Beauty and the Muse

Archive for June 2015

leah_0884(Photo: Davide Photo, Model: Griselda U., MUA: Madinah M., and Wardrobe Stylist: Leah V. )

June 29, 2015

Pontiac, MI

Leah V.’s Hepburn Inspired Photo Shoot

When I begin any photo shoot or creative process, I always choose a theme or an era. Then I allow it to grow, piece by piece, brick by brick. I wanted a dark-haired model and I wanted to create a billowy tulle skirt in black.

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Griselda and I are friends on Facebook, she responded to my post looking for a sultry dark-haired muse. And it was set. I usually do colorful ensembles with a lot of print and pattern, so for this shoot I wanted to do the complete opposite.

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Initially, I was going for a modern ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ inspired shoot, but then it took a creative turn. Griselda has this Lady Gaga’esque nature about her, so we went with the flow.

IMG_0925Griselda slayed the shoot. She was easy to work with and high-energy. Here’s what she had to say about working with us: “Working with Leah was such a wonderful experience. She let me know her vision, but also gave me the opportunity to give her my personal thoughts. Through laughter and jokes, she kept it professional. I look forward to working with her again.”

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I love working with a team of down-to-earth creative individuals. Davide did a wonderful job (as usual) being patient and adding the cool smoky background. And of course my MUA, Madinah, beat her face to perfection.

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Outfit Details:

Shirt: (turned backwards) Regeneration

Blazer: Regeneration

Velvet Stockings: Pay-Less

Tulle Skirt: Custom Made by Leah V.

Turban: Wrapped by Leah V.

Heels: Model’s own

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Thank you 🙂

20150530_231032(I love this silhouette.)

Walk Fashion Show

Garden Theater

Detroit, MI

May 30, 2015

20150531_000622My ensemble for the Walk Fashion Show. Cape jacket courtesy of Ashley Stewart.

20150530_204645Basically, I am posting my “Top Seven Looks” from the show.

This gown was made out of coffee filters!

20150530_204404A bubble wrap mini in neon green.

20150530_211910Superhero swag anyone?

20150530_223847Sheer outer-space. Love the shoulder detail. 20150530_230536I thought this was simple and chic.

20150530_230612Floral is all this season. And the pop of color on this really brings it all together.

20150530_204137Wildcard! His teeny trunks are made out of rice krispy treat packages.

20150531_002534Dark pic Alert. Radio personality, Stewe and I after the show. Head gear was on fleek!

20150531_000825One of the designers, Lena.

20150531_000857And my fashion squad.

20150517_142513(MUA: Madinah M.)

The Headwrap Expo

Dearborn, MI

May 17th, 2015

Ford Community & Performing Arts Center

20150517_142241So let’s talk about my beat face for a sec. This green dramatic cut-crease was everything. Thanks Madinah 🙂

20150517_180228Jannah (in the middle) was the fashion and event coordinator for the expo. She invited me to speak about my personal style, catching good deals, and how to walk in any room and own it!

My lil sis, also named Jannah, came out to support. Like our ugly fake laughs? Ha.

20150517_153740My fashionable friend, Cassy, also came out to support! Love her dress.

20150517_175537Model, Aliyah, rocking a custom made dress and turban.

20150517_162232Mama and baby turbans 🙂

20150517_165648My hubby came and showed out of course. Man Style!

20150517_172656Oh, look, there’s Etta and Jennifer from Naturally Flyy Detroit.

20150517_164428End of the day photo shoots after the show.

SWAG…

Nik_West_FredSmithPhotography2sm(Photo Credit:Fred Smith Photography)

I was invited to the “Black Girls Rock” concert in Detroit a few months back. This girl with a huge colorful Mohawk and sweet metallic shoulder pads passed me in the audience. In my head, I was screaming. She’s go it!

Fast forward. I saw her again on a panel discussion the next day. I worked up the courage to talk to her. She was super down-to-earth. And here we are. I am excited to show you these dope photos! And you get a double dose of awesomeness from vocalist and bassist, Nik West.

Nik_West_Snarky(Photo Credit: Fred Smith Photography)

LV: What were your fashion inspirations growing up?

NW: Fashion inspirations were my mother and my drawings. I was an avid illustrator from the age of 4. The only things I would draw were people’s hands and fashion illustrations of clothing that my mom wore to work. I would add little belts or big jewelry to the drawings. I had a big imagination.

LV: Describe your fashion/identity as a young adult?

NW: I really didn’t get into fashion on myself. It was mostly drawings of what I imagined on paper. I wore boy clothes. I have a much older brother and I wanted to be like him so I tried dressing like him as much as possible lol! Then all of my friends started dressing like me. So we had a group of girls that dressed like boys in middle school and the first two years of high school.

LV: When did you decide that you wanted to be involved in the arts?

NW: When I was 15, my mom took me to a modeling showcase because I was so tall and long. To my surprise, multiple modeling agencies wanted to sign me. So I decided I would see where it took me. Later I became Nordstrom’s jean girl. I was the model that was photographed weekly in their newest lines of jeans from all designers.

