Wednesday I heard that my favorite St. Louisian-turned-fashion model homeskillet (Florissant, Mo. STAND UP!) Kimora Lee Simmons was leaving Baby Phat, the fashion label she founded with former hubby, woodland gnome and defender of street "poets" Russell Simmons. Naturally, I was surprised. Why would Kiki leave the house that Kiki built? Well, Page Six says the diva cost too much money and used up all the damn Photoshop. Shocking ... well, not really. Kimora loves her some Photoshop.
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While the Onion's AV Club joked "Oops. Kimora Lee Simmons used up all the Photoshop!" on their Hater blog, I cannot bring myself to hate my beloved, Kiki. She is from my hometown of Florissant, Mo. (It's in St. Louis County). And yes, she is tacky, but in such a delightful, St. Louis, crazy Asian Black girl sort of way. How can I not love her? Somewhere, underneath all my nerdiness and fussiness, is a tacky black girl trying to get out and wear the loudest colors possible and Photoshop my head on some Barbie doll's body. Of course, I save my "Tacky Black Girl" shit for things like eating Velveeta in the dark, admiring bedazzeled things from afar and reciting that line from Nelly's "Hot In Herre," where he describes how sometimes you dance while watching yourself in the mirror and tell your best friend, "Gurl, I think my butt gettin' big!" And then I call up Baby Snob and we use lots of sweary words that don't reflect AT ALL on our classy upbringing. And then Big Sis and I discuss what is the best track ever produced by Cameo. ("Candy" is the shizzz.) I also enjoy turnip greens and a nice, bold, fakey looking French manicure from time-to-time. Sue me. I can't hate on Kimora. If I was eleventy feet tall and had that face I probably would be doing the same damn thing and would be absolutely shameless. Plus, she's schtupping that handsome Djimon Hounsou, which has to be some kind of fancy consolation prize after schtupping Russell Simmons. (I know love -- or just money -- can blind you, but it can't make you THAT blind!) I just ... I just can't hate her. Sigh. And I really, really tried. (Even though I kinda didn't.)
Oh, Russell. Is there anything you won't sell? You practically have a PhD in Hustlenomics. Hell, you might have helped invent it. And Kiki! Is that YOU in the ad lending your grinning, ex-supermodel face? I'll cut you some slack because we all know you probably took that photo from the window of the car as you circled through the drive through while picking up your monthly check from Russ. That said, the card has some ... um ... hidden drama according to critics, in the form of $50 a year in fees. (Source: The Takeaway)
Also this week, Kimora Lee Simmons held a launch for her Fabulosity line at JC Penney. Classy. She was there with her family, including her beaux Djimon Housou and her adorable little girls. Gabrielle Union (I swear, she's everywhere) poses for pics along with the likes of this Mashonda person who is listed as a "singer" but is wearing some impressive shoes.I've about had it with Kimora and these tight, satin dresses. Homegirl. They are not flattering. Please. Make a move to something, anything else.
And finally some pictures from the Ischia Global Film and Music Festival in Ischia, Italy July 17. On hand were Senor Tre Cool, Terrence Howard and my #1 girl crush Rosario Dawson. As usually, Rosario looked like she put the least amount of effort in her look and Terrence didn't look like he was worth a damn thing, looking all beautiful and weird. Side note: Rosario's boobs look strangely huger that usual. I'm not one of those is she/isn't she pregnant people, but she look like she's at least gained three or four more pounds in her bra.
It's Cartier's Love Charity Bracelet product launch. Or as I would call it, dressin' up for jewelry which happened last Thursday.
That's my kind of party. Someone drapes you in diamonds and you floss for a bit before sitting down for an extremely expensive chicken dinner. And that's my girl, Rosario Dawson, in the spotlight, being Rosario. She's always just the right mix of downtown and uptown. I have a total girl crush on her and the unbelievably scrawny Angelina Jolie as I like my womens crazy with a capital "C." And they're about neck n' neck, mostly because they play a nice mix of sexpots and weirdos on screen. Or a weird sexpot. Like Dawson in "Sin City."
Jolie's the better actress, but Rosario sexier (mostly because she's willing to be a size 4-6 over a size 0-2.)
Eat something, Angie. Sweet Jesus, eat!
