Well, a couple of days after I spoke at FAMU, I spoke at Davidson College. I was plagued with a different kind of problem that almost became rationale for a new ensemble: Facebook and Twitter. Yep, I knew that pictures of FAMU would be all over cyber space. And true enough, on my layover in Atlanta, half way home, my best friend Luke was already telling me how "wonderful" my pantsuit looked. Oh Brother! The challenge was on. Could I go to the "back of my closet" and pull together something equally as fabulous?
This time I went all the way wild. I broke a cardinal rule: Never wear a St. John Knit jacket with anything other then St. John separates. At least for a St. John purest and I've been a member of that club for the last 15 years. But I did it! This top picture is me and the Red Pump Ambassadors from Charlotte. Brittani on the left and Tawanna on the right. They met me fresh off the plane and were a part of #teamRae all day. They had no idea what the other was wearing. I thought it was soooo cute how they were matching. They illustrate how you can have similar looks with different pieces. I also think them showing up in the similar ensembles showed that the Red Pump team was in sync.
I remember the day I purchased this St. John jacket. I thought it was toooo cute! It took all of five minutes to make the decision that I had to have it for an upcoming appearance on BET with Tavis Smiley. It's approximately 7 years old and is atypical in that it's not santana knit. This fact was also another rationale to buy it. It was a "different" St. John look. I remember the next day watching the View, Star Jones was wearing the same jacket and I was feeling even better about the decision to buy. Say what you want, Star does have good taste in clothes. She paired it with pink St. John, also another solid color look for this jacket.
This light weight wool St John jacket was perfect for Charlotte's climate. The fringe outlines the entire jacket and sleeves giving it a youthful appeal. And the fringe is the highlight of this very typical plaid design.
As usual, accessories are important. They help to pull an ensemble together. I choose a very wide black patent leather belt to give my waistline a slimming effect and 3 1/2" heel pumps to add even more length to the straight lines under the jacket. Both are Ann Taylor. My jewelry was simple. It completed the look. I choose multi-color pink and white pearls and layered it with a white gold and diamond cross. My earrings were the 12 mm south sea pearls highlighted last week.
Of course, I completed my ensemble with 12 mm black onyx bracelets from RLT Collection, a preview for the fall 2010 collection. I think I pulled my outfit together pretty nicely, proving two things. You can go to the "back of your closet" often and still look fabulous and you can create your own rules. Paring this St. John jacket with something other than St. John separates gave it a fresh look that still had that St. John allure.
It was a packed house, a great audience and God gave me something to say. As always when I speak, I don't come with some arrogant idea that I'm going to save these young lives. I know that they have to make their own choices. My prayer is that my honestly and transparency will be enough for them to take and use to save themselves. At the end of the day, the only person that can save you, is you.