Jessica McConnell

Archive for June, 2009|Monthly archive page

Vibe Magazine Announces Departure from Industry

In Uncategorized on June 30, 2009 at 7:03 pm

While not an avid reader of Vibe myself, I still appreciated the niche they created for themselves in the magazine industry. Times are tough and their departure from the scene leaves many to wonder who’s next and who, if anyone, is to fill their shoes? Interview continues to tottles back and forth, they of course, have created a unique niche in this industry for themselves as well. I hold my breath as Andy Warhol’s magazine attempts to regain it’s strength to continue on and I bid farewell to Vibe, a magazine with sharp insight into the world and style they created for themselves and their readers.


– On behalf the VIBE CONTENT staff (the best in this business), it is with great sadness, and with heads held high, that we leave the building today. We were assigning and editing a Michael Jackson tribute issue when we got the news. It’s a tragic week in overall, but as the doors of VIBE Media Group close, on the eve of the magazine’s sixteenth anniversary, it’s a sad day for music, for hip hop in particular, and for the millions of readers and users who have loved and who continue to love the VIBE brand. We thank you, we have served you with joy, pride and excellence, and we will miss you.

Danyel Smith
the former Chief Content Officer VIBE Media Group
& Editor in Chief, VIBE


vibe maga


Closet Picks

In fashion, What I love this week on June 30, 2009 at 6:51 pm

This is an array of things I’m loving right now, sort of a jumbled mess, but I know you’ll understand…


1. A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon. I loved the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time and so I am now just getting around to reading Haddon’s next book. Good so far.



2. 50% off sale at French Connection. Love it. Check out the great dresses like the one below at












3.  The new way to shop at Urban Outfitters via my Blackberry. You can now purchase items and check the status of your orders on the go. Yay! Visit for more information.

4. The Frye Harness Cuff Boot. I’m loving it now but looking forward to it for fall. Visit to get your own.










5. Donatella  Versace is guest blogger for The Moment. “This is the city of Warhol, of Lou Reed, of Iggy Pop, of CBGB’s, of Basquiat, of Pollock and de Kooning, of rock music and passionate artists, of theater and film, of fashion on the street and in the clubs,” Versace says of New York City. (The Moment, June 30, 2009.)

 Check out the entire blog at

Donatella Versace

Donatella Versace

Simon Van Booy’s “Raising a Princess Single-Handedly”

In Diary, Uncategorized on June 28, 2009 at 7:52 pm
Photo taken by Ken Browar.

Photo taken by Ken Browar.


I have just read Simon Van Booy’s article, “Raising a Princess Single-Handedly.” My eyes were brimming with tears as I finished the last paragraph, not because I was disheartened but because the reminder of  how my own father is the polar opposite  made me echo every memory of my plagued childhood.

Mr. Booy, the author of Love Begins in Winter, is a gifted storyteller and reminds us that however dysfunctional for a moment or time your life may be, from a distance laughter will prevail.

So despite my father’s swift disappearances into bars and facades of fatherhood, I will laugh at the moments in between despair rather than acknowledge what isn’t there.

As a child who once received a baby turkey as an Easter present, only for it to die days later because it was left outside and froze to death, I can appreciate a little laughter years later amidst all the sadness.

Please read Simon Van Booy’s “Raising a Princess Single-Handedly” at under Fashion & Style. And visit for more information on his novels and himself.

Diary of a Shop Girl

In Diary of a Shop Girl on June 28, 2009 at 12:22 am

Public enemy number one for small boutiques like the one I work at in Pittsburgh are shoplifters who are not even intelligent shoplifters but just happen to walk in on the right day and get you at a bad time.

I watched an extremely overweight woman, after she had left of course, hike up her skirt in front of our security camera and proceed to shove the orange Linea Pelle handbag down her pants or undergarments or…? She did several lunges to attempt her theft, while customers and an employee were down at the front desk, only several feet away.

Bloody Hell.

A $498 handbag gone all because we were helping our none predatory customers and assumed we didn’t need to tail her (and her daughter)  as if we were on a high speed car chase.

My disgusted and horrified look contorted my face in such a way as I rewinded the security camera tape that I once again realized how unglamorous a shop girl’s job truly is.

I’ve read Steve Martin’s novel but then again, I’m also not in the market for a man more than a dozen years older than myself. If only we could all be Claire Danes in real life, then it possibly wouldn’t matter if we were standing behind glass display cases selling hand-rolled silk scarves for a living.

Shoutout to Men’s Spring RTW

In Fashion News, Men's Fashion on June 27, 2009 at 8:53 pm

If you don’t follow menswear, you should. I don’t constantly keep myself updated but I do think it’s essential for any person in fashion to be able to acknowledge the best of what’s out there. I continue to be a Christopher Bailey fan and for spring, I love how he mixed that rugged look with tailored pants and jackets that are so precisely on the mark. At times bold, but tamed by the muddy tones streaked throughout the entire collection. The models looked effortless while maintaining a quiet chic about them.

Below are my picks for spring thus far.

Z Zegna

Z Zegna


Burberry Prorsum

Burberry Prorsum










A Tribute: To Icon Michael Jackson and His Many Fashions

In Fashion News, Men's Fashion, Uncategorized on June 25, 2009 at 9:05 pm


Do you remember the time…


















You died a legend today and left an impression so deep it’s left us all in shock.  Peace be with you MJ.


The King of Pop: August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009


Jenesis Magazine

In Diary, Uncategorized on June 24, 2009 at 11:17 pm

Obviously I have problems with coffee consumption, tonight is no exception. It’s after 11 p.m. and I’m on my first cup of coffee. Not for the day of course…for the night.

