Christmas Break TBR

December is here and with December comes Christmas break. Since I’ve been so busy lately, I have a stack of books waiting to be read over my weeks off from school. Here’s what I hope to read:

IMG_20171209_140513.jpgDear Martin ~Nic Stone

I pre-ordered this book on Amazon because I was stoked to read it. This is her debut novel that deals with police brutality issues. Plus, she’s repped by Jason Reynolds, one of my favorite authors.

Pride and Prejudice ~Jane Austen

I started this a while ago, for school, and didn’t get a chance to finish it but I really want to. It’s a classic, I need to add more books to my list, and most importantly I enjoy it.

The Beautiful Fall: Lagerfield, Saint Laurent, and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris ~Alicia Drake

One of my favorite times and places in fashion history is 1970s Paris. Yves and Karl where both in their prime and at their peak. I’m really excited to read this book that explores the gorgeous era.

Stay fly,

~Akilah

What do you plan to do over the break?

 

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Warby Parker Resort 2017

Today Warby Parker releases their Resort 2017 collection and I’m honored to be able to bring it to you in my own way. Warby Parker seeks “to offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price”, which is something I can relate to as someone who needs new glasses like clockwork.

I decided to use the glasses as styling inspiration and create a few outfits inspired by these classy frames

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First of all, kudos to Warby Parker for their diversity in this campaign. I’m totally here for this #blackgirlmagic! Anyway, these frames are definitely more than plain black glasses. The sleek shape gives off modern classy vibes that I can’t get enough of. Because of that, I kept this outfit to a basic color palette and chose a skirt and sweater with classic silhouettes, this would be a perfect outfit to wear to a Christmas party or on Christmas Day, if you get out of pajamas that is.

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I love the pattern on these and the gorgeous blush color. For a more casual look, I paired these with a pink sweater, collared tank top, and jeans. I added some brown boots and a silver and pink ring to add some pizzazz.

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Finally, we have these chic sunglasses. The cat eye is adorable and the frame color just says “rich and bougie” all over it. These read very Karl Lagerfield-esque to me. Also the lens tint is to die for and a nice break from the reflective style that’s super popular at the moment. When I saw these I immediately thought of this brown courduroy jacket. I was thinking a warm fall-like color palate, so I chose these rust colored pants. To keep the focus on these amazing shades and the jacket, I paired this outfit with a white top and, again brown boots, throwing in a cream and gold statement necklace.

Since Christmas is coming up, you should definitely check out Warby Parker’s eyeglasses and sunglasses. Who knows, even if you don’t find any gifts, you’ll probably find something to add to your wishlist.

Stay fly

~Akilah

Five Things Friday: MAMA 2017 Red Carpet

Fashion and music have always been deeply connected and it seems to be even more so in Kpop culture. I looked at the coverage from the Mnet Asian Music Awards and wanted to write about my fashion favorites. I’m including the group photo even though I’ll be focusing on my single favorite look (photos from Soompi.com). Also, I’ll denote from which city the look is from because I’m merging Japan and Hong Kong.

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Johnny ~NCT 127 (1st from the left)

(Hong Kong)

Trench coats or trench coat-like blazers seemed to be quite in vogue on the carpet, and Johnny’s polka dot one definitely caught my eye. If you’re an NCTzen then you know that Johnny’s really into fashion with his “Johnny’s Fashion Evaluation” show. And I think this daring look suits him. I like how he kept the rest of the outfit simple and clean to draw attention to the statement jacket.

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Jin ~BTS (3rd from left)

(Hong Kong)

Jin’s outfit was one of the more conservative out of the members. His navy colored double-breasted blazer with black lapels was tailored absolutely perfectly. I like the simple white shirt and flower to complement it too. The shoes, however, are horrible in my opinion. They look like those shoes you have to wear if you work in a restaurant kitchen for safety reasons. But, the tailoring of the suit really makes this look for me, so I guess I’ll over look those hideous shoes.

