Articles: Fashion Therapy, Does it Really Work?

Having a Degree in Psychology, it wasn’t long before I delved into this “relatively new” field of therapy (who knew?) only to find out that I’ve been doing this sort of therapy almost all my life, and didn’t even know it!

Men’s Style Therapy

According to Isabel Slone’s piece in Fashionista: “Fashion therapy purports to offer something that, though not coming from a trained mental health professional, parallels real therapy in at least one way. It’s meant to be a safe space in which one can spill their ugliest thoughts and feelings and work through them.” 

Style Therapy

In fact the Columbia University-educated professor Dawnn Karen, who currently teaches at FIT in New York says Fashion psychology: is “the study and treatment of color, beauty, style, image and shape and its effect on human behavior while addressing cultural sensitivities and cultural norms.” 

 “Clothing can be used as a therapeutic modality.”

Now how you feel about yourself plays a very important part in your daily everyday life, in just about every aspect. By using fashion therapy to feel good about who you are, where you want to go, and how you want to get there is an excellent form of (mental) self care.  “Clothing can be used as a therapeutic modality.” This (psychological placebo) technique has been very useful in overcoming certain fears and anxiety in my own life. If you love the way you look, you will love the way you feel!

While it may not work for everybody…..it certainly worked for me and many others!

Fashion: The Best Summer Fashion Trends of 2021

I found it very interesting that in the spring, I could think of nothing else (much else) but “what would be trending in fashion this summer?” After over a year of not being able to dress up to go out, how will people express themselves in what they will wear in summer 2021.

I found it very interesting that in the spring, I could think of nothing else (much else) but “what would be trending in fashion this summer?” After over a year of not being able to dress up to go out, how will people express themselves in what they will wear in summer 2021.

Now right smack in the middle of summer, I look at everyone (and myself) and scrutinize what their wearing. Here are a couple summer fashion trends that caught on (or came back) in Summer 2021.

NEON:

Neon Comeback

One trend this summer I thought would never return “Neon.” Now wearing neon was known to be a bit tricky back then, but now wearing a few bold accessories you can pull it off swimmingly! Who knew?

Trucker Hats

Trucker Hats

I just could not believe that Trucker Hats made a return from the mid-seventies! And they just caught on out of nowhere in so many different colors and styles! Really a surprise! You go “Good Buddy”!

Mom Jeans

Mom Jeans

Gen Z has declared (with much push back from millennials) that skinny jeans are out! And Mom Jeans are in! I never had a problem with “Mom Jeans” as they are more comfortable and allow for it to be paired with anything!

Not what you expected…..Right?

Fashion Styles: Cyber Fashion. Fashion’s Quantum Leap.

When I think of “virtual fashion”, it’s really a challenge not to also think of cyber fashion as having an (expensive) wardrobe that you cannot actually wear in the “real world” (or this place of three dimensional space) but…..just in cyber space! So you would wear these “virtual outfits” on your social media post to display your most resent (albeit expensive) cyber outfit that can make you look (very real) like a super hero, a God/Goddess, or a sexy otherworldly being!

Yes Cyber Fashion can encompass a broad area from Technology and A.I. to having a personal wardrobe that only you own (if you have it custom made) , or a few people who brought the limited amount of “digital pieces” from one of the futuristic brands that make them.

I as a “futurist” have been following these trends (which the pandemic seems to have fueled) for several years (even have my own “future wear” brand), and could not help but to notice fashion’s quantum leap!

Futuristic Wear is Hear! After all this is the 21st Century, and fashion may have gotten ahead of us a bit in this regard (right under our nose). I for one am still wrapping my head around technology intergration into wearable outfits, stylish and practical. Now fashion has gone Quantum!

So Yes….when I think of cyber fashion, I can also conceive of a fashionable wardrobe in the quantum realm.

