Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

MicroBlogging - The Wave of Future!!!

From this date forward - The Changing Room - will only feature a weekly blog post giving you a wrap-up of my life as fashion designer, creative-activist and general pain-in-the-collective-ass of the fashion industry and world-at-large. However, you can find me daily on FaceBook where I will be micro-blogging my passions, dreams and hopes for the world and fashion on a 24 hour basis.

But don't thank me for this 24-hour around the clock micro-blogging fest. You can thank my lovely parents for producing a super-natural human being that can live off of only two to four hours of sleep a day.

Well at least this is the way I like to phrase it... My doctor, on the other hand, has advised me that the clinical diagnosis is actually closer to "an acute case of insomnia brought on by a late-onset of OCD." Okay, whatever! I choose to stick to my much more romanticized and colorful version above. Moving forward…

Well, I hope that you will all join me on FaceBook by clicking the photo below or above (either of my dualing personalities - that's a whole other diagnosis) and becoming my FB friend. In any event, I am sure when you do find me, my little green light will be flickering away announcing to the world that I stand "present and accounted for..."

Let the Micro-blogging begin!!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Obama Worship Thingy

Just when I thought the “Obama Worship Thingy” couldn’t go any further, I stumbled across this little tidbit this morning. I will admit that I had witnessed a few of these little style shifts during the height of the race, but I was for sure these were isolated incidents restricted to the hardcore Obama fans in Harlem and the South Side of Chicago. But low and behold, as I was watching my favorite channel, MSNBC, the following special report was aired. You know when the barber shops of the hood go mainstream as well as viral, it's time to stand up and pay attention.

Is it just me, or does this particular fashion statement seem a bit extreme. The hair coloring, the precision cut, the scary carved Obama face – it all seems a bit bizarre to me. Hey don’t get me wrong, I adore Obama as much as the next “German” but I don’t think I am quite ready for a big “O” branded across my forehead. Come to think of it, a branding might look pretty cool just under the Prince symbol I had tattooed on my ass a few weeks ago… I kid, I kid…

"Gratuitous Prince Reference"

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

Happy HallowQueen

Over the past few years, Halloween has really become one of my favorite days. I am still not sure if we should go around calling Halloween a proper holiday. Well, “anywhatever” (my own special word) my boyfriend and I decided to really kick up the ante this year and what a difference it made. We had an absolute blast! Below are few picks from this Halloween as well as years gone by. Please, pretty please, send me a few of your favorite Halloween pics so I can post them…

Tyson - My Las Vegas Groom

The Gangs all here!!!

Halloween 2007

Halloween 2007 - Arabian Nights

Halloween 2006

"Tyson the Monk" and "Malcolm the Label-Whore"

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Every Single Vote Counts!

Someone mailed this video to me this morning and it scared the living bejesus out of me... I am still shaking but strangely exhilarated after watching this video... Now you must promise me that after you watch the video below you will go to the website, customize the video and forward it to all of your family and friends (http://www.cnnbcvideo.com/)... We must remember that every single vote truly counts.

Barack the vote!!! Or else!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


"Hey that’s no lipstick on that darn pig! That’s Valentino!" Can you believe the Republicans have forked over $150,000 for Sarah Palin’s wardrobe? Have they lost their collective minds? This goes to show that sometimes you can put Valentino on a pig. and well you know the rest...

Yesterday while watching Sarah Palin shooting off her big mouth all over the news, I couldn’t help but notice the ill fit of her red leather jacket pictured above. Of course, I also couldn’t help but wonder why the PETA folks have been so quiet regarding Sarah Palin. In my opinion Governor Palin is an ideal candidate for a “PETA Stalk-fest” not Vice President of the United States. Not that I have any great love for Vogue's Anna Wintour, PETA most certainly gives her a much harder time. To date, we haven't even seen Anna killing any moose – but God knows she skinned a few designers.

