by Rachael Patterson

el·e·gance quality of being graceful and stylish in appearance or manner; style; the quality of being pleasingly ingenious and simple; neatness.

I’m very aware that fashion has an immense amount grey space when it comes to purpose; There’s no black and white on representation or appropriation. The only fine lines and boundaries you see are in stitching and seams. However, I personally am still suspicious of disrespect towards other cultures, regardless of its innocence over ignorance (some would say those things go hand in hand, anyways).

But as guests flowed through the doors at sixtyfivehundred, the ambience and atmosphere took a wonderful course. Every other greeting I watched was a warm embrace between two or more, laughter was bouncing off every surface in the room, happiness and excitement were tossed around like confetti, and everyone was bowing to the brilliance of the beautiful fashion of Southeast Asia. And as models started to hit the runway, I was instantly on my knees too (to bow and to take pictures). Bright colors dancing around, lengths upon lengths of fabric, garments that bounced around hips, skirts that floated like feathers, jewels and beads that glistened, stitching that grew like flowers into intricate patterns, and a roster of models of all cultural backgrounds were captivating. Each designer brought a unique and gorgeous line to the runway. My jaw was dropping with every click of my camera.

Two hours of exceptional pieces gracing the rugged concrete floors passed all too quickly. My regards and respects to all the designers who poured their time, efforts, hard work and hearts into each and every detail of the show. And a huge shout out to Leah Frazier, who invited the FASH Squad to the this epic event!

Check out more of these phenomenal designers and don’t forget to follow @fashionx!


growth /ɡrōTH/

  1. the process of increasing in physical size.

  2. something that has grown or is growing.

Once upon a time I used to fear being alone.

Not necessarily alone romantically (I am more than willing to wait patiently for what is mine) but more of doing simple activities such as eating at restaurants or attending a special event. My mind couldn’t even possibly fathom the thought of traveling the world and exploring...alone!

But things change and so have I.

I recently celebrated 27 years of life and blessings and one of my personal pinnacle revelations was the growth and liberation of going for what you want even if that means you’re solo. I celebrated my birthday alone soaring through trees and sailing beautiful Lake Travis. Alloying myself to be uncomfortable made room for me to become more comfortable with my own company to sharp my appeal even greater interactions with others. I’m loving it! So the next time you think, “I don’t want to go by myself” ask yourself why and challenge yourself to not limit your experiences.



cul·ture the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively

by Myca Williamson

The countdown for Fashion X DFW has officially begun, and the FASH squad will be there to give you all the goodies coming down the runway and chatting with the masterminds behind them.

We are most excited about this year’s theme: South Asia. In a special “East Meets West” showcase, Fashion X Dallas founder Matt Swinney has curated a show featuring collections from Pakistan and India alongside Texas’ designers. (Totally epic, right?)

“I hope attendees can see themselves in some of the pieces or at least modified versions of them. I think they’ll also start to see some differences between Pakistani fashion and Indian fashion — most Americans probably don’t know the difference, but by the end of this show, they’ll start to see the subtleties,” Swinney said.

Some of the designers include couturier Varun Bahl, Austin-based Bridal Motif, Maryam Khizer, Rana Noman, Erum Khan, and Dallas-based Silk Threads by Ruby Bhandari.

“I am second generation Indian-American, and my cultural heritage plays a big role in all the pieces, which are being shown at Fashion X shows. I have taken the timeless hand-done embroidery concepts, intricate designs and beautiful fabrics from South Asia, and adapted them to the requirements of the North American customers,” Bhandari said. “My creative style has evolved over the years to customize the design at both ends of the spectrum - from a traditional ethnic bridal piece to a fun tunic the client can wear in her workplace.”

The festivities kick off on Saturday, Oct. 13, at 7 p.m. at sixtyfivehundred. Can’t make it? Peep the @fash.n story for all the behind-the-scenes with your favorite fashionistas.

“I think it will be impossible to NOT be inspired by this show. The fabrics truly are some of the most stunning I’ve ever personally seen. The hand beading, the feathers, the colors — it’s all just so incredibly beautiful,” Swinney said.

Get tickets and celebrate this ultimate marriage of culture and couture. We can’t wait to see you there!

photos courtesy of Fashion X Dallas, Leah Frazier

Source: http://dallas.fashionx.co/designer-lineup/


muse myo͞oz/

  1. (in Greek and Roman mythology) each of nine goddesses, the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, who preside over the arts and sciences.

