Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Lenny Kravitz Concert Afterglow


My body is super sore today. I'm hopping around like I've suffered a war injury - but I'll tell you something...




The Lenny Kravitz concert was absolutely incredible!


We checked him out at a small standing room only venue and the place literally rocked and swayed. He did a combination of his classic hits and tunes from his upcoming album Love Revolution. Lenny is an incredible performer and someone you should definitely check out while he's in the prime of his career. He sounds and looks fantastic. My friend commented that his level of musicianship puts him in a category near Prince.


During the concert, Lenny picked up and hugged a 12 year old boy whose parents brought him to the show as a birthday present. He also autographed a tambourine for the boy as a present.


The performance ended with Lenny walking through the crowd to shake people's hands and give hugs. You can imagine that a near riot took place. Several women literally fainted.


What made my heart warm with glee, was the number of Brothers and Sistas in attendance last night. I've been a fan of Lenny's music since 1993 and know that he has made a conscious effort to reach out to the Black community at the height of his career.


I've always appreciated how he has claimed rock music as Black music. Those of us who study musical history know the truth in this statement.


I'm sure that more dates will be added to The Love Revolution Tour soon. For those in New York City and Canada, he's coming your way in the next few days.

Cheers everyone!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Scoop on Gelila Assefa-Puck


I received quite a few emails inquiring more information on Celebrity Chef Wolfgang Puck's wife Gelila.


She is a handbag designer and met Wolfgang in 1997 while she ws studying fashion in Los Angeles. The twenty year age difference didn't matter to the couple who wed last summer on the island of Capri. They have two sons together along with Wolfgang's two children from his previous marriage.

Harper's Bazaar did a good feature on the couple that you can enjoy by clicking onto this link.


In the meanwhile, I'm headed out to see Lenny Kravitz at a 3,000 capacity theatre in my hometown. I'm sure it will be a great concert. He is one of my all time favorites.


The tickets are a gift from my special friend for a recent career accomplishment (thanks babe!) I

Cheers everyone!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Mireille Schwartz's Birthday Celebration

Mireille Schwartz, granddaughter to former UN Ambassador and East African Ugandan Diplomat Apollo Kironde, celebrated her birthday recently in San Francisco with a gathering at her home and The New Eritrea Restaurant. Youssou N'Dour's musicans, Baba Ken Okuolo and The Nigerian Brothers, played a private concert at the event.

Ms. Schwartz (who is the editor of Bientot - a multicultural fashion magazine) is also the great-granddaughter of Sir Apollo Kagwa who was the first African to be knighted by Queen Victoria.
I understand that it was a smashing affair!
Special thanks to Damion Matthews of SFLuxe for the great coverage of this event and the kind note of support for this blog!
Cheers all!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sista Socialites Absent From New Bravo Show


This weekend was filled with great chatter among me and my buddies. We talked the latest in politics of course, winter skin care, and plans for the Spring.




After dishing on the latest news in the world of Black Socialites, I decided to turn the tone a bit by asking this question:




"Why aren't there any Sista Socialites on the new Bravo show 'Real Housewives of New York?"



For those of you who are not Bravo TV reality show junkies like yours truly, I'll provide brief a background.



Bravo has a slew of what I consider to be interesting and good quality reality shows including Tim Gunn's Guide to Style (co-hosted by Sista model Veronica Webb) and Project Runway. I have always appreciated Bravo's diverse casting and consider them one of my favorite TV stations.


One of my garbage TV indulgences was The Real Housewives of Orange County (CA). The show chronicles the lives of a group of wealthy white women living in a gated community. After a few seasons, Real Housewives worn thin for me due to its lack of Sista representation.



So, when I heard Bravo's plans to create a spin off of 'Real Housewives' based in New York City, I thought to myself , "OK, they'll probably have at least one Sista on the show."



WRONG!


Imagine my surprise when the above press flick was issued.


Black Socialite Community - we have yet another call to arms.


This is the comment form for Bravo. Tell them that you find it shocking that not one Black woman is on this show. Feel free share this link with your like minded friends too.



Bravo is as wrong as two cheap left shoes with this one...








Saturday, January 26, 2008

New York Junior League Appoints Sista as President


Congratulations are in order for Gena Lovett who was recently appointed the first Black president of the New York Junior League!


Ms. Lovett, 44 is taking over the reigns of the organization at a time when accusations of financial improprieties have come to light. The New York Junior League is the founding chapter of Junior Leagues and Ms. Lovett has a wealth of financial management experience.


