The Funk Boutique: Icons Served Us All Black HerStory Month

The Funk Boutique: Icons Served Us All Black HerStory Month

The Directors’ Issue Volume 2: “Black in Americana: A Photo Essay on Love and Pain” by Regina King
The Directors’ Issue Volume 2: “Black in Americana: A Photo Essay on Love and Pain” by Regina King
Image: W Magazine

On April 6, W Magazine’s Volume 2 of the Directors’ Issue hits the stands, offering a trio of covers directed by the industry’s finest. In one of the three covers, Academy Award-winning actor and director Regina King directs a photo essay titled “Black in Americana: A Photo Essay on Love and Pain.” The essay features Oscar, Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actress Viola Davis, her husband, actor and producer Julius Tennon and their 10-year-old daughter, Genesis.

Shot in Los Angeles, the photos capture a poignant rendering of Black American life, unfolding over a weekend. A relaxed Saturday afternoon at home is followed by a night out for the parents and a trip to church the next morning; the photos ultimately encapsulating both the simple joys inherent in Blackness and the looming contradiction that life for Black Americans is to be under the constant threat of pain.

Illustration for article titled The Funk Boutique: Icons Served Us All Black HerStory Month
Photo: Andre D. Wagner for W Magazine

Brooke Marine of W writes: “King began crafting the story months ago by watching old interviews of her friend Davis, in which she could hear ‘the pain as well as the beauty in the bruises’ in her delivery.” The West Adams, Los Angeles neighborhood chosen for the location was home to Black celebrities such as Hattie McDaniel and Little Richard back in the 1940s and ’50s.

King, Davis and Oscar-winning costume designer Ruth E. Carter, who styled the shoot, studied photos by renowned artist Carrie Mae Weems, known for the way she documented Black domestic life in an artistic yet understated way. The clear love shown in “Black in Americana” is followed by the pain—one many Black families might resonate with as they receive a devastating phone call that precedes a trip to a taped-off crime scene.

In terms of the shoot’s styling, Carter looked toward the late Cicely Tyson for inspiration. The fabrics and silhouettes are rich with color and style yet translate as soft and subtle on camera. From an emerald green sweater and skirt set to fur coats and perky polka dots, the vibrance and vintage appeal of the garments are felt throughout.

Illustration for article titled The Funk Boutique: Icons Served Us All Black HerStory Month
Photo: Andre D. Wagner for W Magazine

Genesis, 10, was as excited to sit with King as her industry veteran parents, politely asking the actress/director, “What should I call you?” King responded, “By the end of this, you’ll be calling me Auntie Regina!”

Many would no doubt love to call Regina ‘Auntie’ but Genesis got to make that dream come true.

“Black in Americana: A Photo Essay on Love and Pain” not only gives a subtle nod to photographers and artists of the late ‘40s and ‘50s who highlighted the day-to-day life of Black Americans but strikes a realistic balance between the perception of familial pain and towards a narrative of love.

Regina King’s photo essay is available online and in print on April 6.

Illustration for article titled The Funk Boutique: Icons Served Us All Black HerStory Month
Photo: Andre D. Wagner for W Magazine
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But Wait, There’s More...

But Wait, There’s More...

Illustration for article titled The Funk Boutique: Icons Served Us All Black HerStory Month
Photo: Zoe Ghertner for W Magazine

Additionally, the second of the trio of W’s covers features Kirsten Dunst, Rashida Jones and Elle Fanning in 1980s glamour shot by Sofia Coppola. The shoot was directed virtually and let us quickly acknowledge the pure elegance that Rashida Jones brought to her cover. From the delicate floral wallpaper to the Valentino dress to the lemons coming out of a very ornate vase, she is giving us very regal vibes. She also lays on a perfectly manicured lawn next to a flower garden and I can honestly say I’ll never look that good laying on the ground.

The shoot and accompanying article explore the connection that each woman has with the characters of their films and how the experience connected them to Coppola, who recently directed Jones in On the Rocks (2020).

Jones shares her unique connection to her character in that film and the real-life perspective she and Coppola share. From a press release shared with The Root, the eldest daughter of Quincy Jones admits: “I, too, have struggled with my awesome father—whom I love so much, who’s a big figure in my life and in the world—and having to figure out who I am without him.”