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Jun ~Seventeen (1st from left)

(Japan)

It takes special skill to pull off a turtleneck on the red carpet. If you’re going to go for it this is how. The long-line pinstripe blazer balances the high neck of the sweater. It was definitely a good choice to go for matching pants too because it keeps the look clean. Overall, this was a welcome refresher from the dark suits.

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Sehun~EXO (1st from right)

(Hong Kong)

Ok, it’s no surprise that Sehun made it onto this list. Aside from being one of EXO’s visuals, he’s an accomplished model boasting runway shows and Vogue covers. EXO slayed this red carpet and they definitely deserved the “Best Asian Style” award. Sehun’s look was classy and a bit avant-garde. A black suit, simple and no fuss, was elevated by this amazing shirt. It has this cool shawl type piece over the right shoulder (his left) and it seems to have an asymmetrical hem. I really need a photo with no blazer to get the full effect of its greatness. But, I can tell, this look is gold.

 

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Jooheon~Monsta X (Center)

(Japan)

Monsta X’s stylist was paying attention. The burgundy shade of the blazer expertly sets off Jooheon’s platinum blonde hair (which is amazing by the way). If that isn’t enough, the blazer is velvet with velvet lapels. Then we have this gorgeous mauve tie, and although it’s not shown in this photo, some black fingerless gloves. This look is my absolute favorite of all the idols I saw and it’s perfect that they placed him in the center.

Let me know what you thought of these looks in the comments, or if I missed your faves let me know!

Stay fly,

~Akilah

Thankful Ramblings + OOTD

Happy Thanksgiving!

Since I’m one of those people who must dress up for Thanksgiving, I thought it’d be in order to do an outfit of the day. But, of course I can’t leave it at that, so here’s 3 things I’m thankful for:

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Doing what I love

I’m so thankful that God has allowed me to do what I enjoy everyday. I’m thankful for supportive parents who encourage me and friends who share in what I enjoy. It’s amazing to live in a time where I can get instructions on any skill and share my thoughts within seconds. I’m thankful for the connectivity and creativity that the internet brings.

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Kpop

I know it might seem like not that big of a deal, but it’s no accident that I discovered Kpop this year, God makes everything happen for a reason 🙂

I’m thankful for the new friends it’s brought me: in real life and over the internet. I’m thankful for the happiness and inspiration it brings me.

I’m thankful for BTS at the AMAs, Monsta X’s First Win, and EXO’s continued success (together). I’m thankful for B.A.P, BigBang, Seventeen, Got7, NCT (all of them), Pentagon, KNK, CNBlue, Taemin, GD, Heize, and all the groups and solo artists I’ve yet to discover!

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Lasting love

This year in October my parents celebrated their 20th anniversary. It’s amazing to me, the love they have for God and each other that’s allowed them to stay together this long. And not just barely together existing in the same space from day to day, but truly loving each other and thriving together.

Today is not only Thanksgiving, it’s my paternal grandparents’ 50th anniversary. Today in 1967, my grandparents began their lives together and their amazing legacy. Almost everyone who was at their wedding has since passed away, but not only are they still alive, they’re still together. I’m so thankful for all the celebrations of lasting love that this year has brought so far.

Stay fly,

~Akilah

What are you thankful for?

My Name in Books Tag

img_2766-1Today class was cancelled and I wanted to use this time to write a blog post. But I had no clue what to write about, so I googled book tags and this one seemed fun. rather than just spelling my name I thought that I would explain why I love these books, then I realized that each one of these is special to me in some way. Without further ado let’s get into this tag!

A: Around the World in 80 Days -Jules Verne

A classic, I read this in a book club when I was around 8 years old and looooved it! It’s full of adventure and when I went back to read it later I realized how well written the prose is.

K: Kira-Kira -Cynthia Kadohata

My very first blog post was a book review of this book, you can check it out here. This book gave me an irreplaceable look at Japanese-American culture and experiences in a way that I never thought about before.

I: If you Give a Mouse a Cookie -Laura Numeroff

These picture books are timeless, I still love them. I think this is also one of the books my mom used to teach me how to read.