Let's send positive vibes and prayers in her direction for a successful term!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Jaci Reid shares her winter plans

Dear Black Socialite Community,


A member of Team Jaci recently sent an email expressing thanks for voting Jaci #1 on the recent readers poll. She shared that Jaci is excited indeed!
This flick features her and hubby Morris at the recent BET Honors Awards. As usually, the couple looks dapper!

She is currently working on the 7th annual Behind the Bench Luncheon for the National Basketball Wives Association which will take place next month. The event will be held in New Orleans and will honor several individuals who have assisted post-Katrina victims including BET CEO Debra Lee.
Team Jaci promises that more details are forthcoming. So, as soon as I get the scoop, I'll share it with you.
Cheers!

Friday's Fabulous Flick


My jaw literally dropped when I saw this photo of Sista Socialite Pamela Joyner at the San Francisco Ballet's 75th Anniversary Gala!


She is unbelieveable with the extra-uber fabulousness of her formal numbers. This gown is designed by John Galliano for Dior and includes semi-precious stones.



My Dear Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorors - I know what you're thinking...



This is perfect gown for our Centennial Boule Gala!



You gotta love Pamela Joyner - a true Socialite and aspirant inspiration.


Cheers all!

Photo: Kat Wade for the San Francisco Chronicle



Thursday, January 24, 2008

Genevieve Jones Featured in Vogue


Our #3 favorite Sista Socialite on the recent readers' poll is featured in the February issue of Vogue Magazine. Apparently while others were spending sleepless nights pondering her sources of income, Ms. Jones was busy launching a jewelry line.


The 'odd duck' scenario of this situation is that she reveals her jewelry line is inspired by among all things - UFOs.


Yes...space aliens, flying saucers, ET, and such - this is not a typo on my behalf...


Anyway, go and read it for yourself.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

School Daze Turns 20!!

Spike Lee’s classic flick about conflicts related to class and color on the campus of a Historically Black College (HBCU) in the South celebrates its 20th Anniversary next month. Still considered controversial by many in the Black community, Lee without question put the mirror up to our faces and aired out our ‘dirty laundry’ for the entire world to see.

I was preparing to head to college when School Daze was released and was a part of a test audience for the film in 1987. My friends and I were in our local mall when a woman approached us about coming to see a free movie about college aged Black people. After we convinced our parents that it was not a porn flick, we were allowed to go. In the interviews conducted after the screening, I vividly remember many darker skinned sistas crying as they felt the film was a magnification of the pain they knew too well of being dark with ‘nappy’ hair.

Darker skinned brothers shared openly their hostility over being side stepped for light skinned men by sistas. Lighter skinned sistas and brothers expressed their pain and isolation by the Black community. They also verbalized that the film reinforcement stereotypes about them as a group.

Spit starred to fly over whom had a ‘better deal’ in the Black community – light skinned or dark skinned people. Then one lady stood up and said “I’m just glad to see Black folks in college on the screen. Thank you. This is long overdue.”

I remember turning to my friends and saying that I felt that this movie was going to be huge.

Regardless as to where you may stand on the issues of class and color in our community or how you may feel about School Daze as a film, the positive impact of this movie is quantifiable without argument. After its release, there was a sharp increase in college enrollment among Blacks – particularly in HBCUs. The Black Fraternity and Sorority Movement became relevant again after suffering declines in membership (and questions of validity) during the 60s and 70s.

School Daze’s success also opened the door for more Black films to be produced beyond the Blaxploitation period. A new generation of Black filmmakers was inspired to make movie magic covering the spectrum of our experience including John Singleton, The Hughes Brothers, and Kasi Lemmons (who had a brief role in School Daze). Many of us were exposed for the first time to a slew of future stars such as Laurence Fishburne, Bill Nunn, Giancarlo Esposito, and Tisha Campbell.

And, the role of Blacks in filmmaking expanded into fields traditionally closed to us including makeup, music director/score producer, choreographer, and casting director.

Super big hugs and kisses to Vibe Magazine and writer Keith Murray for reminding us of how the vision of one man can positively change the lives of our people. I can’t think of a better feature to celebrate Black History Month.
RIP to film critic Gene Siskel and God speed toward recovery for film critic Roger Ebert. I appreciated their passionately positive review of School Daze twenty years ago.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Detroit Auto Show Gala!

