April 15, 2014
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Aluna Francis wearing the Full Finger Ring , by ABA Jewels

I recently got the chance to hang out with Aluna of AlunaGeorge, the duo from England that I told you guys about a while back. She was in Miami on vacation and happened to walk past the Alessandra Gold Concept Store. The brilliant silver Kruzin sneakers  in the window caught her eye and she walked in. There she met the owner, Alessandra (designer of the sneakers) and they hit it off immediately.

Just strolling around Wynwood, the fortuitous meeting lead to an all out photo shoot, complete with a team of an amazing photographer, makeup artist, and of course all the items in Alessandra’s massive store. The best part? My ABA Jewelry was in the mix (check out the photos to see my Full Finger Ring!)

I have to say I was a little nervous to meet Aluna, mainly because I love her music so much and if she ended up being a jerk I would be forever conflicted while listening to her music. I’m happy to say that wasn’t the case- this woman is fun to be around, professional, and very down to earth- a normal, albeit very talented person. I had a really cool conversation with Aluna while she was getting her makeup done. When I inquired about her ethnic heritage (being a striking, brown English woman) she pretty much brushed off the question, which is understandable since she probably gets asked that all the time, but once we started talking about fashion, specifically jewelry, her face lit up. She is no stranger to the fashion scene- AlunaGeorge recently played the Rebecca Minkoff show at New York Fashion Week- but one thing she truly loves are rings. One of her fondest childhood memories is receiving a tiny gold pinky ring that she cherished deeply. Ever since, she’s had a strong affinity for rings and so I was honored that she loved mine so much.

Her tall, slim physique and gorgeous face were, I’m sure, easy to photograph, but I was actually shocked at how at home she seemed in front of the camera. As soon as the photographer was ready she hit pose after pose after pose and each one was on point (and it probably helped that MUA Crystal and photog Jimmy are amazing, too.) Check out the images below to see the amazing photos and some behind the scenes shots that I took.

Styling/Art Direction : Alessandra Gold

Photographer: Jim Malucci / Jimmy RockandRoll

MUA: Crystal Gossman

Shot at the Gold Photography Studio, Miami FL

 

Check out AlunaGeorge‘s music while you’re at it! You’ll be happy you did.

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April 10, 2014

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Few clothing lines travel beyond the usual lines and safety of current trends. I first heard of Au Courant from from Miami-based DJ/Producer Miami Marci. The intriguing design of their “Samurai Tee” caught our eyes as it was something simple that had never been done before. It was a high-end cotton garment with capability for many uses.

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Miami Marci rockin’ the Samurai Tee by Au Courant

Au Courant, the French word meaning “in the current,” is the independent namesake brand by Chaz A. Jordan. Dissatisfied by the commercial offerings of many labels, Au Courant was formed in 2011 as a personal artistic endeavor. Au Courant has quickly gained an international cult following amongst clients, buyers, celebrities and stylists alike from North America, Europe, and Asia.

Since the “Samurai Tee” release and the subsequent lack of new releases, I was disappointed to not see any future collections; until this week I scouted the internet to learn of the recent return of Au Courant and their alluring view on typical fashion “seasons” and “inspiration” -

Au Courant digresses from “fashion seasons” to the adaptation of an ongoing design approach—when inspiration strikes, inspiration is designed.

- touché

Combining high-quality materials with avant-garde designs and a touch of Far East sensibility, the brand brings the comfortably of Alexander Wang with the design and forwarding thinking of Rick Owens. Au Courant is the definition of quality over quantity.

Below are some of my picks for their newest collection titled, Drifter. inspired this time around by the Hughes Brother film, The Book of Eli (which is one of my top 5 movies). The clothing hinges on the journey “across the barren lands that remain” with distresses basics and nomad-like relaxing fits.

From the women selections, I am obsessed with their Basic T-Shirt with its thick neck collar as well as the Samuri skirt, a perfect interpretation of the male Samurai Tee. I could see this skirt used in so many ways.