And here's Kimora Lee rocking a very satin and silky black dress. I'm not feeling it for all sorts of reasons. Like how it's unflattering and accentuates her paunch. And no woman wants to draw attention to that. Thankfully, my Florissant, Mo. homie brought the always delicious Djimon Hounsou with her.
Every thing's better with Hounsou.
Wow. Someone went for intrigue with the eyebrows and got crazy tweezer/waxin' happy on Ashanti. Draped in Cartier she looked a tad ordinary in that tight, stretchy white dress with lace work, making her look like she was holding her breath to keep everything in place.
And I hate the shoes. It's probably just a flower, but it looks like black, fuzzy pompoms from here.
And then JD showed up looking horrible, per usual.
And where JD goeth, so doth Janet, Miss Jackson if your nasty. She's once again wearing all black and she's nixed a dress for a pair of the world's largest pair of black pants. I totally hate her hair color because it does not work at all with her skin tone. There's too much red in it and it's too light. Other than that, she still looks girlishly adorable.
Nicole Richie. Still too thin, resembling a dormouse. Or a desert fox. Or a kangaroo rat. I can't decide. Let's all agree she looks like some kind of rodent. She's wearing what basically looks like a backless yellow-aquamarine-gray pup tent. She makes it work even though it looks like someone wrapped her up in five yards of fabric from Wal-Mart.
Be afraid, very afraid of Fergie's man hands. They're far worse than Paris Hilton's man hands. Much, much worse. So bad I was surprised she put 'em up for these photographs. I've mentioned before that I do not get Fergie. While the Black Eyed Peas' will.i.am can put together some tight beats and hooks and Fergie can somewhat sing she is just unattractive to me. She looks like she'd smell like a pack of Menthol Lights and a tall boy.
And this dress is a terrible, no good, awful, very bad dress. And would someone please let her feet out of prison?
Run, Common! It's a ... oh, wait. That's just Fergie. My bad.
In this picture I try to focus on Eva Mendes, who I like and is very pretty. Her dress and purse are awful and don't do her figure any justice, but standing next to Fergie makes everyone look like a million bucks in contrast.
I'm not a huge fan of Eve. But I am a fan of how she dresses (most of the time). She's developed the reputation for being a hip hop fashionista, often setting the trend. It's still a little weird to see those paw prints on her chest now that she's a mainstream actress and artist. It's like the everlasting symbol of her once hoodrat status. But she's a long ways from the hood now. Why, if it weren't for the paw prints she'd be downright classy.
Today's celebrity photo roundup is very random. Just pics of my homegirl, Florissant, Mo.'s own, not-black-black-person Kimora Lee Simmons at a party thrown for her and former Vibe Magazine editor-in-chief Emil Wilbekin by Giant Magazine.
Also featured are pictures from the Essence Music Festival featuring Malcolm Jamal Warner, performing, with his band, Faith Evans in some of the World's Ugliest Clothes, Anthony Hamilton and, of all people, "media personality" Sway.
But first, Kimora and all her expensive jewelry, camera-hogging, pretending-to-eat-a-cupcake glory.
First off. I'm always a little concerned when people try to do the "sexy face" on camera. It's not that Kiki isn't sexy. It's just ... no. The squint. The sloppily open mouth. The fact that she did it half assed when she is/was a professional fashion model. She knows how to give good face. What the hell, Kiki? This is all kinds of wrong. Plus, in real life, she would just inhale that cupcake, but since she poured herself into the tightest little black dress she could find she can't risk it.
WireImage is consistently inadequate in their descriptions of photos. This pic was labeled as Simmons and "family." Who? Who are these family members? Cousins? Half-siblings? Full siblings? Please explain! When you're a not-black-black-person, who's black, Korean and Japanese anyone could be your family.
Kimora always knows where the camera is ... even for a "spontaneous" hug with fellow party honoree Emil Wilbekin.
I swear. When I look at the photos I can hear the loudness of Kimora's laugh. Because when you're already a six-foot-tall Glamazon you really need a voice that can be heard from several blocks away.
While Kimora was holding in her stomach for cute party pics, Malcolm Jamal Warner, aka "Theo Huxtable," was throwing down for Essence Magazine. I didn't even know he could blow.
The first of "Faith Evans What the Hell Are You Wearing?" Black leather jacket and black thigh high boots with a flimsy, multi-colored baby doll dress. Girl ... stop. It's one-part Strawberry Shortcake and one-part pirate themed stripper.
