The Look: Solange Knowles

  This Stephane Rolland Couture ensemble with the dramatic accent is everything I need in my life right now. This is a sleek, chic and deceptively simple showstopper. Okaybye. 

Image via InStyle

H&M announces Balmain collection

  H&M’s next designer collection will be with French fashion house Balmain, led by Olivier Rousteing.  If you watched the Billboard Music Awards last night, models Jourdan Dunn and Kendall Jenner wore pieces from the upcoming line. Rousteing, a favorite of Kim and Kanye, is known for his edgy, yet opulent designs with couture flourishes.

Per the release, “The collection will be available starting November 5, in around 250 stores worldwide and online, and will feature clothing and accessories for both women and men.”

Alabama shoppers can find H&M at the Bridge Street Town Center in Huntsville.

 

 

In which I meet a Maasai chieftain + a giveaway!

I have had so many amazing experiences as a blogger, but attending the Pikolinos launch at Belk a few weeks ago is one I will never forget. If you’re not familiar with the brand, it is a line of beautifully made shoes, jewelry and accessories featuring Spanish leather and intricate beading created by Maasai women, who also receive the profits.

The Maasai Project, as it is called, gives the women a creative space as well as economic freedom. They can then educate themselves and their families…and that is a cause that really spoke to me.

I had the opportunity to see pieces from the partnership at the Summit store, and from the superb leather to the detailed beadwork, these pieces are so, so beautiful. I also had the pleasure of meeting William Kikanae Ole Pere, the tribe’s chief! He is so gracious and so warm, and his vision for empowering women has changed the lives of so many women and girls – and benefited his community as a whole.

Enjoy my highlight reel! You can shop Pikolinos’ Maasai Collection by clicking HERE and HERE.

I was gifted with a beautiful necklace from The Maasai Project and I’m sharing a little of the love with ONE lucky reader! Post “Pick Me 4 Pikolinos!” in the comments for your chance at winning a hand-beaded bracelet. ONE winner will be chosen at random this Friday!

Chief William even taught me a little of his language, Maa, and I close with this:

Ashe (“Thank you”) for reading!

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Fringe benefits

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I am obsessed with wearing fringe this season! I’ve always associated it with rodeo-wear, but this spring’s looks are uber-chic.

Case in point? These sandals by Steve Madden (see above). They’re everything I needed and then some, after no the if wearing boots and sneakers. Available at Macy’s they come in five colors, but I choose taupe for its wear-with-everything ease.

I’m also loving the Double Zero cream fringe top I wore to the Sally beauty event. I found it at Von Maur, and am really impressed by their selection and the store’s overall atmosphere (including the pianist)! It’s a delightful break from the frenzied mall, and a welcome throwback to the traditional gracious department stores of yesteryear…just with very modern designers like Kendra Scott, Shoshanna and Trina Turk. The ladies’ dress department is exceptional.

If these are a bit “much,” add a little festival flair to your look with a handbag, necklace or earrings!

“Fringly”/Steve Madden at Macy’s, $129; Tassel earrings/J. Crew; $79.99

#SallyTalksTextures recap + giveaways!

Sally Beauty has provided me with compensation for this post and my appearance at the event. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by Sally Beauty Supply in Montgomery last Saturday! I had such a great time talking natural hair styles, trading transitioning tips and sharing my favorite products from Beautiful Textures!  And yes, I used the products (three of them, in fact) on my hair.

I shampooed and conditioned my hair at home, using the Rapid Repair Deep Conditioner. I have a LOT of hair, and it loved the hydrating treatment this product provides. I left it on for about 20 minutes and my hair felt really soft and moisturized after I rinsed it out. Then I blew my hair dry, flat ironed and rolled it on flexi rods for my first look, using the Curly to Straight Flat Iron Silkener. I LOVE THIS PRODUCT! It smells delicious (thanks to olive, coconut and argan oil, shea and mango butter and aloe vera), and gave my hair both silky weightlessness and shine while acting as a heat protectant.  However it was really warm in Montgomery, so eventually my hairstyle had to adjust. Beautiful Textures Edges and Ends Silkener helped me achieve my bun.  It has a soft gelee-type texture and did not harden, which I like. Not only do these products support the versatility of natural hair, they’re affordable…which I’m sure you’ll appreciate if you’ve become somewhat of a product junkie!  Each product is about $7 at Sally.

