Hit The Right Notes

Hit The Right Notes
ESSENCE.COM Jun, 07, 2012

1 of 6 Photography by Marc Baptiste, Styling by Freddie Leibahair, Oscar James/ kenbarboza.com. Makeup by Renee Garnes, Manicure by Dawn Sterling/Starworks.

Why She’s Hot: A self-proclaimed “rock & R&B” artist, Kelly served up the unapologetic “Seek and Destroy,” which warns men of bad behavior. The single has become an underground anthem for women. Says the Roc Nation artist, "A lot of women relate to the idea of taking the reins in the relationship and being the one to say, ’Don’t mess with me.’ "


On Bridget: Dress, Donna Karan New York, $1,895, Bloomingdale’s. On her right hand: ID bracelet*, Gregg Wolf, 212-529-1784. Chain bracelet, Janis by Janis Savitt, $500, 212-245-7396. Rings, artist’s own. On left hand: carved ring*, Gregg Wolf, 212-529-1784. Multichain bracelet, Janis by Janis Savitt, $400, 212-245-7396. Shoes, L.A.M.B., $325, Solutions, 949-650-0479.

*price upon request

2 of 6 Photography by Marc Baptiste, Styling by Freddie Leibahair, Oscar James/ kenbarboza.com. Makeup by Renee Garnes, Manicure by Dawn Sterling/Starworks.

Why She’s Hot: Her whimsical soul–pop single “Only Wanna Give It to You” secured her spot on BET’s Music Matters tour. Now the singer–songwriter’s highly anticipated full-length album, “Perfectly Imperfect” (MBK Entertainment/RCA Records), arrives this summer. Says Varner, “My music is a fusion of hip-hop, soul and R&B. Plus, I write all my songs, so it’s like folk–hip-hop—almost.”


On Elle: Top and skirt, OMO Norma Kamali, $250 and $1,300, normakamali.com. Bustier, $58, Victoria’s Secret stores. On right arm: cuff*, slane.com. On left arm: Onyx cuff*, davidyurman.com. Platforms, Steven by Steve Madden, $159, zappos.com.


*price upon request

3 of 6 Photography by Marc Baptiste, Styling by Freddie Leibahair, Oscar James/ kenbarboza.com. Makeup by Renee Garnes, Manicure by Dawn Sterling/Starworks.

Why She’s Hot: An influential tastemaker in music, fashion and social media, Kola has 30,000-plus Twitter followers who believe if she says something is cool, it’s hot. “For me, it’s always about your gut instinct,” Kola says. “It’s important to give yourself a second and say, ‘Does this really move me? How does it make me feel?’ And based off that, I’ve somehow gotten a good inkling for being a tastemaker.”


On Vashtie: Jacket, Pierre Balmain, $1,338, Bergdorf Goodman, 800-558-1855. Shirt, DKNY Jeans, $39, macys.com. Pants, L.A.M.B., $275, zappos.com. Earrings and bracelet, subject’s own. Bike-chain necklace, Janis by Janis Savitt, $190, 212-245-7396. Beaded lariat*, Gregg Wolf, 212-529-1784. Boots, Ash, $385, 646-422-7098.


*price upon request

4 of 6 Photography by Marc Baptiste, Styling by Freddie Leibahair, Oscar James/ kenbarboza.com. Makeup by Renee Garnes, Manicure by Dawn Sterling/Starworks.

Why She’s Hot: With Justin Bieber as a top act, Victor has her hands full keeping millions of Beliebers in the loop on his latest music and projects. But this rising music executive at Island Def Jam feels any untapped artist under her watch is priority. “I’m motivated when I see talent I really believe in and I feel everyone needs to know about this artist,” says Victor, a vice-president of media and artist relations. “Right now, for me, that’s Luke James. I’m obsessed with him.”

On Melissa: Blazer, Helmut Lang, $645, Bergdorf Goodman, 800-558-1855. Tank, $78, joesjeans.com. Leggings, BCBGMaxAzria, $148, bcbg.com for stores. Cross necklaces*, tacori.com for stores. Necklace with motifs, hammered cuff, cuff with asymmetrical crystals and nail head cuff, all Janis by Janis Savitt, $400, $250, $438 and $175, 212-245 7396. On left arm: Papyrus crossover cuff*, davidyurman.com. Beaded bracelet, $400, nialaya.com. Earrings, subject’s own.


*price upon request

5 of 6 Photography by Marc Baptiste, Styling by Freddie Leibahair, Oscar James/ kenbarboza.com. Makeup by Renee Garnes, Manicure by Dawn Sterling/Starworks.

Why She’s Hot: At a chance meeting in 2010 with rap impresario Rick Ross in Richmond, Audra made a lasting impression with her on-the-spot rhymes (at his request). Ross is making her the first lady of his Maybach Music imprint. Says Audra, “Right now I’m trying to conquer the world one bar at a time and bring the focus back to the message in hip-hop.”


On Audra: Jacket, Rick Owens, $2,735, Bergdorf Goodman, 800-558-1855. Tank, $24, gap.com. Pants, Alice + Olivia, $240, Bergdorf Goodman, 800-558-1855. Earrings*, ring* and necklace*, Wilfredo Rosado, Neiman Marcus. Amethyst ring*, davidyurman.com. Shoes, L.A.M.B., $325, Solutions, 949-650-0479.


*price upon request

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# Fashion

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# Fashion