I’m working on brainstorming for an on-line urban oriented magazine called Jenesis, check it out at The owners, creators and team of writers are all based out of Pittsburgh and have thus far done amazing things for their target market. They’re looking to take the on-line publication to a new place and hopefully I can help implement a new ‘lifestyle’ section, obviously adding some fashion in there. I’ve been researching…which takes forever. I need a better feel for men’s wear, I need more ideas for what kind of fashion people want to read about in Pittsburgh. I’ve been listening to hip-hop, trying to get inspired? I love Mos Def…

Tonight is classic ‘me,’ drinking coffee when I shouldn’t be.  Hopefully Jenesis can handle my coffee drinking mantra.

Until then, check out and I’ll update you more on my fashion contributions to the magazine.

Closet Picks of the Week

In What I love this week on June 24, 2009 at 9:06 pm

I was a bit late this week, but here’s what I’m loving right now-

1. The mini pocket tee by ZOA. They’re fab, that’s all I can say., $29.00

2. W Magazine’s ‘Last Laugh.’ We all need a little intelligent and sporadic banter from Louise J. Esterhazy.

3. A tour of Doris Duke’s estate in Newport, Rhode Island. The estate, deemed ‘Rough Point,’ has a new exhibit called Shop Like an Heiress: Buying Fashion in the 20th Century. I intend on taking a trip at the end of the summer, a chance to use my new boat shoes? I think yes.

4. “We’re thinking about the girl we know. Her life doesn’t depend on going to parties. All the girls we know work. They’re not wearing cocktail dresses in the afternoon.” – Lazaro Hernandez  Love Love LOVE the double breasted coats from Proenza Schouler for fall.


Dolce & Gabbana is Shocking for Fall 2009

In fashion, Fashion News, Trends on June 19, 2009 at 10:42 pm

As the fall ‘fashion’ season approaches and magazines fill our mailboxes with every must-have blazer, bag or or boot, I wanna take the opportunity to give my two cents on some of my favorite designers or at least the lines I deem admirable and ‘covetable’ this fall. So for now, my Fridays will be filled with fall fashion, good or bad.

For my first show, I thought I would admire Dolce & Gabbana, mostly because just this week they released a statement saying they would, “…shave prices by between 10 and 20 percent while maintaining creativity and quality.  The initiative will begin with the upcoming spring season, but is a long-term one, said Gabbana. The price reductions will occur across the board for both the main and D&G lines and margins will be squeezed to help achieve them,” according to Women’s Wear Daily. (June 16 2009)

For the current fall season, though, price cuts were clearly not made and quality exceeded our imagination with the eccentric inspiration of Elsa Schiaparelli. The headpieces are to die for and the leg o’ mutton sleeves paired with mini skirts embellished with screen prints of Marilyn Monroe meet black and white perfectly. I am in love, once again, with Dolce & Gabbana.

While I am intrigued and in awe of their cutbacks for spring, I am still thankful that my Italian design team has pulled me through that ‘blah’ period, where we all held our breath and believed that fashion must go back to basics based on economic hardship. While I condone every designer for cutting back and getting creative during a time when our wallets are weary, I love that this fall is making great strides to bring back ‘why’ we love fashion. So, I applaud the fall Dolce & Gabbana line for being themselves and for taking inspiration from  Schiaparelli, who never seemed to take notice of how other’s perceived her as well. This is a match made in heaven, sans the lobsters.  Her inspiration came from surrealism and those thoughts and creative ideals were clearly transferred successfully in Dolce & Gabbana’s fall line. Shocking? No, just Shocking Pink.



First Hunter Boots, Now Jimmy Choo for H&M?

In Fashion News on June 17, 2009 at 12:13 pm

Jimmy Choo, founded in 1996, and one of the most influential designers in RTW footwear has went mainstream twice this year. His first collaboration with Hunter Boots inspired a black boot with his signature crocodile print embossed onto the boot. The boots, sold exclusively in the UK and the United States, will be available this month, although a waiting list has already formed.  While I generally dislike the idea of designers selling out to big box stores like Target, the collaboration between Jimmy Choo and Hunter is a sane one. Hunter Wellington boots are a British classic combined with traditional craftsmanship that has proved excellence over the years. It is only right that they would combine efforts with Choo, based out of London, to utilize his creative efforts that have given him his edge for the past 13 years. 

Jimmy Choo for Hunter

Jimmy Choo for Hunter


Obviously he enjoyed his partnership with Hunter because for the 2009/2010 holiday season, Jimmy Choo will create a line of footwear for H&M. While fashionistas are rejoicing everywhere at the thought of being able to afford Mr. Choo’s designer duds, as he will also be creating a line of clothing to coordinate with the shoes, I cannot help but wonder where do you draw the line? I suppose as long as you are not compromising yourself and all that your brand stands for, that anything is possible, given some guidelines. But while familiarizing yourself/brand with the general public is a novel idea, so is maintaining a distance so that interest can be generated about your line. If you’re Jimmy Choo, I think it’s perfectly fine to mingle with the moderate lines but please maintain some nobility and mystique, after all, you’re Jimmy Choo for a reason. Quality can be compromised if you spread yourself too thin, but like many others, I will still be anxiously awaiting for the men and women’s line of shoes, handbags, accessories, and coordinating clothing to appear on November 14th.

A peek at what's to come for Jimmy Choo's H&M line

A peek at what's to come for Jimmy Choo's H&M line