Did you miss the Montgomery event, or are you interested in trying Beautiful Textures? You’re in luck, because I’m giving away a selection of products to two Same Chic Different Day readers!

PRIZE 1: full size versions of the Moisture Butter Whipped Curl Creme and the Curl Control Defining Pudding

PRIZE 2: a sample of the Rapid Repair Deep Conditioner mentioned about and a full size version of the Naturally Straight Texture Manageability System.

To enter, simply comment “Send me #BTSallyBeauty!” below. Two winners will be selected this Friday, and all decisions are final.

To see more photos from the #BTSallyBeauty event in Montgomery, follow SCDD on Instagram (at)samechicdifferentday!

Join me at Sally Beauty Supply this Saturday!

  

Come by this Saturday, April 25 for your chance to receive natural hair tips, prizes and a shot at tickets to the BET Awards! For further details, click HERE.

I survived #LillyforTarget.

IMG_0868Here’s a recap of what happened yesterday morning, my Lilly for Target haul, plus a final word on #PinkSunday.

After staying up all night waiting for the Lilly Pulitzer collection to launch online, I drove to the Hoover West store in hopes of having better luck. I arrived around 6:15 AM in the pouring rain and no line had formed. Once the weather died down, I hopped out with a book and a piece of cardboard to sit on and made myself comfortable at the front door closest to the Electronic section (both sets of doors would be opened at 8:00, but this set was the quickest way to Ladies Apparel). Just when I began to think I was a little nuts, other cars began trickling into the parking lot. By 7:00 there was a line that eventually extended into the rain as well as one at the second set of doors near the Grocery section.

At 7:30 or so, a store manager came out to ask us not to run once we were let in, and to be kind to each other. We agreed at the front of the line that this would not be an issue. However, three people did attempt to break the line, which I thought was extremely tacky. When the doors were opened, I quickly made my way  toward Ladies Apparel. I never looked back, but I could feel the crush of about 60 people behind me.  I pulled the Fan Dance shift dress I wanted in two sizes and the Nosie Posey clutch I wanted as well, and hustled over to the Beauty aisle to grab the Fan Dance double-zip train case. Then I went back to try on the dresses.  When I came out, I noted the decimated clothes racks and bewilderment of women who’d gotten there late. I handed the dress I didn’t want to a lady who was very grateful, then headed to the cashier. I saw no fighting or crying, but I did see lots of grabbing, some stockpiling and several hurt, disappointed and confused faces. The stock was definitely wiped out within minutes.

After checking out, I drove eight miles to the Bessemer store to look for the Fan Dance round top clutch, but found the Pineapple juicer instead.  I’m ashamed to admit that I drove to two other stores in search of the clutch (with no luck), but at that point I was pretty delirious.

A note on the quality: while some minor details are missing on the shift (lace trim and bra strap holders), I’m happy with what I received. The clutch is sturdy with beautiful embroidery and a vibrant floral design. The train case and porcelain juicer are well-made as well.  I couldn’t care less about someone thinking it’s cheap. I thought the items were cute overall and nicely done at the price point offered. It is a shame Target is not planning to restock so more people can enjoy the collection.

All in all, it paid to get there early (and to have long legs and a strategy). But I’m not sure I will go this extreme again.

Aside from the problems experienced with the website and the hassle of shopping the store, I hated the fact that the quantities were so limited. If you got to the store at 8:00, you could basically forget it. This release brought out the ugly side of a lot of people, fighting and grabbing up things to sell at ridiculous prices elsewhere.  Then there is the faction of Lilly snobs who came out in full force on social media to bash people who enjoy the novelty of these collaborations as well as the democratization of fashion (i.e. whining because Lilly is no longer limited to those who live in exclusive enclaves and have exclusive tastes). On another note, I wish Target would make these launches into “events” with music, food and giveaways for customers who congregate at the store.  It might’ve helped the atmosphere a little. After all, Lilly was famous for her Palm Beach juice stand; they could’ve at least served orange juice!