L: Life in Motion -Misty Copeland

One of my favorite autobiographies ever! I sped through this book in les than 24 hours because it was that amazing. Misty Copeland is such an inspiration and this book is a must read.

A: Anne of Green Gables -L.M. Montgomery

Another classic that I really enjoyed reading. Anne is such an infectious character and the books never bored me.

H: Hush -Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woo is one of my favorite authors and this book was so emotionally moving. She always does an amazing job of talking about huge issues in a personal way, with one character with whom the reader can relate. This book is no exception.

Stay fly,

Akilah

Milk & Honey

I have another restaurant review and surprise it’s a breakfast place! It’s really no secret that I love breakfast and especially brunch, so it was definitely in order for me to try Milk & Honey.

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My first impression was how cute the sign is! It’s big and the white script is very clean and modern. The dĂ©cor on the inside lives up to the aesthetic set by the sign. It’s modern in a black and white color scheme with gleaming wood floors. In place of booths and clunky tables, little round cafĂ© style tables adorn the space. There’s also a little bakery counter with a chalkboard menu.

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I ordered a Matcha Latte to start. I’d been wanting to try matcha for a long time and while the flavor was good, it had a powdery texture that I couldn’t get used to. For my main dish I ordered off the breakfast menu although we came at a time when you could go for breakfast or lunch. I chose toast with mushroom, egg, and tomato jam with potatoes on the side. My food took a while coming but when it did come it tasted pretty good. I would’ve liked some heat to set it off because the portion that I took to-go and added some green pepper hot sauce to was magnificent. The potatoes were quite delicious: crispy on the outside and soft on the inside like potatoes should be. My mom ordered chicken and waffles which looked amazing so I took a picture of those, I’ll probably order that if we come to Milk & Honey again. While this definitely isn’t my favorite breakfast spot I’d be willing to try it again someday.

Stay fly,

~Akilah

Balmain X L’Oreal: Confidence

It’s no secret that the Balmain aesthetic is illustrious and coveted. As one of my favorite brands, I long to get my hands on an iconic jacket or dress. The price tag, however, assures that for now those pieces will remain dreams. But have no fear! Today, I have a little piece of the Balmain aesthetic in my hands and it’s only $14 a tube!

This newest collaboration brings 12 bold shades that emulate the “Balmain girl” and a price range more accessible to every girl. As soon as I saw the campaign shades released, I knew Confidence was the one I wanted. A shimmery nude rose gold, this color is gorgeous and perfect if you’re a rose gold addict like I am. The formula is creamy and I appreciate that the glitter isn’t gritty feeling. The smell is quite strong but not unpleasant, it kind of reminds me of baby oil gel so just be aware. Other than the shade, the packaging is my favorite feature. The tube isn’t quite rectangular, the interesting angles and the sleek black and gold give a glamorous feel. The closure has a groove the fit the top and bottom together and the “Balmain” across the tube is spelled out in the iconic font. It’s details like these that make me whole heartedly recommend this lipstick

Stay fly,

~Akilah

Best Food in Nashville 2017

Recently, my dad brought home a copy of The Nashville Scene: Best of Nashville Edition. Since I’m a resident Nashville foodie, I thought it would be fun to tell whether I agree with the reader’s poll or not for a few categories.

Best Barbecue

Their Choice: Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint

My Choice: Martin’s

This place is the truth, I looove their brisket especially. Those long lines also tell you a lot about the quality of their food.

Best Burger

Their Choice: Burger Up

My Choice: M.L Rose

When I went here for my birthday with my aunt a couple of years ago, we were both doing elimination diets/detoxes so all we could really eat was the burger patty. But man was that patty good! Easily the most flavorful burger I’ve had. In terms of a normal burger with all the fixins’ I’d recommend Gabby’s. At Burger Up I’ve only had a specialty burger: their Oktoberfest burger, which was too salty but also lacking in flavor, their milkshakes however are bomb.

Best Brunch

Their Choice: Marchè Artisan Foods

My Choice: Marchè

I have dreams about this place. We went here on a rainy Sunday morning after church a couple of years ago. The quaint French decor immediately drew me in and then I fell in love with the food. My andouille sausage crepes were fluffy, and the dijon mustard was a lovely addition.

