Victory at Indie Fashion Week

The final show of Indie Fashion Week was a victory.

Producer Harley Morgan and his team really gave the audience something to talk about and created a platform for new and indie designers to showcase their work.

This year’s show was held at the Dance Place Theater, a unique venue option which allowed all attendees a great view of the stage. The VIP attendees felt very important as they were ushered inside, escorted to the first four rows and given a swag bag filled with goodies including Emerge the Magazine.  The flashing lights and tripods of the many photographers in attendance snapping pictures gave the atmosphere the feel comparable to that of NY Fashion Week. Serving as Emcee, Mr.Morgan’s excitement was evident throughout the evening as he enthusiastically described the designs with clarity and spoke eagerly about all the designers. The timing of the designers showcasing their work was brilliant. The audience was entertained with brief skits about Prince and domestic violence paying homage to National Domestic Violence Awareness Month while dancers floated across the stage. The connection between Prince, the color purple, and domestic violence awareness was well blended. The lighting gave that theatrical ambiance. The audience felt very engaged and the wow factor was definitely in the air.

This was an overall amazing event and Harley Morgan is definitely one to watch as he continues to emerge in the world of fashion. We commend Harley Morgan and his team on having a successful third cycle of Indie Fashion Week and creating a platform for new and hardworking fashion designers. This week is a must attend.

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Day 1 Month 1 of Emerge’s 6 Month Entrepreneur Challenge

It is time to embark on this 6 month journey of self discovery, growth, and at the end success.

Month 1: mnth-1-challenge

First tip on how to determine what you really want:

Realize It Is Okay To Be Selfish

It is hard to know exactly what you want in life unless you realize sacrifice comes with the territory. You will have to sacrifice your time and more. But remember you have to put yourself first.

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. What if I wasn’t tied down by my job?
  2. What if I didn’t have to do things for my family or friends?
  3. What would I be doing in this very moment?

Remember it is okay to put yourself first. No one else will. If you are not happy then you can’t make anyone else happy.

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The Demigods of Power and Might: Militarism & Media — Religion & Racism

“We used to be able to hang ‘em and nobody bothered,” I heard a neighbor say to the mailman when I was in elementary school, but until I, like Rod Steiger, saw Sidney Poitier slap Larry Gates, In the Heat of the Night, I didn’t really understand:  This is the essence of America’s struggle to live, “We hold these truths to be self-evident…”

Yes, strengths and weaknesses abound over the gamut of our flip-flopping politics – both good and bad reaching across the aisle — violence & hypocrisy, risks & failures Left, Right and Center.  However, those who believe in whitewashed history books dearth of truth, are as godless as they claim to be Godly — wrapped in the flagstone of myth.

More fragmentized than American mosaic, our extreme political and social bookends have become this Democratic Republic’s albatross, bending its back on the backs of forgotten or ignored history — The Right has become extremely wrong.

Now our Ship of State seems mired in the muck of military rape, corporate owned media, religious hypocrisy and racists’ hate, anchoring The Land of the Free in the port of revisionist history, walled in by vain glory of trumped up greatness, crying out like a voice in the wilderness for the young to save the old from the rigidity of past sins against charity begins with love thy neighbor as thyself.

Independence & Independents, Liberals & Moderates, advocates and activists, undecided Baby-Boomers and sulking Millennials – there is no longer a fork in the road – there is only forward to progressive renewal or back the way we came.  Although, getting centered is a goal worthy of the common good, there is no more in-between.

In 2016, being deplorable both comes from and raises fears that America’s heart has beat too hard for too long.

The new reality:  with an open mind, it’s easier to see our leaders of industry & unions, private enterprise and all levels of government are merely the boat – and when we vote against repeating the gender bias and racial discrimination of our past, We The People are the power of the wind — and the ocean on which all sail.

Regardless of national heritage, political hope, gender claim, income race for equality, whether LBGTQ or not, if we desert the system, and Democrats, this is what will become ensconced as authentic American:  belittling the disabled, faith in bigotry, hate transparency and permanent second-class citizenship for people of color, girls and women – echoing the blatant hypocrisy of the Voting Rights gutting Chief Roberts decrying, Brown vs. Board of Education at the opening of the Smithsonian’s new African-American museum.

A trumped nation will resound in main-stream ensemble like thisIt is for us The Right People, tea stained or red tied, to lead us not into the temptation of loving our neighbor as ourselves, but rather deliver us from the evil of Black Lives Matter, as we, the too conservative to see forward, Free Will ourselves to the promised land of blessed assurances that white might is our right.  Praise the Lord, pass the trumpet that finally silences, Lift Every Voice and Sing, so we are washed whiter than snow, free from the blood of any color.