Seeing as I am on the Sarah Palin kick today, I can’t stop there. While I believe Sarah Palin is a fairly attractive woman (reminds me of the naughty school teacher stripper found in the heartlands), I simply can’t fathom the Republicans spending this outrageous amount of money on this self-proclaimed "hockey mom" – especially during an economic crisis. All I have to say is, “Sign me up for the hockey rink where she’s hanging out! I would love to go there to host my next trunk show.”

Sorry for not letting this one go, but is it just me, or is there something strange going on in the “funky side eye” here babysitter, I mean daughter, is giving Sarah?

video courtesy of CBS News

Monday, October 20, 2008

The dreaded F-Word

I know it has been a very long time since I’ve used the F-Word… No, not FUCK… I have no problem with using that particular F-word… I’m talking about “FASHION.”

I will admit I have spent the lion’s share of the summer obsessing over the election, in particular Barack Obama. As you may have noticed there have been weeks where I haven’t even been able to bring myself to mentioning the F-word… I have felt almost guilty when I would find myself chatting about fashion in the face of the serious nature of this election and our current economic woes. I think to discuss fashion at this moment is almost unpatriotic. Now I know some people might be saying, “But don’t most designers find a way to interpret the turmoil and political process in their creative process…” Well, some do, but not me. I have come to enjoy my mental disorders and for me, they require my full attention, dedication and devotion. Via my some professional but mostly my own self-diagnosis, I have figured out that I have AADD with an acute onset of OCD. In other words, I am all f’d up…

But today, feels like a special day… One of those days when the market seems to be doing okay, Barack is enjoying a comfortable lead and a major endorsement (not enough of a lead for us to get lazy) and the sun and wind here in New York City seemed to have struck an amazing deal. Therefore, I am ready to talk “fashion.”

Fashion sucks! Is it the economy, the election or what that seems to have drained the entire fashion industry their balls! Come on people! What the “F” is going on… I take a little break to assure that a brother stands a fighting chance of becoming the next President of the United States, and all of my colleagues seem to have put up gone fishing signs for the season. Instead of my normal rant, I will show a bit of restraint by not calling out any of my fellow designers on their lack of boldness during these trying times… I will not question the wunderkind Zac Posen on his flat, risk-free collection or Philip Lim about his dry-as-paint runway presentation or even the young and beautiful fairy, Erin Fetherston regarding her regurgitated fashion of fancy. Instead I will focus on my obvious absence from the New York fashion scene.

According to the fashion industry the above represent the best... Anything missing???

My explanation in a nutshell is simple… First I must focus on placing an African-American man in the white-house and then I will focus on putting an African-American man on the catwalks of New York City (just in case no one has noticed - we still haven’t been able to rectify this situation under the white tents of Bryant Park). But for now “F” Fashion!

You must see this video, it is the funniest F-Word video I have ever seen…

Monday, October 13, 2008

Purple is the New Black

On Friday evening, yours truly was invited to a front row and extremely intimate performance by none other than Prince. Now, I will be the first to admit I am not a huge Prince fan, as growing up I was “Team Michael” all the way. However, after Friday night’s performance, I can proudly say, “Prince has kicked Michael’s royal ass!”

What an amazing performance! Instead of donning one of his usual purple lace ensembles, Prince actually looked very chic and sleek. At one point I said to myself, “This dude is 50 fucken years old and he still looks amazing!” All it took was one look at Prince prancing across the stage for me to realize “Purple is definitely the new Black”.

The only problem I have with Prince actually has very little to do with Prince himself. My problem with Prince however has all to do with his die hard fans. What a bunch of psychos! Most of these people are absolutely certifiable. I know this is not a nice thing to say as one of my closest friends (my brother from another mother), Jacques, actually is the biggest Prince fan on the planet. And strangely enough he has a million dollar memorabilia collection to prove it.

You see this dear friend happens to live on the Upper East Side in perhaps one of the swankiest addresses in the 1-0-0-2-1. But please do not let the zip code or uptight building fool you… My friend Jacques is perhaps one of the coolest dudes to ever cross the pond. Within his tastefully decorated apartment his wonderful wife, Camille, has been gracious enough to allocate Monsieur Jacques with his own little private room. Instead of turning this room into a “mini-frat house” like most of my married straight male friends, Jacques has instead opted to turn his kids/wife free zone into something quite unique – “A Prince Shrine” (alter included).

