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The Class

For the Holiday assignment I did the West Indian Day Parade on Labor Day using actual an actual Caribbean ice cream brand.

I was unexpectedly catapulted back into retail last year and I was bored. I was trying to think of a way to get a promotion while extending my job into something more creative, so I jumped on the Continuing Ed page at Fashion Institute of Technology‘s website to see if there was anything that I could turn into a bigger paycheck. I used to be a photographer, and have done some styling but I have no interest in doing photo shoots, so I had to find something that tied retail to art. Enter DE101 15A Prin D&E Dsgn – Small Scale Spring 2019 (a.k.a. Visual Merchandising)! I spent every Monday evening from February to May learning about why store displays look the way they look.

We had to build a foamcore shadowbox and every week there was a new assignment to create a contained display that expressed ideas and creativity without using words or being too obvious. This was the first assignment, white on white. Inspired by Superman’s Fortress of Solitude.

The next week was a black and white assignment where I painted sheets of paper with fast drying acrylic paint (neatly referencing the previous week’s cotton balls in the white on black paint splatters) and using these awesome Steve Madden Harpir boots. It’s amazing how much fun you can have being creative when you’re just taking one class and it’s not causing you to take out crippling loans!

This one was about selling health & beauty products, so I chose my fave perfume and did a presentation inspired by Magritte’s The Banquet, a painting that features a huge red sun. I feel like I could have done the roses on the side walls a little better, but I was trying to invoke a sort of 70s vibe, and infuse my presentation with the spirit of both disco and tango. So…yeah.

We did the holidays (my family is from Guyana and I live near Eastern Parkway so I just drew on my own Caribbean culture for this one.), accessories and famous personalities (can you guess who I did for my personality presentation?). We had to make everything in class so that the instructor could see our thought process, so it meant packing up my art supplies and lugging my big bag of foamcore box parts from Brooklyn to Manhattan,making a ritual out of stopping at the Starbucks across the street from school.

All about repetition…

For this one I painted the backdrop to evoke water, like the water you soak your feet in for pedicures. Blue is such a spa color to me. We had to take an element of the product and repeat it throughout the design. I sat in the class tracing a foot-shaped cardboard piece that came with some socks I bought. I just sat there cutting out construction paper feet and stamping them with a round sponge brush. Good times.

This was my final project. I was thinking to do something grand, but then I found out all we had to do was design a presentation with fruit as the product. We couldn’t cut the fruit, put holes in it, paint or carve it… I was a little disappointed, because I thought it would be something more sophisticated. I decided to make mine about lemons because I have an actual lemon plant that came out of a seed that I planted. Just pretend it’s a warm summer day and you’re relaxing and anticipating a tall, cool glass of lemonade form the giant lemons that came off of your tree.

I know, what a boring post!

What I took away from this class is that creativity never leaves you, and that having to build a presentation on the spot every Monday was a great exercise in discipline. I really like looking back at my shadowbox creations, and I can always use what I learned to improve my online stores or maybe go back to styling… Maybe. I’m definitely thinking of taking the large scale class where you dress mannequins. And I passed with an A, so I felt pretty darned accomplished.

Have you ever dreamed of doing something that was outside of your comfort zone, like taking an art class? Or learning javascript? Or cooking? What have you always wanted to learn?

See you next time!

Faith/SEB Market BK

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The PUNK Jacket

Photo by Shoottphotos (use this link for a 10% discount: https://shoott.com/?ref=LQAW9BC)

Handpainted PUNK denim jacket by SEB Market BK, $150

This adorable jacket went from worst to first with some handpainting, embroidered patches, safety pins and sweet punk rock stars. It's an extra small, and measures 20 inches from shoulder to hem, 17 inches from armpit to armpit. 14 inches across the back. Sleeves are 24.5 inches long. Jacket comes with a pouch of extra stars for you to play with. *Domestic, American shipping only.

$150.00

So while I was gone from blogging I started selling pre-loved and vintage clothes on platforms like ebay, depop and etsy. At first it was just straightforward selling, like I wasn’t altering the pieces, just posting them. Then one day I rescued a Coach bag that had worn patches on the front and a busted strap, but was perfect on the back and interior. I messed with it and it ended up selling on ebay. Then I played with a thrifted red leather vintage 80s crossbody that I had in my inventory for about 2 years. Then I sold a sweatshirt. So now I’m a fashion designer with my own label. Why fight fate?

The PUNK jacket started life as a mass produced item treated to look like an authentic punk rockers jacket. Soft, distressed lightwash denim with a screenprinted band poster on the back. Originally created by Bethany Mota, I saw it and knew that I could do better.

I decided to punch up the faded colors on the back panel with acrylic paint, and then adding a silver leather star I got at the fabric store. I used black paint to emphasize lines and to punk up the PUNK lettering. I used gold and black to create a frame, and then put a safety pin at each corner (because punk rock). I chose silver stars instead of pyramid studs for a girly touch. Recently I painted the arms and inside of the cuffs for more edge.

What I love about is that it reminds me of movies like She’s Gotta Have It and Desperately Seeking Susan, 80s films with cool downtown heroines that whipped up fashion frenzy in every scene. You can wear it with sparkles or dress it down with jorts. Layer it over a hoodie in the cooler months to keep that Nancy Spungeon look going.

Shop the look!

Jay x Jay Godfrey sequinned black dress, size 0

Halter style with spaghetti straps. Open back, side pockets in the skirt. Measures 34 inches from shoulder to hem, 16 from armpit to armpit, 14 across the waist. Brand new, never worn. *Domestic, American shipping only.

