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african fashion

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African fashion and flair emerges in West London. 13th and 14th August 2011

My Asho, the UK based online fashion store, which stocks items from leading African designer brands is proud to announce its first pop-up shopping event on the 13th and 14th of August in Notting Hill, London.

Available under one roof will be the latest collections from top Fashion, Accessory, Children and Homeware designers from all over Africa including Tiffany Amber Ng, Christie Brown Ghana, Jewel by Lisa, Urbanknit, Ituen Basi, Nkwo, Kemkem Studio, Zedeye, Zebra Living, Kiki Clothing, Cocoabella and Aimas.

The boutique will be situated in the heart of Notting Hill at 47 Pembridge Road, and will offer stylish, limited edition pieces at affordable prices. These pieces will only be available to purchase at the My Asho pop up boutique and will not be featured on the MyAsho.Com site. On exclusive display will be:

- casually tailored, off-duty chic clothing and whimsical accessories from TAN by Tiffany Amber Ng
– the recently launched J Label: the diffusion line from Jewel by Lisa
– beautifully embellished, hand-painted, t-shirts by Aimas
– unique, handmade clutches and limited edition tie-dye batik shawls from Urbanknit
– dazzling yet classic pieces from Zedeye including pieces from the Tribal Romance SS11 collection
– gorgeous accessories and dresses by Christie Brown Ghana
– clothing, accessories and homeware in stunning African prints by Ituen Basi
– free spirited, nomadic pieces from Nkwo
– signature styles infusing traditional woven African fabrics from KKS by Kemkem Studio
– clean, practical and wearable pieces from the Zebra Living “Mara” Collection
– stylish and fun casual wear by sport-chic brand Cocoabella
– afro-centric designs for ladies and kids by Kiki Clothing

The event presents a unique opportunity to view in-person the detailed craftsmanship, vibrancy and boldness of items typically sold via MyAsho.com. The pop-up shop will be available for a limited time only and collections will be available while stocks last with average prices ranging from £5-£85.

Femi Shobanjo, CEO My Asho says “this is a definite milestone. It is the first time a retail space in such a prime location has been 100% dedicated to top African designers. It just shows the demand is there for these pieces. We are very excited for our designers

Join us at the My Asho Pop-Up Boutique

When: Saturday 13th August 2011: 10am – 6pm
Sunday 14th August 2011: 10am – 6pm
Where: 47 Pembridge Road, Notting Hill, W11 3HG, London, United Kingdom

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ABOUT MY ASHO

My Asho (derived from the Yoruba word “aso” meaning cloth and pronounced “ash-awe”) is an online fashion concept, developed in 2008 to celebrate and promote the talent of African designers based throughout the world. We aspire to become a one-stop-shop for the best in authentic African inspired designs.

My Asho works closely with all its designers and stylists, choosing beautiful pieces from their collections to offer to a savvy fashion-forward international audience. In addition, My Asho works with local markets throughout Africa to bring you distinctive, one-off pieces which you can find in the My Asho Market.

Most of the products on myasho.com are ethically handcrafted and produced in limited quantities, which means customers can always be assured of find high-quality, inspired boutique style pieces at very affordable prices.

Website: www.myasho.com
Email: enquiries@myasho.com

Zedeye
Zedeye
Zedeye
Zebra Mara
Zebra Mara
Zebra Mara
J Label
J Label
J Label
J Label
J Label
Aimas
Aimas
Aimas
Urban Knit

With William & Kate jumping the proverbial broom and ‘wedding season’ upon us, I really think some things should be said to guide us through this summer. Now for the average American couple wedding events consist of the following a bachelor/bachelorette party, the white wedding followed by a reception. Now for the average African couple, it consists of traditional weddings, engagement ceremonies, introductions and the list can go on, literally. As in the events leading up to an African wedding can fill up an entire week. Now with that said, I have some guidelines for the couples looking to get married and the guests that plan to attend these weddings.

TOP TEN THINGS TO DO AND NOT DO AT AN AFRICAN/NIGERIAN WEDDING:

10. GUESTS:  Do be prepared to spend money! I do not care if you are not blood relatives to the couple getting married; whether you are collecting aso ebi, buying the couple a gift or spraying the them with dollars that one auntie helped you change, just know that money will be spent. Even if you decide not to spray the couple, if you are anything like me, you will probably end up spraying the lead singer in the live band for praising you.

9. LADIES & GENTS: Throwing the bouquet and garter are ways for the guests to participate in the festivities so, all my single ladies, when the bride tosses the bouquet, do not punch,slap and/or kick the girl beside you out of the way to catch the bouquet because you feel you are next in line to march to the altar. IS IT BY FORCE?! Then awon guys, please do not act as if catching the garter is a death wish, we all know deep down inside you really want to catch that garter. STOP FRONTING and participate a little!

7. COUPLES: When planning on how you will feed your guests, please do consider serving your guests rather than having them line up buffet style. We are not at the school cafeteria! To top it off, Africans can be a bit rough when it comes to lines (meaning they usually do not form one) so why would you want to see a crowd of people surrounding tables, ultimately taking the focus off of you two, THE COUPLE. SAY NO TO BUFFETS!