Visit http://www.aucourant.co to purchase and view the full collection

Basic Loose Sleeveless Tee Destroyed Front Final (Website)

Basic Loose Sleeveless Tee (destroyed)

Kilted Cargo Sweat Pant Front Final (Website)

Kilted Cargo Sweat Pant

Denim No1 Front Final (Website)

Denim, no.1

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Basic T Shirt I

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Basic Samurai Skirt

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April 8, 2014

 

As a proud pisces I tend to bounce from minor obsession to minor obsession (especially when it comes to “new artists” a.k.a. knew to me) and I believe I may have just stumbled on my next one. I was listening to an amazing mix by Esta for Karmaloop (another mini obsession well worth the click-through) and  Soundcloud played this gem next.

I had actually left the room by then and I ran back in time to see who I had been jamming to while doing my laundry. The song is by Jordan Rakei, an Australian based singer and musician who has a serenading, dreamy voice and apparently great taste in D’Angelo songs. I love how “Blackbird” has bits of the 90′s crooner’s “Lady” thrown into a dubbed-out reggae vibe AND melds that all with a kind of almost Sinatra-esque lounge feel. Trust me, I played this song on repeat a few times and am still jamming to it. Listen to a few of his songs and you’ll see what I mean.

If you liked “Blackbird”, check out “All For Something,” below,  which is actually produced by Esta. I’m really into the vibe of Jordan’s music- it’s smooth, highly instrumental, full of emotion, perfect for Sunday mornings and lazy, rainy afternoons.

Head over to Jordan’s SoundCloud and see why I can’t get enough.

Support this talented musician by purchasing his album Franklin’s Room, here! (My favorite track is Selfish.)

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April 5, 2014

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From the gym to walking my dog to laying on the beach, earphones are an essential part of our lives more than we probably even know. They come for free with our phones, we have tons of out-dated black ancient ones from years ago to our typical Apple ear buds and for the flashy show-offs – theres always the Beats headphones.

But there’s a new contender in town from the guys over at Sol Republic. They figured they’d make one pair of headphones that would withstand any kinda of crazy activity our generation throws at it: Welcome the new Sol Republic RELAYS. They come in a variety of colors, have different options for the perfect fit, and are minimal with the perfect touch of use-ability and cute-ness. I know when I use my Apple ear buds, even while on the treadmill they slide out – super annoying. RELAYS are here and Sol Republic claims they, “won’t fall out, no matter what you put them through.” Sounds like a challenge!

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Luckly, Sol Republic wants to put one of our lucky readers to the test by giving away a free pair to a special somebody! Want to try the Soul Republic RELAYs challenge? Follow the rules below to enter and we will give one of our readers some ear buds to fit their crazy lifestyle!

FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS TO WIN!

1. Follow @2DopeBitches on Twitter!

2. Tweet “I want to put the RELAYS to the test & live on the wild side with @2DopeBitches and @SOLREPUBLIC !”

3. We will pick the winners by Wednesday, April 9th at NOON. Good Luck!

Lets do it!

Want to cop some RELAYS and give them a spin?

Click here to get your hands on some RELAYS from SOL REPUBLIC!

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April 2, 2014

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Now that Spring time is finally here, we can all (ladies) start to focus on our warm weather style. Of course, in Miami it’s been warm for what seems like forever, but it’s nice to have this fresh, brighter color palette to pull from. Enter: my shoe obsessions. Anyone who knows me knows I’m a shopaholic, spontaneous shoe fanatic , so yea, it’s going to be hard to save my money instead of going back to my old ways of splurging at high end stores where I have no business being and late-night internet sale surfing.

However, it’s free to window shop, so here are some of my current favorites for Spring. This season is full of prints, mixing patterns, pop colors and, thankfully for my ungraceful/unbalanced self, flats.

Click the images below to shop before these bad boys are all sold out!