Whether dreaming forward or looping our rear-view mirror, what we do between day-break and dusk is the only difference we make.

There are millions of Americans of every political, racial, sexual and spiritual hue, wealthy and not, who are descent, loving and giving human beings, but unlike Henrietta Lacks, Sarah Gray, Sam Cooke and Sons of Bill – Donald Trump, and the GOP that Birthered him, are not among them.

But still I Believe!  Civil society and national unity save us from a trumped fate.

The Role of Fashion in the Presidential Race

This Presidential election has been such a crazy roller coaster ride that Showtime even titled their documentary coverage ‘The Circus’. With all eyes on the candidates at all times, they are very methodical in choosing their wardrobes. This leaves everyone wondering what they’re actually wearing.

It all starts with a little boy who grew up in the Czech Republic and then spent years in concentration camps during WWII. Martin Greenfield spent time cleaning suits in Auschwitz for officers. Luckily, he made it out alive and went on to be a premier suit tailor in New York City. He has tailored suits for many Presidents and celebrities including Dwight Eisenhower, Colin Powell, Michael Jackson, Bill Clinton, & George Bush. He has even been listed on the White House registry while Obama was in office. Michelle Obama prefers designers like Jason Wu and Prabal Gurung.

Fashion plays a huge role when strategizing a candidate’s optics. In the 08’ election, the RNC spent over $150,000 on Sarah Palin’s wardrobe. In the past, Hillary Clinton could often be found wearing Nina McLemore, a DC based designer, but this go around, Hillary hillary_clintonspent major money revamping her look. She hired Kristina Schake, a former Michelle Obama aide, to help style her. It’s estimated that she spent over $200,000 for new campaigning outfits. This may sound like a lot, but can add up quickly when you’re spending up to $12,500 on jackets like the Armani one she wore to her NY Primary Victory Speech. She can be found sporting $2,200 custom pieces from Ralph Lauren to $4,000 jackets from Susanna Beverly Hills. She accessorizes her suits with Mikimoto Pearls, Chanel pins, and Manolo Blahnik shoes. Barbara Lacy has done Hillary’s makeup for years, which obviously made her the perfect candidate to do the makeup for HBO’s political comedy ‘VEEP’.

 

Donald Trump is best known for wearing Brioni suits at over $7,000 apiece. Brioni has been scaling back and laying-off employees, even though they supply presidents and some James Bond characters. Brioni’s exorbitant price tags make it hard to compete with cheaper bespoke and made-to-measure tailors. Trump’s slacks are baggy and his suit trump-the-schmuck-2shoulders often run a little wide, so he must prefer them to be made that way. When you’re spending that much on a suit, they’re going to cater to exactly what you want. His daughter Ivanka has very good taste, but I guess that’s a given since she doubles as a fashion designer in addition to being a real estate executive. Her line can be found in Lord & Taylor and Nordstrom. She’ll be seen wearing anything from her line to Dolce & Gabbana. Don Jr. is a sharp dresser and has a pretty conservative style similar to his father. They wear the typical red or blue ties, but purple and pink seem to be Don Jr.’s other go to colors. Designers must love Presidential elections with candidates easily spending six-figures on their outfits. When you’re running for the highest office in the land, I guess you need to look the part.

James J. Crosby
CEO Crosby & Co.
Crosby@Crosbyandcompany.com
Instagram: @Crosbyandcompany

 

‘What the Hell do we have to lose?’

What do we have to lose from a landslide of Second Amendment salutes shooting down First Amendment rights, by rebuffing the embellishment of You’re a Grand Ol’ Flag’s Red, White and Blue, with shades of brown, black and yellow — Liberty and justice for all means, freedom is not limited to those of us resembling Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and a wannabe Birther-in-Chief.

Merely speaking one’s superman mind to twits with tasteless tweets, can’t transpose trending truth:  government is the problem transformed United We Stand into Capitol Hill dung heap.  When a people feel bullied, left behind, forgotten, deprived of the means to provide for themselves, hopelessness can express itself in a multitude of violent ways.

Surviving our Great Recession, by creating our great economic divide, we shouldn’t be shocked that, Shock and Awe, has been the light upon our pathway to a Divided We Fall potential.

Even the .1% are searching for an out-of-this-world exit from what they’ve created:  an electorate triad of the enraged, the repulsed and worst of all, the undecided.  Our elections have not always been a choice of the lesser of two evils, but what justification is there for choosing, by default or acclamation, the worst of two evils?

We’re taught, before crossing the street, if we don’t look both Left and Right, we could lose our life.  As adults, not choosing forward over reversal, we could lose our nation.

