How to Wear Your Voice at the Oakland Indie Awards!
Words can barely express the amount of pure local love and joy myself and team WYV felt surrounded by at last Friday’s Oakland Indie Awards – however, as I am a writer, I will press finger to keys and attempt to at least capture (along with some photographs) my favorite body positive looks of the evening. Of course our team has so many more beautiful photos of the evening to share, but these are my personal favorite ensembles that stood out from the crowd. To me, the individuals included all embody what it looks like to Wear Your Voice, while exuding a fresh perspective not always represented in mainstream media – thank goddess for that (and of course Ravneet whose vision empowers our authenticity to shine through)!
(photos in this article taken by Stephen Texeira for WYV unless noted)
Can you tell WYV’s love of Saucye West runs deep?! I mean honestly, yours should too – just look at how she can captivate and command (all while being such a kind humyn)! Personally I also appreciate her rocking a #FuckFatPhobia sticker and supporting my campaign and work in general. Do yourselves all a favor and go check out Sauyce’s other stylings on her illustrious Instagram account. Also, check her out her powerful photo on the cover of one of the most important pieces I have published thus far: Ultimate Guide to Understanding Fat Phobia. All with one simple yet elegant, blazing hot red dress, Saucye revives my soul…complete with a serious flash of thigh and a little fanfare (not pictured here)!
I met this babe, Karen Louriana Medina (pictured left), way back at the magical Fatty Winter Wonderland event that really launched my own deeper journey of Body Positivity and Fat Activism (yes, both at once, speaking from my experiences) – and she has been on my social media radar ever since! We gratefully crossed paths again at the Celebrate Your Body Fashion Show I covered for WYV, and now I am excited to realize she is my Oakland neighbor and fellow lover of all things local (like the new Candid Art earrings she purchased that night)! Karen reminds me of #womynsupportingwomyn and generally makes my heart feel happy to be around – she also uplifts me with her sense of style – a mix of classic and unique, which I adore! I’m obsessed with the way she layered her outfit in neutrals and then made it pop with that gloriously colorful necklace (loving that #FuckFatPhobia adornment as well)!
(photo taken by myself on the fly, because how could I not capture this hella Oakland style!?)
This beautiful humyn’s look certainly jumped out at me from the sea of faces – I LOVED the unique and bold mixture of prints and styles that were being rocked so well that I want those cute sneaks to wear with some of my skirts too! I think that what I found most beautiful was this womyn’s energy and confidence with which she carried herself! It makes so much sense to me that Yani is a designer, co-creator, and owner of L’Oven Fresh; Home+Lifestyle Designs! When I check their website out, which you should do too, I wasn’t too surprised to find a quote quite aligned with Yani’s own unique style: “We at L’Oven Fresh believe in the freshness of expressing your individuality; California is our inspiration, uniqueness is our motivation.”
I shall not forget the moment of the night when I turned around to behold the power and beauty that was model Sammie Nicole strutting her stuff on our WYV step-and-repeat: I seriously felt the fashion goddesses pause time for a moment to allow harps to play! This was an intense moment of body positivity and fat activism all rolled into one. Resonance in physical form; this is life itself. Samie’s ultimate confidence backed up everything she wore so well – I loved this versatile coral top and the pairing with these amazing black-and-white printed pants (and basically need this entire ensemble now)!
Meet one of my new favorite humyns in the world and frequent WYV contributor; Danni Williams (pictured right)! This womyn is seriously always rocking THE BEST crop topped ensembles, and this one is no different – except with a fun little peek-a-boo surprise in the back! I also loved how Danni’s spot-on accessories elevated this look to the next level, and is now making me want to whip out some of my favorite gold pieces to pair with a black-and-white number!
I am basically obsessed with everything included in this photo – these gorgeous humyns are wearing their voices head-to-toe uniquely and enthusiastically, with their own funky flair! Just taking-in this photo again makes my soul feel free and joyous – now that’s what I call an authentic fashion statement! Unfortunately I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting them personally, so please feel free to tag these individuals below in the comments!
Our bold WYV model for the evening, Micah McKechnie, started out as a blank slate and ended up as a written and drawn upon canvas for all Oakland Indie Award goers to wear their voices upon! It was extremely powerful to see the messages of self-expression and support for Oakland and our publication. I particularly enjoyed Karen’s below-the-booty Miss Piggy drawing complete with a #FuckFatPhobia word bubble! (Side note: I kind of want some sort of sharpie superhero belt to sport around town now!)
All in all, it was a magical night to be remembered and none of us had to lose any glass slippers over it (although I do sometimes think of Ravneet as a fashionably young Fairy Godmother) – we just had to proudly, unapologetically, and authentically Wear Our Voices! We can’t wait to see you doing the same at the Indies next year!
To see a full gallery of the Oakland Indie Awards, check them out here!
Special shout out to our photographers for the evening that volunteered their time to WYV & the great city of Oakland and its awesome residents and businesses!
& Anil Goswami of AnkhOm Productions
If you have a favorite memory from the Oakland Indie Awards, please share with us below!