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The Leah by Sophia Webster- this shoe is basically perfect. High heel, no platform (because I will wobble dangerously 100% of the time out in public even though I can dance in platforms like damn Beyoncé when I’m home alone), clear PVC and that trippy, oilspill-esque metallic. Amazing. And hey they’re only £330! (Don’t think of it as $548, anything to help the instant buyer’s remorse.)

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So these are Sophia Webster as well, but this woman can do no wrong. The wrap around ankle strap, chunky matte, striped and sparkly gemstones and yes, the absence of a platform have won my heart. The graphic striped insole adds the right amount of cute and fun to an otherwise sexy shoe. Pair these babies with boyfriend jeans and a white tee and call it a day.

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The flat tie sandal by Jason Wu. Finally, a pretty, flat, summery shoe that’s streamlined, chic,  looks comfy,  and isn’t a thong! It’s truly a struggle to find sandals these days that don’t have something sticking between the toes. I’m always looking for a pair of perfect flat sandals (and yes flat, because kitten heels are the very worst.) Ladies, that’s just not a good look unless you’re in flip flops at the beach. End of discussion. Now to get $832 for them…

Screen shot 2014-04-01 at 9.49.01 PMAlright so these aren’t shoes, but they are fly. House of Holland outdid themselves with this striped pair of Peggy sunnies. And Summer is right around the corner. So like, I need these. Right? I’m still working on my shopaholic tendencies…

 

 

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March 26, 2014

So its been a month plus now and I have been meaning to edit and post these photos but have not found the time in-between work and events. Finally I can semi-relax and edit photos. Anyho, I went to Los Angeles for the first time in January during Grammy week with my great friend Ashley aka “Ashley Outrageous”, for the social media World out there.

We stayed at a wonderful Downtown LA loft with new friends Loni and Soundwave. We explored, did some sightseeing, got some free stuff, partied (or lack thereof), watched Schoolboy Q perform 5 times, and hung out with TDE after Kendrick’s controversial Grammy night. Apart from all that, I bonded with a wonderful human and got to explore with pure bliss the landscape that is Los Angeles. Here are some selected shots that I took with my Canon as I was on a photographic journey to capture my surroundings! What do you think? Hey, I’m trying!

Hope you enjoy these photos, as it is a very intimate view into my trip with loved ones. I was blessed to be able to stay in a comfortable welcoming home with the best hosts and to travel Los Angeles with a great partner by my side.  I cannot wait to return to Los Angeles later this week (crazy right?!) to help my sister move to Cali for her new job! Dreams are coming true all around me, I am so blessed to have this incredible energy around me. Who knows what next for me! :D – ENJOY!

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March 26, 2014

Take a couple minutes out of your day to watch the above video. Why? Because even the busiest of us need to relax every now and then- even if it’s just for 2 1/2 minutes.

Galaxie by Phresh James and Prez P of Da Camp is one of the best songs to zone out to that I’ve heard in a while (even though I suggest paying attention to the words.) Produced by Fly Walker Beatz, this mellow track features cooing vocals that make you want to hum along, at least I did. Prez P’s confident and fluid bars are the perfect precursor to Phresh James’ biting, poetic flow, bringing together two different voices that are obviously on the same wave.

Large scale spaceships and starry blue and purple skies flash over the artists’ silhouetted faces, giving an elevated feel to match the intelligent lyrics of these two talented Miami-based musicians. We’ve known and followed these two guys (as well as Da Camp, and J.Nics who made a cameo in the video) for some time now, and it’s been inspiring to see them grow. We really take the time to listen (and listen, and listen) to submissions and always post things we are passionate about, and this song/video is no exception.

So, press play above and follow these artists on Twitter for updates in real time  @PhreshJames & @PrezP_BeCampin.

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March 20, 2014
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Buzzing streetwear brand Keep It Gully has once again teamed up with Rok The Spot / RTSA, the collective creative brand featuring the dynamic duo of Flipz5 and Ghunedirah, to bring you “TRAVE.” The mixtape, just in time for WMC, also includes the talents of DJ Louie Arson (Slow Roast Records/Chocolate Sundays) who has been making serious noise in the Miami scene.
 
