Black BeauTEA Talk is a monthly column especially for black brides to find inspiration for bridal hair and makeup hosted by one of the best in the industry, Brittney Taylor.
Hey my loves, I'm back with another write-up, and this time a styled shoot is involved! Did ya miss me?! Well I've missed you all, and I've been dying to do this follow up to my very first column, where I showed natural hairstyles for black brides. So here, let me do that, while I sip this tea. I'm back to drinking my Yogi brand DeTox tea. 😣 But hey, I'm still working on shedding some of this stubborn-ass baby weight. (So what, my “baby” is three years old.) Anyway, that photo shoot was such a huge hit, and I absolutely loved everything about it, but I understand that not everyone is a traditional wedding gown type of bride, and hell, not everyone has an actual wedding. It is becoming very common to elope, and honestly, I dig that. Shamael and I eloped six years ago. One of the perks of eloping is that you save money for other cool shit, and there's no pressure to dress a certain way.
So what I did was I contacted my wardrobe stylist Kesha Linder because she specializes in vintage clothing and pitched the idea to her. She was on board because she's amazing and totally enables me and my crazy-ass ideas lol. While she pulled pieces for the alternative bride, I assembled a team of creatives that were willing to help me pull it off. Natasha Johnson, the photographer, has been amazing throughout this whole process and has helped keep me sane with planning. Whitney Trujillo Watson, my forever hair-styling partner, did her thing as usual, and we had a great round up of models.
I also begged Kesha to spare me some of her time and tell you all about herself and how to get a cool look for the low!! Get into it!
I grew up in a small town called Warner Robins, Georgia. I knew I wanted a career in fashion when I received a fashion plate toy at age eight. I thought it would be fashion design, but after double majoring in fashion design and marketing in undergrad, I decided to drop design. I later went back to school to complete my bachelor’s degree. After graduation, I tried to get into the fashion industry, but wasn’t successful, so I decided to start my company Karomel Sundae VC selling vintage pieces on platforms like eBay and Etsy while styling photo shoots to showcase my merchandise and promote my brand. I also decided to go back to school for my Master’s in Fashion Merchandise. I really fell in love with the styling process after taking a styling class and having to focus on the fashion component versus the business aspect (this is where my whole approach changed). I decided to make the big move to New York around a year ago where I am living now. -Kesha Linder
After soaking in some Oxiclean (which you can do for all these items), you will have a 1920s-inspired bridal look that you can wear for a beach wedding, getting married in Vegas, or at the courthouse.
I never dreamed about my wedding day as a child. I am not that girl! I honestly feel as though I would breakout into hives just like Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City if I were to try on a wedding dresses. This is not an anti-wedding dress rant. Wedding dresses are the most beautiful gowns ever! I just cannot do traditional anything, and the cost per wear is just a little too high for me. What is “cost per wear” you ask? Well, this is the total cost of the item/number of days you’ll wear it. For those brides who think similarly, I’ve found a loophole for you!!!!
The loophole I’m talking about is checking out vintage shops and thrift stores to find bridal or bridal-type items. I’ve found multiple wedding dresses at thrift stores for no more than $50. The Durham Rescue Mission Thrift Store in Raleigh, North Carolina, is a great spot to find wedding dresses. I bought one wedding dress there for $50 and received the second one free. If this price is still too steep for you, or you just want something simple, you should think outside the box. You can find cream and white long night slips in the sleepwear section of any thrift store. Opt for ones with details like pearls and lace (maybe even a high slit to show some leg). After soaking in some Oxiclean (which you can do for all these items), you will have a 1920s-inspired bridal look that you can wear for a beach wedding, getting married in Vegas, or at the courthouse. I purchased two beautiful slips from my new favorite thrift store call Unique Thrift in Brooklyn for around $5. If this isn’t your style, and you would rather do a suit or even a jumpsuit, good news! You can find items like these at a thrift store too. I found an amazing lavender wide-leg jumpsuit from L Train Vintage in Brooklyn for $18 and a cream feminine suit from Savers Thrift Store in Boston for $12. You can also find pieces that will work well together to complete your look. I found a lace 70s bohemian dress from a small thrift store in Queens, New York called Gotham Thrift for $3 and later found a white vintage bodysuit at Unique Thrift to layer underneath for $4.
So we put Kesha's method to the test for this shoot, and we had a ton of fun shooting in this super creepy location we rented, lmao.
Also Liz Susong, the editor of this lovely magazine, keeps telling me my work should be in Vogue for some reason. I don't know if she's saying that because it could be or if I'm being punk'd, lmao, but either way I took it to the head CLEARLY! I haven't had the pleasure of being in any big-name print magazines just yet, but I totally had this made into a little editorial spread because a girl can dream, and that's TEA!
Peace and light
Wardrobe Stylist // Karomel Sundae VC // @karomelsundaevc
Hair Stylist // Whitney Trujillo-Watson // @summer.tru
Tara // @themodeloftruth
Jasmine // @jas_vines
Ashlee // @adaverna
Meet the author Brittney Taylor: I am a freelance makeup artist located in Cameron, North Carolina. I have been working in this area for three years doing event makeup, as well as print and some runway. This year I will be working to build a bridal artistry business that will be fully mobile. I studied makeup artistry at makeup artist studios in Richmond, Virginia, and from there developed my aesthetic. I spend a lot of time studying past artists, as well as trends today. I believe that everyone is beautiful, and my job is to enhance that!
Meet Natasha Johnson Photography: I am a portrait photographer located in Raleigh, North Carolina. I am originally from Long Island, New York. I am a graduate of Stanford University, where I received my Bachelor of Arts in 2001. My passion for photography began in 2005. I spent several years shooting landscapes before I transitioned to portraiture. Photography is the love of my life, and I am truly grateful for every lovely soul who has graced my camera.
Meet Kesha Linder: I grew up in a small town called Warner Robins, Georgia. I started my company Karomel Sundae VC selling vintage pieces on platforms like eBay and Etsy while styling photo shoots to showcase my merchandise and promote my brand. I really fell in love with the styling process after taking a styling class and having to focus on the fashion component versus the business aspect (this is where my whole approach changed). I decided to make the big move to New York around a year ago where I am living now.