Harlem Fashion Week: Fashion for Everyone.

This falls Harlem fashion week 2018 held at the Museum of the City of New York, was full of uptown fashion, great styles, and beautiful Full Figured Models showing off designer Diva Bigg, (@divabigg on instagram) fashion collection which overshadowed the others and stole the show, proving that Style and Fashion is for everyone regardless of age, sex, body size, skin color, or ANYTHING!

(Large and in Charge on the runway)

(These models and styles are a big deal)

(Full Figured High Fashion)


(Diva Bigg with one of her beautiful models)


(Photos by Jessica Phillip) 42677592_10217399067266141_5908588227094118400_n

(Jean German & Mike Strange patronizing the vendors)



Editor in Chief: Mike Strange

Logistical Executive: Jean Germain

Business/Market Executive: Jessica Phillip

Museum of the City of New York

Harlem Fashion Week Staff









New York Fashion Week: Style Fashion Show Day 3.

On day three of NY Style Fashion Week, the Elegant Classy Gentleman team while catching the last of Style NY’s fashion designers, we also managed to have a little fun ourselves, and realized we are our own fashion show wherever we find ourselves at.


Here are some of the highlight’s of the Elegant Classy Gentleman’s team at New York Style Fashion Week.


(Mike Strange: Editor in Chief)




(Raya IOffe: Special Assistant/Staff coordinator)



(Jessica Phillip: Business/Marketing Executive)


(Jean Germain: Logistical Executive)



Special thanks to all of the Elegant Classy Gentleman team for keeping it classy and stylish on and off the runway at New York Style Fashion Week.




Photos: Jessica Phillip, Jean Germain, Natasha Swartz.


New York Fashion Week: Style Fashion Show Day 2.

On day 2 of Style New York Fashion Week the ECG team was hands on with the performers, vendors, designers and models for day two of fashion week at Style NY.


New York Fashion Week: Style Fashion Show Day 1.


New York Fashion Week 2018 was very exciting this year (as it is every year), and the Elegant Classy Gentleman team was on the move again at the Style NY Fashion Show for their three day showcase of the hottest fashion designers, with their Spring/Summer collections at the Manhattan Center. Here are the highlight of Style NY day 1.

Opening performances by: LaRose, Natalya and Naima.



Manifesto of Futurism by F.T. Marinetti 20th February 1909.

The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism:

  1. We intend to sing the love of danger, the habit of energy and fearlessness.
  2. Courage, audacity, and revolt will be essential elements of our poetry.
  3. Up to now literature has exalted a pensive immobility, ecstasy, and sleep. We intend to exalt aggresive action, a feverish insomnia, the racer’s stride, the mortal leap, the punch and the slap.
  4. We affirm that the world’s magnificence has been enriched by a new beauty: the beauty of speed. A racing car whose hood is adorned with great pipes, like serpents of explosive breath—a roaring car that seems to ride on grapeshot is more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace.
  5. We want to hymn the man at the wheel, who hurls the lance of his spirit across the Earth, along the circle of its orbit.
  6. The poet must spend himself with ardor, splendor, and generosity, to swell the enthusiastic fervor of the primordial elements.
  7. Except in struggle, there is no more beauty. No work without an aggressive character can be a masterpiece. Poetry must be conceived as a violent attack on unknown forces, to reduce and prostrate them before man.
  8. We stand on the last promontory of the centuries!… Why should we look back, when what we want is to break down the mysterious doors of the Impossible? Time and Space died yesterday. We already live in the absolute, because we have created eternal, omnipresent speed.
  9. We will glorify war—the world’s only hygiene—militarism, patriotism, the destructive gesture of freedom-bringers, beautiful ideas worth dying for, and scorn for woman.
  10. We will destroy the museums, libraries, academies of every kind, will fight moralism, feminism, every opportunistic or utilitarian cowardice.
  11. We will sing of great crowds excited by work, by pleasure, and by riot; we will sing of the multicolored, polyphonic tides of revolution in the modern capitals; we will sing of the vibrant nightly fervor of arsenals and shipyards blazing with violent electric moons; greedy railway stations that devour smoke-plumed serpents; factories hung on clouds by the crooked lines of their smoke; bridges that stride the rivers like giant gymnasts, flashing in the sun with a glitter of knives; adventurous steamers that sniff the horizon; deep-chested locomotives whose wheels paw the tracks like the hooves of enormous steel horses bridled by tubing; and the sleek flight of planes whose propellers chatter in the wind like banners and seem to cheer like an enthusiastic crowd.