Fashion: Futuristic Face Masks:

Futuristic facemasks has become sort of a fad following the pandemic and fully opening back up (to some sort of “new normal”) within the past year. One of the most interesting is the “Project Hazel” face mask by Razor! (Yes the software gaming company) The Project Hazel face masks won’t be available till around Oct 2021 (no exact date has been given), however the difference is the built in technology! This custom futuristic mask is equipped with a N95 respirator, transparent front, RGB lighting and voice amplifiers to cure muffled sound from speaking.

Razor’s Project Hazel Facemask

The next futuristic facemask on the list is the concept by Will.i.am’s and Honeywell. Xupermask the new mask (designed by Will.i.am) which was released on April 8th 2021is marketed as a “Intelligent mask” with intergrated bluetooth headphones, which allow the wear to listen to music and make calls. It also features LED light (glow in the dark) HEPA filters to insure breathable air is as clean as possible. The designer Jose Fernandez, who designed the space suits for SpaceX (and superhero movies like Black panther and spiderman) thinks the market will really take off. The price for this piece of futuristic technology will cost about $299.00. The price for this Futuristic Fashion Forward model of this caliber might become the standard for futuristic luxury facemasks.

There are other such futuristic masks on the market: such as…..

The Elon Mask

And the……

The Incogito Futuristic Full Face Mask

So It’s not just me. THE FUTURE IS NOW!

Fashion Designer: Edwing D’Angelo

Upon hearing the designer Edwing D’ Angelo returned to Harlem, I set out to arrange a meeting with him at his brand new “Style Lab” to take a look and meet the fashion week legend himself.

Edwing D’Angleo

Having made an appointment for the following Friday, I prepared to meet this wonderful fashion creative at his new flagship atelier in Harlem. When I arrived Edwing had stepped out to run some errands (I was unaware it was his birthday) and his assistant fixed me a drink (the style lab has a full functioning bar on site) and made me feel at home in this beautiful space.

Edwing’s Style Lab

As you walk in the door, you are in the spotlight surrounded by his beautiful creations and a real life runway running straight from the front door to the back of the space, with a full length mirror at the end. enough to make any client feel like a fashion model!

The Runway at the Atelier

While I waited for this Fashion Week superstar to return, I inspected both the women’s and men’s creations of this artistic genius (enough to make your jaw drop) to my delight.

Stylelab
Stylelab

After an hour or so, Edwing had not returned and I had to go and interview another designer. Edwing’s hostess informed me that Edwing had left his phone in the atelier, but invited me to return later as guests were to arrived for a party to celebrate the designers birthday.

A couple of hours later I returned and Edwing was attending to his guests (and clients) and welcomed me to the atelier. I decided to watch Edwing in his natural element, as he moved about with grace and style.

Service with a smile…and Style
Beautiful Guests

Not wanting to ask interview questions while in the middle of his birthday gathering, I decided to defer the Q&A for another time in the future.

Edwing D’angelo

But in the meantime stop by his 2000 square foot Style-lab on the corner of Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd and 131st Street in Harlem and get yourself a designer outfit off the rack (or have him custom make you one) and feel like you are a model in fashion week.

Restaurant Review: Alison Harlem.

Alison East Harlem, literally on the corner of 104th Street & Lexington Ave is a new restaurant which opened back in September of 2019. I was riding around Central Park North and happened to make a detour (Lazy Summer Days) off of 5th Ave and spotted the place. I stopped in for glass of wine and some clam sliders, and decided to return to a dinner review.

Alison East Harlem

The out door space is very cozy, and of course spacious.

The music playing on the speaker is a mix of chill songs that appeals to everyone. I was offered a choice to dine in or outdoors by my waitress, so I grabbed a seat right on the corner of the block of 104th (I could see everything) and scanned my table for the menu (becoming standard now) to check their petty good selection of wines.

View from my Table

While they did not have a Chardonnay selection, they did in fact have a blend. Santo Toma’s Chenin Blanc, Colombard & Chardonnay 2020– Beja California, Mexico.

To start I ordered the Clam Strips, which was Panko-crispy clams on top of Sambal aioli.

