Keji Ewuosho
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Sunday, 27 November 2016 17:57

Winter's Line & Dot

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'...classy yet eclectic silhouettes that encourage women to express their individuality...' www.thelineanddot.com. This is the very reason why Line and Dot have successfully been able to attract above-the-highstreet trendsetters. For a Sunny-California-based brand, they also manage to design some stylish coats for us Winter folk! Enjoy my favourite pieces!

(From top to left)

- Blanche Eco Fur Jacket; faux fur jacket with whiskey colour block
- Dalida Moto Sweater Jacket; black ribbed knit with vegan leather Moto jacket
- Wren Maxi Coat; wool and acrylic with polyester lining

What are your thoughts on Line and Dot's collections?

Monday, 17 October 2016 09:34

Shop Minku

I met Kunmi, founder and designer of MINKU, at a local handmade designer market in Barcelona. It was by far my most interesting encounter at the market that day; a designer who uses the rich and unique attributes of the Nigerian culture, and infuses it into handmade and practical goods. Each Minku item is covered in handmade love and personalised features. It seems that no Minku item is designed exactly the same way. A Minku bag is definitely a lifetime and unique wardrobe piece! Enjoy some of my favourite pieces....

The Ebute Metta Fringe Clutch:

100% leather exterior and strap; with hand-stiched expandable sides.

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Palerin Walet:

100% leather exterior, with aso-oke coin-pocket lining.

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The Ibaka Work and Weekend Bag:

Mustard yellow vegetable-tanned cow leather with a mesh lamb-leather side pocket

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Visit www.minku.com for more beautifully handmade leather goods!

Saturday, 20 August 2016 09:28

You Are What You Oil

Skin care regime can be tasking; and with the overload of information circling the Internet, it's hard to find the right stuff.

Solution: educate yourself and the skin care ingredients and their benefits. Like the body, the skin needs the right nutrients. We should take advantage of the information age, and know what we are feeding our skin. The Internet can be your best friend (if you use it properly).

Feel free to share your recommended products!

1. Red Flower Kinmoxei Wild Lime Silk Oil.

This contains (amongst several others) rice bran oil, which is an antioxidant.

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2. Mukti Antioxidant Facial Oil

As its name suggests, it's a great antioxidant product. The pomegranate and carrot seed oils give it its nutritional boost.

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3. Your Best Face Private Reserve Antioxidant Oil

With a simple base of meadowfoam oil along with vitamin E, your skin is sure to have the basic nutrients.

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Keji x

Monday, 25 July 2016 08:59

Lux in the Sun

Loving the minimal looks by luxury designer, Joseph. I came across this brand a few years back, and I absolutely love the comfort-luxury style! My take on Joseph's creative direction is that it uses a canvas of quality and luxury; and allows the individual to add and personalise as they wish.

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- Check Jacquard Nicol Blouse
- Nappa Leather Scandal
- Scuba Jog Pants

www.joseph-fashion.com 

What isyour favourite Joseph piece?

Tuesday, 14 June 2016 09:32

Made By Keji

My latest collection, #madewithlovebykv, puts sustainability at the heart of fashion. Being rooted and connection with my hometown, I am able to source supplies and fabrics from local businesses in Kano, Nigeria. I'm constantly inspired by the textiles found in small local businesses- it's almost certain you won't see it anywhere else. Being able to support these small enterprises and give back to my community definitely drives what I do.

Where did the name for the collection come from?

Being a part of the whole making of the collection; from sketching to sampling, means that every piece has my customer in mind. What makes the KV person comfortable, bold, and unique? Personal touch sometimes gets compromised when making multiple pieces and we sometimes get too focused on following a theme or following trends that do not necessarily reflect our customers needs.

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New features in the latest collection include:

• Real model size for guidance
• Plain colour fabric options available to customise your order
• Easy-to-access Size chart

Enjoy!

 

Thursday, 19 May 2016 19:22

Sustainable Style

Maison de Mode, a US-based online luxury fashion retailer, prides itself in showcasing fashion that represents sustainability. Unfortunately, sustainability has been an ambiguous word thrown around to make products more appealing to consumers, lobbyists and other members of the public. But what does it really mean? Is sustainability relatable and directly linked to the consumer? And the big question for fashionistas- is style comprised on the platfotform of ethical standards in fashion?