This room is completely comprised of items previously owned by the Purple One himself. Upon entering this room you immediately begin to wonder if this brilliant husband, father and friend might not be ready for a Cindy McCain prescription cocktail. Honestly this room, which is the size of an average NYC apartment, is covered in Prince’s original guitars, shoes, costumes, gold records, microphones and even an original doodling of Purple Rain and Little Red Corvette. I refer to it as the “The Purple Cave.” But to be completely honest, this room “freaks me the fuck out!” I often leave this room wondering one thing, “Who is the real Jacques?”

An I-Phone photo of Jacques "kinda-sorta" recently meeting Barack Obama - Hysterical!!!

But all it takes is one look at Jacques’ face light up when we are out on the town and a Prince record happens to hit the turntables. It’s magical and infectious... I will admit most of the time I too find myself dancing around like a Purple Fool. So just imagine my surprise, peppered with a bit of hesitation, when Jacques invited me to join him at the Gansevoort Hotel in the Meatpacking District after spending a week solving riddles and deciphering clues leading up to Friday night’s intimate concert for 200 die-hard Prince fans and celebrities.

The crowd included Anderson Cooper (avec boy-toy), Dave Chapelle, Spike Lee, Dennis Rodman, Tom Greene and many others sequestered in private viewing areas etc. But of course, Jacques and I had the best seats in town – front row, center stage. We were so close, I could have pinched Prince on his tiny little ass. There were several points within the concert I had visions (a la Allie McBeal) of picking him up and putting him in my pocket, sort of like a “Mini-Prince Ipod.” I could imagine showing up to parties or restaurants and taking him out to perform for me and my intimate circle of friends and simple slipping him back inside of my pocket to be recharged. Come on now, you must admit that would be pretty damned cool. But for now, I will simply settle for the memories of witnessing one of the most amazing concerts of my life as well as being close enough to Prince to pinch his tiny little mini-Ipod ass.

My personal favorite Prince song and video - "Pop Life"

Friday, October 10, 2008

Dolls for Darfur / UNICEF

In a time of need there is nothing more important than giving. Inspired by Designers for Darfur, UNICEF has partnered with some of the world's top designers to benefit the 6th anniversary of their Frimousses de Créateurs event to help befit their vaccination programs. The long list of designers that will be showcasing their unqiue dolls include Chanel, Emanuel Ungaro, Giorgio Armani, Lanvin, Moschino, Mal Sirrah, Oscar de la Renta, Sonia Rykiel, Stella McCartney and Yves Saint Laurent (only to name a few of course).

Last year UNICEF raised 220,000 Euros which helped to create 250 centers in Darfur devoted to vaccinating children (under 5 years of age) against the six most life threatening childhood diseases: measles, tuberculosis, diphtheria, polio, tetanus and whooping cough. So far (because we are far from quiting) the charitable journey has done wonders by vaccinating over 31,000 children.

The Petit Palais, which housed fashion photographer Patrick Demarchielier's exhibition just last week, will too be the host of various "sweet face" dolls from November 18th through November 23rd. If everyone bought one doll, could you imagine the difference we'd make? With Christmas around the corner you can give a gift that keeps giving.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Style Matters

Last night’s United States presidential debate proved one thing “Style Matters.” In my opinion, Barack Obama out styled and out swaggered poor John McCain by leaps and bounds. John McCain came into the debate bragging about how he was the “king of the town hall”, but judging by the way Barack swept the town hall floor with Senator McCain, he came out looking more like the town jester.

I will admit that I have been through several presidential elections in my lifetime, and never in before can I recall a candidate’s visceral appeal being so important to their electability. Viscerally, I believe most Americans felt as if they were watching “President Barack Obama” whereas John McCain looked like the frustrated guy that was running against the incumbent. Am I the only one that feels this way? I doubt it.