Panko-Crispy Clams on top of Sambal Aioli.

The clam strips are a must have here, fried okra well mixed in the sambal aioli made this a very tasty and appetizing starter.

Oysters

Not one to pass up some sea food, I ordered a dozen oysters as well. But what really made my eyes widen, was the Roasted Quail laid on top of a shallow pool of Black bean puree, and carrot rice!

Roasted Quail & Claim Strips

Now I love me some Quail! (I have been known to order all the quail in some spots) And this dish did not disappoint. The black bean puree gave an extra level of flavor and texture to the small delicious bird. I was impressed, and more than satisfied with the meal.

Alison East Harlem

This new restaurant pretty much has it all, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Wine Bar, Oyster Bar, Beer. And they seem to do it very well. Alison has something for, and is for everybody! I can’t wait to return for Brunch!

Alison East Harlem

Alison is located at:1651 Lexington Ave East Harlem, New York 10029. 104th Street & Lexington. www.alison.com (646) 876-1054.

Bows Nouveau: Renaissance Neck Wear for The Modern Gentleman.

Ties are an obligatory as well as inexplicably bound to being a Gentleman. Bow ties are especially so! There is a certain elegance that comes with wearing a bow tie that simply cannot be denied. However when I met the distinguished gentleman (OG) Gregory Bruce he showed me how he took the concept of the Bow Tie with his custom brand Bows Nouveau to a more loftier level!

Mr. Bruce’s unique and unconventional bow ties are not only hand made by ⁸him, but are also named. Wearing bow ties since a boy, it was always part of his core wardrobe. Unhappy with the poor quality (and the high prices) of bow ties in Lord & Taylor (a birthday gift for himself) he decided to make his own.

Bows Nouveau

Gregory takes great care in choosing the fabric and textiles for his custom hand made ties, quality is a must, perfect fit…a must! Self taught to sew by hand, and then teaching himself to operate a sewing machine Gregory launched himself completely into his (late in life master craft) brand (made in Harlem!) to create a whole new vision in men’s fashion neckwear!

Bows Nouveau Bow Ties

Check out more of this new renaissance in fashion neckwear at his website: http://www.bowsnouveau.com to purchase. Also see his social media on Facebook and Instagram: @bowsnouveau

Black History Month: The First Black Astronaut: Robert H. Lawrence Jr.

On June 30th 1967 the United State Air Force selected Robert H. Lawrence Jr, as a member of the third group of aerospace research pilots on the Manned Orbital Laboratory. The M.O.L. was a joint project of the National Reconnaissance Office and the USAF, with the mission of taking high resolution photo imagery of enemy locations from space during the cold war. The mini-space stations with a 2 man crew would for a month at a time in low earth orbit to spy on hostile enemy sites from modified Gemini Capsules. Lawrence’s selection made him the first African American Astronaut by any national space program.

The First Black Astronaut

Born in Chicago 1935 October 2nd, Lawrence finished high school at 16, earned a Bachelor’s of Science in chemistry at age 20, and later became an Air Force Officer and highly accomplished pilot logging 2,500 flying hours, and 2,000 hours in jets, and earned a PhD in physical chemistry from The Ohio State University in 1965, the only selected MOL astronaut with a doctorate.

Robert H. Lawrence Jr.

After Lawrence completed the US Air Force Test pilot School in 1967, he was immediately assigned to the MOL program. While as an instructor for other pilots, he practiced landing techniques that was later used in the Space Shuttle program. At the end of 1967 in December, Maj. Lawrence died in a plane crash after ejecting from a F-104 Starfighter at Edwards Air Force Base, bringing this brilliant pilot-scientist career to an end. In June 1969 the Nixon Administration cancelled the MOL program. Because of his untimely death and the relative secrecy surrounding the MOL program, Lawrence’s name remained largely unknown for many years.

Major Robert H. Lawrence Jr.