The Sistas & Brothers were out in full force last Friday night at the
International Auto Show Charity Preview Gala in Detroit.
Yours truly wasn't able to attend but I snagged some great flicks to share with
you first in the blogosphere.
I love, love, love the Midwestern style and flair because black tie events mean
doing it BIG and in grand style!
Synevia Hall

Chrysler VP Frank Fountain & wife Sharma




Dr. Robert Dunford




Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and wife Carlita



Former Detroit Lion Robert Porcher and his 11 year old daughter Phallon



Former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer & wife Trudy


Beverly & Gerald Banton
Photos by Brandy Baker & Donna Terek

Friday, January 18, 2008

Friday's Fabulous Flicks

The Sistas were on the move this past week - grinning for the cameras at a variety of functions.
Everyone looks absolutely stunning!
Their glowing skin reminds me that I am overdue for a good facial.
Enjoy the flicks and have a great weekend!
Veronica Webb and Wall Street Journal reporter Teri Agins at a cocktail party hosted by Webb and Donna Karan last night at Urban Zen in New York City.


Kamela Forbes at the Karan/Webb Cocktail Party

Erica Reid (wife of mega producer LA Reid) and Webb chatting away at the Webb/Karan Cocktail party last night.


Gelila Puck (wife of celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck) and Tamara Mellon at the Jimmy Choo store opening on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills last Friday.



Susan Fales-Hill at the Chanel Fine Jewelry's 'Night of Diamonds'
last Wednesday in New York City.





Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Town & Country Mag Features Prominent Sistas




Town & Country Magazine outdid themselves with the February 2008 issue.



A 12 page section on Women & Wealth provides useful financial tips for ladies of all income brackets. The section includes info on how to work with financial pros, teaching children the value of money, and lots of helpful advice.



A full two page spread features Super Sista Socialite Susan Fales-Hill (#2 favorite on our readers' poll) who provides her routine for an evening out, her purse essentials, fashion advice, the items she can't live without, favorite charity, and how to recover from a long night out.


I often forget that among the many roles she juggles, Susan is also the mother of an active four year old. I tip my hat to you Girl for doing it BIG with style and grace.


There is also a nice feature on Sista Sommelier Lee Campbell (small pic) of New York City's Provence Restaurant. Lee is consider tops in the Big Apple for her wine knowledge. She also managed a boutique wine shop named Harlem Vintage.
T&C has done a good job of 'walking the walk' in recent years with its multicultural coverage and should be commended (and encouraged to continue). They continously feature Sista Socialites from all over the US each month.
If you like what you see inside the mag, feel free to send them a note of thanks for covering the elegant side of the Black Socialite lifestyle. Also, you may consider providing them suggestions of Sista Socialites you would like to see grace their pages.




The Winner Is...

Super Sista Socialite Jaci Reid topped our readers' poll of Favorite Socialite!
I'm sure she is thrilled.
Now...a member of 'Team Jaci' has committed to keep us updated on her
latest and greatest ventures. Hopefully, I'll hear from him in the upcoming weeks.
And naturally, as I receive scoop - I'll make sure that you are among the first to be in the know.
In the meanwhile gang, let's have some more fun.
For those who voted for Ms. Jaci, feel free to share with our Sista Socialite Community as to why she's tops in your mind.
You may also weigh in on our other candidates.
Hugs to all who participated in our first poll!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Alpha Kappa Alpha!


Today marks a special milestone in the history of the Black Women’s Club Movement.

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated celebrates 100 years of ‘Service to All Mankind!’

This is an extremely exciting time for me and all of my lovely Sorors. We reflect on the vision of our great Founders and Incorporators while focusing on the great promise and challenges of the future.

What I love about the Alpha Kappa Alpha story is that a group of young Black women made what could be argued as a powerful feminist statement in 1908 at Howard University in Washington, DC.

In this same year, there are documented cases that at least eight Black women were lynched in the United States. It was crime (written and/or spoken) in many states for Black people (and particularly women) to gather for meetings.

And, the concept of true Black femininity was often disputed in the racist medical and sociological literature because after all – Black women were considered physically ugly, hot blooded, sultry amoral sexual beings.

So think of how significant it was for this group of young Black women to develop an organization whose core values include scholastic achievement, community service, and celebrating femininity.

And, that in the backdrop of today’s volatile economic and political times, these core values are still very much applicable.