In the end, this debate will simply become fodder for “Faux News” and the "Vuiffington Post”, but for most Americans, we will simply remember this as the debate we clearly understood what it meant to look Presidential.

Monday, October 6, 2008

My name is Mal Sirrah and I approve this message:

The current economic crisis demands that we understand John McCain's attitudes about economic oversight and corporate influence in federal regulation. Nothing illustrates the danger of his approach more clearly than his central role in the savings and loan scandal of the late '80s and early '90s.

John McCain was accused of improperly aiding his political patron, Charles Keating, chairman of the Lincoln Savings and Loan Association. The bipartisan Senate Ethics Committee launched investigations and formally reprimanded Senator McCain for his role in the scandal -- the first such Senator to receive a major party nomination for president.

At the heart of the scandal was Keating's Lincoln Savings and Loan Association, which took advantage of deregulation in the 1980s to make risky investments with its depositors' money. McCain intervened on behalf of Charles Keating with federal regulators tasked with preventing banking fraud, and championed legislation to delay regulation of the savings and loan industry -- actions that allowed Keating to continue his fraud at an incredible cost to taxpayers.

When the savings and loan industry collapsed, Keating's failed company put taxpayers on the hook for $3.4 billion and more than 20,000 Americans lost their savings. John McCain was reprimanded by the bipartisan Senate Ethics Committee, but the ultimate cost of the crisis to American taxpayers reached more than $120 billion.

The Keating scandal is eerily similar to today's credit crisis, where a lack of regulation and cozy relationships between the financial industry and Congress has allowed banks to make risky loans and profit by bending the rules. And in both cases, John McCain's judgment and values have placed him on the wrong side of history.

For full documentary visit: http://www.keatingeconomics.com/

Friday, October 3, 2008

Citizens for Global Solutions

“Citizens for Global Solutions is holding its 4th Annual Multimedia contest for artists, designers, poets, activists and just about anyone interested in thinking about global issues and making some cool art. The top contenders will be published on their website.

CGS are looking for short multimedia pieces (flash animation, spoken word, digital video) that can inspire, amuse and activate people out there who believe that a better world is possible. You are welcome to work alone, in a team, or as part of a classroom project (but the cash prizes remain the same).”

Please read more at their site: Globalsolutions.org

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Afternoon Quickie - "Gone to the Dogs"

I had to share this photo of my friend's little Italian Greyhound repping for Barack Obama... Folks, the election has officially "gone to the dogs"...

Rachel Getting Married = Anne Getting Oscar

Last night I had the pleasure of being invited to a private screening of “Rachel Getting Married” hosted by the films director, Jonathan Demme at the Paris Theater here in New York City.

Jonathan Demme is perhaps one of my favorite directors on the entire planet, so to listen to him explain how this film came to being was like listening to Michael Angelo explain how he painted the Sistine Chapel.

I don’t usually like making these grand predictions, but something tells me that Anne Hathaway might actually receive an Oscar nod for her performance in this gritty and stirring role. Personally, I have never really been a big Anne Hathaway fan, but this movie may have been the turning point…

Now don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate her in the “Devil Wears Prada”, but that movie for me was more about Patricia Field then it was about any of the characters in the movie. But this movie is all about Anne Hathaway and the progressive multi-cultural story telling of Jenny Lumet (daughter of famed film director Sidney Lumet and granddaughter of legend, Ms. Lena Horne).

“Anywhatever” (my favorite made up word), check out the movie trailer below and make sure you run out to see it…

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Lesson in Fierceness!

Clifton Oliver, foreground center, and,
above from left, Angela Grovey, Rebecca Naomi Jones
and McKenzie Frye in “Wig Out!”

Gather round boys and girls, I have a little story to tell you all… Once upon time there was a little boy who used to love playing in his mother’s dresses, high-heels and make-up…
Come on now - can you imagine me ever doing anything like this?

"Drag above courtesy of Daily Makeovers"

But seriously, the guys starring in the new play, “Wig Out!” could perhaps teach all of us a thing or two about being fierce and strutting around in a pair of heels. “Wig Out!” is a new play currently unfolding every evening on the stage of the Vineyard Theater here in New York City. Today the New York Times gave this play a glowing review which, as you can imagine, say’s a hell of a lot these days.