  2. a person or personified force who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist.


Meet the Croatian muse who blessed our presence in 2017.

This week we’re throwing  a lot of love to our Eastern European Goddess, Mišela Hrgota.

Charming, drop dead gorgeous and a tall drink of water.





au·ton·o·my / ôˈtänəmē/

freedom from external control or influence; independence.

One of my favorite songs of all times is “Everybody Loves the Sunshine” by Roy Ayers and his band the Roy Ayers Ubiquity. The beat just sends me spiraling in to a zone that is solely mine and as the backup singers repeat “My life, my life, my life, my life.” I’m subconsciously empowered and reminded that I owe nothing to anyone. My body, my blackness, my womanhood. They all belong to me.

“Feel, what I feel, when I feel, what I feel when I'm feelin',”

Tears don’t need reasons. Tummy rolls are OK. Do Not Disturb is a setting on your iPhone for a reason. I am taking more and more time to appreciate the raw happiness that comes with just being. The illusion of busy does not equal the reality of success. We all love the sunshine, but what about who you are when you’ve weathered the storm?


worth [wərTH] :

good or important enough to justify (what is specified)

having a value of, or equal in value to, as in money

having property to the value or amount of

It took me a long time to get to wear I am, mentally. I grew up in a great family, nice home, good school, had a lot of friends, the whole nine yards. But I didn’t have the mental state that I wanted. I was depressed, I hated the way i looked and acted, I was never happy or content. I had everything a stable teenager needed to grow up happy, but that didn’t keep me from putting a gun to my head at 16 and trying to jump out of a moving vehicle at 18. I wanted to disappear.

And of course, I still have ups and downs. Life doesn’t get easier and sometimes things don’t get better. But I do believe in second chances and I do believe in never giving up. I do believe that you can find your self-worth if you search hard enough and to always fight for what you want. These things helped me find mine. Photography, writing, drawing, and now FASH. Sometimes you might feel worthless, but if you get back up and find things that are worth something to you, it helps you find the worth in yourself.

Words by Rachel Patterson


mo·ti·vate: ˈmōdəˌvāt/

to stimulate (someone's) interest in or enthusiasm for doing something.

As a makeup artist, your creativity and art form is expected to constantly evolve and stay fresh and fiery...as it should. But that isn’t always how life works.

Since I’ve taken on a leadership role in the cosmetic world, I have had to learn to adapt...adapt to different personalities, art styles and forms, and the toughest of them all...motivation. How does one keep a team of creatives AND themselves motivated and inspired?! It’s a juggling game I’ve come accustomed to playing (and still in the game might I add) but in that process, I’ve learned something else....relax and enjoy the arts again! With such a saturation of beauty influences, it can be hard to maintain your drive or confidence in your work.


In working with my artists, I have been truly captivated and inspired by their minds and how they translate art. That motivates me. To watch the uncomfortable discovery of a weakness and turning it into a strength. That motivates me.

So the next time you feel in a rut or stuck--seek motivation in whatever way you can because it won’t always find you.

Words by Shambreka Ward. Photos Courtesy of @vanessaglamorous and @ctrl_alt_dani.



by Myca Williamson

ro•mance a feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love; a quality or feeling of mystery, excitement, and remoteness from everyday life.

The beauty of being in love is not about the person you come to cherish. It’s about the person you become when you know what the freedom to feel is like. This is for you.


photo by Rachael Patterson


Crave it you must,

Because we can't live without. 

Kisses as light as dust,

Space lingers between our mouths. 


Shaken by a moment,

I don't want to rewind. 

The only direction is up,

Don't leave me behind. 


Rarities of truth,

Like gems your soul glistens. 

Invite me to your heart,

I promise I'll listen. 


Through this hazy Galaxy,

I'm floating with no guide. 

My feelings on display,

There's nowhere to hide. 


Delicate as petals,

Or a butterfly's wing. 

Protect me in your song,

Together we sing.


Turn the volume higher,

A soundtrack for earth to hear. 

Bass thumping in my chest,

But not because I fear. 


It's pacing quite fast,

Put my heart to a halt.

We never could've planned this,

So no one's at fault.  