6. COUPLES (and in some cases THE BRIDAL PARTY): The reception is usually the favorite part for most couples because then and only then can they really let loose. But wait oh, remember this is not the club where you two first met each other so do not grind up on each other. We do not want a peep show of how you will be throwing down during your honeymoon. Yes, you are married now but please let’s keep the dance off PG-13.

5. LADIES (particularly girlfriends of the bride): Seeing your friend get hitched is not a small thing so I can understand you would feel the need to be dressed to KILL. You get dressed in your freshly sown aso ebi and now its time for you to tie your gele. But wait, do not tie your gele into a satellite dish just because you are so ‘happy’ for your friend. I do not care if you are the maid of honor or bridesmaid, if you are not the mother of either the bride or groom, think smaller. You do not want to upstage the bride or the immediate family so in this case abeg use your church mind.

4. GUESTS: If the wedding ceremony and reception is invite only please do RSVP and do so in time. The days of just showing up to that your uncle’s daughter’s friend’s brother’s wedding are (almost) gone. I, for one, am all for invite only weddings, it saves the couple tons of money, having less mouths to feed.

3. COUPLES: When the Pastor announces ‘you may now kiss the bride’… do not proceed in slobbering down your new husband/wife. This is not the ‘ SHOW-US-HOW-MUCH-YOU-LOVE-YOUR-SPOUSE COMPETITION’ so keep the tongue wrestling for later ’cause there is no million dollar cash prize waiting.

2. GUESTS: *twitter input* When the time comes to spray the couple and the money is flowing like the dollars at your favorite strip club PLEASE do hold your children back from collecting the cash off the floor. I’ve ‘reprimanded’ thieving little kids before and I have no problem doing it again. Plus there is nothing more annoying than watching the video of your wedding reception and seeing little Junior pocketing a fistful of singles.

1. COUPLES (especially the BRIDES): Do not stress yourself too much and have fun. I have worked with plenty of brides to know that most of them were two steps away from having an anxiety/panic attack. I understand it is a lot to plan and think about but I honestly feel that’s what wedding planners are for, don’t be afraid to use them.

BONUS: Africans love to DANCE! I mean in the program we even have a whole section, after the vote of thanks, dedicated to DANCE! DANCE!! DANCE!!! So on that note, do hire a banging DJ and/or a live band that will have your guests literally flock to the dance floor. The last thing you want is for people to complain about the music. Next to food, music can make of break the experience for your guests.

Well those are my top ten! I’m sure there are many more but with time I feel we have grown leaps and bounds when it comes to the quality of our weddings. What are some things you think should be addressed when it comes to African/Nigerian weddings?

Live and direct from Lagos, Arise Magazine brought 50 designers together to showcase Africa’s very best in fashion. African designers definitely came out on top this past weekend and will continue to do so. I mean the amount of press coverage they got, I’m sure all of these designers will gain from this fashion week. Aside from a few hiccups, everything eventually took off with no intentions of looking back.

This schedule was not only filled with a line up of talented designers but with performances from heavy hitters like NAETO C, ESTELLE and TINIE TEMPAH. I mean music and fashion do go hand in hand so why not?! And from what I hear the performances added greatly to the whole fashion week experience.

Models ripping the runway at Arise Magazine Fashion Week.

Millen Magese in Mustapha Hassanali at AMFW.

Another model poses for the cameras. *snap snap*

Please believe that I will be back to give you the real goods (aka photos) and of course my favorite looks straight off the runway!

Till then…

Deuces!

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OVER 60 DESIGNERS FROM ALL OVER THE CONTINENT OF AFRICA, TO DISPLAY THEIR ORIGINAL AFRICAN FABRICS AND DESIGNS IN LONDON IN AUGUST 2011

For the first time in history, the city of London will host an event that will showcase fashion which is inspired from Africa. The event is known as Africa Fashion Week London ;( AFWL) 2011. It will be held between 5th and 6th August 2011 at the Gibson Hall, 13 Bishopsgate London EC2N and will make history as the biggest platform ever dedicated to African inspired fashion in Europe.

Africa Fashion Week London will showcase UK and non UK based fashion designers. The Revelation shows within AFWL will give new and emerging fashion designers are opportunity to showcase to the UK and international press, buyers and stockiest of high street and independent stores.

AFWL is open to members of the public who can come see the latest collections and buy from the numerous exhibitors from within the fashion industry who will be parading their wares for sale.

Africa fashion week London is a project designed to create a loud and wide exposure and propagation of style, beauty and fashion from an African perspective, in European environment, thereby creating an atmosphere for cultural exchange; a fusion of western and African cultures, through fashion. The event will

  • Feature designers from the whole of Africa;
  • Offer those in the fashion industry a free platform on which to showcase their brands;
  • Act as an opportunity for fashion designers to network among each other;
  • Create a portal for new designers to enter into the market and integrate into the international fashion system;
  • Highlight the African Textile Industry to a global audience thereby enhancing development;
  • Enable African countries to showcase their national fabrics through their designers, thereby enabling them to carve a niche in the global market;
  • Make African textiles visible to the rest of the world by creating an interactive platform that will involve the Media, Manufacturers, Designers, Retailers and Consumers.

