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A "Dashing" Single Lady! (Fashion-in-Film Review)

by Monique
July 16, 2011 7:27 AM
21 Comments
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Hi S&A Readers! Today we have a special treat for the fashionably inclined out there! Joining us today is guest blogger, Jade; she's a twenty-something fashion writer from Las Vegas, Nevada. Now and in the future, she will be sharing news and commentary on various aspects of style and design in the industry. Below check out her first offering, a fashion review of the television series, Singles Ladies. We hope you will enjoy the article and welcome her with open arms!

I've always been fascinated with the impact a character from both television and film can have on popular culture and trends alike, whether it’s Hepburn’s little black dress, layered pearls and Oliver Goldsmith sunglasses in Breakfast at Tiffany’s or pairing menswear with feminine accents á la Annie Hall. Far from these iconic films but just as fun is my current guilty pleasure and Vh1’s latest sitcom, Single Ladies.

The comedy/drama follows three single girlfriends as they deal with the hardships and perks of dating and building successful careers in the growing urban epicenter that is Atlanta, GA. This concept has undoubtedly been used before (and with much better acting), though set against the much more conventional backdrops of New York City and Los Angeles, i.e. Sex and the City and Girlfriends. And with any other show I would have changed the dial about five episodes ago however, there’s one thing that stops me every time: the fashion (and of course, the frequent celebrity appearances help, as well). While I doubt the show’s leading ladies will be flooded with any acting nods anytime soon for their portrayals, the show’s first season, just six episodes in, has proven to be quite abundant in cutting edge style and trends. So much so that I felt it was imperative to highlight the wardrobe of the show’s main character, Val Stokes, played by Clueless alum, Stacey Dash.

In each week’s episodes, Val, the owner of a clothing boutique, is seen donning feminine yet edgy pieces that showcase Dash’s impeccable figure. One of my personal favorites so far in the series is a crème BCBG Max Azria pants suit with structured shoulders and draping detail. This would not be the first time that an on screen performance by the aesthetically gifted Ms. Dash has helped influence current fashion trends.

(How could we forget the cleverly coordinated school-girl outfits and matching knee-high socks during her Clueless days?) Dash’s own personal fashion consultant and Project Runway alum, Anthony L. Williams hand picks all of Val’s looks for the show. The Atlanta based designer finds much of his inspiration for Val’s style by pulling from numerous sources. “I shop everywhere. Vintage, consignment, call in favors from fellow designers, Top Shop, Neiman Marcus, Zara Runway…I even shop out of Stacey’s closet,” he raves. “There have been random moments on set where I walked by a rack and stole a dress because I thought it would be fab on Stacey!” His styling may be the one aspect that keeps this show on the air and every fashionista’s radar. While I can’t say there’s much hope for these single ladies in finding a straight black man in Atlanta, let alone three, I do see great potential in the impact this show could have on popular culture and style. I look forward to seeing what Mr. Williams has in store for Val in future episodes and if the show can live up to its predecessors. You can catch Single Ladies Monday nights at 9pm ET/PT on Vh1.

-Jade


Thanks to Jade for her fab review! Until next time...


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21 Comments

  • LISA O | August 3, 2011 4:52 AMReply

    I agree the acting is good (and yes haters need not watch or provide bias comments) but are you/we holding other TV shows to this level of scrutiny? I seem to remember Friends was horrible in the early stages too (as well as many others). Give the show a chance it is nice to see women of color fashionably dressed not being skanks, strippers or video vixens all the time. These women have high profile careers let’s give something good and mainstream a chance. The fashions are great and well worth the watch if you can overlook your bias!!

  • Janice | July 18, 2011 1:48 AMReply

    I like the fashion, although its nothing special. Very regular.

    I think the actors are doing a great job ACTING. Haters to the left.

  • Duncan MaNutz | July 18, 2011 1:25 AMReply

    This may be a bit shallow but I'm just happy to see Good Loookin Black folks on T.V.

  • JMac | July 17, 2011 10:54 AMReply

    If nothing else this thread is proof for filmmakers that some people will even watch a crappy show if you put enough great fashion in it. LOL

    Misha since you said the show is improving I may just click on over to VH1 and watch an episode. The least I can do is give it a chance and if I need to mute Lisa Raye or channel surf when she's on the screen, I will. Heaven knows I couldn't stand any of the Sex and the City girls but I forced myself to watch when Mikhail Baryshnikov was on. Then I watched some of the reruns for Chris Noth... after I found out he had a black girlfriend. :D

    I remember when S&A put up a Lady GaGa video comparing it to the Strange ad in Boomerang and some people were pissed it was on a black film site- comparison or not . Another poster came along and revealed that a black person was GaGa's choreographer and creative director. Learned something new that day. Nothing wrong with asking questions but let's try not to be too confrontational esp. on a new blogger.