I'll assure your minds ease,

Mon chérie, just trust. 

I can provide the kiss of life,

This isn't just lust. 


Fine tune each detail,

We have to get it right. 

Baby, love takes time,

Nothing happens overnight. 


His blessing upon you,

Don't question the divine. 

You know the real answer,

And it lies in your mind.


by Rachael Patterson

crafts·man·ship1. skill in a particular craft. 2. the quality of design and work shown in something made by hand; artistry.

We’re three productions away from completing most all of the content for Issue 3.

And we’re very proud to say that you guys are not ready for the fire we are about to bestow on the public. You won’t be expecting any of it.

However, what you can expect to see are a few carry-over pieces from Issues 1 & 2, like A Letter, Ted Talkin’, and more, including Creative Minds, a piece I dedicated to artists who found a way to take typical mediums and make them their own. Here’s a quick look at of the younger artists I will introduce in Issue 3.


Mateus Moura is 23 years old and spends his free time oil painting and experimenting with other mediums. Through his work, he displays his spirituality and often tells stories of his personal journeys. You can catch him at Goldmark Culture Center, where he has is own studio space and displays his art beautifully.

by Rachael Patterson




by Shambreka Ward

se·ren·i·ty [səˈrenədē]: the state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled.

That was my exact feeling being amongst the rolling waves and cool breeze of the ocean. I’m not sure what it is but the water just does something to me. To peacefully be in your thoughts is needed and I’m so glad I was able to experience it. What does my future hold? How can I fine tune my path and push the envelope? What are strengths and downfalls and how can I actively improve them? All these questions crossed my mind as the grains of sand pushed through my toes approaching the shoreline. I watch as my counterparts squealed at the bite of the frigid water and reflected on the simplicity of nature and how it can bring tranquility. Looks like my next major move will be to the golden state...food for thought.


by Rachael Patterson

vis·u·al relating to seeing or sight. a picture, piece of film, or display used to illustrate or accompany something.

I must apologize, Los Angeles. I underestimated you. Although I knew you would be an enjoyable trip, I wasn’t completely sold on going yet when the offer was first proposed. I’ve wanted to go to Cali, but I just wasn’t ready for it.  I wanted to see another country, or something below the southern border of the United States.

But when we touched down in California at 8 in the morning, I was already in awe. All the colors, shapes, greenery, flowers, people, everything! So much to look at, so many new sites to see. It was a brilliant visual break from the cookie-cutter basics back home. No two homes looked the same, no two businesses had the same structure, every corner, every nook, every cranny had something new to focus on. My eyes were feasting every direction they batted.

So thank you L.A., for a four days well spent, taking in everything i possibly could.


by Myca Williamson

ad·ven·ture the encountering of risks; an exciting or remarkable experience

When Sham, Rachael and I decided that we would undertake this mission called Fearlessly Aspiring Something Higher, we set the bar pretty damn high.

Our dreams knew no limits. Our imaginations were infinite.

And today, I can wholeheartedly say that our endeavors are still just as lofty.  The idea of exploring this globe and connecting stories from creators around the world, simply fires me up (almost as much as getting to do it with a badass group of women). Together, we brainstorm these crazy ideas, and somehow we execute them.

I mean, seriously.

There was that one time we decided that we were going to plan a trip to New York with eight girls we hardly knew and do a series of blogs and photoshoots in freezing temperatures.

And, we did it (photos below), and the pictures were stunning.

Or what about that one time we decided we were going to publish a magazine? Well, we’re on issue THREE.
And, tomorrow morning we board a plane to Los Angeles to create and conquer once again. We’ll be completing four photoshoots for Forward Magazine: The Revival Issue, and I know this
will be an adventure for the books.

I feel it in my soul.


by Rachael Patterson

col·lab·o·rate work jointly on an activity, especially to produce or create something.

I was recently DM-ed by a model I have been watching for quite some time. Everything from her aesthetic to her posing to her personality caught my attention, even though I only knew her through a social media app. So when she hit me up to do some collaborative work, I was all for it.

And she was all I could ever ask for in a model. Fluid, active on set, willing to do anything for the shot, Rane Mayer was a personal sunshine cast into my lens (as if it wasn’t hot enough already here in Texas, y’all,) She walked on set as professionally and collected as she could, and through beads of sweat and sticky clothes, produces some fire ass content on my screen. It’s been a while since I’ve worked outside of my comfort zone I know as my FASH babes, and it was the best experience I could ask for!