“Former NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden recalled that Lawrence was involved in the development of the maneuver that would become a critical part of space shuttle landing techniques called ‘flare.’  KSC Director Bob Cabana said, Maj. Lawrence truly was a hero.  He took that first step setting the stage for what was to come.”

The Roaring 2020’s and Fashion Moving Forward: Is History Repeating Itself?

We have now moved into the second decade of the 21st century, the 2020s. Are we repeating the same patterns from 100 years ago? Back in the spring of 1918 the world was reeling from the the Spanish Flu, with roughly 500 million infected with the virus globally and about 675,000 died from it in U.S. alone.

All citizens were ordered to wear masks, businesses, schools and theaters were shut down while makeshift morgues piled up the dead. (sound familiar?) Well after the Spanish Flu pandemic was over, guess what happened then? The roaring 1920’s!

Spanish Flu Pandemic 1918

We can compare and contrast some of the similarities from 100 years ago going down the line. But what about fashion? In the 1920’s flappers defined the style of the times and men was always well dressed in suits and hats. In the 2020’s I predict there will be a blending of the future and the past, defining an era of freethinking expression in how we dress.

The Modern Retro look.
Women’s Elegant Styles

Men will recreate the meaning of modern class with bold new looks that don’t distract, but rather command respect on first sight.

Modern Future Class
Future Formal

So is history repeating itself? Maybe it is, but fashion will always be moving forward. Let’s all join hands as we embark into the roaring 2020’s! There will be much to celebrate.

Restaurant Review: Indian Summer Harlem

Open for about a year Indian Summer Restaurant has been open on Lenox Ave, the only other “Indian” restaurant in Harlem that I know of besides Chaiwali. The restaurant bills itself as “Traditional Indian Cuisine”, so I figured that I would have to visit it as the Solar return from their opening approached.

Indian Summer Harlem

Taking over the space formally occupied by BLVD restaurant (BLVD Bistro now moved to the former location of “Street Bird”) looks roughly the same inside, save for the Indian inspired decor.

Indian Summer

When I arrived there was only one couple outside in the covered patio, and one woman inside (the review was done two days before indoor dining was shut down again) besides myself.

Outside Patio

After undergoing the Covid-19 questionnaire and temperature check, I was seated at my table and scanned the menu to to see what dish would be worthy of my review (I didn’t have a clue), so I inquired my waiter on what was their best dish and that I would be reviewing the food.

Plastic Wrapped Dishes

I marveled at the precautions that they took to keep their patrons safe, such as plate, silverware and napkin plastic wrapped. Once I felt safe I began to relax, and fell into that cozy dinner (restaurant review) mode.

Outside Patio

To start I had the Vegetable Samosas (Cauliflower, potatoes and eggplant fried in a batter made from chick pea flour and spices) which had a sort of festive presentation to it.

Vegetable Samosas
Vegetable Samosas

The appetizer was quite enjoyable indeed (not just looked pretty) and is an item on the menu that I will most certainly have again. The side sauces really put this dish over the top….and began to get me in a festive mood.

The Side Sauces

For the main course I ordered the: Chicken Jalfrezi (chicken in a spicy tomato sauce with stir fired peppers and onions). it sounded “traditional” but it definitely looked traditional….and delicious.

Chicken Jalfrezi

I ordered a side of pita bread (on instinct) in order to balance out my meal. I remember asking for low spicy, but it was more like medium spicy, however that didn’t compromise the integrity of the dish itself.

I would rate the food 3 1/2 stars (which means that I would eat here again soon). The service 3 stars, decor 3 stars, outside patio 4 stars. As I said, the food alone lulled me into a festive mood. The experience was more than I expected.

Outside Patio
Festive Mood

Indian Summer is located at 239 Lenox Ave New York, NY 10027 (646) 952-0300 on West 122nd Street. Until further notice delivery & pick up and outside dining only. Order on their Website: https://www.toasttab.com/indian-summer-239-lenox-ave/v3

You can be certain that I will be back to try more of their “Traditional Indian Cuisine”