Truthfully, progression is better than regression, Constitutional gender equality beats income disparity and Marijuana can heal while opioids kill — so what the hell do you have to lose

There is no greatness in Misogyny, Xenophobia, Islamophobia or Homophobia — and The Trail of Tears, Anti-Catholic, Antisemitism, No Irish Need Apply, Japanese Internment, racial segregation and Jim Crow gerrymandering remain historical antagonists to our greatness. — and those who elect to re-inject these nightmares into our American Dream, are not only deplorable, but delusional.

Which is worse, a bout of email pneumonia or being trumped into that which decays from within?  Hate is a boomerang with tentacles embedded by the embittered, blinded by nefarious nationalistic nonsense, aided and abetted by a media so hungry for notoriety, it’s easily nonplused into free press for the treasonous.

What do we have to lose:  Talent, Wisdom, Culture, Courage and our Humanity!

  • Orry-Kelly, lives lost at The Pulse, Carte Blanche Theatre and all forced to hide sexual identity & preference
  • Jesse Owens, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Emmy-nominated music artist T. O.N.E -z
  • Journalist Jorge Ramos
  • Hawaii Congressman Mark Takai & Senator Daniel Ken Inouye
  • Standing Rock
  • Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women — Cecile Richards, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Cassidy McMillan

What do we have to lose:  Our open minds exploring the exceptionalism of truth and character!

Couldn’t America use more circumspect conscious thinking, like where do Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Middle East oil wars, Birthers, ISIS, Ukraine, Syria and Putin intersect?  Main or Wall Street?  Snowden & Assange or GOP’s 41, 43 and Trump?

Arguably, for the 185 years between July 1776 and January 1961, our white forefathers — immigrants all – of European descent, determined the destiny of America in part, by determining the destiny of all Americans who didn’t look like them.

Change, however, was inevitable and evolution, like revolution, chronic pain, but Revelation celebrates humankind’s potential transcendence, not its end.

In time, both good and evil will come to an end, for not even a nation’s oldest white oak can last forever, if decaying from within.

Nonetheless, there is one core value on which we can all agree:  To know what we have to lose, each of us needs to explore what’s at the heart of our individual, national and global struggle – before we vote.

 

 

Imagine America from 9/11 to Standing Rock Solid

To progress beyond the tragedies of the past, is perhaps our greatest challenge – and truest testimony to America’s greatness.

Imagine

  • Corporations contributing most to Climate Change being taxed and tasked with its obstruction
  • Government skipping vacations to adequately fund Public Education and research for Alzheimer’s, Cancers and Zika cures
  • Health, Pharmaceutical and Insurance industries deserving public trust

Imagine, progress is accepting both individual and global accountability for broken treaties, Guantanamo, and refugees fleeing wars.

Imagine

  • Electing Barack Obama president would end racial discrimination
  • Exceptionalism is stealing Corn (& Thanksgiving) from Native Americans
  • 15 million American children going to bed without food and our increasingly extreme weather, as prologue to food & water wars

Imagine America’s progress without the political timing of a Congress grandstanding permission to sue Saudi Arabia — without also considering indicting the Bush/Cheney Administration for every member of our military who died, was physically disabled or mentally & psychologically damaged because of its Mushroom Cloud deceit.

Imagine not being a nation of individuals too often maneuvered into ours not to reason why, ours but to do and die.  Perhaps honoring those who tragically lost lives and loved ones fifteen years ago, is to be ever more vigilant in questioning those in authority who offer only talking points and clichés.

Corporate owned Politicians and media repeat the mantra, America changed forever on September 11, 2001 – but have you ever heard a sound-bite that suggests why?  All of us know suicide is becoming an American epidemic – especially among Veterans and Millennials, but why?

Why rising suicide rates, drug overdoses, community tensions, gun violence?  Why our diminished self-certainty and loss of faith in our sustainability?  Was it 9/11 or how oil wars for Wall Street profits used 9/11?

Is the Alt-Right a troubling flashback of suppressed memories like, Wounded Knee, the 1964 murder of three young Civil Rights workers or the 2003 invasion of a country that had nothing to do with 9/11?

Powell & Clinton emails, Wells Fargo’s sacrificial lambs, Fourth Estate blood ratings nor lack of Lauer expertise can trump our American Dream – or ever be the sum total of a single American life.

Imagine all American women and all Americans of color never again being the ignored minority.

Imagine standing up for who we’re for rather than encouraging free press for what’s against our common good.

Imagine rising in 2016 to a vantage point from which we can choose to relive our past, mourn our present or visualize our potential.

If we put aside the childish selfishness of anti-American organizations with intentionally deceiving ultra-patriotic sounding names like, Americans for Prosperity, American Crossroads and the Freedom Caucus – then it is perhaps, the end of the beginning of the moneyed Koch Hydra (targeting The Middle Third), and all that are responsible for, nothing lasts forever.