A word of wisdom from Rane:

“Modeling to me is just being uncomfortable.”

“I’m like, just shut up and do it, you’re getting paid and there are plenty of [models] who can replace you.”

“I think communication is key to being a good photographer.” (something I’m actually working on but she complimented me at, HA)




by Myca Williamson

re·lease allow or enable to escape from confinement; set free

As a writer and feminist, I enjoy embracing the sense of pride and strength that comes with being confident in my intellect and sexuality. I keep a digital journal of pieces that just make me feel free and unapologetically woman, because I believe it’s vital to tap into the intricacies of our beautiful minds and royal bodies. So here’s a little something… enjoy, queens (and kings).

As you tongue down the anatomy of my thoughts…


Undress the layers of my psyche,

Arouse my nastiest notions,

Caress my pretty flaws, and

Kiss my cares away.


Spread my love wide open,

Finger my inspirations,

Mount my mind’s mischief,

Stroke the distress of my desires, and

Thrust into the ecstasy of knowledge.


Over and over again.





by Shambreka Ward

cre·ate: to evolve from one's own thought or imagination, as a work of art or an invention.

Colors. Lines. Shapes. Shadows. From the natural shading of contours to the oh-so-steady precision required to achieve the perfect wing (that’s my specialty, and I fucking love it!). There is nothing more satisfying than creating the best lipstick/lipgloss combination or blending a picture-perfect smokey eye. Creation gives me chills and exhilaration at the same time. The agony of wondering if everyone will like your idea just as much as you do is neverending for a perfectionist like myself. Nonetheless, I want to create a legacy. A change. A standard. A new era of beauty and acceptance.




by Rachael Patterson

for·ward   toward the front; in the direction that one is facing or traveling. onward so as to make progress; toward a successful conclusion.

Progression is key in a cut-throat industry. A quick turnaround in production and maintaining fresh work is important to keep a growing audience. It took me 8 years to realize this. I was always told I had a natural eye for photography. My angles and how I displayed my subject matter was captivating. I let this halt my work for the longest. I stopped trying to grow and solely relied on my “eye.” It’s sad, honestly, to ever stop growing on the account of someone else. And, that was basically what I was doing.

However, building a magazine has brought the fire back to become even better. A major stepping stone for me was upping my editing game. Especially working in the fashion industry, editing becomes a bit more than just adjusting my brightness and contrast or correcting my tones. Here’s a look at me moving forward…

...and a promise to keep doing so.


by Myca Williamson

mel·a·nin any of various black, dark brown, reddish brown, or yellow pigments of animal or plant structures

There is power in my pigment. A power so mighty, even generations of slavery, discrimination, hatred and injustice can't weaken its tenacity. 

There is bravery in my blackness. We are a people so brave, even whips, chains and bullets can't murder our legacies.

There is strength in my skin. We are a people so resilient, even centuries of genocide, rape and sanctions on our freedom can't extinguish our fire.

There is mercy in my melanin. A mercy so Goddamn forgiving, even mass incarceration, cultural appropriation and systematic racism can't keep us from pushing forward for change.

IMG_1134 2.jpg

Why do you love being black?

"I love being black, because every other race wants all we got except the color of our skin. They want our swag, our dance, our music, our intelligence (inventions that have changed the world), our athletic prowess, our hips, our lips, our braids, every fucking thing except the challenge of dealing with the every day bullshit of RACISM."

"The resilience and strength that comes from the history of black people. We are strong despite the everyday struggles we have to do deal with."

"What I love most about it is the challenge. Overcoming the challenge. No matter what wall they put in front of you, you shatter that motherfucker. The look on their faces when they see and think, 'how the hell did they do that when they have all of those barriers?' It's the fight. The black man is GOD. The fact that I can be as successful as anyone and have all the ODDS against me is why I love it. That's pure blackness that know one can ever take away."

"The fact that black people have their hands in the background of things such as inventions and creation of cultural pride we don’t get credit for."

"I love being black, because we are resilient when the odds are often against us. I love that we come in so many variations of skin tones, yet we can identify each other. Personally, being black gives me a presence in a room where I hardly see anyone that looks like me. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world, Boo."

