Define, “Dope”…

So I was talking to my mom about a pair of shoes, specifically the Rihanna Pumas, and as I was looking at them online I said, and I quote, “These are so dope!”

My mom looked at me as if I had just muttered a Class A swear word. So to soothe her I repeated, “These are so D-O-P-E. Dope.”

She laughed at me and said, “I heard you,  but what does it mean. Define, dope.”

This incident got me to thinking. What is dope? In today’s culture we see the word ‘dope’ everywhere. Social mediaclothing, even movie titles. But what does this word mean?

In the 80’s and 90’s dope was the street name for drugs, heroin to be exact. But in the 2000’s the meaning has kind of been altered. Defined by urban dictionary, ” dope is a word describing something extremely cool, such as music, clothes people, etc.”

Dope is a sense of style. It is a mixture of edgy, urban, and great fashion sense. A few people who exhibit ‘dope’-ness would be: Rihanna, Kehlani, Chance the Rapper, Zendaya, and of course, Kanye.

Although everyone has their own ideas of what’s cool and what’s not, these artists have been labeled, therefore branded, by social media as Dope icons. Whether it is for their taste in clothing or their talents.

A few items have been labeled as dope by the urban fashion community: Sneakers, chains, wild and unusual hair colors and styles, sweatshirts- usually ones with music, television, or vintage (throwback) themes, and music lyrics- usually ones that include truths about neighborhood situations or that have deep metaphors.

EVERYTHING is not dope. A cute dress is still a cute dress, it is NOT dope. Please for the sake of the word, do not over-abuse it, like #Fleek. A minimum of maybe 5 things a month should be dope.

What/ Who is dope to you? Do you define it differently? Feel free to leave comments below.


Blog Watch

“I don’t do fashion. I am fashion.”

-CoCo Chanel


I am a huge fan of fashion, obvious right? I have been exploring the fashion industry and all of its many realms. Trust me–it’s a vast area of study.

Lately I’ve become obsessed with makeup and beauty blogs.

At first, it seemed as if they were all the same, some obnoxious girl who wears way too much foundation and bronzer and who buys all of these expensive products, that I could never seem to find anyway.

BUT after a night of being bored of Netflix (crazy, right?), I found a few beauty bloggers, who are realistic, practical, and super entertaining to watch and read.

One of my favorites is Carli Bybel, first off her makeup is ALWAYS so flawless. Not only does she cover great makeup trends she also touches on lifestyle and everyday topics.

Shalom Blac,a young woman who was badly burned on her face with hot oil. Despite her injuries she still felt beautiful and confident (as she is and should) to make lovely makeup tutorials. Very Inspiring.

There are a lot of things that go into producing and maintaining a fashion or beauty blog. The maintenance part is the challenge. Providing a platform with fresh and consistent material is one of the key elements needed to “successfully” blog.

That is my goal as a blogger. I don’t necessarily want to have over a billion viewers and thousands of people sending me messages asking, “hey can you follow me back?” and all that other internet famous hoopblah’ (Spongebob reference).

My goals here are to connect with other fashion lovers, to change the opinions of trend haters, to further establish my own since of style, to grow as a writer, and have fun with it every step of the way.

For more cool beauty bloggers click this link.


BTW the photo included in this blog post is one of my own, a nice set of murals I happened upon on the south side of Chicago.

Ode to the end: The Writers’ Desk. 

Good day all, 

An ode is defined as “a lyric poem in the form of an address to a particular subject…a poem meant to be sung.” 

If you’ve been following my blog this month, you know that week to week I’ve been speaking on the topic of African-American history and the role of black culture in fashion. 
I interviewed students from my Illinois state university campus. The students gave their opinions on several subjects regarding the topic. 

“Why this topic?”

As an African-American woman, it is important (at least to me) that I try to connect my present life with the lives of those who came before me. 

As a writer, I believe that it is my responsibility to speak on all issues regarding the theme of my choice, especially those that have not been largely discussed. 

Fashion is important to me and so is my history. 

They say, 

“A Writers’ desk is a visual display of who they are”, “who am I?”

On my desk you’ll usually find my camera, a Bible devotional, a set of pens, my speakers and a variety books. 

That speaks volumes. That’s why I write about what I do. That’s why this is an ode. 

