first + last name.” this time around, june ambrose, dropped a few more industry gems for aspiring stylist, designers, marketing + branding strategist, etc. 

june’s gems

I: glamorize anything that you do in life

II: we are the ceos of our lives, do not allow society to dictate your life

III: revamp your style by taking things out of context (take things out of context, i like this one)

IV: assume that people are always watching

V: unbothered (she’s one of us)

VI: never harness creativity, honey

also, i “stanned” out when: i showed her an image of me reimagined as her for volume I, she was truly honored + selfies with her head assistant, tukie b (@tukie_)

photo source: kimee

| fashion |


                                             emotional undress                                

 

+ credits

designer: bishme r. cromartie

photographer: xang ho

assistant photographer: john phan

model: soliel paden

stylist: kasha reavis

hair: ericka cherrie

makeup: felicia gray

nails: xang ho

keep up with this four part editorial spread here!

source:

+ © neonV volume III: bare |MMXIV | neonVllc                                           

V: kimee brown

fashion director +

managing editor 

3

V spotlight: kallon

kallon is an upscale and dynamically stylish new designer of unique products. in february 2013, kallon debuted their new line of woman’s handbags. owner, mr. m. kallon has always had a passion for designing and was inspired to create these handbags, not only for his beautiful wife, but for all woman who dare to be different. using his artistic and creative talents, he came up with the idea of developing an exclusive and distinctive line of handbags for women of all ages, stages, and styles. kallon is committed to provide fine designs, excellent craftsmanship, and good quality with everything we make.

visit here for more kallon designs

V: kimee brown

fashion director +

managing editor 

5

bad gals do it well

this bad gal needs no introduction but for sake of pure entertainment let’s discuss the top III reasons this bad gal does it well: 

I: habitual shade thrower [and i have the gif to prove it]

II: marijuana advocate [sexy arse gif]

III: fashion rebel—refer to above images of rihanna running paris fashion week

no argument here, rihanna makes bad look so good ! 

V: kimee brown

fashion director

+ managing editor

photo source

2

anthropomorphic

author, beatrix potter tells the tale of peter rabbit: a mischievous young rabbit that finds himself in a bind after rebelling against his mother’s wishes. neonV depicts a tale of fashion rebels, inspired by similar morals— rebelling against trends, and bouncing to their own beat.

creative director: V: kimee brown, fashion director

chocolate bunnies & co-stylist: ty michele + monet pringle

photographer: aki akiwumi