Stars Erik King, left, and Nathan Lee Graham

"Wig Out!" focuses on an underground gay culture called “The House Balls” which originated here in New York City in the late 70’s / early 80’s and has recently begun to spring up across the globe. I know this first hand as I too in my youth belonged to one of these gay houses – The House of Xtravaganza. And as you can imagine, I was quite fierce and shady (for those of you who are unfamiliar with gay slang I will upload a mini-dictionary in a later post).

It was the fierce young members of The House of Xtravaganza that taught me my take no prisoners attitude as well as my die-hard loyalty to family and friends. Who cares that this make-shift family was comprised of a drag queen mother, a rough-trade father and a bunch of screaming homo-thugs, trannies and butch dykes for brothers and sisters… But we were the "shit" and fiercely loyal and loving. But fortunately time has a way of changing us all and eventually we all leave the nest to fly on our own.

(WIG OUT! By Tarell Alvin McCraney; directed by Tina Landau; sets by James Schuette; costumes by Toni-Leslie James; lighting by Peter Kaczorowski; sound by Robert Kaplowitz; hair, wig and makeup design by Wendy Parson; production stage manager, Barbara Reo; associate director, Kim Weild; production manager, Ben Morris; general manager, Reed Ridgley; associate artistic director, Sarah Stern. Presented by the Vineyard Theater, Douglas Aibel, artistic director; Jennifer Garvey-Blackwell, executive director. At the Vineyard Theater, 108 East 15th Street, Manhattan; (212) 353-0303. Through Oct. 19. Running time: 2 hours. )

Homework: Rent the movie “Paris is Burning” and submit your quick review

Bonus Homework: Rent the movie “Truth or Dare” and identify the main two characters of the House of Xtravaganza.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


As we all know, the world is changing before our very eyes and so is “The World of Mal Sirrah”.

We are extremely excited to announce our updated website (http://www.malsirrah.com/) and invite you to take a trip to the “World of Mal Sirrah”. Our newly created website is a safe haven where dreams come true and a better world realized.

Upon your arrival we invite you to check out our re-launched blog, “The Changing Room” (formerly Cut, Sew and Blog), a blog filled with politics, art, music, charity, interesting characters, and of course, fashion.

Explore our exciting and hopefully inspiring YouTube video presentations and online slideshows as Mal Sirrah attempts to present fashion in an engaging, inspiring and modern context. It is our goal to prove to the world that sometimes a beautiful dress can do more than simply adorn. Instead a beautiful dress can also assist in building solar powered schools and hospitals, play a role in saving women from a life of abuse as well as help in feeding our fellow human beings. But you won’t know this unless you visit http://www.malsirrah.com/ for more information and exploration.

During your journey to our special place, we also encourage you to join our MySpace and FaceBook networks so we can keep you posted on upcoming fashion shows, capsule collections, humanitarian causes and exciting events. When you join Mal Sirrah’s social networks not only do you join our community, you also expand your individual horizons with links to people, causes and movements that connect us all as citizens of the world.

So what are you waiting for? You are merely a double click away from entering the “World of Mal Sirrah” - a world filled with endless possibilities for “changing the world – one dress at a time.”

Monday, September 29, 2008

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Until we return, check out - Free Arts NYC

Every child deserves food, clothing, and shelter. At Free Arts NYC, we believe they also deserve paint, glitter, clay and the opportunity to express themselves creatively with the help of a supportive mentor.

Free Arts NYC is a volunteer-based nonprofit established to bring the healing power of the arts to children and families who face poverty, homelessness, and other risk factors. At no cost to the children, families, volunteers, or our collaborating agencies, we provide programs that are mobile, making it possible for our volunteers to bring creativity and hope directly into the communities where there is the greatest need.