“Who are you?” 


Part 2: Ode to Success…

“…It does affect their house and their brand”, says supermodel Naomi Campbell in a 2008 interview done by British channel 4.

Welcome back to the Prada N’ Prose February series of, Ode to Black History: A Journey through design.

The interview discussed the rarity of black models in high fashion runway shows and fashion advertisements. With her experience as a model for over 28 years, Naomi was able to provide a first-hand perspective on her experience in the industry.

In this sequel, I spoke with Aleisha Reado, a 21 year-old Business and Apparel Design major. I showed her three videos out of the dozens that I had watched on the topic of the roles that minorities, (specifically black women), play in the fashion industry.

The fashion industry as a whole is worth billions a dollars, thats from designers, to stylists, to seamstresses, to writers. Out of all of these categories and more it is amazing that roughly only 20% of those are minorities, (asian, black, latino)

Ode To Dude: In Honor of Men’s Fashion Week

Hi Loves!

I hope your week is going well.

February marks the month for many events and holidays. Black History Month, being my personal favorite, along with Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, etc.

This post is a bit different than my usual, I’ll admit it. I decided to interview college men about their personal style and how they feel fashion is displayed and perceived amongst minority men.

Both Justin Pickett and Jeremy Johnson, both students at Illinois State University, gave me different answers.

“If I gave a poor man, that had on (probably) clothes that were outdated for five years… $1,000 and told him to go shopping, I am confident that a black man will comeback with something trendy right now, the white man would go and get something newer than what he has on right now.”

-Jeremy Johnson


I found this quote very interesting because this a very popular topic in the black community. Do African-Americans set fashion trends?

Well I’ll let you decide.

Think of Timberlands, a shoe designed as an everyday work boot, turned into a stylistic choice. The button-down shirt, made for formal and business gatherings, turned into a layering technique amongst urban (minority) trendsetters. This concept is not new and It’s not JUST black. Blacks and Latinos have been changing the rules of fashion for decades. Taking the “practical” and making it fashionable.

While the world we live in is becoming more and more diverse each day there is still a imbalance of black designers (New York Times) and HIGH FASHION models on the big name runways. It’s easy to say, “there just aren’t any “good” black designers“, but we all know that isn’t the case. Yet and still, the skewed results remain. Follow me on this trip through Black Fashion and its impression left on todays society. Each Friday we will take a look at the past and step into the future on this February’s series: Ode to Black History: A Journey Through Design.

Thank you for tuning into part one: Ode to Dude.





“…means of communication to the world.”

Last year I interviewed professional freelance photographer, Rashod Taylor.

“I became interested in photography in junior high, my homeroom teacher was actually the yearbook advisor and I decided to try it out and play around with the cameras a bit.”

Before joining his high school yearbook staff, Taylor only took personal photos at family gatherings and on vacations.

“I was in high school right around the time when digital starting getting popular and more obtainable, 95′-96′.

I would shoot mostly sports and portraits. I eventually became a photographer for both the yearbook and the newspaper. Not at the same time, I would alternate between the two.”

Taylor admits, “I like to try everything. I have probably had almost every single camera format known to man. Leica camera, range finder. It’s been around for like a hundred years. Great photographers, of all kinds and genres, especially, street photographers use them. It’s one of the best cameras out there.”

Photography is a highly popular hobby and career choice. Every artist has a different specialty and reasoning behind their fascination. I explained to Taylor that my infatuation was caused by the ideal that everything, to me seems much more real through the lens of a camera. In return, he explained his reasoning:

“I am a horrible writer, photography is my means of communication to the world.

I love art, I just love self expression.

I love meeting new people and learning about others.”

Married and with a new son, Taylor describes his photography career as interesting but confesses that it isn’t his ideal career. “My family depends on me. Photography is great but its not always financially stable.”

It wasn’t all bad though, Rashod has done editorial freelance assignments for Essence magazine. “Yes, I shot for Essence, actually my cousin worked as a designer then art director for Essence. He told me about their internship program, he gave it some thought and decided, ‘I would love to live in New York for a summer!’ I put in my application and at first, I did not get accepted; I actually missed the deadline.

