A Look at The Roaring Twenties at The Art for Life Party

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I was beyond psyched to attend the Art for Life party in South Hampton this year. It’s always an evening filled with a lot of culture, swankiness, and fun. Everything from being shuttled to the mammoth tent on the picturesque Fairview Farms to the explosion of art, music, and fashion that you’re bombarded with upon entering makes this something to look forward to each year.

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The evening marked the 20th anniversary of the Art for Life foundation and 16th anniversary of the Gala in South Hampton. The Roaring Twenties theme was beyond suitable to celebrate two decades of unlocking opportunities for young Americans through access to the art world.
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The Roaring Twenties marked an era of unprecedented freedom for women as well as an increased visibility of black culture.

The Roaring Twenties marked an era of unprecedented freedom for women as well as an increased visibility of black culture. Art for Life is one of the few charity events or galas held in the Hamptons where the African American community is very visible in attendance. When I go to a lot of other parties or events in the Hamptons, I’m usually one of the few black women present, so it’s always a great feeling to walk into a room that has a more even racial and cultural distribution and an even more dominant presence of successful and influential people all under one roof.

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It was like walking into a speakeasy overlooking the Bay. Wooden crates and liquor barrels were comouflaged by fringed bodices and beaded hems, and the waitstaff circulated the room offering Bombay Sapphire boos after hors d’oeuvres followed by rosé or sparkling wine.

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I was beyond impressed with how great everyone looked. It seemed that all the guests were just as excited to attend a Gatsby-themed party as I was! They planned their outfits to the T!

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Some couples were so cute with the theme. They looked so amazing and so perfect together. . .I was jealous!

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This was my favorite couple of the evening. . .how cute is he with his little hat on?!

Too adorable. #MommysLittleGentleman

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While others skipped out on the Roaring Twenties theme, they did not look any less well dressed for the gala. Everyone looked beautiful.

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Some patrons turned to big fashion labels like Herve Leger for their twenties-inspired looks.

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Angela Simmons turned to popular dress designer Jovani for her embellished number at the gala. . .

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. . .While others like myself and my fellow FashionBomb blogger Claire Sulmers pulled an oldie but goodie from my closet.

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My dress is from Topshop. I bought it four years ago when they opened their first location in Soho. It was from their Dress Me Up line and MAAAAN was it a hit at the party. I’ve never been more overwhelmed by compliments at any one event. People just loved this dress! #YaayMe!

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I felt pretty and sparkly and sexy! Just call me Mrs. Va-Va-Vroom for the rest of the night.

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Everyone got creative with their headpieces and accessories, turning everything from flowers to Chanel belts into flapper accessories.

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There was no element of fashion from the Roaring Twenties that was missing from this party. Like Bevy Smith said, “They nailed it!”

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I took a minute to pop into a few photos with Russell Simmons, founder of the Art for Life foundation, Marc Leder of the board of directors, and some partygoers before heading into the dining room for dinner.

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After the cocktail hour, it was time to head inside for dinner. The dining room was beautifully decorated and the food was divine! I felt like the menu was made specifically for me with the savory jerk chicken, plantains, and rice and black beans. #JamaicanInTheHouse There was a party in my mouth and my belly did not want it to end! #NomNom However there were also lots of vegan and gluten-free offerings for each course of the menu as well.

There was a party in my mouth and my belly did not want it to end!

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Dave Chappelle was one of the honorees of the evening.

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I had a chance to catch up with him after dinner. He was sitting outside on the steps watching several white swans play in the bay in the still of the night. Much unlike his vibrant and intoxincatingly comedic self on stage, he was soft spoken and sweet, and he seemed to be enjoying some of the simpler pleasures of the evening. He said it was his first time in the Hamptons and it was a great experience for him.

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Amidst all the glam and the delicious entrees were displays of the artwork by children and adults who directly benefitted from this charity. While looking at the artwork, listening to the honorees’ speeches during dinner, and seeing the recipients of the Kimora Lee Simmons Scholarship and graduates of the Rush Teen Programs, you really begin to understand the objective of Art for Life.

