Celeb Style Spotlight: Solange

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
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Solange at an H&M event in Mexico City
Photo Source: AfriPOP!

Style rebels decimate boxes, crushing rules with stilettos, sneakers, timberland boots, or any other form of fabulous footwear! Solange, singer and founder of record label Saint Heron, easily fits this description, a free spirit willing to take risks. In our era of stylists and filtered selfies, it’s refreshing to watch a celebrity experiment.

Years ago, she embraced her natural tresses, eschewing straight weaves which show up on female entertainers of color from red carpets to magazine covers. Folks were upset, tweeting furiously: Who did she think she was cutting all of her hair off like that? Wearing it natural?  Why?

We love Solange for not allowing the pettiness of public opinion to dissuade growing feelings of freedom and joy. Her taste is a genuine reflection of a global sensibility; some of our favorite pieces marry African prints with bold colors and intricate shapes. Lately, these looks are catching our eye:

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Nicki Minaj Collection at Kmart

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
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Nicki Minaj surrounded by models at collection opening in October
Photo Credit: Vibe Vixen

A few months ago, someone nonchalantly mentioned Nicki Minaj launched a clothing line at Kmart (October 9 officially). Honestly, my first thoughts were pink, cheap, cheesy, and next! I had zero confidence in her collaboration with the big box retailer.

Still, I think of her as a style icon. She reintroduced pink and red lip hues to young African-American women. Those full bang wraps she rocked remain smoking hot, and that oversized bum inspires booty photo shots, and butt lifts all over the world. She is hip-hop’s Lady Gaga – sexy, raunchy, and over the top!

Photo Source:  Blond-a-holic Buzznet
Photo Source:
Blond-a-holic Buzznet
Photo Credit: Complex Magazine
Photo Credit: Complex Magazine (October / November 2010)

Despite all of this I remained uninterested, especially with overwhelming work and family obligations. Well, on Christmas Eve with just an hour to spare, I hit Kmart, less than a mile from home. Other holiday shoppers hurriedly searched for presents; talk about an intense mood.

I intended to buy Bentley and Zion (my 2 baby boys) pajamas. I looked to my right and there it hung, the Nicki Minaj collection. Against all of my reservations, I stood mesmerized for several seconds. Yes. My eyes squinched, the bottom lip dropped. The line is presented like visual art; it’s vivid and eye catching. Wait. Am I standing in Nordstrom or Kmart?

What Christmas Pajamas? In a matter of seconds, this Baltimore woman became a “Barb” in Nicki’s world. The collection is beautiful, sexy, unique, well thought out, and true to her personal style. All the pieces I selected were under $30, and the sweetest part? I could take an additional 40% off!

Well, I hear your next question. Where would you wear these clothes? I think of it mostly as unique party wear. There are some pieces for the office, like a tailored white blazer with a large gold button.

But you know what? This is ground zero for rebels, bad women who resist regular, and love to break rules. Sound like you? This is your line.

My only precaution is to care well for these pieces, laundering on a gentle cycle, and purchase your true size. The fabrics look great, but are not as resilient as higher end ones. Sizes range from small to extra large so if you have curves like I do there is a range of beautiful, tasteful options to express your personal style.

Beauty and fashion for the masses! No matter what your bank account looks like, you too can be fashionable, fabulous and bold!

Live In Color – Valencia

What’s Surprising about Beyoncé’s Latest Album

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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
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Innovation: The act of starting something for the first time; introducing something new; founding, origination, initiation, creation, institution, or introduction.

We all thought Beyoncé and her team were on hiatus, and boom, overnight she brings us new music. Our weekly grind just became easier, huh? Her self-titled album has social media buzzing, with record downloads. Quite simply, its a hit; 400,000 copies sold in under 6 hours.

I’ll be honest. I had a complete attitude. Why? Well, my relationship with Beyoncé could easily be characterized as love/hate. While I identify and admire her sensuality and talent, sometimes I despise what feels inauthentic about her persona. Well, she broke down my walls, and I’m sure thousands of others with this album.

It’s her most raw piece of work. Powerful, impactful, soulful and mature. She is a wife and mother; this is unapologetic
grown-woman music. There is nothing gimmicky or mainstream. Beyoncé is raunchy, descriptive and X-rated. And, you know what, I love it!

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Footage from the video, Drunk In Love

I’m especially feelin’ these lines something serious:

“Then I fill the tub up halfway then ride it with my surfboard.

Surfboard, surfboard…

Graining on that wood, graining, graining on that wood.

I’m swerving on that, swerving, swerving on that big body Benz.

Serving all this, swerve, surfing all of this good, good.”

“Drunk in Love” is definitely the breakout single. I’m sure it is responsible for several hangovers and counter sex. It’s one of my favorites. Your girl is dealing with a headache from injuring herself after attempting to reenact the video.

Blow,” another vivid, sexually-charged song has a classic R&B vibe. Is it me, or is it clear she and her husband, music mogul Jay-Z have a healthy sex life. What’s the result for us? Steamy music with character. She alludes to mild discord in their relationship with  songs like “Jealous,” or the duet with Drake, “Mine.” What relationship is not complicated?

There are other standout tracks for me. The collaboration with Frank Ocean (“I Miss You“) is classic. While her dedication to baby daughter Blue is sweet; so many mothers can relate.

Earlier this year she released “I Been On,” revamped on the album as “Flawless,” where she proclaims herslef Queen of Pop; she tells all of us to “Bow down, bitches!” You all can take that bow; I’ll stand.

You make good music, Beyonce; you have me doing all different kinds of things with it. I play the introduction to “Flawless” featuring Nigerian author and feminist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for my 11-year-old twin girls every morning; the words are intelligent and inspirational.

They tell girls it is ok to be great:

We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller.

We say to girls you can have ambition, but not too much.

You should aim to be successful, but not too successful,

otherwise you will threaten the man.”

This brings me back to the definition of innovative: a new way. Why is Beyonce so successful? She is ever changing, and thinking of novel ways to perform. She aligns herself with smart, trustworthy people, who genuinely want her to succeed. If something goes wrong, she corrects it. She keeps us on our toes,  or now our surfboards.

Will we sing any of these songs 20 years from now? I’ll let time tell that story. Will I be in my fifties saying: “We woke up in the kitchen, wondering how this shit happened. Oh, baby!” I hope so! I want to write a personal thank you letter for this album.

Hopefully, over the next week you can find some time to listen. Let me know what you think.

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 Live In Color! – Valencia