Our core programs – Free Arts Days, Weekly Mentor Program, Parents and Children Together with Art (PACT) and Cultural Enrichment Opportunities – use painting, dance, drama, writing, music, sculpture, photography and other creative outlets to help children express themselves and gain confidence and self-esteem. Working with trained volunteers and professional facilitators, Free Arts programs allow young people to gain self-confidence and strengthen their relationships with their peers, parents, guardians and mentors.

Since 1998, founding Director Liz Hopfan has taken the nonprofit from a budget of $100,000 to over $1,400,000. Free Arts NYC volunteers have now served over 22,000 children and families.

Free Arts NYC volunteers and facilitators give all of the children and families we work with a high level of personal attention. Our volunteer to child ratio is often 1:1 and, at most, 1:3. We are able to reach these ratios without exorbitant expense because of our unique volunteer model.

The key to Free Arts’ success lies in the creativity of our programs, designed by an extremely capable and passionate staff, as well as the organization’s unparalleled ability to meet the needs of many different communities around the city.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Until we return, check out - Nelson Mandela Children's Fund

    Vision & Mission

    The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund strives to change the way society treats its children and youth.

    In the pursuit of its vision, and in order to ensure that the legacy of its founder, Nelson Mandela, is secured in perpetuity, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund will:
    • develop partnerships and initiate programmes which empower and improve the well-being of children and youth;
    • promote the rights of children and youth through the influence of public policy and social awareness; and
    • sustain these initiatives through the development of a sound financial and knowledge support base.

    Wednesday, September 24, 2008

    Proud American

    This video truly makes me proud to be an American. A 94 year old African American woman will be voting for the first time - you must watch this video.

    Until we return, check out - Diane a Shaded View on Fashion

    Diane Pernet, fashion icon, journalist and blogger, world traveler, mentor to many and staunch supporter of talent and creativity.

    Tuesday, September 23, 2008

    Until we return, check out - The Business of Fashion

    Imran Amed - The Business of Fashion

    Based in London, Imran Amed is Editor of The Business of Fashion, a blog which has gained a cult following amongst fashion business professionals and entrepreneurs in over 150 countries.
    Imran is a professional advisor, commentator and investor operating at the intersection of business and fashion, working with major international luxury and fashion brands and high potential fashion start-ups. His particular expertise is in acting as the bridge between the industry's most gifted creative and business talent. He also advises private equity firms, hedge funds and private investors who are interested in the fashion and luxury market.

    Imran regularly contributes to fashion and business publications around the world including Style.com, The Financial Times, Vogue India, and JC Report, amongst others.

    His ideas and expertise have garnered coverage on Fashion Television, Dow Jones, Women's Wear Daily, and Vogue Korea. He is regularly invited to speak at fashion schools, business schools and luxury and fashion conferences around the world.

    Previously, Imran was a management consultant at McKinsey & Co. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School, a B.Com from McGill University, and a Diploma in Speech Arts and Public Speaking from the Mount Royal Conservatory.

    Monday, September 22, 2008

    Until we return check out - Photographer Nick Knight's - ShowStudio

    About SHOWstudio

    “SHOWstudio is based on the belief that showing the entire creative process—from conception to completion—is beneficial for the artist, the audience and the art itself.”Nick Knight SHOWstudio is an online fashion broadcasting company committed to pioneering, live fashion media. Led by photographer Nick Knight, SHOWstudio has consistently broken new ground with its experimental interactive projects, films and live performances. Its unique collaborations with the world’s most sought-after and influential photographers, artists, writers, designers and cultural figures are broadcast live, in real time on the award-winning SHOWstudio website.

    Committed to unveiling the entire process of creativity to a highly fashion literate audience, SHOWstudio involves its global community of dedicated viewers, encouraging them to respond and contribute to its projects. The progress of each of SHOWstudio's 250+ collaborations –from pre-production meetings and stylists’ selections to the live shoots- is documented as it occurs, communicated immediately via the BLOG and discussed and evaluated with viewers on the FORUM.

    No other fashion media offers this direct connection between the closed, ‘insider’ world of high-end fashion and its international audience. Constantly changing, SHOWstudio delivers live fashion, as it happens, 24 hours per day.