Someone hand me a tissue (sniff, sniff…)

So, today we celebrate a great and influential organization that provided the blueprint for others to follow.

We are often imitated but never duplicated – as the First and the Finest.

Feel free to enjoy the Flash presentation of some remarkable women of Alpha Kappa Alpha by clicking this link.

Yours truly will be in attendance at both the 2008 North Atlantic Regional Conference in Philadelphia and the Centennial Boule in Washington, DC!
Artwork by Larry Poncho Brown

Monday, January 14, 2008

Pamela Joyner's 'Unmasking' Fundraising

Pamela and husband Alfred (Fred) Guiffrida enjoying their ball with another couple


The entryway to Pamela Joyner's new home






Pamela and hubby Fred Guiffrida masked


Pamela and designer B. Michael


Super Sista Socialite Pamela Joyner and husband Alfred (Fred) Guiffrida held an incredibly fabulous fundraiser at their beautiful new home in San Francisco last October.

The dynamic duo serve on the Board of Directors for the Landmine Survivors Network and decided to combine two events in one by giving a charitable spin on their housewarming party.


The event raised more than $200,000.


The idea formed to host a masked ball to 'unmask' their house for all of the event attendees. The home (which was built in 1909) went under a multi-million dollar renovation to
restore it to its prior glory.


Pamela (who always looks smashing) favors designer B. Michael to dress her for formal events. A Socialite fan favorite on the West Coast, she is routinely voted as 'Best Dressed' by the readers of various San Francisco area publications.

Now you and I both know that it is big when (ahem) we are acknowledged in this way.


Pamela is a graduate of Dartmouth and Harvard and owns Avid Partners LLC. She was recently appointed to serve on the Board of Directors for Sharper Image. I always liked Sharper Image's products and I feel even more enthusiastic about spending my money with them since they have a Sista on the Board.

Pamela is also on the Board of the San Francisco Ballet and a huge supporter of the city's Opera. Hubby Fred is Managing Director of Horsley Bridge Partners.
OK, everyone - let's stand up and give Pamela a round of applause for representing the Sistas with style and grace on the West Coast (clap, clap, clap!)
Photos: Drew Altizer for a bunch of pubs including SF Gate.com & Nob Hill Gazette
Special Note: I don't mind if you want to post my stories to your blogs but
have some consideration and at least give me proper credit!!
No need to call out names (yet)...you know who you are...


Friday, January 11, 2008

Friday's Fabulous Flick


This flick features Quintin Owens and Shauna Neely at the Dominique Cohen Store Launch Party co-hosted by Gillian Heart Simonds and Christina Cuomo this last Wednesday in New York City.


Their look is neat and chic demonstrating that you don't have wear a bunch bling to shine!


Have a super weekend!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Invite You Would DEFINITELY Decline




Today is a pretty quiet, so I decided to do some Internet housekeeping. I have an old email address that I am preparing to abandon partly because it has become so SPAM ridden.

Anyhoo, to my shock and horror - I RECEIVED A FRIEND INVITE FROM BISHOP THOMAS WEEKS III OFF OF BLACK PLANET.COM!!



I had to pick myself up from the floor after gasping for air.

In case you haven't heard this story, Weeks was arrested and charged for violently beating his estranged wife Juanita Bynam in the parking lot of an Atlanta hotel. She has since filed for divorce.

The tragic and unfortunate circumstances of their household finances along with other sorrid relationship details has been spread throughout the media. Essence Magazine featured Bynam on a recent cover. Weeks admitted wrong doing by blaming 'the Devil' and claiming that he has been transformed.
Whatever...
Let's just say that I'm not planning to respond to this invite.
But, the busy-body in me couldn't resist looking at his profile.
I clutched my pearls (yes, I wearing some today) in disbelief at what I saw. Weeks has a whopping 149,000+ friends - most of whom are young women!!!!
As my Grandmother use to say - Jesus, please keep us near the cross as all of us will not be saved...

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Wentworth Miller's Connection To The Black Elite






A fan of this blog and of actor Wentworth Earl Miller III (top picture) sent this very interesting story of the actor's family reunion last November. Miller is best known for his starring role on FOX's Prison Break.

I first became aware of Miller's talent in the movie The Human Stain. If you haven't seen it, you'll should check it out.
Miller is related to one of the first Black doctors in Tennessee - Dr. Greene Fort Pinkson (bottom picture). Descendants of Dr. Greene Fort Pinkson gathered in Memphis to celebrate his legacy. Dr. Pinkson worked his way through Meharry Medical School and ensured that all of his children were college graduates.

