Nothing is Promised

Last week supermodel and America’s Next Top Modelfinalist, Winnie Harlow a.k.a Chantelle answered questions from Bravo’s Andy Cohen that set off, I won’t say controversy but a bit of social media cattiness from former America’s Next Top Model contestants and fans.  Winnie said that the show didn’t do anything to help her develop her career.  Other former contestants and fans think she’s being ungrateful.  But a few ANTM alumni agree with Winnie.

The first winner of America’s Next Top Model Adrianne Curry said years ago that the show didn’t do anything for her career.  Other models from early seasons said that the show not only didn’t help them become successful but it was a hindrance to getting signed with an agency.  Other former contestants on the show credit ANTM for giving them their start in the business and giving them a platform from which to speak.

I don’t have a problem with Winnie telling her story and giving her opinion on the matter.  But I do take her words with a grain of salt.  I watched her season of the show and she didn’t come across as a very likable character.  There was an arrogance and sense of entitlement about her and she wasn’t well liked by other cast mates in the Top Model House.

It’s hard to gauge how effective ANTM is in launching careers because there aren’t many super star models anymore.  Fashion magazines use actresses, reality show stars and the children of famous people in their ads.  The models that don’t fit into those categories may be successful but they aren’t household names like the super models of the 80s and 90s.

I am a long time fan of America’s Next Top Model and while viewing each season I have questioned whether many of the girls could really go on and model.  The contestants that are chosen are people that look good on TV but they don’t really look like people that you see walking in fashion shows or in fashion magazines.  I don’t think that it matter much because each season thousands of hopefuls audition to fill fourteen spots on the show.

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Tyra also uses the show as her own personal soap box.  She has used the show as a platform to challenge beauty standards and she picks models accordingly.  Yet, fashion models are overwhelmingly tall, thin, young and European.  ANTM has featured contestants that speak well to Tyra’s beliefs but I’m not sure they are what the fashion industry is looking for.

Nonetheless, I have seen ANTM contestants acting on TV programs and in print ads.  I follow many of the former contestants on Instagram and they seem to have entertainment careers.  But I’ll admit it’s always hard to tell who is successful and who isn’t from Instagram pages.

I’m sure being on a show like America’s Next Top Model is a great learning and opportunity for young models especially in the social media age.  But just like American Idol, The Voice and other talent finding competitions there are some contestants that are successful once their season is over and others that are never heard from again.

So it seems that being a contestant on ANTM is a lot like going to college.  You show up with hopes and dreams for the future.  Your experience in the program may give some valuable lessons that will help you achieve your goals but winning ANTM, American Idol, making it to the NFL or NBA draft does not in and of itself promise success.  Often times people that struggle in the initial stages of their career become stars.

When you hear Jennifer Hudson’s powerful voice remember that she was an American Idol loser and she only got as far as she did in the competition because Randy Jackson saved her.  Tom Brady wasn’t a top NFL draft pick and Michael Jordan didn’t make his school’s basketball tryouts one year.  You just have to make the most of your opportunities and keep plugging away at your goals.  I believe that people that don’t give up achieve a measure of success but stay humble because nothing is promised to anyone.

winnie

 

 

Kansas City Fashion Week

Kansas City Fashion Week was October 8-14.  The event took place downtown Kansas City, MO at Union Station.  I went to the Thursday night show after work and I was able to buy a ticket at the door.  I enjoyed the show and I was impressed with the production.  It was a fun, glamorous event and I am likely to attend next year.

The work of the featured designers was exciting and contemporary.  Some of them are local, regional and even nationally known designers.  I was glad to see several African American fashion designers in the line up.  I’ve often wondered why there hasn’t been a Black designer to hit it big in the fashion industry.  African Americans influence fashion globally but there is no Black designer that’s on par with Tom Ford or Calvin Klein.  It would be great to see someone from the Midwest blaze that trail.

My favorite designers were Miranda Hanson and Travis Cal.  Miranda Hanson is a seventeen year old dress maker.  Her designs are feminine and ethereal.  She used soft pastel colors and fabrics that look like satin.  I can see them being worn for formals and in weddings.  Her models wore baby’s breath in their hair and they all kind of looked like little pixies.  Her show was beautiful and her story is inspiring.

I loved Travis Cal’s show.  Travis Cal went to high school in Kansas City and he clearly had a great deal of support from the crowd.  His collection is urban, hip, sexy and trendy.  He used several African American models and his collection was influenced by African art.  He used a bold color palate and and a lot of metallic elements. I loved it!

If you like to support the arts and creativity in Kansas City you should come out for Kansas City Fashion Week next winter for Spring 2018.  Tickets ranged from around $30-$90.  It’s a great event.

Travis Kelce’s 87 and Running Walk the Walk

Capture+_2017-06-14-13-43-01-1-1Last Thursday I attended Walk the Walk in downtown Kansas City, MO.  Walk the Walk is a fashion show that is sponsored by Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce that benefits a children’s charity called Operation Breakthrough.  I learned about the event on Travis’ Facebook page and decided to go.  I like to go out to various events in the city and I thought it would be fun to be around and maybe meet Travis Kelce.

