The Haute List

IMG_2877Hello darlings! Is your look in need of a pick-me-up? Here’s a list of events to get you in fashionable formation from head to toe this season:

The Aveda Institute is celebrating its customers! Join them Thursday, March 10 for their Guest Appreciation Event, where you can receive 20% off Aveda products and services booked through June 30, 2016, as well as complimentary pampering. (Here’s one of my all-time favorite products!) RSVP HERE.

Belk hosts its Spring Girls’ Night Out in-store and online on Thursday March, 10 from 5 -8:30 PM. Enjoy 20%with limited exclusions on regular and sales-priced items in select departments, as well as light bites and music. For more info, click HERE.

Visions Health and Beauty Distributors presents its annual Natural Hair and Health Expo in the BJCC North Exhibition Hall on Saturday, March 12 from 10 AM-6:00 PM. Expect plenty of vendors, a pageant, a panel, a performance by Vivian Green and an appearance from natural hair vlogger Taren Guy. Purchase tickets HERE.

Enjoy!

 

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Shop, Save and Share with the Junior League of Birmingham

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Calling all shoppers! If shopping is your cardio, why not “exercise” with a fabulous cause in mind? Here’s your chance!

Haute off the press (release):

For the tenth year in a row, the Junior League of Birmingham* will hold its Shop Save & Share program from late October to early November. This fundraiser supports the League’s 34 community projects while at the same time driving customers to local retailers and restaurants.

When you purchase a Shop Save & Share card for $40, you receive a 20% discount on merchandise and dining at the fundraiser’s more than 550 participating stores and restaurants throughout greater Birmingham. For 2015, we have the highest number of Shop Save & Share supporters ever including business participants from Trussville to Hoover from The Summit to the 280 Corridor, as well as the communities of Homewood, Mountain Brook, Vestavia Hills and many others.

This year’s Shop Save & Share program will run from October 21 through November 1, and the purchase of one Shop, Save and Share donation does the following:

-Provides one student the opportunity to participate in the College Admissions Made Possible program.

-Provides one week of snacks, magazines, books to mothers restricted to bed rest in the UAB NICU.

-Provides one child who is suffering from “under nutrition” to have food provided to them for the weekends for an entire school year.

-Provides 1.5 children one book per month for 5 years through Better Basics & JLB Imagination Library.

Ready to celebrate this fantastic shoppertunity? There will be a kickoff party TODAY — October 21 — at The Summit! It will be at The Terrace near Lilly Pulitzer (in between Belk and Gus Mayer), beginning at 6pm.  A little birdie tells me there will be light bites, something to sip while you shop, live music and chances to win fabulous prizes! Click HERE to RSVP.

Visit www.jlbonline.com or www.shopsaveshare.net to purchase a Shop Save & Share card and to review a complete listing of participating merchants and sponsors.  Additional Information about the fundraiser can be found on Facebook:  Shop Save & Share or Twitter:  @JLBirmingham (#jlbshopsaveshare)

*Disclosure: I am a member of the Junior League of Birmingham. All thoughts posted are my own.

Swoozie’s Turns Ten!

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Haute off the Press:

Pop. Fizz. Clink! Swoozie’s at The Summit is celebrating ten years of business in Birmingham on Wednesday, October 7. The Exceptional Foundation and local companies join Swoozie’s at The Summit as they TOAST to TEN with special discounts all day and an over the top soiree from 5pm to 7pm.

“The Birmingham community has supported Swoozie’s and our growing business over the past ten years,” says Ashley O’Donnell, Marketing Director for Swoozie’s. “As we toast to ten years in Birmingham, we are showcasing several local artists and purveyors at our event to celebrate Birmingham.”

Local companies to be showcased at the event include:

  • Bradford Billingsley, fashion designer
  • Paint Caroline’s Carrie Pittman, artist
  • State Traditions, clothier
  • Inspirations by Janie, jeweler
  • Zines & Letters, home decor
  • Dixie Creative, jeweler
  • Exceptional Foundation, beneficiary of the event

Customers will receive 10% off throughout the day with an even deeper discount of 20% off from 5 to 7pm. A portion of the day’s sales will benefit The Exceptional Foundation. The first 25 guests to RSVP to swoocrew@swoozies.com will receive a bag full of Swoo. In addition, students who show their college ID during the party will receive an unlimited vinyl personalization pass, $50 printing pass and two free monogramming passes for the month of October. Swoozie’s will be giving away prizes throughout the evening valued at $100 each.

See you there!

F is for Field Trip

If you haven’t visited the Birmingham Museum of Art, please make your way there. The regular exhibitions are awesome; but I had the privilege of viewing both Black Like Who? and Rising Up: Hale Woodruff’s Murals at Talladega College last night. Both are moving exhibits that provide visual, social and cultural commentaries relevant for today.

I can’t remember the last time I walked into a museum and wanted to cry, just because something in the art connected with me so deeply. Okay, I’m a known crier anyway, but the pieces just grab you! Although I’d definitely heard of Hale Woodruff’s murals, nothing prepared me for the beauty, dignity and triumph in the bold paint strokes he used to depict the Amistad case as well as the building of Talladega College.

And as for Black Like Who?, if you don’t walk out seriously contemplating identity and beauty–you may have missed the point totally. The collection includes works by renowned Elizabeth Catlett, as well as two with Alabama roots.

Go. Soak it up. Come out changed. I’m already figuring out when I can go back. The museum has ArtBreaks, lectures and public tours scheduled throughout the month of August. And if you stay for lunch at Oscar’s, attending selected events on certain days will get you a free dessert!