Best Cupcake

Their Choice: The Cupcake Collection

My Choice: The Cupcake Collection

You already know what it is! Cupcake collection is not only the best in Nashville, it’s the best in the entire country. I’ve met the owner Mignon; she’s so sweet and so are her cupcakes. The Strawberry Lemonade one is my favorite but it’s generally sold out so the Wedding Cake is also amazing.

Best Thai

Their Choice: The Smiling Elephant

My Choice: Thai Phooket

Even though I’ve never been to The Smiling Elephant I still wanted to do this category because I love Thai food. Thai Phooket has amazing green and red curry, Pad Thai, and bubble tea. It’s perfect for those who love authentic Thai food but they also have more mainstream Chinese food for pickier eaters (not my favorite thing but that’s another post). Anyway you should definitely go here.

Do you agree with my choices?

Stay fly,

~Akilah

Kpop Comebacks Review â€“September

Kpop comebacks were lit this month, so I thought it would be fun to review some that I watched/listened to and enjoyed. I’m evaluating the music videos in five categories: concept, aesthetics/cinematography, fashion/beauty, choreography, and song. I’ll be discussing my thoughts in each of these categories, giving a one to five rating in each one, and then granting an overall score out of a possible 25.
BAP: Honeymoon

Concept: This video sparked lots of questions for me as it refers to the concept. Why is Yongguk’s hand bleeding? Why is Zelo trapped in the dark while the other members are on the island? And what’s with the TV in the forest? If y’all have any answers to these questions or if you can direct me to a fan theory that does, definitely comment below. Anyway, I enjoyed the classy/elegant concept in this video. (3)

Aesthetics/Cinematography: Scenery wise, this MV was probably the most stunning I’ve ever seen. I believe it was filmed on Jeju Island and I appreciate the move from a warehouse/garage/set that most groups tend to go for to an outdoor area. The aerial shots were killer and the editing was on point. (5)

Fashion/Beauty: Mullets reigned in this concept, and I have to say I am not a fan. I didn’t like the way Yongguk’s hair was styled at the table scene in the end but in the forest parts it was cool. Youngjae gets props for looking classy and not succumbing to the mullet pressure. And the all white end looks truly saved the day. (2)

Choreography: There was no dance at all in the MV, not even a head bop, but a couple of days later we received a lit dance practice. Jongup definitely came to slay this choreo with Michael Jackson-esque moves and he came mullet-less yay! The synchronicity is on point and the sweeping line dance move in the first chorus floors me every single time. Unfortunately, this video is an excellent example of a Kpop pet peeve of mine: unnecessary back-up dancers. All the members were trained in and are competent in dance. Why do we need extra people to muddy the waters? (4)

Song: With a breezy, chill feel, this song quickly became a current favorite of mine. The whistling at the beginning and the chord changes in the bridge are wonderful. Jongup’s vocal performance was flawless . I was also intrigued by the position of Yongguk’s rap, putting it at the end rather than in a verse was a nice touch. (5)

Total: 19

Pentagon –Like This

Concept: Parking lots and apples? I don’t really know but there seems to be pain and difficulty here, especially looking at the lyrics with the video. (2)

Aesthetics/Cinematography: I like the use of different locations and lighting techniques. Also E’Dawn’s car scene displayed excellent angles. (4)

Fashion/Beauty: Pentagon is a group where generally all the members look amazing in many concepts. Jinho with blonde hair worked and Yan An lived up to his status as official visual. Wooseok with a hat was a look, but underneath the hat his fluffy, shaggy hair cut irritates me to no end. Bangs don’t suit Yeo One well in my opinion but he rocked them considering. The real star in the visual department for me this comeback (and kind of every comeback) is Yuto da! His black parted hair is my favorite look of his so far, it really frames his face well and looks natural. (4)