In May someone dropped out, the internship started in June, I got a call asking me to send in my resume and portfolio by the end of the day. So I hustled, did it, and ended up getting an interview ;they hired me as an art intern. That was back in 2007. New York was awesome. I loved the grind, everyone was doing their own thing. The creativity is contagious.”

His duties as an art intern included mostly, watching and learning.  He would go with the staff to photo shoots, he also checked film.

“It was more than photography, I got to see how they put the magazine together.”

When Rashod Taylor is not shooting beautiful and inspiring scenes, he’s negotiating contracts at State Farm.

“Everyone is a photographer now-a-days, everyone is good, so as an artist you have to figure out what makes you better. Some people may be really good at Lifestyle shots, for others it may be portraiture.”

Taylor graduated from Murray state University, majored in art, with a concentration in photography.

If you are interested in learning more about the Leica camera, check out this link:

If you would like to know more about Rashod Taylor, check out his website:




20 things to look out for in 2016! 

The new year has finally arrived and I, along with several other publications have comprised a list of 20 things to look out for in 2016! 

1. The presedential elections: will Trump Triumph of will Hillary be the game changer? 

2. Chance the Rapper: Chicago kid turned rap icon. 

3. Fashion week! It may seem far now but I guarantee you the designers, models, and every fashion lover is already pumped for the show. 

4. Justin Beiber: New project in the works or nah?? 

5. Valentine’s Day! (Nuff’ said) 

6. Spring! 

7. Summer! 

8. Spice Girls! (Reunited and it feels so good? Talk of a reunion tour) 

9. Health Nuts! New year resolutions to drop the pounds and  make better health related choices. 

10. Social justice concerns: what’s next? What’s the solution? 

11. College Homecoming! Game time! 

12. The Super Bowl! 

13. NBA Championship game 2016

14. New iPhone? Although not confirmed, we all know the patterns by now. 

15. 21st Birthday! This is a personal  thing I’m looking forward to. Can’t wait to be a legal adult–bring on the responsibility and martinis! 

16. New friends! Drake said “No New Friends” but I disagree. 2016 is the perfect time to add to your contact list! 

17. New opportunities. Missed out on a class or promotion in 2015? Try again! This your second chance to make a first impression. Don’t waste it. 

18. New Blog posts! New makeup hauls, fashion advice, editorials, and photography. I know I’m excited and I know you will be too! 

19. New Movies! The next few years, until 2019 at least, will be filled with thrilling and exciting action movies. Many are Marvel and DC comic book based. I. Can’t. Wait! 

20. Same you. Better decisions. Resolutions are hard to stick to. Goals, dreams, and visions are a bit easier to wrap your head around. If you have a goal that you want to achieve this new year, do it! Don’t just say it and forget about it a month into the year. 

Touching base

Good afternoon all,

I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving. I know I did.

It has been quite a while since I’ve posted a blog on here. LaModaViva Fotography and Prada N’ Prose are going under slight construction in preparation for the new year.

There are many things to come. What’s in store you ask? Fine. I’ll give you a little heads up. More photos. More collaborations with other artists/ fashion lovers. YouTube vlogs and interviews. And much much more!!!

I am in the process of planning and organizing the schedule for January and February.

In other news, my internship with CollegeFashionista is going quite well. I’m learning so much and can’t wait to do it for the 3rd season in a row!

I have one year remaining at Illinois State University and with the end of this chapter approaching so quickly, I definitely want to make sure that whatever I do in the future is done well. That is why I have not been posting lately, I do not want to half-do anything and because school and work have been my top priority I knew that something had to take a back seat.

Fear not fashion lovers, all of that is about to change. Prada N’ Prose is back and it’s going to be one heck of a comeback!!

Relationship Goals

Good morning all and Happy Friday!