Maison de Mode does a great job in bridging the gap between consumers and such standards: it is now easier to understand how your every day fashion choices can make an impact in our society and environment- without all the sustainability jargon!

See what it's designers are doing to earn the sustainability badge:

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Achu Parpat Vintag (by Mola Sasa)

Mola Sasa used artisanal techniques with beautiful intricate woven details in this bag. Creating handmade pieces means artisans can compete in a world of homogenised mass production. Let's not forget the recycled materials used, which means we can be more responsible for the materials we consume.

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Kimono Dress Shirt (by Maiyet)

It's great when high-end designers promote small, artisanal designers. Many companies take advantage of work factories in developing countries- it's nice to see that individual designers and dress makers can be paid decently for what they do- without compromising on quality. Maiyet also donate a portion of their proceeds to ocean-related charities. Not bad!

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Oversized long coat (by Shipper)

Shipper partners with organisations that help sustainable businesses which allows them to grow and make profits. So as you lavish yourself in this tweed coat, you'll feel even better knowing that you also contributed to the success of other sustainable businesses!

What are your thoughts on sustainable businesses in fashion?

Friday, 08 April 2016 10:43

Give the cold shoulder

This season loves the bardot style - the off-shoulder. Whether you're going somewhere fancy, or just hanging out with friends, there's pretty much a bardot suitable for every occasion.

The off - shoulder style is definitely flattering; but if you don't enjoy baring all shoulders and collar bone, you can opt for ones that hang on the hinges of the shoulders or the cut out styles.

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What's your favourite bardot style?

Monday, 29 February 2016 09:23

Styling with Stella

Some months back I came across the Stella&Dot brand; a New-York based luxury and high-street jewellery brand. What stood out to me the most about Stella&Dot is it’s universal element: you can get some ladies together across different generations and everyone will find something to their liking. The timeless qualities inherent in these pieces is the sophistication and simplicity of the gold, silver and copper colours; attractive to anyone who appreciates effortless and easy-to-coordinate jewellery.

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A great mother’s day gift idea!

Wednesday, 27 January 2016 18:46

Wardrobe Staples For 2016

Whether it's the oversized boy-cut blazer; a tassel-embellished accessory; or the block-heels sandals, retro fashion has made a come-back and is here to stay!

Comfort and style - what's not to love?

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Handmade Wool Coat & Mule Sandals - Zara
Fringed Suede Bag - Mango

What new season pieces are you adding to your wardrobe?

Keji x

Sunday, 06 December 2015 19:29

All I Want for Christmas...

There's something about the festivities that makes us want to do something special with our wardrobe style. More so for those of us who spend Christmas time celebrating the birth of Christ- the reason for the season!

So, as my custom is, I'm sharing a few 'must - buy' pieces that include both Highstreet high-end and mainstream prices. Rather than break the bank to look good for the special occasion, why not mix it up? It's amazing how styling your wardrobe can really bring out class and elegance - all on a budget!

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Gold Tone Woven Necklace (topshop.com)
Light Grey Low Rise (riverisland.com)
Layered Print Blazer (kejivictoria.com)
'Wizard' Low Heeled Boots (kurtgeiger.com)
Block Tote Bag (debenhams.com/Red-Herring)

What are your favourite pieces this season? Let me know your thoughts!

Friday, 30 October 2015 12:12

Fall Girl

We are enjoying the mild Autumn weather so far, and it's by far one of the best fashion seasons! There is something effortless and yet graceful about Autumn and it definitely reflects in the trends.

Check out my top 3 fashion picks you can treat yourself with!

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- Boot leg jeans (Citizens of Humanity)
- Silver brogues (Meandher)
- Black back-pack (Burberry Prorsum)

What are your wardrobe treats this month?

Keji x

Wednesday, 16 September 2015 15:31

Fashionably Autumn

Autumn could possibly be favourite fashion season for many designers. You an play around with layering while using earthy, rich colours.
Check out my top picks for this new season below.