The title “TRAVE” (Take Risk And Visualize Expansion) aptly describes the mixtape fusing members of the new age like A$AP FergAston MatthewsSchoolboy Q and Danny Brown with EDM producers such as Bro SafariValentino KahnCarnage and High Klassified.  
 
…Light up, Tune in and get with the TRAVE wave.


Feeling the tape, its dope mix of recent bangers and some classic hood joints PRESS PLAY AND ENJOY!

 
#TRAVEWAVE
 
Keep it Gully
(Designer, Stylist, Creative)
http://KeepitGully.com
Instagram – @Keepitgully
Rok The Spot/RTSA
(Visual Artist, Photography, Video / Visual Artist, Producer) 
http://WeRokTheSpot.com
Instagram – @RTSAcollective
Louie Arson
(Dj, Producer)

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March 20, 2014

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Ultra Music Week is quickly approaching for us in Miami next week, as well as our own Trap Paradise event this weekend (Ekk!) and I know if you’re a woman like me,you probably have NO IDEA what to wear to all the pool parties, night events, and nightclubs next week!

Karmaloop released a “Miami Nights” lookbook that is right up my alley. Karmaloop is my secret weapon for last minute outfit ideas and is the perfect place to shop since they always have some kind of sale going on!

Check out my favorites in the lookbook below and click here to see the rest of the beautiful looks! I NEED IT ALL! Help.

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I’ve been eyeing all the new Dimepiece LA collections lately. They just dropped a Cam’Ron inspired collective as well! You should definitely keep an eye on this brand. This outfit is dope and love those shorts!

DIMEPIECE LA – THE DINERO TEE $50

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Love, love, love big shirts since I’m a tomboy. Not into super tight fitted things but that’s just me! But you can’t deny a good crop top. This one’s loose and is neoprene-type fabric and keeps it’s shape and structure, which I like.

MKL COLLECTIVE – THE TECH SWEATSHIRT $28.95 ON SALE

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You can never have to many bracelets. The model here is even rockin’ this on her arm since its adjustable. Love.

MKL ACCESSORIES – THE STREET SMART BRACELET IN GOLD $19.95 ON SALE

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We don’t get much cold weather here. But if we did, I’d rock this tailer jacket, haha.

MKL COLLECTIVE – THE TAILORED JACKET IN NAVY $ 79.95 ON SALE

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Might not be able to wear the tailored jacket but I can damn sure rock a two piece swimsuit in December! Haha!

LEE + LANI THE SORRENTO SWIM SUIT TOP / BOTTOM $82-120

 

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March 11, 2014

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The second the title track plays, it immediately feels warm outside, sunny, and like my uncle’s ‘lac is parked outside sitting on shining gold rims. It feels like the ice cream truck is coming any minute, friends are around, and everyone is just chilling, waiting for the next thing to do. Maybe school is out for a few months, maybe it’s a weekend off of work. Either way, this album transports me to a familiar place, like home in Maryland for the summer , kicking it with my cousins while jams play in the background.

Samples of classic R&B (I see that Anita Baker loop) , intricate and decidedly honest lyrics, and  a classic sample from the movie Paid In Full set the tone of Ron Slyda’s album, Blue Summer:Recollections of a Poetic Drunk. It’s a laidback, entertaining, smart, and honestly a good listen that’s well worth a click to download. (It’s free too, you’re welcome.) The Miami native melds southern charm with West Coast vibes and nostalgic samples to create a lane all his own. Ron Slyda takes us on a sonic journey with this album, from hanging out, to getting real, losing people, learning lessons, and all the while staying as true as he knows how. Throw in a couple MOB quotes to top it all off.  I’ll be the first to admit I can take forever to do something, so yea, excuse my lateness. This album goes in. Enjoy.

 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FREE ALBUM

Follow Ron on Twitter  (@Ron_Slyda) to keep up with his new releases and updates.

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