Africa Fashion Week London will be attended by fashion designers, milliners, fabric manufacturers and printers, jewelers, beauty range manufacturers, leather goods designers and manufacturers, perfumers, photographers, make-up artists, models, media houses, buyers, local and international press and indeed anyone that has any link with fashion, especially with an African interest. The event is open to all members of the public.

Participants include new/emerging designers under the Revelation label and renowned fashion designers. Categories accepted include fashion design, textile prints, accessories, bridals, jewelers, foot wears, milliners, lingerie and swimwear.

The event will host over 2000 members of the public.

Africa Fashion Week London is organized by Ronke Ademiluyi of Rukkies Concept and produced by Mahogany Productions.

For General Enquiries please contact:ronke@africafashionweeklondon.com.

For Media Enquiries please contact: kamari@africafashionweeklondon.com.

www.africafashionweeklondon.com.

Tonto Dikeh

What better way would you define an excellent fashion show than an event where top celebrities alongside established models strut the runway. This was the case at the “Gaga for Fashion” fashion show and runway display where top celebrities and A ‘list actresses like Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, Tonto Dikeh, Laide Bakare and some star “models” strut the runway.

Acknowledging God as the hand behind all good things, the ‘GAGA FOR FASHION SHOW’ started with a prayer by Mrs Soneye and the national anthem soon followed suit.

The two anchors for the night Missi and Oreka were really at their best and from their attires the show itself needs no introduction as a fashion show. The anchors soon invited Barrister (Dr) Afolabi, the chairman of Aishat Ajoke foundation to the stage to give a welcome address; the Barrister gave a moving address on the reason for the event and the Aishat Ajoke foundation.

The show thereafter kicked off properly with the first set of collections on the runway called “Aunty give me cake” and it was a sign of good things to come from the designers. This was followed by the first performance of the night from Lax, who rendered some hip hop tracks which brought the crowd to their feet. Another set of models were ushered in again on the runway for another set of collections called “Bimpe in wonderland” through which beautiful actress, Tonto Dikeh led other models to transport the audience to wonderland.

Coming after displays by “Bimpe in wonderland” was Godwon who came on stage and left everyone dazzled with his body movement and moves. His performances heralded the next collections called “crazy casuals” and the men were not left out with male models coming up with magnificent designs that were worth having in your wardrobes.

And if all the performances by the previous singers were fascinating, then the performance of the main act of the night, Banky W was hyper-fascinating as the crowd was unstoppable as the ladies’ man took to stage. Banky W did not disappoint them with tracks like you wan “Thief my kele”, “Capable”, the crowd couldn’t help but ask for more so much that one would think he’s in a musical show.

Then we have the evening casuals and collections being show cased. Paul Play was also in the house and his performance was proof of why people love him. And then came the moment everybody has been waiting for; the celebrities on the runway where we had Laide Bakare, Righteous man and the star of the runway Omotola who nearly stole the show away from the designers.

The conveners of the fashion show, Funke and Mariam Afolabi came on stage to give their votes of thanks and that brought the evening to an end and indeed it was a night when fashion and music came to town together.

The fashion show was well attended by eminent personalities like Ambassador Olusola, Barrister (Dr) Afolabi (MON), Agatha Amata, Foluke Daramola and many others.

Guest on the red carpet
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Guest on the red carpet
Guest on the red carpet
Guest on the red carpet
Guest on the red carpet
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Guests on the red carpet
Mr and Mrs Afolabi
Omotola on the runway

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Get the perfect gift this holiday season from Afro-chic etailer MyAsho.Com. Stocking unique, handmade gifts to suit all budgets from leading African designers including Jewel by Lisa, Ituen Basi and more.

London UK, 30th November 2010 – MyAsho.Com, presents the perfect gifts for lovers of African Fashion.

We have gift sets to suit all budgets – ranging from the £25 gift to the £250 gift. Included in these sets are unique, limited edition items by Africa’s “most innovative” designer Ituen Basi and R&B songstress Kelis favourite Jewel by Lisa. Also included are beautiful handmade clutches by Aimas, scarves by Urbanknit and gift cards with an African twist by Caxton Alile Design, which can be personalised with your private message.

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The MyAsho.Com Site (derived from the Yoruba word “aso” meaning cloth and pronounced “ash-awe”) is the first to connect global customers to the fast-growing African fashion industry. Launched in June 2009, visitors to MyAsho.Com are able to view and purchase items from top African womenswear designers and receive purchased products anywhere in the world within 24 hours.

Aimed at women aged 18 – 45, myasho.com stocks items for every occasion including casual and evening wear, bags, belts and jewellery. Products on the Site are ethically hand-crafted and produced in limited quantities, meaning customers can always be assured to find high-quality, inspired boutique style pieces at very affordable prices.

JEWEL BY LISA is fast becoming the young African brand to watch. Their “affordable luxury” collections are worn by the likes of R&B songstress Kelis, Dawn Richards of P Diddy group Dirty Money and Solange Knowles. Their pieces are ethically crafted using cotton print fabrics and embellished using sequins, beads and leather, which are all carefully hand sewn onto the fabric. Their current AW10 collection is currently available to purchase exclusively on www.myasho.com

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CAXTON ALILE design and create simple greeting cards which are now stocked on MyAsho.Com. These cards are unique and represent African culture and humour.