What are your favourite autumn pieces? Let us know by commenting below!

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From top left:

Zara cropped sweater
Topshop Velvet skirt (by Unique)
Mango Carla coat
Vero Mod 2-pack necklace
Zara Suede platform ankle boots
Mango stud cross body bag

Tuesday, 11 August 2015 21:10

My Fashion Africa

KEJI'S BLOG

This year's Africa Fashion Week London (AFWL) didn't fail to meet our expectations once again. 2015's designer list was well picked: selection of diversity, creativity and culture. Here are some designers of AFWL 2015 that made my cut:

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Joanna Mitroi Photography

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 Njema Helena

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Mary Martin London

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 Joanna Mitroi Photography

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Caroline Beyll

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Steve Mandy top dress

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What are your favourite picks from 2015's AFWL?

Designer details can be found on: www.africafashionweeklondon.com

Wednesday, 15 July 2015 19:42

Keji's Picks: Summer-time cool...

Summer trends are about the whites and blues! Here in the UK, we've witnessed one of the hottest, clearest summers in a long time (holds breath). There is no better time than to clean out your wardrobe and reach out for summer-stylish pieces before the greys set back in.

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From top-left: 

  • Shoes: Chloé Navy Leather Slingback Wedge
  • Dress: Miguelina Brudgette Crochet Caftan
  • Skirt: See By Chloe Denim A-Line Skirt
  • Top: Nicholas Lace Crop Top
  • Choker: Jennifer Fisher
  • Bag: Valentino Rainbow Striped Flap Shoulder Bag

Let me know your thoughts on my favourite High-Street-inspired pieces!

Thursday, 07 May 2015 18:35

African Fashion Conference

A big congratulations to Jacqueline Shaw and the rest of the Africa Fashion Guide team for organising this event. As a designer, I definitely left being more informed, more connected to the industry and more inspired to take my fashion brand, 'Keji Victoria', to new heights. Every guest panelist gave a unique and seasoned insight into the Africa Fashion industry. Enjoy my highlights below!

*Please note that all content including those in speech bubbles have been paraphrased for the purpose of this blogger platform.

Highlights of the Africa Fashion Conference

African Fashion Market

This segment of the conference was insightful in highlighting the highs and lows of the African fashion scene as a whole, and the individual businesses within it. The panel of guest speakers celebrated the opportunities that fashion players have to showcase their businesses. For example, Lagos and Johannesburg Fashion Weeks are quite large in scale, and a great way to showcase national and international talent. However, the scheduling of these Fashion Weeks could be more organised and structured-perhaps parallel to the existing international shows.

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'The Africa Fashion Market' section at the #FAConf2015

Beatrace Oola, the Founder and Managing Director of Africa Fashion Day Berlin (AFDB), shared why such opportunities for designers, buyers and sellers to meet and network are created. By bringing different aspects of the supply chain together, the Africa fashion scene can begin birthing reliable and sustainable production and selling structures. Buyers or sellers who are committed to attending and making transactions at trade shows such as 'Premium Berlin', will be treated with respect in the industry, which will translate into committed clients and services in the long term.

Sustainability and environmentally aware designers are definitely the future of Africa fashion. Abrima Erwiah, co-founder of Studio 189, shared an insight into her business vision. 'It's not just about trends, it's about quality. We focus on the local artisans and the supply chain contributing to the quality of every item'. She went on to give some business advice- 'don't try to do everything by yourself; focus on your strengths and collaborate with others who possess things that will compliment yours'.
Rosario Dawson, co-founder of Studio 189 along with a remarkably diverse portfolio, added, 'take time to work on what you have. As a designer, do the ground work and emphasise on quality. Presentation is key, and the story that goes behind your work is equally important and interesting'.

Samson Soboye, owner of Fashion and Lifestyle store, Soboye, gave a refreshing aspect to the consumer-side of the fashion industry: 'the visuals, image, and quality of garments are the foremost important things when selling to consumers. Before the consumer hears the story behind any work, they would have made up their minds on whether they like it or not, based on the above criteria.' Soboye left us with thoughts to ponder on; 'A business is not a business without money! What infrastructure do we have? Are there resources to get to the next level? Is it sustainable in the long term?'