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No one really needs art to live, so of course some people may wonder: How does art help people? Access to nice artwork is typically associated with the rich and the affluent, so how can giving children access to art be beneficial to their life structure or quality of life?

How can giving children access to art be beneficial to their life structure or quality of life?

Art is necessary for our creative development. Whether you’re a singer, a dancer, a comedian, a DJ, or a painter, cultivating your creative interests gives you awareness to what you like or skills you may possess that would otherwise go unnoticed without artistic programs or activities. A quote from Bevy Smith said it best: “Art for Life is about children, learning, and exploring their creativity not just learning about how to be an artist, but how to be inspired by art!”

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There was a live auction where everything from taking over Russell Simmons’ Twitter account for a day (estimated value $15,000) to a dinner date with Selita Ebanks (estimated value $3000) was sold.

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The event was everything I expected plus more. One of my favorite parts of the evening in previous years was hitting the dance floor and getting to party with the attendees. However, this year, that segment was short-lived due to the lengthy speeches. A few other patrons I spoke with complained about this and spent a lot of time outside by the bar socializing until it was time to hit the dance floor again. I was a little disappointed but not mad. We were here for a cause, not for me to get my groove on too much.

Perfect theme, perfectly dressed and fashionable attendees, a truly special cause, and a magnificent evening! Hope to see you next year at the next Art for Life gala in South Hampton. xoxoSB

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Photos by Tovah-marie Bembridge

  

The SoHo Launch Party

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I feel like I’m always trying to come up with a new way to celebrate my birthday each year. Sometimes I want to plan an intimate event with friends where we can just drink and dance the evening away, totally unbothered. The issue is always the WHERE?

I attended the launch of a new event space called The SoHo last Thursday and absolutely fell in love. No, no new heartthrob, but rather a new fun space to love. Somewhere I could get all my friends together just for a chill evening and blast the music all night long, or even host a fancy schmancy dinner at a loft space because I can.#WishfulThinking

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For the launch event, the room was set up for a party. So a lot of the dining, furniture, etc. was moved out to allow maximum room for everyone to enjoy themselves. And enjoy themselves they did!  Every time I looked around, more people kept on popping out of the elevator doors, but hardly anyone was leaving.

Every time I looked around, more people kept on popping out of the elevator doors, but hardly anyone was leaving.

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The room was the perfect temperature —cool and comfortable—even though outside was a bit humid from the rain earlier. The way the space is structured gave the party a relaxed vibe. I think that’s what made people want to stay longer. It wasn’t like attending an event at a night club space or corporate space.  Definitely a “no pressure” environment. You can just party, eat, drink, relax, and schmooze. Click here to see all the other possibilities for layout as well as services offered.

Definitely a “no pressure” environment.

 

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The downtown space had that characteristic Soho loft hominess about it.

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Everything from the mega high ceilings, the choice of finishes and furniture, to the colorful inner sides of the  elevator doors as you went from floor to floor gave the space the quintessential SoHo vibe.

 

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Maybe no one wanted to leave because of the never-ending pour of red or white wine  from the charismatic and candid staff.

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Not to mention the delicious hors d’oeuvres and tantalizing tasty preparations by the chef that circulated the room all night. It wasn’t my event but I could see myself hosting a party just like this. #Fancy

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You’re probably wondering what was missing . . . or what the space lacked. Let’s see . . . an outdoor space? Absolutely not. There was indeed an 800 square foot outdoor space complete with furniture and nice views. Perfect for socializing with the girls or the guys on a cool summer afternoon.

You’re probably wondering what was missing . . . or what the space lacked.

 

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I spent most of the evening talking to interesting people and taking a few flicks here and there. It was an excellent networking event. One minute you could be talking to a super successful media consultant , or taking a jello shot…

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…and the next minute talking up an entrepreneur like Joseph Pinion, the owner of these yummy alcohol-infused popsicles everyone was eating. They were a big hit at the party. (What’s not to love about a champagne-flavored popsicle?!)

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One of my personal favorite things about this event space is that it had three rooms at the back that could be used for anything from a bedroom to a viewing room for a film.

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I was definitely impressed with the versatility of the space. It made me want to have a party ASAP! 