Jones wears a Valentino dress; Cartier bracelet; her own earrings.
Jones wears a Valentino dress; Cartier bracelet; her own earrings.
Photo: Zoë Ghertner for W Magazine
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Putting the ‘Flare’ in Flare-Ups

Putting the ‘Flare’ in Flare-Ups

Topicals, a unique and groundbreaking skincare company founded by Olamide Olowe, is now available at Sephora online. Developed to target solutions for skin conditions such as eczema and hyperpigmentation, the brand gained popularity in 2020 ; now, Topicals is one of eight brands selected to participate in Sephora Accelerate––a highly sought-after beauty incubator that supports BIPOC-beauty brands. Topicals’ mission is to help consumers feel their best without jeopardizing their skin. Says Olowe in a press release provided to The Glow Up: “Sephora is the best at storytelling and creating fun beauty experiences. Chronic skin conditions have never been a part of the beauty conversation and I’m excited to be partnering with Sephora to change the narrative to celebrate funner flare-ups.”

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Monáe or Nothing at All

Monáe or Nothing at All

While we may be stuck inside watching old movies and gawking at the fashion, Janelle Monáe and Ralph Lauren are living in it. Ralph Lauren knows how to do many things, and one of them is how to throw an extravagant party. So when the spring 2021 collection was released on March 25, he wasn’t going to not celebrate. Instead, he enlisted Janelle Monáe for a live performance, even though there was no audience. Dressed in white tuxedo pants, a very dapper winged tuxedo jacket and bow-tie, the singer traveled back in time to Old Hollywood and opened a 20-minute performance with Frank Sinatra’s “All or Nothing At All.” Taking place in a showroom with large archways, crystal chandeliers and a full band, Monáe embraces the greats—Dorothy Dandridge, Josephine Baker, Ella Fitzgerald—and loses her jacket as she gives an amazing performance of her 2010 hit, “Tightrope.”

Monáe in Ralph Lauren
Monáe in Ralph Lauren
Photo: From Ralph Lauren
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The “Essence” of Adidas

The “Essence” of Adidas

Adidas Originals Wales Bonner samba
Adidas Originals Wales Bonner samba
Image: Adidas

Grace Wales Bonner’s long-awaited second Adidas Originals partnership has finally dropped. The spring 2021 collection, “Essence,” was first introduced in September 2020 at Paris men’s fashion week, Vogue reminds us. Bonner’s first collection was dedicated to the British-Jamaican community in London, particularly in the ’70s and her father’s influence on her life. “Essence” will continue to embrace and explore her Caribbean heritage, particularly through the lens of the ‘80s fashion, and bring a different vibrancy to this collection. “Essence” features clothing (tailored to all body shapes of both men and women) and footwear. Bonner offers up another remix of the three-striped Adidas Samba shoe, a tailored blue tracksuit, woven sets and a stylish spin on a traditional tracksuit.

Adidas Originals Wales Bonner tartan track jacket; Adidas Originals Wales Bonner tartan track pants
Adidas Originals Wales Bonner tartan track jacket; Adidas Originals Wales Bonner tartan track pants
Image: Adidas

 

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Macy’s Newest “Icons of Style”

Macy’s Newest “Icons of Style”

Illustration for article titled The Funk Boutique: Icons Served Us All Black HerStory Month
Photo: Macy’s

As of March 30, you can shop collections from fashion icons such as Zerina Akers, Misa Hylton, Amina Abdul Jillil, Allen Onyia and Ouigi Theodore at select Macy’s retailers and online. This new project from Macy’s highlights pioneering Black fashion and style figures who are paving way for more and more Black designers in large retail spaces. The collections are exclusively offered at Macy’s and will be available until the merchandise is sold out.

“We’re using this moment to tell their stories and provide our fashion-devoted customers with exclusive, one-of-a-kind pieces to help them express their personal style,” says Durand Guion, Macy’s vice president from New York Post

The collections offer ready-to-wear pieces, menswear and shoes. Each collection is distinct and fits the unique perspective of each designer. Each style icon offers a small conversation and spotlight with Macy’s on their page, giving insight into their process and who they are as designers.

In the official press release provided by Macy’s, luxury shoe designer Aminah Abdul Jillil says: “This collaboration is exciting to me because it means for me, personally that dreams come true. That hard work pays off. That being different and not like everyone else is OK.”

“The collection includes lots of hidden references & details. I stayed true to my love of classic items & to making things contemporary & future proof.”— Menswear designer, Ouigi Theodore

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