Africa is Open for Business

This segment gave great insight into how far Africa has come in being receptive to the Fashion business, and whether fashion players still experience barriers to building successful businesses. The host, Hannah Pool of The Guardian Newspaper, asked the guest panellists what they believed to be the key challenges in doing business in Africa;

Jordine Bartlett, of Financial Times Lifestyle, stated that, 'time is of the essence! Working to time is needed, so that we can be recognised and respected on a global scale'.

Sindiso Khumalo, brand owner and Creative Director of Sindiso Khumalo, added that time and quality control may be lacking in certain places. She advised the need to invest resources and time in the actual market of operation. Some people spend little time studying and investing into their market- which can be the reason why quality is lacking.

Yemisi Makualu, of Hatch Africa, went on to emphasise that African consumers may lack patience. Most of these consumers want to make quick money. Business takes time, and sometimes it's not just about putting something out, but about investing in the right places.

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Networking at the #FAConf2015

Sourcing From Africa

The final segment I attended focused on the supply chain within the industry.

One of the questions asked by host, Abi Rushton, of Aid by Trade Foundation, was 'what determines your sourcing decisions?'

Daphne Kasambala, owner of Sapelle, shared that having a network of people all over Africa helps because there is little budget to physically travel and meet with different suppliers. She went on to say that Kenya has great potential for sourcing, drive and the curiosity to create from raw/local materials. They are good at taking things from their raw state and recreating something unique.
Paola Masperia, owner of Mayamiko, said that her company is committed to sourcing locally, 'which means we can't always source all the fabrics we wish for. But we are contributing to the local economy....' She highlighted that the trading agreements need to greatly improve in Africa. For example, it's easier to trade and supply fabric around Europe due to the existing trading blocs; but this proves very challenging between African countries.

Another question was put through the the panelists; 'how do small businesses find cost-effective ways to produce in small quantities?'

Paola: 'there are great initiatives available so that you can collaborate with other designers and businesses when ordering to off-set extremely high costs. Otherwise, focus on your chosen market and customers for your collection'. Paola noted that focusing on your consumers allows you to order according to demand- which may be for a short term basis.

Daphne: 'diversify your portfolio, search for different manufacturers so you are not limited to one way and terms of production'

Madeleine Rosberg, of Responsibly Africa, also added that 'some African markets are open to small businesses- such as Kenya, Ethopia, Uganda, etc. In such places it is easier to find the right manufacturer who can produce the smaller quantities you desire. It's about searching for the right manufacturer.'

How did you find the #FAConf2015? Please share your comments below, and feel free to share this post!

Sunday, 01 February 2015 21:01

Keji Picks: Winter Greys

Winter is stereotypically for dark and neutral colours. They can be minimal yet striking; easily accessorised; and flattering to a lot of body shapes. So while some people cannot wait for this 'brrrr' season to be over, it's great for style- and some of us look forward to digging out some winter love!

Our main pick today is River Island's Grey Draped Jacket; below are descriptions of how to complement this piece!

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1. If you have a special do but do not want to brave the cold bare, try a midi body con dress which perfectly compliments the draped jacket. Why not add a funky clutch bag?
2. For the chick-girl-next-door look, sophisticated heel boots (which are great with skinnys) always puts a kick to any girl's step!
3. Adding print to your winter wardrobe can be pulled off well when minimal.
4. Add splash of colour in a simple yet striking way. You cannot really say no to lipstick prints (black tunic)!

What are your favourite winter pieces/accesories?
Sunday, 28 December 2014 17:36

Keji’s Picks: New Year Style

Got a New Year's eve celebration party? Working with a budget? Don't want to compromise style for comfort? Well, I've got 5 picks from our favourite High Street brands that are sure to turn heads (but not your wallets!).

When it comes to styling, I'm all up for convenience- I almost loathe the idea that I have to spend hours tossing and flinging clothes from my wardrobe to find the perfect outfit. An easy way is to pick your favourite/must wear item, and then pick a few items that go with it. This season, I LOVE the Lipstick Mule heels by Miss Selfridge (middle of collage); enjoy my favourite picks! Let me know your thoughts...
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What are your favourite items, and how would you match them?