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The BEFFTA Awards (Black Entertainment Film, Fashion & TV Awards) was founded by award winning entrepreneur Pauline Long to celebrate the achievements of black and ethnic people in the industry. Winning the BEFFTA Award under the Best Female Fashion Designer category meant AsakeOge’s focus on creating individuality through contemporary customized clothing has been recognized.
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Since its launch in March 2009, AsakeOge has styled artists and personalities for events and went on to be runner up for the African Tourism Awards and also got a special recognition for entrepreneurial and business achievements. AsakeOge was also nominated and subsequently won the Best Female Fashion Designer for the BEFFTA Awards 2010.
The inspiration behind the designs come from her roots and the 2010 couture collection features exotic African animals and scenery hand painted with swarovski and jewel embellishments. The ready to wear collection features cutting edge designs in bold prints and tailored silhouettes with the ethnic influence apparent. The ready to wear draws from her couture roots with exaggerated shoulders, cinched waists and sharp silhouettes. It celebrates the classic feminine hourglass shape with a hint of the tribal. The limited edition range is available in exciting vibrant colours and tick all the trend boxes. They have the military cut dresses, the jumpsuit, the maxi, and lots more. They also offer these stunning designs on a made to order basis with a choice from their stock of exotic prints..
First seen on catwalks in 2009; the reappearance of wild animal prints and colorful African graphics in the London Fashion week and Paris Fashion week 2010 shows us that tribal prints are here to stay. What was once considered ethnic and merely afrocentric is now avant-garde and luxe. Everyone is now keener than ever to embrace the rich and vibrant culture that emanates so effortlessly from Africa, from the textures of the natural cloths to the prints and colors that appear so boldly and combine effortlessly.

The garments are handmade by Asake or manufactured under Fair Trade using mostly silk, cotton and linen which are natural fabrics. The limited edition ready to wear is a solution to the fashion victim who finds it easier to follow high street trends as AsakeOge instead designs and produces original, contemporary pieces that set the trend. As well as being available online, bespoke services are also offered for that one-off outfit you need to stand out in the crowd
AsakeOge Couture was founded by Asake Agoro from Nigeria. The intro collection was showcased in March 2009 at the London Metropolitan Fashion and Dance Charity Show when she was invited to come up with a collection for the fundraiser. The Couture collection was subsequently showcased March 2010 at the Fashion Fusion Expo and received rave reviews for its bold statement pieces.
A 3rd generation seamstress, growing up around the creative energy in a couture household enabled her to design and make garments for herself from the age of 15. She honed an innate skill by working with local tailors to produce one-off pieces that soon drew the attention of those around her who requested to have garments made for them

Asake herself says, “My passion for individuality is apparent in every work I create, for me the wow-factor is non negotiable in my hand made garments. I love to enter a room and make heads turn. I am inspired by designs from Vivienne Westwood, Alexander Mcqueen and would one day like to dress Michelle Obama and .”
The garments are now available to buy from the website www.asakeoge.com. The blog currently features the top picks from their line to wear for the party season. There is also a made to order service available by contacting sales@asakeoge.com

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HauTe partners up with 37thState, an indigenous production company to introduce HauTe TV a new fashion lifestyle program. The show will be featuring some of Africa’s finest designers and the latest and most exclusive fashion events.

The October issue of Genevieve Magazine features celebrated fashion designer Lanre Da Silva-Ajayi and Jewel by Lisa. Check out the clip below from HauTe TV.

Lanre Da Silva-Ajayi- The eponymous label of celebrated fashion designer Lanre Da Silva-Ajayi whose Victorian fused contemporary designs have made her a consistent fashion favourite.

Jewel by Lisa- JBL is a brand inspired by the international chic woman, heralded by Lisa Folawiyo who has perfected the art of making hand embellished ankara goodness.

Oladipo Oladapo- Genevieve Magazine photographer

Zara Okpara- Celebrity Stylist and Jewel by Lisa Public Relations manager

Ohimai Atafo- Stylist and Fashion designer of the Mai Atafo Inspired (MAI) label.

Happy Hump Day to you all. The weekend is near so don’t worry too much. You will soon be able to chuck up the deuces to your boss or professors till you have to report to your regular duties come Monday morning. Deal? (My guess is…no deal!)

Agbani Darego

Anyway, if you’ve cared to notice, you would realize a lot of celebrities have been sporting “tribal” or “ethnic” clothing as of late, according to fashion bloggers, journalists and critics. I have no problem with them calling it tribal or ethnic because as far as I am concerned I do not have time to school anyone on what it SHOULD (or rather what I think it should) be called. But while we’re on the subject why don’t they just say African prints or even better call out the actual name of the print the same way they go about saying “chiffon”, “silk” or “organza”.  Please know that within the category of African fabrics we have different kinds of materials such as lace, ankara, woodin, george, hollandais and the list can go on till kingdom come. But leave it to the fashion industry to generalize things that are “unknown” to them, on that note, let’s move on before I give myself high blood pressure.