I have had a crush on Travis for about two years now.  I think it all started when I saw him Hit the Quan in the end zone that one Sunday a few season’s back.  So I decided to test God’s will and see if it is in His plan for us to be together.  I figured I had to put myself in position to be hit on by Mr. Kelce.  Well evidently Travis isn’t my happily ever after because his girlfriend was there.

After buying my ticket for the event I found out that Travis had one.  I felt a little cheated and I thought about not even taking the time to go.  But I decided to go and support the children.  Why not?  It’s something out of the ordinary to do and it was a charity to benefit underprivileged children after all and not spinsters looking to date much younger professional athletes.

If you’re thinking about going next year and you would like to meet Travis you should.  He makes himself accessible and he works the room.  He’s not shy at all and is quite the talker.  After the fashion show he said that he would stay around to meet everyone and take pictures.

I didn’t take advantage of this opportunity.  He’s in a relationship now and I didn’t want to embarrass myself by fan girling out too bad.  I’m unsure of how I would have reacted if I made direct eye contact with him.  If he was unattended I may have had something to say but with his date in the room I had nothing.

But anyway, it was a lovely event that supported a great cause.  Drinks and finger foods were served and the fashions were nice.  I would actually considering going again next year regardless of Travis or my relationship status.

Instagram Culture

It’s time for an Instagram cultural revolution.  I really enjoy Instagram.  It’s frivolous, light hearted entertainment.   It is my favorite social media platform.  It’s fun to see people tell their stories and express themselves through visual images.  Instagram is very well suited for those of us that are nosey.  I have learned the darnedest things about celebrities, old classmates, relatives and even beautiful strangers.  And Instagram doesn’t carry the emotional baggage of Facebook or Twitter.

There are people in the world that make their livings as Instagram models.  I don’t exactly understand what an Instagram model is because it seems to me that everyone that has ever downloaded the app is an Instagram model.  But these so called models make a living posting pictures of themselves and promoting products on their pages.  Good for them.  Many of them seem to do quite well for themselves.

My problem with these Instagram models is that most of them have zero style.  I don’t see any fashion.  Fashion requires fabric and thread you see and most of these women are as close to naked as Instagram will allow.  That’s pretty darn naked.

I don’t consider myself to be a prude.  I have no problem with a person photographing their nearly nude or even completely nude body.  But why does everyone need to do that?

When you scroll through Instagram images most of the women that are photographed are wearing sexually suggestive clothing in suggestive poses.  Perhaps they are Instagram models or that is their goal.  But it is sad to me that young women are being taught that in order to be successful and have financial freedom you need to look a certain way and put your body on display.

Instagram models photograph themselves in luxurious surroundings with high end goods.  A lot of them date or imply that they date wealthy men.  These images are juxtaposed with images of them in bikinis.  And these are not natural looking bikini shots of them enjoying a day at the pool with friends.  They are in bikinis in full make up, oiled up, with their hair did arching their backs and **** like that.  The message that is being conveyed to a very young audience is that if you want to be successful work on your body and sell it.  Some of these girls talk about their higher education.  That’s great but they’re not using their education to be successful.  They’re using their flesh.

There needs to be an alternative.  That’s why I love Kate Middleton.  She is a young woman with a good figure but she presents herself with modesty, dignity and class.  And she’s going to be a queen one day; not some fly by night reality star or the baby mama to a professional athlete.

I am far older than Instagram’s target audience.  I am not wealthy and I don’t live in a glamorous, coastal, high rent city.  But I have more style in my left heel than all of the Instagram models that I have seen.

If you are a stylish woman, even if it’s only on special occasions you should put up a few Instagram shots too.  The world needs them.  Someone needs to remind the world that women can be pretty and her beauty can be admired without being ogled and lusted after.  And if you’re going to call yourself a model of any sort please have some style.

My name on Instagram is showmeshannon.  I would appreciate your follow.  I would also appreciate it if some of you ladies would show the world your style and creativity through fashion.  Kate Middleton and I can’t do it alone.

#churchflow

#churchflow is a popular hashtag on Instagram that features users in their Sunday best.  This is a post about fashion not about faith.

 

left to right:

This is a selfie in my basement.  I’m wearing a J. Crew black sheath dress with Calvin Klein platform high heeled sandals and a Roberto Cavalli scarf.  I bought the dress and scarf last year.  I believe I bought the shoes in 2014.  The dress was around $50.   Shoes were around $60.  I’m unsure of how much I paid for the scarf but I think it may have been about $40.  I was working at the store where I purchased it so I got an employee discount on top of a sale price.  It was a killer deal.

The center is a close up of the items I wore in the selfie on the left.

The right is a dress I bought in Spring of 2016 from New York and Company.  It is a part of the Eva Mendes collection.