Neo-Futurism Fashion: Is the Future Now? (Part 1.)



(Part 1: In the Beginning) 

Futurism which began in Italy around 1909, and was launched by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti and his Futurist Manifesto which appeared in various Italian newspapers and early magazines. “This first and highly successful manifesto was followed by others, such as that of the Futurist Painters. In 1912 the movement’s followers were 120,000. Giacomo Balla and Fortunato Depero introduced the concept of Futurist Fashion. Futurism was poetry, painting, music, and life, so also with fashion. A fully theoretical speculation, at least at the beginning, when Balla presented his Manifesto of anti-neutral clothing in September 1914.”

Manifesto_of_Futurism Filippo

( Filippo Tommaso Marinetti )


(Giacomo Balla 1930)

“What evolved into a cultural movement that swept through other art forms, including fashion design. The Futurists called for a break with the past, and a celebration of everything new, urban and industrial. For fashion, Futurism meant fabrics, designs, colors and cuts that reflected audacity, movement and speed. Futurism faded with the onset of World War II, but the movement’s emphasis on revolt, risk and modernity continues to inspire fashion today.”


(Filippo Tommaso Marinetti’s Futurist Manifesto.)

“Futurism redefined the purpose of fashion. The movement gloried action and aggression, and Balla called for simple and comfortable clothing designed to allow the skin to breathe, and the body to move with ease. In 1920, Futurist designer Ernesto Michahelles, known as Thayaht, introduced a roomy, utilitarian, unisex jumpsuit called the tuta, short for the Italian word tutta, which means all. The tuta caught the attention of the public, and was the one Futurist design to achieve commercial success. Still, Futurism’s new emphasis on clothing designed to accommodate an active lifestyle was a genuine innovation and the start of what would eventually become modern sportswear.”


(Photo by Ugo Mulas 1966. Dress Mila Schon
Vogue Italia, July/August 1966)

“So as the idea of the future evolved, so did Futurism’s role in fashion. In the early 1960s during a fashion era that Vogue editor Diane Vreeland defined as “Youthquake,” miniskirts, vinyl dresses and neon colors signaled the same revolt against the past advocated by the Futurists.

A youth-dominated culture generated styles that stressed originality and equality. At the same time, Pierre Cardin and Andre Courreges introduced space-age collections that reflected the era’s interest and enthusiasm for space exploration. The new look was built on sleek, minimalist clothing constructed with geometric shapes. Designers introduced synthetic fabrics, plastics and metals into clothing that relied on colors such as metallics, day-glo and white for a futurist effect.”


The Single Gentleman and the Dangers of Online Dating: My Experiments in Cyber Dating.

Now since the very beginning, my attitude and opinion on online dating was less than favorable, even though I never ventured into that realm before. Having a degree in Psychology I could not help but say to myself “do you have any evidence to support this”?

Yes, you guessed it, I needed proof to support my private claims, I needed the scientific method to lend credence to my theory. So I decided to test my theory in “real-time” and in cyber space. I used a popular social media platform to begin my experiment by joining a “dating group” in which I signed up and submitted a profile to be matched up with “the woman of my dreams”, or so they said.

imagesAfter a few weeks in the closed social dating platform group, which consisted of answering open-ended questions about what you look for in a “potential partner” , deal breakers, would moving or travelling to another state be something you’d be willing to do if you met a good match…etc…etc. I was not even remotely impressed by any of the women in “the group” even though many of them “expressed interest” in my photo and profile.

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Using Psychology, I decided to put forth my own “open-ended” question out to the group of women on the site. I asked all the women to send me a song, one song that has meaning to you from any genre, so “that I may know you better”, and before I knew it I was flooded with tons and tons of songs from these lonely women looking for love.

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Even though I asked for “one song” the majority send three of four songs. I simply gave an analysis of each song from the women on the site that sent them, and took notes of their responses to ascertain their mental and emotional states, which was for many of them very unstable and despite of their age or education; still programmed by the “fairy tale factor” fed to females at a very young age, which sets them up to be disappointed when “real life” shows them relationships are no way near as they are depicted in movies, television, and romance novels. There is no knight in shining armor, no prince charming with a castle in the sky, no “Mister Big” who will swoop you off you’re feet and solve all of your problems. In addition, while beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I found most of these women, not even remotely attractive, in face or mentality.

