Chicago, IL-February 19th,on a frigid cold record-breaking evening over 100 fashionistas came out in the name of fashion hosted by Macy’s. In a panel-style platform celebrity costume and wardrobe stylists, Johnetta Boone and June Ambrose discussed the platform about culture, style and fashion from a soul era. This panel was moderated by Robin Robinson.
The overview of the evening
The panel discussion on discussed the Soul Era Style and its influence on today’s runways. This discussion took the audience on a look back at the fashion, accessories and attitude that rocked the runways of the 60’s and 70’s that has had an irrefutable affect on the way we look and dress today. The conversation spoke to the cultural and historic contributions that paved the way for African Americans through fashion history. The focus addressed looks of the ‘60s and ‘70s— “defining an era” emphasizing the looks that we emulate today.
Models poised on platforms wearing inspiring looks influenced by an era Rockin the 60’s & 70’s…definitely a blast from the past that also reflects what we are wearing in the present.
Fashion Fair was also on site providing mini make-overs with lip touch-ups and eye shadow showcasing some tips and tricks with their latest cosmetics.
About the panelists
June Ambrose is a celebrity fashion stylist and costume designer and has worked with some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry for the past 22 years. Author of the book “Effortless Style,” Ambrose has won numerous awards in recognition for her contributions to the fashion and music industry. Ambrose recently celebrated the launch of her “June by June Ambrose” collection.
Johnetta Boone for more than three decades, has served as fashion stylist and costume designer for editorial and print campaigns, television shows national commercials and feature films. Some of her most notable costume designs can be seen in Cadillac Records, Tyler Perry’s Temptation, The Notebook and a host of others. In addition, Boone also designs a clothing line entitled Z2 Wear.
Take-a-ways from the panelist’s insights
“Black style in Spirit provides freedom of Expression” It inspires other cultures and allows others to reinterpret to translate things differently – June Ambrose
“Origins of Black Americans exploded the Fashion era with such styles like the Tunic, and Dashiki” – Johnetta Boone
“You are always covering history backwards and not forward; in essence your are looking at eras evolve from previous decades”. – Johnetta Boone
The spirits on the Catwalks were so different…they evoked “sexy, provocative, non apologetic for being fabulous! “-June Ambrose
Strong story telling- Over the top and elaborate. “Find ways of breaking the rules” in corporate America as it has been defined in the workplace. –June Ambrose
You have to have “Love & Passion for what you are wearing”- Johnetta Boone
“Popular prints come in bold shades and fabrics picks are jersey fabrics because they are more forgiving and give depth”. Techy fabrics are taking over and denim’s can tend to be a heavier fabric and aren’t as popular. -June Ambrose
The Chicago Incubator Program for novices in the fashion industry was referenced for someone wanting to get some exposure to the fashion industry. Johnetta Boone
“Work on being Excellent! We have the power! One of the top black designers is Sean Puffy Combs (P Diddy), due to his ability to cross the boundaries and develop partnerships…this is very important”.- June Ambrose
Try mixing patterns, but be mindful of your body type/shape. If you have full hips (or are a pear shape use a print that does not emphasis your hips. If you are thin, vertical lines gives the illusion of a sleeker look.
Some of the noted top celebrities that can rock the retro/vintage looks are:
Beyonce, Solange, Jenell Monae, Tracy Ellis Ross, Ledsi, Lupita and Rhianna to name a few.
“Always study to show yourself approved” Johnetta Boone
Some of the questions posed from the audience to the panelists:
1). What did you think of the pink dress that Rhianna was wearing
2). How did you get started in fashion?
3). What type of formal design training have you received?
4).Did you have any challenges in the industry as being women of color?
5). What was the one thing that you did to reach your turning point in the industry?
6).What was the biggest hurdle that you had to overcome?
7). When did you decide to leave corporate America?
8). How can we support you?
“We as a people should support one another, go to the movies…Let’s support one another…think about it”. Johnetta Boone.
“We are public figures and have a digital platform. We are the CEO of our brand. If you want to be great at something…you must be creative. Don’t give up, use social media as your platform. Anything in life is possible. I’m present and having a good time! Leave a legacy behind “.- June Ambrose
This was an amazing panel discussion about a fashion era in Black History.