It wasn’t until I heard someone say that they felt there was a resurgence of African Fashion. Come again? Now that tipped the scale for me. A what? Resurgence? For who? You or me? Maybe because it is a familiar sight to see our parents and families dressed in native so we don’t see it as anything new. This is something we identify ourselves with, culturally. The same way you might see an Indian woman wearing a sari. She is letting you know where she hails from. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the recognition that Africa is getting for all these African inspired collections by designers such as Paul Smith, Gwen Stefani’s L.A.M.B and even that Boxing Kitten mess (did I say that? Ooops!). But once someone feels like they have “discovered” something NEW as if it never existed, I will raise my hand and beg to differ. Don’t try and pull a Christopher Columbus on me! Don’t tell me I am the only one that feels this way! If so, na lie!

With that said, I appreciate African designers such as Duro Olowu, Mataano, Jewels By Lisa, Ozwald Boateng, Bunmi Koko and Deola Sagoe who are not only taking what they know which is their own African textiles to create beautiful clothing but are taking that of the “Western” world to bring about collections that are shocking to the self-proclaimed fashion know-it-alls. Showcasing a different kind of fashion. So whenever they ask, “OH MY GOD! AN AFRICAN DESIGNER ACTUALLY DESIGNED THESE GARMENTS?” Proudly respond with a resounding, “YES!”

In celebration of African Fashion, I want to shine a light on events that are taking place IN AFRICA solely to expose AFRICAN DESIGNERS. If our destiny is to take over the industry of fashion, so be it.

SWAHILI FASHION WEEK.

“Swahili Fashion Week is a platform for designers – both fashion and accessory – from Swahili speaking countries to showcase their creativity, market their art and network with their clientele. This is all aimed at promoting fashion as an income generating, job creating industry while emphasizing a “Made in East Africa” concept. Swahili Fashion Week is set to be an annual fashion extravaganza where by both new and veteran designers can showcase their work. Initiating a dynamic and promising platform for the fashion industry in the region, Swahili Fashion Week is geared towards being the most sought out after fashion platform in Eastern Africa for the international market.”

This series of shows will be held in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania from November 4th to the 6th. The duo behind the design label, Mataano, a line I always talk about will also be featured in this fashion week.

M-Net’s Face of Africa Top 12 Finalists modeled in last year’s Swahili Fashion Week.

THURSDAY 4TH NOVEMBER 2010

Start Time: 8.30 PM

Manju Msita
Sonu Sharma
Shelina Ibrahim
United Against Malaria
Farha Sultan
Tanzania Mitindo House
Kemi Kalikawe
Zamda George
Asia Idarous

FRIDAY 5TH NOVEMBER 2010

Start Time: 8.30 PM

Jamilla Swai
Marinella Rodriguez
Stella Atal
Kooroo
Mafi Designs
Moo Cow
Robi Morro
Made by Africa
Asos Africa

SATURDAY 6TH NOVEMBER 2010

Start Time: 8.30 PM

Emerging Designers Competition
Gabriel Mollel
Khadija Mwanamboka
KikoRomeo
John Kaveke
Chichia London
Mataano
Ailinda Sawe

In each post I will try my hardest to announce some events that are going on either in the States or Africa and of course anywhere else in the globe ’cause Lord knows Africans are all over this planet. We don’t die, WE MULTIPLY.

Next post…REVAMP YOUR NATIVE WARDROBE: MEN’S EDITION. Fellas are you ready for me? Till then…

Deuces!

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Ladies today must be your lucky day because this post is ALL ABOUT YOU. Gentlemen, excuse me this one time, the next one will be for you and ONLY you. Promise.
Now that summer has officially left the building and winter is underway, we ladies do not have the same privilege of showing off too much leg, some cleavage or even your shoulders without feeling it later. Eight times out of ten you’ll get sick just from exposing your body to Old Man Winter. So how do you go about covering up more skin and still make an attempt at preserving your ‘sexy’ all in the name of keeping warm? You improvise! Every skirt and dress does not need to ride sky high up your legs. While every neckline does not need to expose your chest to look more appealing.
I’ve found some alternatives for you to choose from for all your fall or winter events. Fashion should not put you on bed rest with the common cold or worse, the flu! Let’s get down to finding out how to do it the right way, shall we?
Designer: House of Nwocha
Invest in a Blazer and a Wide Leg Pant: Who said you can’t wear a them out to a party? Exactly! No one did. A fitted blazer is great to have but one with print ten times better.
Tip: In this approaching weather a three quarter sleeve is suggested. Have the blazer FIT your frame and stop just before the hips in length. As for the pants, always wear a blouse that hugs your upper torso to balance out the volume at the bottom. I dare one of you ladies to wear the photographed blazer and pants together, be that bold and you’ll get much respect!
Designer: Madam Wokie’s Couture
The Shift Dress: This is the dress that is the simplest of them all. Boat neckline, fitted bodice and pencil-like skirt bottom but with the right accessories and a great print its a totally different ball game.
Tip: For fall weather making this dress a little longer is necessary and even pairing it with stockings is a good idea so those precious legs stay warm. Wear a coat over it and once you enter the place, show off what you are working with.
Designer: Mataano
Try a Kimono Top and Pencil Skirt Combo Please: Loose blouses are the best! You don’t have to worry about your mid section bulging out too much, its pretty much a life saver. The open neckline is attractive and the sleeves can be as long as you want. Always pair a kimono-like blouse with a pencil skirt/skinny pants, once again to balance out the volume at the top.
Tip: Pair the skirt with stockings, wear round toe pumps and layer the blouse with a camisole underneath.
Designer: Ituen Basi
Put Some Sleeves On That: A lot of us girls have been going the strapless dress route, myself included. But let me tell you, sleeves these days are making dresses stand out.
Tip: So my advice is go wild with it, whether you like wide sleeves, long sleeves, puff sleeves or exaggerated sleeves. Like Nike, just do it.
Designer: Korto Momolu
Keep One Full Gown in Your Closet: With a gown like this, your whole body is pretty much covered but in the most eye catching way. The plunging neckline isn’t so bad with everything else being under wraps.
Tip: You can either put sleeves on the gown or keep it as you see it. Either way, it’s still weather appropriate.