$120.00

Converse All Stars white low tops, women’s size 8

Classic low-tops, already broken in. Measures 10.75 inches from toe to heel, 3.5 inches across the widest part of the foot. Can fit men's size 6. Shipping included in price. *Domestic, American shipping only.

$27.00

HOB alligator embossed leather shoulder bag/clutch

Comes with detachable brass chain strap. Looks like vintage, some wear at top of flap. Measures 12.5 x 7, 19 in strap drop. *Domestic, American shipping only.

$47.00

Red tank top, size S

Ribbed cotton/poly. 24 inches from shoulder to hem, 13 inches from armpit to armpit. Brand new, never worn. *Domestic, American shipping only.

$10.00

SEB Market BK handpainted jorts, size 28″

Hand cut and handpainted denim shorts with one embroidered patch. They are folden in this photo to show the front and back paint colors (white, pastels). Super comfy premium cotton denim, perfect for summer days or wear with tights and combats in the cooler months. 28" waist, 12 inches ling from waist to hem in front, 13 in back. Waistband sits at waist. *Domestic, American shipping only.

$48.00

Manas Designs leather motorcycle boots, size 41

Soft Italian leather boots with zipper trim. Round toes, lug soles, chink heel and side zipper. The type of boot that looks incredible with a sundress. Fits women's US 9.5/10. Price includes shipping. *Domestic, American shipping only.

$109.00

See you soon!

Faith/SEB Market BK

beauty, black women, confidence, Fashion, makeup, self-affirmation, shaming, women

Shame Series (part 1)- is there such a thing as too black to wear makeup?

One day, not yesterday or anything – it was awhile ago, somebody told me that I was ‘too black to wear makeup’. She said there was no point because no one could see it on my skin. Being a patient person, I didn’t bother reacting the way that they may have hoped. I wanted to turn that phrase around in my brain for awhile.

Too Black To Wear Makeup. 

I kept talking at the time, carefully watching the person’s face. They seemed so angry that I would dare to do this makeup thing! The woman’s head was literally shaking. I looked her over, looking at her makeup- which was the type of makeup worn to enhance rather than blind. I thought carefully about whether or not her words hurt me. Finding that they didn’t, I put those words away for later, when they would be useful and advantageous to me.

Like, oh, say- today.

Black women wearing makeup:

Now these people are of varying shades of dark, but let’s agree that they are visibly of the shade that would make people identify them as ‘black’. or ‘negro’ or what have you. THEY ARE ALL WEARING MAKEUP. The makeup is visible upon their faces, I can see it and it is there.

Therefore? There is no such thing as being too black to wear makeup.

Black women selling makeup:lupita ad

This woman is not only ‘black’ (or ‘negro’ or whatever) she is African- which is basically like the ultimate black of blackness. She is not only WEARING makeup, but she has been paid a fair sum of money to WEAR the makeup and as we have seen in previous photos, the makeup is visible upon her skin and looks rather nice!

Ain’t that something?

I mean- there it is, right? But I guess that’s not enough. I’m kind of into proving things beyond a shadow of a doubt, so let’s look at some more photos.

Sassy with no makeup:tbtwmu4

This is how I look without makeup. This is an actual progression of photos over the past year. There is NO makeup- but my skin is amazing, wouldn’t you agree? I like it. I’ve also improved over the last year, lol!

But again- I am NOT wearing makeup. And I think that we can all agree that I am ‘black’. If anyone doesn’t agree, you may need some glasses.

Sassy in no makeup makeup:tbtwmu1

Now sometimes I am guilty of wearing subtle ‘no makeup makeup’ meant to make me look a little more bright-eyed and bushy tailed than when I rolled out of bed. However? It’s still makeup, and I am ‘black’ and I am WEARING it. My lashes look insane! #love

tbtwmu2

Now, in this set the makeup is getting a little more intense, and when you get to the last shot I think we can all agree that there is a makeup ‘lewk’ happening. There’s some gold on the eyelids and some berry on the lips. There is blush and I know I left a sinkful of products in the bathroom when I ran out of the house wearing this MAKEUP on my ‘black’ skin.

Sassy and red lipstick are besties:tbtwmu3

because I have this amazing dark skin (which causes me to be identified as ‘black’ or ‘negro’ and so on) I can wear some boldness on my face. My favorite socially acceptable bold statement is red lipstick. It just instantly says- Hey world! I am Black and WEARING MAKEUP!

Ok, that’s not why I wear it- I wear it because it’s pretty and I like the way my lips look in it. Because most women that wear makeup are usually wearing whatever they have on for that particular reason. It pleases me, and makes me feel attractive. It kinda doesn’t matter very much what someone else wants to project onto me. As long as my lipstick is not on my teeth? It’s all good.

Basically?

Sassy is just doing her thing: 

tbtwmu5

It is not up to anyone else to define me as too anything to do anything. That is my judgement call. People have called me a lot of nasty things over the course of my life, and I felt it more when I hadn’t proved to myself what I am. I’m beautiful. I’m unique. I’m amazing. There is no one like me on the whole planet. No one can take my place or subjugate me or degrade me or anything. I am me and I am perfect.

Gosh darn it- I LIKE me!

So although some may not like my dark color, I am good with it and I will wear makeup when I feel like it.

That is all.

Next up: Summer beauty from sunup to sundown

xoxo, Faith/Sassy Ethnic Bohemian