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But I was not here to look for a mate, I was looking for evidence to support my claims that online dating is not healthy for human social relationships, and is a breeding ground for predators (male and female), and a smoke screen for the socially awkward, and people with mental disorders to hide behind, in order to satisfy what ever unbalanced needs they are on the hunt for.


One women in the group responded to with a song that I liked, and was indicative of some intelligence that was lacking from the rest of the women in the group, to protect her identity I will call her (K1). K1 was very polite and easy going, if but a little too talkative and mostly talked about her job, but her hobbies was similar to mines and that gave us some enjoyable conversations at first. K1 and I also liked (mostly) the same music genre’s, fiction and movies.

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After about a week I felt it was OK for her to have my number, and she went from texting me to calling me in a very short period of time. One night she turned the conversation to sex, and the topic rarely changed from that on her part. Soon after she started to present (after getting very comfortable) discernible mental disorders, such as OCD, Bi-Polar disorder, and even admitted to having a mental disorder in a casual conversation, but did not realize till a bit later. To her credit she owned it and did not try to understate it.  Now knowing what I knew, it didn’t take long for the other shoe to drop, and out of nowhere she had a episode of an anxiety attack while we were having a “normal” conversation and freaked out for no reason and hung up on me, leaving me clueless and perplexed. I found some evidence at last to support my previous claims, however I needed more.

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Even though K1 apologized to me later on, she only ended up doing it again, in which I no longer wished to speak to her on any level, but that did not stop her from sending me very long winded texts apologizing further and understanding why I no longer wished to communicate with her.

Now a couple of months later I was approached by another female on social media whom I never met in person, and lived out of state like K1. I shall refer to this other woman as (K2), I know what your thinking, “fake weed” right? You got it!  K2 was very educated with a MBA in international business, but mad as a hatter and a bag of nuts! She presented a more advanced form of symptoms that K1 presented, but at a very alarming and dangerous rate, as in a very pronounced Electra Complex, and other forms of abuse and trauma stemming from a very young age, as well as a self proclaimed “seductress”, and “Cosmic Master Guru” in which she uses sexuality to lure in her prey, so that she may have power over them to feed her delusional notions and ideas.

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After she got comfortable with talking to me, (yes I played along) she admitted to be seeing a psychotherapist and a psychiatrist, the one every week, the other once a month. So I knew very early on what I was dealing with, (and she’s even told me that she “Stalked” my Facebook page for quite some time looking at my photo’s before reaching out to me.) as she was trying to force her delusions and crack pot theories down my throat, all the while in between telling me all the sexual things she wants to experience with me, she was a hell of a case study indeed!


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After conducting my experiments and experiencing online dating for the first time ever, I am now convinced of the overall dangers of this phenomenon in the 21st century. Now I’m also a realist, and sure that a small percentage (a very small percentage) of online dating works out, at least for a time which is very far and few between. Now for me I will have nothing to do with online dating going further, but for the gentleman who wants to take their chances and wish to try their hand at it, here is some tips to help you navigate as safely as possible.


1 in 10 users on free dating sites are scammers: about 10-15% of profiles on free dating sites are fake, because they are free, anyone, and everyone can join as opposed to site you have to pay for. Free dating sites that are larger or more popular the percentage of fake profiles can be much higher, like 20-30%. Think about it.

More than 55% of people in the U.S. exaggerate part of all of there profile:  eHarmony created an infographic  hat showed more than have of people in the U.S. make up part or all of their profiles. Age, height, weight, and income are just some of the characteristics people beef up to make themselves look and sound more attractive.


More than half of the women on online date sites are already in a relationship, and about 22% are married: Research has shown that more than 65% of women lie about their relationship status. Yes people take their rings off.


Four out of five women have sex on the first date, with someone they met online do not use protection: Stay safe both online and offline.

If She offers to send you nude picture of herself: If someone that you met online, and she offers to send you nude photos, run it’s a trap.

If she constantly over talks you, and only wants you to listen to her: this is a sign of a personality disorder, and should not be ignored.

Offers to “send” you money for no reason, and insists you take it: If it’s sounds to good to be true, than it probably is. She is setting you up for the con.

“Many women that mostly have a dysfunctional mind, with the emotional baggage of fear, anxiety or other mental conflicts and past hurts in interpersonal situations. They fear experiencing invalidation from the target of attraction because they use superficial categories to define the self and others as well as to predict the effectiveness of their possible relationships, ignoring the affection messages from the real people who are attracted them. All categories are just the maps or substitutes of social reality, not the reality itself. When people use categories to predict an interaction (but not pay attention to the other’s real communications, they will produce two outcomes:

a) avoiding love from right individuals, and,

b) approaching the wrong person(s).