Designer: Christiane King
The Mermaid Style Reigns Supreme: This style is still popular! Reason? It accentuates our curves and even if you feel you don’t have any… this style will lead onlookers to believe you do. Plus, this kind of gown will always cover you up. Case closed.
Tip: Now it all depends on your personal preference if you decide to add sleeves or straps.
Hope this helps ladies till next time…
Deuces.

Good afternoon ladies and gents! How’s your day looking? Sweet I hope. Now in the spirit of Fashion Week, where designers are showcasing their new collections all over the world, I’ve decided to give you a heads up on three designers that have caught my interest.
First up, we have Bunmi Olaye designer for Bunmi Koko. Now when I read about her via shefinds.com, I had no clue she was an esablished international designer who’d gained recognition from the First Lady Michelle Obama and South Africa’s beloved Nelson Mandela. She even snagged the African Fashion Award for the ‘Emerging International Designer of The Year – 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa. With press features in national magazines such as Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan and Vogue coupled with praises from the fashion industry for  being compared to the late Alexander McQueen, Miss Olaye is becoming a force to be reckoned with.

Bunmi Olaye photographed on the left and right in the middle at the African Fashion Week in Johannesburg, South Africa in July 2010, where she won her award mentioned above.

Looks from her Matriarchy Collection showcased back in July.

Michelle Obama commissioned Miss Olaye to create this ivory double breasted coat for her, which I feel is totally fit for the First Lady. To get more information on this phenomenal designer visit bunmikoko.com and thank me later.

Next up, we have a designer for the guys who know how to dress well. Those fellas that take no prisoners when it comes to their personal style. The gentlemen that knows how to coordinate pants and blazer with their tie and vest. Anyway designer Adrien Sauvage is for you! The Ghanaian designer is a triple threat adding stylist and photographer to his job title. He debuted his new collection under his A. Sauvage label ironically titled ‘This is not a Suit’ and it did make me swoon. I will confess that I am a sucker for a guy dressed in a well tailored suit as are a number of other girls. My brothers take note.

Adrien Sauvage photographed above was interviewed in gq-magazine.co.uk in August.

Campaign Ad for Native Armando Collection 7.10

Looks from his 2010 Autumn/Winter Collection, it’s for those who like a little color and for those who can do without check these out. For more on Adrien Sauvage, go to asauvage.com and feast your eyes. If you are not a fan of the fitted pant leg then get a nearby tailor to open them up for you.

Lastly, we have WeWe Clothing for our little toddlers. Owner Folake Kuye Huntoon came up with this line of clothing for toddlers and babies simply because she loved them. WeWe Clothing, wewe meaning little ones in Yoruba, is a brand that incorporates African wax prints into wearable fashions for children. WeWe Clothing has become a hit with celebs like Halle Berry and Julia Roberts while their online shopping site is getting a boat load of customers buying their products.

Owner, Folake Kuye Huntoon photographed left and a toddler sporting WeWe Clothing.

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Aren’t they cute? Well if you have or know some kids that would love great in WeWe Clothing, don’t hesitate to visit their site at weweclothing.com and shop. The prices are pretty decent for children’s clothing.

Indulge yourselves till next time…

Deuces.

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Hello, hello again people! How’s your Labor Day Weekend going? Now, if you’re as sad as I am to see the summer end, abeg raise that your hand. As this season dies down, I’d like to bring you some styles that I thought were a hit. Whether it was worn to that one wedding or birthday party or naming ceremony, they definitely banged it out in these designs. So first off I would like to shout out the ladies and gents that go hard when it comes to rocking native and most definitely to the tailors that catch the most heat when sewing all these extravagant designs! Well done o!

Oya let’s begin…

The one shoulder style still reigns supreme, we ladies have just found new ways to go about doing it. I thought this gown was lovely and that gold organza used for the shoulder piece was a perfect touch!

First of all, kudos to whoever tied her gele! Secondly, I applaud couples who find new ways to match. To my guys, if you’re not feeling the buba ati sokoto (shirt and pants) look, why not have a tie and pocket square made out of the aso ebi material. Now on to her gown, I love the way she used the solid material throughout this haltered dress. Love it!

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Another style I’ve seen take over was the backless dress with the high neckline in the front. You know business in the front with the party in the back kind of dress. Of course there were variations of this dress, when it comes to the sleeves, material and detail. To your left, she chose this gorgeous lace material, long sleeves with draping down the back. Whereas, on the right, she chose ankara, short puffy sleeves with a clean “V” neck in the back. Common denominator? They’re both knee length, which is more fun!