Junior year of college is no joke. I’ve been super busy with meetings, classes, and work. But lo’ and behold I have returned. So straight to business. Every week my Reporting 1 professor gives us a blog post assignment to do. We basically read an article or story and write about what it means to us or just kind of a response piece. This week’s story was entitled, “Always, Ed”. The story is about a man whose name is, you’ve guessed it Ed! From the age of 17 he has been in love with Judy who was 15 at the time. Anyway, it was a classic tale of love at first site (1950’s). They end up getting married, having kids, perfect life right? It gets better. Because they are so broke, every Valentine’s Day they publish little love notes in the local newspaper as gifts. Sweet! Nevertheless, I thought I should share my thoughts on this piece because our generation has been in a love rut. Folks just seems to “talk” but no one is communicating. There’s a lot of shattered, notice I didn’t say broken, hearts in the world right now. People are so worried about being hurt that no one is really falling in love. No, this isn’t everyone. To those who have found the “one”,congratulations continue to love them as best you can and keep the torch lit. But for the other side of the spectrum, maybe a deeper evaluation is needed. Alright, enough soap box talk,

here’s what I wrote on the topic:

Always Ed, to me, is a timeless love story. The kind you see in movies.

Starting from a young age Ed knew that he wanted to be with Judy and he wasn’t going to let anything deter him from that goal. Almost immediately, without hesitation, he professed his love for her and even though she did not return it back as fast as he sent it, he waited until she felt the same way.

They did not have a lot of money, they didn’t take lavish trips, etc. The simplest things made them happy. I find that extremely relevant in the case of today’s “relationships”. Today young couples use social media to publicly express how they feel. Couples are constantly posting photos on Instagram of what they believe should be “relationship goals”. Usually the photos contain young couples being showered in gifts, wearing expensive matching clothing, or upholding some stereotypical gender roles.

Ed and Judy demonstrated their love by supporting each other equally, spending time with each other, constantly letting each other how much they mean to one another. It was never about “what you can give me” or the monetary value of gifts. Most couples focus on very shallow and potentially meaningless variables.

I thought that it was also very important that the children, Chris mainly, noticed how important the relationship his parents was. Even though he wasn’t completely comfortable with sharing that with his father, he had no doubt in his mind. Children, especially in the youngest stages, pay very close attention to their parents and often they replicate their actions. Growing up in a house full of love is an amazing thing for a child.

Please don’t get me wrong, I’m sure Judy and Ed may have disagreed on something’s, especially with money being low. That’s normal, being imperfect is totally common and expected. The important thing is how they handled those flawed situations. Whether they argued, or calmly discussed, whether anyone used condescending language instead of being understanding. These are all things that would change the outcome of the situation. Today’s relationships heavily involve social media. If a couple fights, you will usually see a trail of Twitter and Facebook posts. Someone may change their relationship status from “In a relationship” to “It’s complicated”. Everything is processed publically and instead of handling the issue with their partner they get comments and advice from people online. Chances are these people don’t give a damn about whether this couple breaks up, if someone is heartbroken, in fact they have probably been waiting for this relationship to end so that they can make their move on the other person.

Judy and Ed may have not been perfect but their love was exactly the kind that many people today strive for but may never see because they are stuck on these shallow ideals and behaviors. Love, to me is an elegant and complicate sport. You have to put time into it. It involves work. It involves compromise, not comparison. It takes a LOT of patience and understanding. Most importantly it takes willingness to love and be loved. Don’t expect an Ed and Judy love if you have a Wiz Khalifa and Amber Rose relationship.


Do you have Relationship Goals? What are they?

A Contract Between Friends

Good evening everyone,

I apologize for my lack of posting, these past few weeks were extremely hectic. School is back in session and work is in full effect. Nevertheless, I have returned and I am optimistic about the school year ahead, not just for academia but also for Prada N’ Prose, LaModaViva Fotography, and much much more!

Similar to the start of the school year, I would like to provide my readers with a syllabus. For those of you who may be a bit lost on the concept, let me explain. I want to give you all my time and commitment and make sure that we have an open line of communication. With that being said, I want to give you my written word (promise), that there will be a blog post at LEAST once a week. 1. To benefit me as the writer and to constantly practice my craft. 2. To benefit YOU the reader, to bring new outlooks and ideas to your attention all while providing light entertainment. As long as this written agreement is in place, I expect you all to hold me to my promises as I shall hold you to yours: as long as you read, I’ll write.

If you are unfamiliar with this site, this is Prada N’ Prose, a free fashion resource with a story telling theme. Blog posts are kept light, informative, and entertaining for viewers pleasure. This an open space where the writer and the reader can communicate and should, at all times, respect each others’ opinions, even if they do not necessarily agree on the subject matter. Again, I appreciate your friendship and I look forward to growing this year with you!