Whether you are looking to host a fun after hours, engagement party,  bridal shower or corporate  business dinner or presentation, The Soho is definitely a space to keep in mind for your next intimate function.

Hope you enjoyed reading about my look at The SoHo.

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For more information and booking, visit www.TheSoho.NYC.

  

No Dolce & Gabbana….No Problem!

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Hello my fashion-forward lovies,

How was your July 4th weekend? I wish I could hear from everyone about where you went and what you wore. Tag me in your July 4th photos on Instagram, so I can like and leave comments. I went to a fabulous July 4th party in the Hamptons. I’ve been wanting to do a write-up about it, but all I have are iPhone pics so I’ve been hesitant.  I’m addicted to PRO photos now. They’re just so bright and puuurrrdddy!IMG_5419

So now,  let’s talk about this look!

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We all know that I pride myself on being a Jamaican Belle living on the Upper East Side. However, which girl did not feel like she wanted to get in on her Hispanic heritage when she saw the Dolce  & Gabbana Spring 2015 collection?

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I was obsessed with these shorts but was intimidated by the pricetag even after they went on sale from $6995 to $3260. (Click the photo below for links to the items)

Dolce & Gabbana S/S 2015

 

Since I could not join Dolce & Gabbana’s army of matadors, I decided to  try to re-create the Look for Le$$. 

My main focus was the flamenco ruffles, the embroidery and brocade.
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Lucky for me, H&M has  high-waist embroidered shorts in stores right now and they are on sale for $25! They are not silk or brocade, but you cannot beat the price for the look and the quality. The fabric is 100% cotton and they are super comfortable. They even give the appearance of bloomers even though the hem is not cut as high.
If you’re still not convinced to buy them, check out  how similar they are to these Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2015 shorts. These shorts are definitely #ONTREND!
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The blouse I’m wearing is old.  It’s from JCrew Collection from 2013. You can basically wear any white shirt of your choice with these shorts. Whether button-down or cropped, just pick something that you love.
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 By the way, if you are wondering about me walking around in these platform sandals all day – no worries whatsoever! These Saint Laurent platforms are light and comfy. You literally feel like you are gliding through the streets on stilts with ease.

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These are definitely shorts that makes your derriere be all that it can be, plus some more !

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Walking around in this outfit, I felt like my name was Sheresa Bonita and I was roaming the streets of Spain and dancing in my little garden of homegrown flowers without a care in the world.
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A girl can dream right!

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All the accessories in the look are from Rocksbox.

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If you love to accessorize, you will LOVE THEM!

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Rocksbox is an online store that allows you to borrow accessories.

They feature jewelry from designers like House of Harlow, Kendra Scott  and Loren Hope.  As #ItGirls, our taste and the things we love are constantly changing. Rocksbox is a cool new way to try out accessories you love,  before buying.
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How ROCKSBOX works

1) Pick a jewelery set of 3 pieces, worth an average of $200
2) Wear it
3) Return it for FREE and swap your items out with another 3 pieces.  You also have the option of buying the items if you love them.
You get all the perks of shopping and trying out new accessories without spending even half of the regular cost.
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It’s only $19 to become a member. Think about it, we usually spend at least $20 or more buying one piece of  fashion jewelery, so this is definitely worth it. Just like you wouldn’t wait to go to a sale at the last minute, don’t miss out on this deal. SIGN UP TODAY!
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SPECIAL OFFER FOR MY READERS

All of my readers get ONE ENTIRE MONTH FREE!!!!

Just use the code : thelookbysherecexoxo  when you sign up!

Use the photos to judge the quality for yourself as well as how chic and stylish the pieces are.
Be sure to tag me in your photos on Instagram when you receive your first Rocksbox gift box – @thelookbysherece
  Tag @Rocksbox too
Hashtag #RBItGirl when you post
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 Happy shopping, my lovies or should I say “swapping.”
xoxoSB
GET THE LOOK
H&M embroidered shorts
J. Crew Collection Eyelet blouse (old)
Necklace and bracelets from Rocksbox
Saint Laurent Tribute platform sandals
Chloe Drew Bag
Michael Kors watch
Photographer: Tovah-Marie Bembridge