We have another couple, these two jumped the broom in STYLE. For instance this traditional change for the reception. The blushing bride is Nigerian while her husband is Togolese so this traditional attire hails from his country. I must say that I absolutely LOVE it! Of course they put their own spin to it but all in all it worked. Let’s just say all African countries GO HARD when it comes to weddings.

Even the little kiddies were getting it in-in their native and you can help but love the styles. Nothing too drastic just cute & sweet!

Lastly, the Peplum Style has been quite popular this season. This is where the top half has a short flared hemline then the bottom half is a fitted skirt. These three ladies pulled it off in three very different ways and looked good doing it.

I hope you enjoyed viewing these styles as much as I did. Feel free to get ideas from them while adding your own flavor to it. Till next time…

Deuces!

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This fall African beauty queen and former Miss Liberia, Tammie Garr who has graced the pages of magazines such as Uzuri, Supermodels Unlimited, Maxim, and Liberia Travel & Life will launch her luxury fragrance line – ROYALTY.

Miss Garr has teamed up with top international perfumer Eddie’s Perfume to create a high end fragrance line. Her debut fragrance will be designed to echo Tammie’s own glamorous persona.

Tammie joins the ranks of other successful celebrities in developing yet another creative outlet that captures her spirit. That outlet is fragrance – expressing oneself through scent. Royalty by Tammie Garr is lush, floral and feminine.

Described as a sensual, soft and intimate fragrance with notes of patchouli, cedarwood, vanilla and bergamot that evokes the rich, plush feeling of creamy cashmere, this lush and sexy scent will be for the woman who is not afraid to embrace her inner strength with this delicate and subtle mist.

The initial luxury collection will comprises of: Eau de Toilette spray 1.7 and 3.4 oz; Eau de Parfum spray 1.7 oz; Body Lotion; and Eau de Parfum rollerball.

Tammie Garr’s ROYALTY will be avaiable for purchase at Beautyjar.com,MyAsho.com,Tammiegarrfragrances.com and top boutiques in LA, New York, Washington, DC, and Africa.

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Africa Fashion Week in New York kicked off last week Thursday and knocked it out of the park showcasing a great range of designers who all individually showed us what their line was about. Let’s go through some of my favorite runway shots to get familiar with the designers courtesy of Afrikan Spot!

KOSIBAH

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UK based designer Kosibah is originally a bridal couture designer (who by the way may just be designing my future wedding gown) made it known that has ventured into making dresses and evening wear as well.

COTE MINOU

If you’re from the DC area, you would know of this duo, Cote Minou! Their collection consisted of funky separates from jackets, mini skirts, tapered pants and party dresses. I loved these pieces, the third outfit in particular.

AREWA DESIGNS

New York based Nigerian designer, Tosin Sowunmi of Arewa Designs made me proud with her uber edgy collection consisting of the colors yellow, black, teal and gold. I especially love the oversized yellow embellished jacket.

CHIANU INTERNATIONAL

Chianu International is a fairly new to me but I couldn’t help but fall in love with these pieces.

All in all, I cant wait for next year’s line up.

For more photos go to facebook.com/afrikanspot

and for information on these designers visit africafashionweekny.com.

Photo Credt: Afrikan Spot

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The Africa Fashion Week came to an end on the 3rd of July, 2010 and then came the Africa Fashion Awards which is held every year immediately after the fashion week. This year, the event took place on the 5th of July in Johannesburg, South Africa, and had some very exciting designers and stylists the list of winners. This year’s event was organised by Africa Fashion International.

Our very own Bella Naija beat out Uduak Uduok of LadyBrille to win the award for “Outstanding contribution to fashion communications,” and the International Designer of the year award went to  Duro Olowu. Here is the complete the list of winners:
Designer of the Year (Africa): Black Coffee (South Africa)

Designer of the Year (International): Duro Olowu (Nigeria/British)

Emerging Designer of the Year – Africa : Ituen Basi (Nigeria)

Emerging Designer of the Year – International : Bunmi Koko (Nigeria/British)

Retailer of the Year: www.Africhic.com

Model of the Year: Sesilee Lopez

Top Makeup Artist: Pat McGrath

Stylist of the Year: Edward Enniful (Ghana)

Accessories Designer of the Year: Albertus Swanepoel (South Africa)

Menswear Designer of the Year – Africa: Stiaan Louw (South AFrica)

Menswear Designer of the Year – International: Ozwald Boateng (Ghana/British)

Male Style Influencer: Michael Jackson

Female Style Icon: Grace Jones

Outstanding Contribution in Photography: Koto Bofolo

Outstanding Contribution to Fashion Communications: Bella Naija (Nigeria)

Outstanding Contribution for Hair Direction: Saadique Ryklief

Most Outstanding Fashion Contribution: Marianne Fassler(South Africa)

Lifetime Achievement Award: Yves Saint Laurent, Azzedine Alaïa and Joseph Joseph Ettedgui

Pics below courtesy of Fashion Africa:

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African Fashion Rocks NYC was a success and I have photos to prove it. Designers from all over came together in NYC to bring in a new way of looking at fashion. Among them were Kreatif Designs, Galapego, Bewaji, Fabric Twinz, Violet Couture, Lenoche, OYATO and of course Oga Ju Couture. The organizer of the event, Sheye Owolabi-Oshoro, also the designer for Oga Ju Couture did a great job with the show and I commend her efforts. Now on to these pictures…shout out to Fola Lawal Photography.