This kind of distorted cognitions can only be rectified through the regular and face to face meaningful interactions, which help individuals find out that they are worthy of others’ love and appreciation.”

In other words, the best and most effective way to avoid the dangers and pit-falls of online dating, is to not do it at all, real life dating is complicated enough. So go out into the world and meet people in places that you never been before. Get out of you’re comfort zone and travel, meet new people in new places, broaden your scope. Who knows, you meet the women of your dreams.





The 6th Annual Harlem Derby Gala: Harlems Run for the Roses Gala.

Early last week as I was going about my day, I received a call from the distinguished gentleman and fashion designer Rob Owens, who first thanked me for the “beautiful article” that I wrote last fall covering Harlem Fashion week for the Elegant Classy Gentleman, in which his “Jazz Cats in Hats” fashion segment was an integral part of the very successful Harlem fashion week show. Mr. Owen’s, who went on to explain “I just saw the article the other day, as someone brought it to my attention.” As Mr. Owen’s continued, he relayed to me that he had spent some time, after reading the article that I wrote, tracking me down on Facebook to “Match the name with the face”, as we knew each other but never have been formally introduced to one another.

Digital Camera

Rob Owens

Rob then explained to me the reason for his call, “Mike, I would like for you to be one of three judges for my 6th Annual Harlem Derby Gala, being held at the famous Red Rooster in Harlem“.  I being thrilled at the invitation graciously accepted and added. “While I’m there, would you mind if I take some photos and some video footage for a feature article covering the gala?” Mr. Owen’s response: “I wanted to ask if you were willing to do that, but I didn’t want to impose”. I told Rob that I was more than willing to cover the event, in addition to being one of his “Fashion Judges” for the four categories of best dressed male, and female, as well as best hat for both male and female, along with the other two female judges.

Digital Camera

Fashion Judges: Denise Sharek, Mike Strange, and Yvette

The Harlem Derby was inspired by the Kentucky Derby. and the black jockeys were the majority of the horse riders (13 of 15 jockeys). Co-founder Rob Owens created Harlem Derby Style to pay tribute to the major contributions of African Americans who helped make the Kentucky Derby was it is today since 1875 when the first Kentucky Derby race took place on May 17th in front of a crowd of 10,000 spectators.

Rob Owens also sells fashionable derby hats named after famed black jockeys from the rich history of the Kentucky Derby on his website Harlem Derby Style.com, which are quite dapper indeed! At the 6th annual Harlem Derby Gala patrons of all races come together in their finest attire (and hats, of course) to celebrate this amazing event for the last six years. Rob Owens who is a Kentucky native, now Harlemite (He’s lived in Harlem now for the last 30 years) has created something quite special in Harlem with this yearly event. Part fashion show, part sporting event, part social mixer and a whole lot of fun sets this gala apart from all the others in Harlem due to its seer uniqueness and community camaraderie.

As part of my duties as a fashion judge, I was obligated to mix and mingle with the crowd to ascertain who sported the best attire (and hat). Mingling with the crowd downstairs at Ginny’s Supper Club, and upstairs out on the patio of The Red Rooster, I spoke with men and women about their style and choice of hat for the event, and took photos of them to sift through who we would select for the best dressed (and hat) with the other two judges. An incredible experience it was indeed.

The Elegant Classy Gentleman team also was floating through the crowd to capture photos and video moments of the stylish Harlem crowd, and as I watched them from across the room, I could see the look on their faces as they enjoyed themselves vibing with the excitement and fashion of this wonderful gala.


Will we return next year for the 7th Annual Harlem Derby Gala?    You Can Bet On It!



For more information, or to contact Rob Owens:

Rob Owens: rob@harlemderby.com

(917) 250-9249


Digital Camera

Mike Strange



Red Rooster Harlem

Ginny’s Supper Club

Harlem Derby Style

Elegant Classy Gentleman:

Mike Strange/Editor in Chief 

Jean Germain: Logistical Executive/Contributing photos/Video

Jessica Phillip: Marketing Business Executive/Contributing photos

Need me to host or manage your next event? Send your inquiries to: micnorman007@yahoo.com.
Live! Laugh! Celebrate!