Rising Up closes September 6; Black Like Who? closes November 1. And don’t forget: Art on the Rocks is this Friday!

Photo of mural via the Birmingham Museum of Art’s Instagram account. All other photos taken by AEB.

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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‘Rear Window’ airs tonight

One of my all-time favorite movies is showing tonight! If you’ve never seen any of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic suspense films, Rear Window is one to watch.  The plotlines and (Edith Head-designed fashion) are not to be missed.

Rear Window stars James Stewart and Grace Kelly as a housebound photographer and his model girlfriend, respectively, out to solve a murder they believe occurred across the courtyard.  They get a little too close to the action, and to find out how it ends, go see the movie! Find it at a theater near you by clicking HERE.

I’m including a few shots of Kelly’s beautiful wardrobe. They simply do not make clothes like this anymore.

 

 

 

 

 

Join me for Girls’ Night Out at Belk!

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*Note: Belk has provided me with compensation for this post and my appearance at the event. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*

Darlings, shake off those winter blahs and spring forward into warm-weather fashion with Belk (and me!) on Thursday, March 12 at the Summit location! The garden party-themed soirée will feature light bites, wine and music from Scratch DJ, as well as fashion tips from yours truly. And yes: there will be discounts (20% off with limited exclusions) and giveaways!

The event is from 5:00 to 8:30 p.m. at Belk (the Summit location). Swing by; I’d love to see (and shop) with you!

Check out a sneak peek at what I’m wearing: this lovely Ruffle-Top Slim Dress by 1 State’s Spring 2015 line (seen also in the slides how above). I was looking for an updated LBD and this is a winner! The flirty ruffle accent keeps it fun, but I don’t feel over-exposed thanks to the wide straps and knee-length hem. It can easily be dressed up or down, and I can’t wait to show you how I’ll style it this spring (hint: leopard may be involved). And 1 State has several other stylish, contemporary options on the second floor!

Not in the Birmingham area? Other Girls’ Night Out events are being held at Belk locations in Tuscaloosa, Spanish Fort and Mobile, AL (Bel-Air Mall), in Pensacola FL (Cordova Mall), and in Atlanta, GA (Phipps Plaza) and Franklin, TN (Cool Springs Galleria).

Hope to see you March 12!

XO, Alexis

 

Save the Date: The UNCF Masked Ball is March 2!

KeithSweatJoin Birmingham’s UNCF office for a spectacular night of dinner and dancing as they support funding for historically black colleges and universities!  You know I love to get glam for a great cause, and I want you to mark your social calendars and break out your very best black tie attire for this do-not-miss event!

“The UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. UNCF provides operating funds for 38 member historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), scholarships and internships for students at about 900 institutions and faculty and administrative professional training.

For more than 67 years, UNCF has raised more than $3.3 billion to help more than 400,000 students attend college and graduate from college. UNCF has distributed more funds to help minorities attend school than any entity outside of the U.S. government.” – UNCF.org

The deets:

WHAT: The 2013 UNCF Birmingham Masked Ball                                                                                                                                              

WHEN: Saturday, March 2, 2013

WHERE: The Sheraton Birmingham

WHY: To support fundraising for the United Negro College Fund, which helps educate students at member colleges

WHOA!: KEITH SWEAT is this year’s celebrity entertainment! For tickets, call (205) 322-8623.

WOW!: I am so excited to serve as the masked ball’s red carpet correspondent! So be sure to follow @SameChicSouth and @UNCFBham to keep up with all the night’s fabulosity!

To learn more about the amazing work the UNCF does, click HERE, and stay tuned for more details!

‘Dark Girls’ investigates ongoing color complex

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I recently attended the screening of Dark Girls at the Carver Theatre, and it was an eye-opening, thought-provoking experience.  Mayor William Bell gave opening remarks and the audience settled in for a film which was peppered with humor as well as biting realism.  Not to be missed was comedian, actor and motivational speaker Michael Colyar’s insight, as well as the thoughts of several African-American men and women who shared their perspectives, fears and mixed feelings. Christal M. Jackson – who helped coordinate the evening locally – hosted a Q&A with the audience that shared first person testimonies of how the color complex has affected them.

I was left with this thought: “Our beauty is really our state of mind.” [MC]

 Although Bill Duke was unable to attend, he did convey his appreciation for the warm reception the film received. If Dark Girls airs near you, make plans to see it.

Images courtesy of Lynsey Weatherspoon Photography

‘Dark Girls’ to air in Birmingham this Saturday

FINALLY!

The Bill Duke and D. Channsin Berry documentary was first mentioned here last November, and will show in Birmingham on November 3 at the Carver Theatre/Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame.  Get your FREE TICKETS by clicking HERE.  According to the invitation, Bill Duke will be featured at the screening, which begins at 7:30 PM.

Dark Girls “[explores] the deep-seated biases and attitudes about skin color particularly [experienced by] dark-skinned women, outside of and within the Black American culture.” As Berry notes, “The skin issue is a discussion we all need to have once and for all…so we can eradicate it.” 

If you think we’ve progressed beyond the need to address the color complex, then you surely have missed the recent uproar over Zoe Saldana’s casting in the upcoming Nina Simone biopic. I will say upfront that the preview was painful for me to watch.  It brought back some memories and brought up some serious questions. Not every person with a darker complexion has a negative self-image or confidence issues, and not everyone of a lighter complexion has been held up as a beauty ideal. But whatever your complexion, eye color or hair texture, Dark Girls a thought-provoking piece.

The Carver Theatre is located at 1631 4th Avenue North.

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