    The full moon is having an effect everywhere.

  • Monique | July 17, 2011 10:24 AMReply

    I think, if Lynn has an issue with my comment, she's an adult and more than able to address what I said. Now I'm going to expand on what I said because I am sick of all the digs that go unanswered many times around here...

    We have sat back and watched a lot of comments fly with untruths, digs on our character and alike - whether it be about the integrity of the site or otherwise. I stated a simple truth; If you do not like the articles or quality of writing here, there are other alternatives. Now maybe that makes me the bad guy for saying it but I stand by what I said.

    On another post someone recently stated something to the effect of 'S&A was the blog they loved to hate.' I replied, "Thank you for reading..."

    Do you know how much effort is put into this blog and I'm not even talking about from me? Do you know how much Tambay, Cynthia and others put into this? The time out of their lives, the dedication with little...no--with NO compensation. This is a labor of love for those of us that contribute no matter how often, big or small. We are not industry insiders and no one is getting any perks, besides the perks of creating something that people seem to enjoy on some level or another.

    Getting too big for britches, puhlease!

  • Bridget | July 17, 2011 5:46 AMReply

    Stacey Dash is a horrible actress as is Lisa. But they all look good so I guess I can understand why some viewers tune in just to see what they are wearing rather than the storyline.

  • nyc/caribbeanragazza | July 17, 2011 4:02 AMReply

    Welcome to S&A, Jade.

    I love the idea of covering fashion in Film and TV. There's a reason directors tend to work with the same Costume Designers over and over again. It's an important collaboration.

  • Monique | July 17, 2011 3:53 AMReply

    My last word will be to Jade:

    I apologize for hijacking the comment thread!

  • CareyCarey | July 17, 2011 3:46 AMReply

    "Regarding the other discussion here (lol)....there are some entries on S&A that don’t pique my interest but guess what? I stroll on by"


    Hello! And to that point....


    Ladies, if you don’t mind, I am going to take off my usual instigator's uniform and put on mediator's hat.

    Lynn said: “ Since when does S&A care about fashion??
    If I was curious about Lisa Raye or Stacey Dash style I would of read it on a fashion blog NOT on S&A.”

    Now I have to be honest, when I first read the post, I was thinking the same thing but I didn’t say it. Why? Well, like I’ve said many times, if there’s a particular person’s comments I don’t like reading or a certain subject matter and genre of movie I care nothing about, I simply do not read “it”, I skip over them. And, for the most part, I know that what might not be pleasing to me, others may just love. So if fashion is a calling card for some, kuul.

    But I understood Lynn’s comment, but I don’t believe she, nor bohemian, understands how it could be read. The written word is lacking in so many ways. I mean, I don’t believe Lynn “said” the words in a vengeful fashion, but when bohemian_princess came by and added.... “the readers should be allowed to ask legitimate questions without being snapped at or told to “get our film news elsewhere” I knew Monique was not and could not let that sit there. First, personally, I didn’t read Lynn’s words as “legitimate questions”. (and I wouldn't define Monique's reply as a "snap"). I read Lynn's comment as a rhetorical statement. And, it goes without question that many rhetorical questions are nothing but sarcasm, not meant to be answered.

    So I understand Monique’s frustration and need to reply in the fashion she did. Granted, some might not view this as a big deal, however, when she spoke of the hours and dedication it takes to maintain a quality blog (which is much much much more than “It is easy to create with a simple click of a mouse) I knew what she was saying and understood her need to “vent”.

    It’s one thing to write a post or two, on any and everything. but to grind out post after post that are related to films, is not for the weak of heart, nor those who lack courage. I mention courage because your every word is on display for the cynics, haters, blog police, English majors and other writers and bloggers to scrutinize with a dirty fine tooth comb. Then as they’re picking their ass and eating their TV dinner, they get up off the couch and ambivalently blast the writer/blogger with some BS that didn’t need to be said. I am not saying it happened in this case, I am saying a writer puts their heart and soul in their craft, which at times leaves them vulnerable and as protective of their art as they would that of a new born child. So again, I understand both sides of this “debate” and no one is wrong. The written word is a funny thang and this too shall pass.

  • misha | July 17, 2011 3:32 AMReply

    @Cara, not a LisaRaye fan, huh? LOL I like her and will have to disagree with your post. I think she's a decent actress and I find her to be the "star" of the show. Keisha/Malcolm and Keisha/Omar are the most entertaining aspects of the show for me. While Stacey may be the better actress (not by much), she's never really grabbed my attention. I have grown to really like Val though.