Imagine, in September 2016, Foothill jocks, gently, laying orange roses at the feet of cheerleader Ashley Adamietz – that’s Exceptionalism.

The Sioux Nation includes nine Native American tribes like, the Dakota, Lakota and Nakota for whom the Dakotas were named, and home long before any paleface tourist visited The Badlands.

Dakota is the Sioux word for, friends or allies.  Maybe that’s why they didn’t demand that new Spanish and English settlers speak Wampanoag.

In November 2016, even in Jamestown Virginia, we are the opportunity to stand up with our vote, to include all of the people in, We the People, all of the time.

However, we can begin right now wherever we are, by standing up for clean air and non-privatized lead-free public water – free of corporate ownership or municipal pollution.

Imagine reversing the, what is past is prologue of slavery, relocation centers, gender inequality and income disparity by standing up for all American families.   

Imagine not

  • Eliminating Native American culture
  • Enslaving African-Americans
  • Encamping Asian-Americans
  • Enclosing LGBTQ Americans
  • Exiling Hispanic & Latino Americans
  • Excluding Female Americans Constitutionally

The only true change is to live changed.  Imagine choosing to move forward as we did in Selma, Stonewall and now, Standing Rock.

Patriotism – Citizenship – Religion – Politics

While there is little more patriotic than storming the beaches of Normandy, it is just as courageous to suffer civilian neglect after tours of duty.  There’s more to Patriotism than the Patriot Act, Citizens United or day trip south of the boarder, down Mexico way.

American citizenship deserves more than misquoting historical documents or confusing a pledge of allegiance with a declaration of independence or mistaking Guns, God and Freedom Caucus for, America the Beautiful.

There’s more to Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself than espousing religious freedom while menacing freedom’s greatest privilege with voter ID Laws, political gerrymandering and transforming Faith, Hope and Charity begins at home, by diminutive education at degrading school infrastructure.

There’s more to justice than blocking the restoration of voting rights to those former felons who did the crime but served the time, for beware, a society of revolving doors from Congress to K Street and schools to prisons, risks being crushed under its own corrupted correctional collateral.

And what of the humanity of providing affordable healthcare, rather than being awash in the thrill of sticking the masses with addicting chill pills – hedged by dealers dealing in insurance and pharmaceuticals?

There can be more to our American life than diminishing returns, but ultimately is already here, and those too distracted to deny the powerful denial of truth standing before us, allow the powerful to reap what the rest sow.

Though born out of war, Freedom to peacefully assemble has always been an American ideal, less so, misogyny and bigotry – and there is more to being a patriot than blocking supreme court nominees, while costuming sexual harassment in a black robe of silence, hiding in plain sight.

There’s more to standing up for our country than standing during the rockets’ red glare, and, more to honoring our veterans than a government shutdown.  It’s not enough to display Old Glory for all to see, until weather rending it filthy and tattered, like a warrior forgotten.

There is more to American patriotism than saluting a flag while denigrating the unity and civility for which it stands.  A pledge of our allegiance to each other without prejudice, is more patriotic than Flag Waving or struggling to remember the lyrics of a challenging melody before sports events.

Patriotism is not being media numbed into glossing over a mother being gunned down while strolling with her children.  Being an All American citizen begins with being a decent human being to all Americans.

Citizenship flourishes when liberally nourished with civil participation in the civics of our nation.  Patriotism is not how loud we shout, for if we but journey together from disunity to community, The Ugly American roar is silenced.

The very nemesis of patriotism is the injustice in the words of an extreme hard Right Virginia Amendment, spousal abuse, rape, trafficking, the falsely convicted serving decades, in prison, while one caught in the act of sexual assault receives a six-month sentence.

True patriotism accepts accountability and celebrates contribution, especially from those who have been denied full citizenship.  Our Herstory is resplendent with Americans like, Sojourner Truth & Harriet Beecher Stowe, Harriet Tubman & Elizabeth Cady, Alice Jones Rhinelander & Susan B. Anthony, Marion Anderson & Eleanor Roosevelt, Mary McLeod Bethune & Ruth Williams Khama, Fannie Lou Hamer & Jeannette Rankin, Shirley Chisholm & Alice Paul, Dorothy Height & Betty Ford, Aretha Franklin & Barbra Streisand, Oprah Winfrey and, if she can be saved from police Bi-coastal trafficking, possibly Celeste Guap.

Real patriots preserve, protect and defend not only America’s symbols, but the rights and privileges for which they stand.  We are a nation of nations on a planet we share with all life upon it.

Worshiping the symbols of Exceptionalism is not exceptional, but letting world peace begin with America, would be.