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Nykki Nichole & Cinnamon Overdose Band

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The make up was on point!

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Models prepping backstage!

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Lenoche Designs

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Kreatif Designs being interviewed on the red carpet.

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Kreatif Designs on the runway.

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Fabric Twinz on the runway!

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The lovely Bewaji…fabulous!

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Aminat Ayinde being interviewed on the red carpet.

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The crowd after the event.

Hopefully we have another event like this because this was a loads of fun!

Kudos to Oga Ju Couture!

Deuces!

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New style-focused Pan-African Reality TV Show hosted by former Miss World, Agbani Darego set to air this summer

“You better go and think of a real career!” That was the response that most African parents would give when their children suggested that they wanted to enter the world of fashion. Perhaps as a model, fashion stylist, fashion designer, photographer, makeup artist or even a fashion photographer.

Thanks to the success of fashion pioneers including Iman, Oluchi and Liya Kebede, things are changing. Fashion is being recognized as a worthy profession.

An exciting new Pan-African Reality TV show – STYLOGENIC is set to propel African fashion and those that aspire to join the industry to greater heights.

STYLOGENIC is a show like no other. Rather than being based on the search for a top model or designer or stylist, the show is based around the concept of a style team! So contestants are going to be grouped in teams consisting of the various ‘style elements’. That is a model, designer, stylist, makeup artist, photographer and model. They will compete as a team and will battle it out with fellow teams for the grand prize!

The show recently held a media presentation in Lagos which was attended by the host, one of the most famous women in Africa – Former Miss World, Agbani Darego. Agbani won the Miss World crown in 2001, making her the first and only black African to ever win the title. She went on to have a successful modeling career which included a stint as a L’Oreal International “Face” and Spokesperson, numerous commercial ad campaigns and features in US Vogue and Essence magazine.

Entries for the show will open soon and entries will be accepted from all eligible Africans based on the continent and in Diaspora. The show will begin airing in September 2010.

Prizes are yet to be revealed but from what we hear, it’s MAJOR!

It promises to be an immensely exciting show!

We will fill you in with more information on the show as the air date draws closer.

Agbani Darego at the Stylogenic Presentation
Agbani Darego at the Stylogenic Presentation

Agbani Stylogenic Invite
Agbani Stylogenic Invite

Models at the Stylogenic Event
Models at the Stylogenic Event

Presenter Agbani Darego at the Stylogenic Presentation
Presenter Agbani Darego at the Stylogenic Presentation

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Hey you all! I know I’ve been gone for a minute but I’m back with the jump off! Well at least another Friday Fashion Fix.

I was snooping around some blogs and came across KennyNAIJA‘s blog at kennynaija.com and he had a post on Alicia Keys’ video shoot with Beyonce in Brazil for her newest single, Put it in a Love Song so I thought I’d share it with you all. Miss Keys and Miss Knowles were both dressed in clothing made of, what looks like, ankara. Check out some photos and enjoy!

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I can dig some of the clothes while others I am just stuck on what to say so I will throw the question out to you and ask, Is Ankara for Everyone?

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Hey you guys! I apologize for my absence last Friday. The Naija Independence celebrations had not even started and I was already knee deep into the planning of my weekend events. That weekend has passed and I have recovered. What of you? If so, let me just say this, THANK GOD ITS FRIDAY!

Do you mind if I take a stroll down memory lane…? No? Okay, here goes!

I remember back in 199-something, I was decked out in aso-oke at my grandfather’s memorial service (God rest his soul). I was matching with my brothers and sisters in this yellow and baby blue aso-oke with the gele top it off. While my brothers are scratching themselves to death because of the itchy aso-oke. I remember feeling so good in it. Why? I guess I loved it. When we got to the reception and my mum asked me if I’d wanted to change into my English dress, I answered no. So ever since I could remember, I’ve always had a love for African prints and fabrics. It was fascinating to me. The different shapes that were either embroidered or printed onto the material. The many colors that were put together to form an intricate design. Even the texture of the materials intrigued me.  Today with this new found appreciation for the African print buzzing around among Africans and non-Africans alike, it makes me swell with pride. ‘Cause when I was younger, I can not think of a handful of us that wanted to be caught dead in our native attire. You can correct me if I’m wrong.

Now we have designers who are not African, such as Marc Jacobs, SUNO by Max Osterweis and Paul Smith, boasting of their African inspired collections featuring African prints in their clothes. It makes me proud to know that the whole of Africa is being recognized for something else than poverty and turmoil.

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SUNO by Max Osterweis

JAG2Marc by Marc Jacobs

JAG3Paul Smith

I take pride in all that Africa has to offer, especially in its textiles and fashion industries. Just seeing all the Naija people celebrate last weekend, sporting their green and white, lace/ankara dress, kaftans and so on made me feel good. All I’m trying to say is keep the African influence going. People will catch on.

Deuces!

Visit me at oyato.blogspot.com