Is it me or does Miller bear a striking resemblance to late Dr. Pinkson?

Miller (whose racially ambiguous look has been fodder for the media) has never denied his racial identity. Miller's Black father is a Rhodes Scholar and the family has lived in both England and Brooklyn.
Miller later attended Princeton University (earning a degree in English Literature) and got into quite an interesting tift with Dr. Cornel West. Miller recalled the story years later in The New Yorker.

I love genealogical studies - it's really fascinating.
And, it proves one thing to be true - you just never know who's who these days...







Monday, January 7, 2008

Getting Ready for 2008

My holiday season was marked with a great deal of merriment and celebration – outside of being plagued again with a hateful cold yet again. I know that I am Vitamin C deficient so I am working on getting better by drinking lots of OJ and taking an extra 500 ml of Vitamin C each day (on top of my standard multivitamin).

Being around scores of people on a regular basis can compromise one’s immune system so I’ve adopted some germ-o-phobic behaviors to make sure that this is the last time I will fall prey to a cold!

I am in good company with sickness as so many people I come into contact with are struggling. In retrospect, perhaps my holiday was soooo delightful due to my drug induced haze of cold medicine and home remedies with an alcoholic base (grins).

In spite of being under the proverbial weather, I hopped to a few gatherings held by my close friends. The universe and timing being what it is, resulted in all of the activities being scheduled within days of each other. Yet, I was determined to be up to the challenge of zooming around the city with my special friend in tow. We scooted to a sit down dinner with three other couples, a Kwanzaa celebration, and a downtown swinging open house of movers and shakers in the local arts and culture community. Each event was uniquely delightful.

My Socialite buddies attended fab soirees like the Atlanta Mayor’s Masked Ball, The Philadelphia Links Gala, Atlanta Links Cluster Christmas Party, in addition to Boule and Guardsmen’s Christmas Parties in various cities. I’ll upload some photos from some of these events soon I promise.

Of course, all of the parties were marked with banter and interesting conversation ranging from politics on every level, educating Black children properly, and the terrible financial projections for 2008. There are not too many people who aren’t feeling a severe bite in the pocketbooks after paying for gas and other basic necessities. Fresh fruit (which I consider a necessity) is extraordinarily expensive and it bugs the hell outta of me.

The financial pitch is forcing frugality with Black Socialites across the country. Even the Grand Divas of Socialite-Dom in various cities have been spotted out wearing the same dress more than twice. I am known for a sleeveless black velvet empire style gown for winter events. This gown has been to so many activities that it knows my social calendar better than I do!

Trust me, no one will judge you for wearing a gown, suit, or dress multiple time because the smart and thrifty are all doing the same thing!

This week I’m culling through more invitations and being very choosy about what I plan attend for the first quarter of 2008. I actually strive to work on pretty strict ‘entertainment’ and ‘organizations’ line items in my overall budget. I’m also a ‘cash girl’ – which means that I pay for my Socialite activities in cash versus using credit cards.

I have two Links events on my docket right now and this is the BIG Centennial year for Alpha Kappa Alpha! Of course, I have to be ready to go, go, go!

It’s exciting to see this milestone in the life of the Sorority! I will have my face in the place for the North Atlantic Regional Conference in Philadelphia and in Washington, DC for the Centennial Boule.

Right now, I’m on the hunt for some hot pink and green finery to wear.

We’ll chat some more as 2008 is shaping up to be quite the intriguing year.

Cheers!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Friday's Fabulous Flicks

Happy New Year everyone!!!
I hope that you had as much fun ringing in the New Year as I did.
Tell the truth...did you eat too many cookies this holiday season?
For your viewing pleasure, a series of nice flicks to start your weekend off.
Susan Fales-Hill (left), Caroline Cronson, Amy Fine Collins, Amy Mazzola Flynn at Peter and The Wolf, A Family Holiday Benefit for Works & Process at the Guggenheim hosted by Isaac Mizrahi


Maggie Betts at the UNICEF Snowflake Ball in New York City

Genevieve Jones at the Dolce Gabbana and Vogue Living Party in NYC


PR Maven Bonnie Morrison (left) at The Guggenheim Young Collectors Council Artist's Ball in NYC sponsored by Chloe