Anthony Hamilton and wife Tarsha
I don't care if Sway and MJW stand next to it and point. I'm still not drinking Coke Zero.
And Sway's got on an Andy Warhol-esque Obama T-shirt.
And now for part two ... more pirate boots, skinny jeans and a Led Zeppelin T-shirt. I won't ask her to name a Zeppelin song (I'm all about "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You.") as a lot of people wear rock n' roll band shirts just because they look neat. But really, girl? What are you wearing? And that purse is so big she could kill Theo and smuggle his body out in it. I'm not saying pirate boots with the skinny jeans are a bad thing. On some women they look absolutely amazing. But they make Faith look like she's gotta a lil' Captain in her.
St. Louis isn't the most glamorous place, but when Kimora is in town it almost makes up for all the sweatpants and dirty Cardinals baseball caps. Here are the pictures of her Fashion Week launch party at Lumiere Place Hotel & Casino in downtown St. Louis featuring her friends making faces in photo booths, the Vau de Vire Society Circus and the St. Lunatics performing. Let the fabulosity begin! (All photos from Wire Image)
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that my Flo-Mo homie got all choked up from all the love the Lou was giving her. In town to jump start St. Louis' fashion week (coming up next weekend) She was given the key to the city and her own day and a throng of family, friends, classmates, local dignitaries and fans were there to cheer her own. She was just so verklmepf, ya'll. She just didn't know what to say!
"I'm very overwhelmed. I don't usually stutter, you've seen my (television) show. So I'm deeply moved and greatly honored," said Simmons, who was accompanied by crews filming an episode of her Style Channel reality series, "Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane."
She didn't have a prepared speech, and instead spoke in her usual blunt stream-of-consciousness, which is typically humorous and self-effacing. When she forgot to say, "Thank you for letting me be here," her 5-year-old daughter, Aoki Lee, prompted her from the front row.
Simmons dutifully complied with her daughter's suggestion and later said, "See how they treat me."
It's always nice to see St. Louis lay off the haterade once in a while and celebrate their own. Plus, Kimora was "kind" enough to bring her TV show with her, which means I have to start watching "Life in the Fab Lane" again just to see the St. Louis episode.
Until then, St. Louis' official fashion week is now on fire with fabulousity!
Below are two video reports, one from local Fox affiliate FOX 2 News and the other from The Post-Dispatch.
In other random Kimora news: Every gossip outfit is saying Kimora is knocked up by her hot man friend Djimon Hounsou. If she is, that's totally awesome. She's an ex-model. He's an ex-model. They're both tall and good looking. They can dance together while Janet Jackson's "Love Will Never Do Without You" if they get married and have a wedding.
And considering that Djimon is still in the same shape he was during that video, it would be all kinds of awesome to dance to that at a wedding of any sort. And the song is probably pretty apropos for any relationship with my favorite drama queen.
St. Louis is not known for its fashion sense. (Is a Cardinals cap with a Budweiser shirt and black sweatpants a fashion statement?) But the city is still trying to throw down a serious fashion week. I wasn't too excited about it at first, but now that I know Kimora Lee Simmons and her tackilicious reality show is coming to town, well this, this I gotta see!
I've already regaled my readers a-many o' times about how Kimora is from my native St. Louis and grew up in Florissant, Mo. where I spent my high school years. I think my mother once met her mother and I think I had a hairdresser who knew her mother, but that was the closest I ever got to her. I've followed her career since she hit it big as a teenager and was shocked (SHOCKED, I tell you!) when all the hype was taken away and she was just as tacky and crazy as every other Negro in St. Louis.
I should not have been surprised by this, but I'd already put in my head at 15 that she was some classy high fashion model, not a tacky person doing a bad impression of a classy person with a garish handbag. But jokes aside, I still like her. Yeah, she's arrogant and abusive and kind of insane. But if I still openly claim other questionable people known for their mix of the "high and ghetto" (Prince, Whitney Houston, Tyra Banks, Mariah Carey, etc.), I can still love Kimora. So maybe I'll make an effort to crash fashion week and say hello. I know she'll just ignore me and scream out who let in the loud, pushy black woman who keeps correcting her grammar, but I've got a better chance at meeting her than Prince.
He snuck in and out of those concerts in a box, people. A box.
I never had a chance.