    Regarding the other discussion here (lol)....there are some entries on S&A that don't pique my interest but guess what? I stroll on by.

  • bohemian_princess | July 17, 2011 2:37 AMReply

    @Monique readers should be allowed to express an opinion or ask legitimate questions without being snapped at or told to "get our film news elsewhere." Remember it's the readers that keep Shadow & Act going so please don't get to big for your britches.

  • Lynn | July 17, 2011 1:45 AMReply

    @ Monique

    "if you don’t like it, you are welcome to get your film news elsewhere."

    I agree w/ bohemian_princess S&A has NOTHING without the readers you need readers to get your blog out there in the public. If you don't have readers you don't have sh*t. I don't know what's your problem?? I never said anything negative towards Jade I asked a question. I don't see what's the BIG issue with that you are always saying that you are interested in hearing what "WE" have to say. Well, I said it and you still have a problem with it.

    "Do you know how much effort is put into this blog and I’m not even talking about from me? Do you know how much Tambay, Cynthia and others put into this?"

    Moving on, Yes I do know tons of people on the web have blogs what is your point? It is easy to create with a simple click of a mouse. I don't understand the big fuss with all of this it makes no sense.

    I might just GO to a different blog like you suggested it's clear that my opinions don't matter here.

  • Cara | July 17, 2011 1:43 AMReply

    I tuned in just to see what the hoopla is about. Stacey Dash's acting is as good as anything on wisteria lane or sex and the city.
    Lisa Ray on the other hand- she's horrific. Every single scene Lisa Ray is in is destroyed. I have to mute her so that she can't ruin the episode. She's that bad. Stacey is right up there with Jennifer Connely and farrah fawcett in the looks department. You can't take your eyes off her. April is refreshing and cute. Lisa ray used to be so pretty but now she just seems like an old jaded call girl. Let's just hope they get rid of her before her acting destroys the entire show. Many of the male actors also suck.

  • misha | July 16, 2011 12:32 PMReply

    Nice read. I think all the ladies look great, though Val is the standout (fashion wise) on the show.

    I must say, however, that I find it fascinating how many harp on the acting on the show. True, the cast won't be nominated for any Emmys but I think the acting is fine (for the most part) and overall, the show has improved noticeably from the premiere. I'm really enjoying it. :)

  • WillTellTheTruth | July 16, 2011 10:08 AMReply

    The only reason why I watch this show is for the fashion and the beauty of the cast. The acting in it is mediocre and the celebrities' cameos are not helping.

  • Cherish | July 16, 2011 10:04 AMReply

    I thought this was a very good review and like the writer's points on how fashion drives the show.

    I wish the writer continued her critique by discussing Keisha and April. I would have liked to hear her thoughts on Keisha, the former video chick. Personally I think Lisa Raye's age (she's in forties) "shows" more than Stacy Dash, and she looks like she dresses too young.

    I think if you're going to write about fashion on the show, you should have written about all 3 ladies.

    But I did enjoy the review. Thanks for the different take.

  • Jade | July 16, 2011 9:25 AMReply

    Thank you for your comments! A character's style can have a lasting impact on viewers and it can also help fans make a connection with the character which in turn often influences trends in fashion. I look forward to featuring more fashion in film/television in the coming months.
    Keep showing your support and this won't be the last time you hear from me.

    -Jade

  • Monique | July 16, 2011 9:12 AMReply

    Lynn we cover all aspects of film and television at Shadow and Act. Yes, if you don't like it, you are welcome to get your film news elsewhere.

    -Monique

  • Lynn | July 16, 2011 9:03 AMReply

    Since when does S&A care about fashion?? If I was curious about Lisa Raye or Stacey Dash style I would of read it on a fashion blog NOT on S&A.

    The show is sh*t.Excuse my language but I have to be honest.

    The cast is ZZZZZzzzzzzz Stacey Dash is mediocre at best and she still acts like she is on Clueless for some reason. LOL

  • JMac | July 16, 2011 8:50 AMReply

    You said the magic words "Project Runway" but I still can't muster the strength to watch Single Ladies. I'll just do a google pic search instead if the feeling gets too strong. Nice job Jade!

  • Kia | July 16, 2011 8:43 AMReply

    Thank you for adding this fashion element to S & A because I believe what a character wears--particularly if the setting is upscale--can be it's own "character" and a marketing element that should never be overlooked. I know want to watch the show just to see what Ms. Dash is wearing. I tune out the dialogue if need be.

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