Monday, March 9, 2015

Bringing Visions To Life: Soul Era Re-Cap



So, last week. It was kind of a banner week around here. I knocked one of my vision board/ bucket list items off of my list for 2015 and I cannot stop smiling. A few weeks ago I wrote about how Macy's was hosting panels all over the country on the Soul Era of Style in honor of Black History Month. As soon as I saw that June Ambrose was one of the panelist I jumped at the chance to attend and promote the event. A long time fan of her style, persona, tv show, shoe line and #rockmom life, it was like a dream come true. Even if there was no guarantee I was going to meet her, I HAD to go.
She is my spirit animal. At a time when I was searching desperately for some kind of visual representation of my style (or who I want to be when I grow up) I discovered June's show and was smitten. Her energy was contagious and I could feel her passion through the screen. When I finally joined Instagram she was one of the first people I followed and I've enjoyed watching her grow her career. She's truly been an inspiration. When I discovered she'd written a book I was overjoyed to add it to my collection and searched high and low for the hardcover with no luck. I settled on the paperback and felt her spirit leap out of the book with each turn of the page.


Normally, I would have spent a good little while fretting over what to wear for such a momentous occasion but as I had recently purchased a dress from ASOS I knew I had that covered. Shoes were my only concern and that was really just about narrowing them down.


As I the tour kicked off and I began to see other friends social shares of their experiences the hope that I would get more than a photo from the crowd began to grow and I started to work out what I might say in the event I got the chance to speak to her. I asked around and there were rumors of a post event reception and photo op so I was geeked at the possibility. It seems a bit silly to some I guess, a grown woman getting SO excited over meeting another woman but y'all, she's like....EVERYTHING. For real. She seems like she has it all. I know she's worked hard to get where she is and I admire that. It was so refreshing to discover another brown girl who loves fashion and is making her mark on the world.



The night of the event I knew I would have to leave at least 2 hours early thanks to downtown L.A. traffic and I'm glad I did as it was just as congested as I'd expected and of course they were doing construction on the street I was travelling down. But I made it with a little time to spare and wasted no time in snagging a seat directly in front of the stage. I was determined to make June notice me. I'd also brought my copy of Effortless Style in hopes of getting it signed to commemorate the evening.


Our host Sheila Coates was serving seventies style sass in knee high boots and a luxe purple wide brimmed hat. June bopped out in a pink suit, graphic tee and headband with puff balls on top. Johnetta was all boho chic personified in loose pants with a tapered ankle and patterned kimono style dress with classic black wedges. It was like my fashion heaven. I had a hard time containing myself as I was itching to speak with both women in person.


Throughout the panel they had models coming out to showcase updated takes on classic soul era styles and it was fun to see how things are kind of coming full circle. I loved what both Johnetta and June had to say about fashion and it's evolution and about black women's place in it, both in the past and the present. They are both so passionate about what they do and you can tell that they enjoy each other's company as well as respect the others work. And while they are both stylists' they are on somewhat opposite ends of the styling spectrum but yet have similar views on where fashion is going.  All throughout the conversation I found myself nodding along to what they were saying about putting in the work in whatever it is you love to do and how important it is to treat your "freelance" as a business because it is. Not that I didn't know that, but it's nice to be reminded that just because you hustle doesn't mean that you shouldn't treat it the same you would a 9-5.



After chatting about the future of fashion Sheila wrapped things up and a line was quickly formed for the meet & greet photo session. I can't even front, my palms were sweating like crazy while I waited but I made sure I was prepared with a pen and my phone at the ready when my turn came.


It all happened so fast but then it was also like it was happening in slow motion. I don't know how else to describe it. It was kind of surreal. Johnetta greeted me first and I introduced myself and let her know that she re-tweeted me earlier in the week and that had just made my day. I then turned to June and produced my book for her to sign and she squealed and said 'oh you're so cute. You were so fun during the panel.' You guys. She NOTICED ME! I didn't have time to process as I went on to blurt out how I write the blog, at For Harriet and MommyNoire and I was so inspired by the two of them. They were both so gracious and sweet, thanking me for coming and encouraging my writing. After June finished signing my book we took a few photos and I hugged them both (awkwardly I might add) and June turned to me and said, "I love your effortless style." I.was.floored. Y'all, don't even know. I grabbed my phone from the event staff and scanned the photos and all but one turned out cute. It was epic. I was so hyped up I wasn't ready to go home so I hopped in the photo booth and took a few more awkward photos to calm myself down. I quickly cropped, filtered, captioned and posted my photos to IG and Twitter before hopping in the car for the long ride home.



It should be noted that just as the panel was starting I text one of my BFF's in NYC (a fellow June lover) that she was 5 feet from and she sent back a slew of questions replete with exclamation points. She was the first to like my IG photo even though it was midnight back east. That's friendship. They stay up to see what the photo looks like. My drive home was pretty much a breeze as I replayed the events of the evening and mentally wrote captions for future photos. Once I got home and finished uploading my posts I put my phone down long enough to eat something and when I picked it up again I saw Johnetta had re-tweeted me again and June had liked my photo. JUNE LIKED MY PHOTO! I LIVE!!! (subsequently that is also the first text my BFF saw Friday morning.)



That meant EVERYTHING to me. It's cheesy but it was one of my dreams come true and it was on my vision board for this year. I put into the universe that I wanted / needed to meet June Ambrose and it just so happens that I presented with the opportunity to do so. Thank You, Universe! I mean!
So yeah, I was pretty much on cloud nine for the rest of the evening.


And then I woke up. And Johnetta had commented on my photo. And June replied to AND re-tweeted me. I wanted to pass out from lightheaded giddiness and my husband was cracking up as I was tripping over my words while excitedly relaying all that had transpired in the last few hours. My cup had filled up and was running over.


I've met my share of famous folk over the last 15 years and it's beyond thrilling when a person you admire from afar is actually as cool as you want them to be when you meet them in real life. To meet Johnetta and June after having a conversation about fashion and women and life and pursuing your dreams while surrounded by other women of color, the #blackgirlmagic was tangible and I was basking in it. I am so thankful for the opportunity to get to do what I love, writing, the way I want to and generally about what I want to and I love these types of events that are gentle reminders I am exactly where I am, when I am supposed to be. And that's all I can ask for.

Who's on your bucket list to meet?










1 comment:

  1. First off, congrats on Meeting June Ambrose! I am a huge fan of hers. She has style, personality, and just enough sass! This looks like it was a fabulous event. You look fabulous btw. Love that dress!

    Jas | Jasmine Diane

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