Choreography: The amazingly talented Kino choreographed this dance and he killed it. In terms of choreography it’s probably my favorite of the September comebacks, yes, even over BTS’ DNA. Like This showcases a powerful yet graceful style that I admire. It’s nice to see such emotionally charged choreograpy like this (see what I did there). The use of slow motion at the bridge is masterfully done so it doesn’t seem cheesy. My absolute favorite move is the one in the chorus at “weonan dan hanaye becheul” it expertly shows all the emotion in that line through movement, so even before I looked up the English lyrics I could sense the desperation and determination. (5)

Song: This song is essentially about determination “Even if I fall and my knees bleed, I’ll keep on running like this.” It’s a beautiful message backed by a beautiful vocal performance. The line distribution is impeccable, especially for a ten member group and the ratio of rap to vocal doesn’t feel uneven at all. I especially love how the positioning of E’Dawn’s energetic rap breaks up the songs mellow feel. (5)

Total: 20

BTS –DNA

Concept: This concept is fun and bright but with enough of a hardcore feel. It’s perfectly and totally Bangtan. (4)

Aesthetics/Cinematography: The camera angles at the beginning of JK’s whistle, the use of shadow in the choreo scenes, and the vibrant colors make this MV pop. It’s an excellent example of gorgeous cinematography, all you artists need to get a pen and take a seat. (5)

Fashion/Beauty: Taehyung with gray hair, Jungkook with a part again, Yoongi somehow slaying powder blue, Jin’s black hair making an appearance, and Namjoon with rust colored hair made this a lit era. J-Hope’s color was nice but the bangs aren’t my favorite. Let me know if you want to sign my petition: Bring Back Hoseok’s Forehead. Jimin’s “noodle” hair looked rather strange to me even though it was poppin’ in Serendipity. In terms of fashion, Tae gets an award for best dressed but I love Kookie’s silk shirt and Yoongi’s tank and button down combo (which I recreated here). Honestly, all the looks were lit in this MV, even Hoseok’s jersey over sweatshirt look grew on me. (4)

Choreography: We saw classic Bangtan with pelvic thrusts and head bopping, but we saw lots of fresh takes on the choreograpy. Taehyung did a sweet solo, Jin was the center in a dance scene (he’s come so far), and J-Hope slayed the ending. I love the part where they link hands in a formation and the ending “la, la” dance especially. (5)

Song: This song is so catchy. Everyone shines with JK slaying pre-chorous, Tae singing in his low register, Jimin’s breathy vocal coming through, and Jin’s sweet soft voice. Our rap line came with it too: J-Hope’s excited tone and Namjoon’s aggressive one contrast perfectly. Yoongi rapped a lot in this song and I couldn’t be happier, and there’s nothing more adorable than his pronunciation of “real love”. The bass line was poppin, especially in the second verse, and the whistling of the melody was an ingenious way to make sure that every single ARMY is hypnotized by this bop. One of my favorite things about older eras of Bangtan was Jungkook rapping and we got our golden maknae showing his gifts once again in this song, and no I didn’t forget about our Chim Chim because he slayed his rap too. I can’t forget that Namjoon and Yoongi co-wrote this song. I’m so proud, BTS fighting! (5)

Total: 23

I watched a lot of comebacks in September so if you want to see a part 2 featuring B1A4, EXO, Lay, and others comment down below. Also be sure to tell me your thoughts on these comebacks if you’ve seen them and if you haven’t tell me your favorite song release of September, Kpop or otherwise.
Stay fly,
~Akilah

DNA ~BTS (Bangtan Boys) Inspired Outfit // Suga

We’re now living in the DNA era and look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now! This MV is aesthetically, musically, and choreographically stunning. Inspiration hit me from every angle while watching this the 75+ times I’ve seen it since 5:09 a.m. On Monday September 18, 2017. One of the things I was struck by was Yoongi’s outfit in this comeback. Everyone’s been talking about the abundance of Gucci, Jimin’s sequined jacket, and Hoseok’s tiger sweater but Yoongi’s outfits aren’t getting enough love. The first look he sports in this MV is my focus for today. It’s simplicity is what makes it so amazing: a red and black striped tank, jeans, suspenders, and a white button down. Check out my take on this lewk!