Nik_West_Orianthi_607(Photo Credit: Michelle Shiers)

LV: What magazines, campaigns, organizations, and/or media have you been featured in?

NW: Teen Vogue, Black Hair Magazine, Image and Style Mag, American Idol (special guest) Metro Times, Seattle Times. Multiple runway shows, Fashion weeks, and publications.

LV: What types of setbacks or obstacles have you faced as a woman in the industry?

NW: With music, the boys wouldn’t even give me a chance to play with them. I wasn’t good enough I guess. But my dad gave me an identity with my musicianship. He inspired me to keep playing and not to worry about the boys’ opinions. I used it as ammunition to be the best and to be unique on purpose.

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(Photo Credit:John Beckett)

LV: What are some of the projects you are working on currently?

NW: I just finished my EP Say Somethin’ and I am very proud of this because it describes who I am not just as an artist, but as a producer and writer. I am currently working on my Bass In Your Face Tour which is how WE met while in Detroit. I am in the process of wrapping up the Queen of Strings Competition, which is a worldwide female bass and guitar competition that I founded. We have some amazing talent and for our first year we had an enormous amount of entries. I am also starting a mentorship program through the Queen of Strings to mentor young ladies on their instruments and just in the industry. Everyone needs a mentor, and mine happen to be male, but I would love to have a system that involves women mentoring other women in the industry.

I am also doing commercials (I don’t have my mohawk on in them so you may or may not recognize me much…and that’s okay lol!) and I am in the process of creating my signature bass for the masses.

LV: How would you describe your individual style?

NW: Very eclectic. I’m part rocker, part punk, part hippie, and part anything else I feel on a particular day. I don’t really have a specific style. But I like anything out of the ordinary. I love bright colors. If someone else is doing it, I tend to go the other direction. I think my hair has inspired others to do something similar as well. I wear it because it means so much to me. It is a brightly colored mohawk molded into the shape of a bass clef and it continues into a long braid on one side of my body. For instance, Janelle Monae wore something similar to the Met Ball this year with the long braid and many of my fans posted the Nik West inspirations on her page and tagged me many times. I thought it looked beautiful! It’s very flattering to have others take notice of my style and wear it so elegantly as well.

nik-west-fender-bass(Photo Credit: Demann Crawford)

LV: Define beauty and confidence…

NW: I think they both deserve their own definitions from me lol!! Beauty is anything we want it to be at the time. It is not what society tells us it is. Beauty can be that ugly sweatshirt we cut up and made it into our own masterpiece. Beauty can be the scars we have that tell our true story. Beauty is sometimes those things we like to cover up because society tells us to. But Confidence is doing just the opposite of covering up the scars. It is the internal understanding of who you are and who you are not and being able to flaunt who you are in a way that inspires others to do the same. Confidence IS beauty

LV: What advice would you give other women who are in your position or want to get to your position?

NW: Don’t wait on others to make it happen. God gives us all everything we need to succeed. We just have to recognize that and take baby steps toward our goals. Write down your goals daily and do something every single day (even the weekends) that push you toward your goal. Be yourself and learn to master the art of differentiation, meaning, don’t try and be like everyone else. Be different, be bold, be confident, and most of all, BE NICE to others. If it doesn’t uplift someone, try and hold back on speaking about it. When you get, be sure to give. Be thankful for every little success no matter how small. It sets you up for bigger successes.

Nik_West4(Photo Credit: Fred Smith Photography)

LV: Leave us with an awesome quote.

NW: “Talent is the ability to hit the mark no one else can hit. Genius is the ability to hit the mark no one else can see.” I strive to one day be marked as a genius (in more than just calculus LOL!!)

Follow Nik West on Instagram @ NikWestBass

And check out updates on her website @ www.http://nikwestbass.com/

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Naturally Flly Detroit “We Rock Dope Hair”

The Artist Village

Detroit, MI

5/16/15

 

20150516_192255(Etta Flyy, Raina B., Myself, and Quiet Flyy)

I met Etta and Jennifer last year at a natural hair event at WSU. They were really tall and boisterous. Not to mention their hair was super dope. I met them again at the restaurant they own, Sweet Potato Sensations, in Redford. Months went by…

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One day, Etta asked me if I’d be interested in doing a “headwrapping” session at their event. Hellz yeah! I replied. When and Where?

20150516_151332(One of my turban tutorial models)

 

When I tell you these ladies showed out…they showed out! Many of the women packed into the room, wanting to know everything about turbans and how to tie them.

 

20150516_161422Another happy turban model

20150516_180047(My view of the audience!)

So not only was I able to teach the ladies about turbans, but I also got to speak on the style and fashion panel.

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My friends came out to support 🙂

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And we got to meet Mia Ray, fashion & lifestyle blogger

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Raina B. sat next to me on the panel. A positive force, indeed.

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Ebony, Trish’s Garage, was also on the panel.

Thanks so much for having me Naturally Flyy Detroit!!!