I say “never again,” for now…at least until the next collaboration is announced. Don’t judge me.

Images via Google

#PinkSundayProblems: #LillyforTarget online launch is a haute mess

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If you stayed up for the Lilly Pulitzer for Target online launch, you may have grabbed items from your wish list from one of the links that were leaked early. Slow hand clap for you! If not, you may have stayed up until the wee hours (waiting for updates and frantically trying mobile links from affiliate sellers via your cell phone) only to end up empty-handed. Target’s website froze and crashed multiple times, items were added to carts only to be removed, and other items sold out within minutes. Do these seven stages of grief sound familiar?

  1. DENIAL: “I’ve been following this since the announcement in January. I set my alarm clock and began stalking the website at 7:00. What do you MEAN the Fan Dance shift is sold out?! Is this life?!”
  2. HOPE: When you *think* you’ve successfully added all your items to your cart and prepare to check out with glee.
  3. ANGER: Prompted by the “rotating wheel of doom” and your lack of sleep or caffeine.
  4. BARGAINING: Reducing wish list from 30 items to 3.
  5. COMMISERATION: Heading to Twitter to vent.
  6. DEPRESSION: Better known as that infamous “Oops!” notice.
  7. ACCEPTANCE: *Changes into sweats and sneakers for a mad dash at the brick and mortar when it opens.*

To be fair, this is a “limited edition” collection. And with Lilly’s loyal followers and all the hype, seasoned shoppers knew it would be a free-for-all. At this point your options are to shop your local store (which is probably sold out or close to it), wait for items to show up at rock-bottom prices at Dirt Cheap (yes, that actually happens), give up all together…or spend a bit more and shop at Lilly Pulitzer. Them’s the breaks, kids. For more tips, check out Fashionista.com’s post.

In all seriousness, Target has had well-documented issues with its designer collabo launches before from quality to quantity issues (hello, Missoni and Jason Wu). I won’t start on people who snap up everything and list it at ungodly prices on eBay. To not have plus size items in store this time around is a bad look, and frankly, to hear about a swanky pop-up preview soiree+sale at Bryant Park in NYC is disheartening when there are (were?) so many loyal customers around the United States. Why not really democratize fashion by hosting launches and special events in stores in other cities (such as the Neiman Marcus launch a few years ago)?

This could be a teachable moment for Target from an e-commerce, customer service and social media perspective:

  1. Make sure your e-commerce situation is in check! Some kinks are to be expected, but the early release of mobile links, multiple crashes, lengthy delays and numerous inadvertent duplicate orders is ridiculous. Work things out FAR in advance of a launch!
  2. Keep customers informed in a timely fashion. Target’s President Jason Goldberg tweeted replies and information to followers on Twitter, but I also saw the usual canned replies from Target’s account. However, not everyone was seeing these messages across social media. The comment section on the Target Style Facebook page was in shambles.
  3. Offer something to sweeten ruffled feathers. A massive goodwill campaign will be needed to win back some of Target’s customers, and even that may not be enough.

Your thoughts? How was your #LillyforTarget experience?

Happy shopping!

Xo, Alexis

Screenshots via Target, Gigi Goes Shopping, Lisa Vingerling and Twitter

Calling all naturalistas!

beautiful textures flaunt your look

Sally Beauty has provided me with compensation for this post and my appearance at the event. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

What hair style are you rocking this spring and summer? Are you transitioning – or have you recently transitioned – to natural hair? Need tips on how to have celebrity hair every day? Then join Beautiful Textures, Dream Kids and me (!) at Sally Beauty Supply on Saturday, April 25 from 1-4 PM for an afternoon of beauty tips, contests and giveaways! You will also have a chance to enter a giveaway for two tickets to the BET Awards, where you can FLAUNT YOUR LOOK!

In the meantime, stay tuned for tips on how I maintain my natural hair with Beautiful Textures plus a product giveaway!

This event will be held at the Sally Beauty Supply on 1526 Eastern Boulevard in Montgomery, Alabama.

Hope to see you there!

XO, Alexis

 

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