"I love being black, because of the unique experiences we all share that makes us all family."

"I love being black, because I feel power by being a strong black woman. The obstacles that we have and continue to overcome is unheard of in any other race. I can handle any curve thrown my way and never have felt like giving up on life. And it is so funny how everyone wants to be black so bad; cornrows, big lips, big hips, darker skin tones."

"I love being black, because it’s like an advantage that the rest of world wants you to believe isn’t one. Black people are so fucking awesome, and EVERYBODY wants to be us. We can dance. We got style. We have conviction. Determination. We’re strong. Beautiful. Versatile. If you look at social media now, that’s what everybody wants to be. Some type of black or be as close to it as possible. I love being black, because that means I’m born with all those things. I don’t have to be a pretender. Being black is literally magic to me."


by Shambreka Ward

em•brace an act of accepting or supporting something willingly or enthusiastically

Experiencing change isn’t my cup of tea. I’m structured and like routine. I like to know what I’m doing and where I’m going and how it will turn out before I even begin the journey. Meanwhile, this thing we call “life” says, ‘Fuck that. You’re in for a ride, because your final destination isn’t what you think it’s gonna be!’ This drives me insane, but it’s OK because I’ve learned to embrace.

Embrace the known and the unknown. Fearlessly. Courageously. Become comfortable with being uncomfortable, because that’s where growth begins and you eventually flourish. For me, that means breaking down my barriers and routine and not sticking to what I know so well. From amping up my cosmetic career by exchanging my nudes and natural looks for bold and vibrant color, to integrating fitness and health into my lifestyle (with no complaints!), these are all a part of my embrace. Look out, world! Ya girl is about to smother you with my warm embrace.



by Rachael Patterson

ov·er·come to succeed in dealing with (a problem or difficulty)


Last week on Word Up, we relaxed with a playlist dedicated to being Open. Today, I want to be open about something a little personal but that I know we all can mostly relate to in some form or fashion: anxiety.

Now-a-days it’s almost taboo NOT to have anxiety, a disease riddling our generation and that I believe is being wrongfully diagnosed and treated. Luckily, I trust my doctor not to dope me up for a paycheck or act like I’m perfectly normal and kick me out of her office. I, personally, have been diagnosed with chemically imbalanced depression, partial insomnia, anxiety and am prone to psychotic breakdowns. Yes, psychotic; and yes, I’ve had several. That’s quite a bit to digest for a lot of people who are actually only suffering from #firstworldproblems.

I’m not writing to boo hoo or throw a pity party for myself. I’m telling you, because I stopped taking medicine and found something that works better for me. And that’s breaking boundaries. Testing the waters. Taking risks. Disturbing my comfort zone. Spontaneous acts (although some healthier than others) have all been helping factors.

Getting out of my shell and modeling was a HUGE thing for me. I can’t stand for a camera to be on me. I literally tense up and get anxious. However, slowly but surely I warmed up to playing model. So here’s a look at my newfound skill.

Cheers to overcoming mental fears and trying new things.

photos by Steven Haddad


by Myca Williamson

Op·en to unfold or be unfolded

There's something about music that just opens my soul. I remember when my best friends and I used to fill notebooks with playlists of song titles that would eventually end up on a burned CD. Ah, the good ol' days. 

This is just an ode to jammin' out, being you and basking in the purity of simply letting loose. Enjoy.

In Rotation: Myca's Top 20

1. Bluff - Kelela

2. Lady - D'Angelo

3. After The Storm - Kali Uchis ft. Tyler, The Creator

4. Pull Up - ABRA

5. Backwood - Ari Lennox

6. Ego - Bibi Bourelly

7. Garden - Emeli Sandé ft. Jay Electronica & Áine Zion

8. Didn't Cha Know - Erykah Badu

9. Psilocybin (Love in Full Effect) - Jhené Aiko ft. Dr Chill


11. The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly) - Missy Elliott

12. Apple Cherry - NAO 


14. Orion's Belt - Sabrina Claudio

15. Under - Sampha

16. All I Have (Intro) - Snoh Aalegra

17. Moving Mountains - Syd

18. Good Time x Trouble - Victoria Monet

19. Poor Heart - Yuna

20. Same Ol' Mistakes - Rihanna