Styles:
1. Asos Jumpsuit & Topshop Necklace
2. Topshop Bralet & Miss Selfridge Skort
3. Topshop Bralet & Miss Selfridge Midi Skirt
4. Lavish Alice Shirt, Miss Selfridge Midi Skirt & River Island Leather Jacket
5. River Island Leather Jacket & OML London Dress
Sunday, 30 November 2014 15:08

All Shades of Glamour...

Got that special end of year/new year party do? A lot of thought and effort goes into glam and style- and sometimes we just want that look that will keep our #selfie game strong. Whether it's the dark smokey eyes, or the bronze tone, here are my favourite looks from 2014!

Let me your thoughts...
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Fiery Soul

Solange's Wedding, November 201. 

Subtly dark eyes with fiery red lips is the perfect blend of the day and night look.
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Young & Free

Blake Lively in the Cannes Music Festival.

Playful yet flirty look suits every 'girl next door': effortless but stylish!
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Black Gold

Kelly Rowland at the Billboard Music Awards.

Dark and gold colours-both as makeup and accessories are classics for the party of the year.
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Natural Glow

JLo at the Atelier Versace Show. 

Stay forever young with natural colours and bronze tones. You just can never go wrong with a minimal glow.

What are your favourite looks?
Friday, 29 August 2014 20:01

Black on neutral everything (VMAs2014)

My fashion highlights of 2014's MTV Video Music Awards in no particular order; it was only after selecting my favourites that I spotted the trending black, whit and neutral colours. Even trend setters need to use neutral shades to consistently get it right. And as they say; less is more. I definitely give a 10/10 to these stars that played it colour-safe. Each style is exquisite, timeless and fashion-call worthy!
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Beyonce in a Nicolas Jebran gown, Lorraine Schwartz jewellery and Christian Louboutinworld shoes.
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Holland Roden in Rupert Sanderson pumps.
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Kendall Jenner in La PerLa, Jennifer Fisher and Giuseppe Zanotti
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Kelly Rowland in Lorraine Schwartz jewels.
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Solange in H&M studio suit.
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Chanel Iman in Balmain.

What were your favourite looks from the VMAs? Sound off on the comments below!
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 16:16

Zara's Print-on-the-run Sale!

New print campaign #afroprintspirebyk will share my LOVE for Afrocentric prints. Feast your eyes on these ankara-inspired prints in #Zara's 2014 Summer sale! Sometimes it can be hard to match your African print with your day-to-day clothing. But when it's summer, there really are no rules to matching bright colours!

How would you rate each piece? Comment below!

Casual slouch print
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Day time chic print
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Play date print
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Boyfriend vest print
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Tuesday, 15 April 2014 21:01

Paris in The Fall

The Adama Paris Collection for Fall 2014 is amazing by every standard. What Africans typically associate with carrier bags, the designer has used the woven loincloth to create outstanding art statements for the body. The Senegalese influence and wax lining strengthens each piece as a stand-alone wonder.

Feast your eyes!
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Wednesday, 26 February 2014 16:16

Mama Nyah!

Those who know me personally, know that if you ever get me started on my year abroad in Germany (oh, what did I tell you...), I could easily have you as my captive audience for the next half an hour- but I resist digressing! When I stumbled on the brand 'Nyah und Ich' some time back, you could almost imagine my excitement and instant connection with them. The language presentation, use of first person and bold statement of ankara, is a bona fide statement of culture and style. And that's before we even look at their work in detail; the beautiful hand-made crafting and delicate finishing on each piece.

It's always good to see ankara and African-inspired fashion come to life through Western eyes and taste. Some times its hard and impractical to wear a clash of bold colours just to head down the street, or to go pick up a few necessities. But 'Nyah und Ich' is fashion that speaks 'convenience in unique style'. The regular person just wants something comfortable, easy to style and accessorise with and trendy. No longer do you have to compromise style for comfort; throw on a slouchy (or fitted) piece of 'Nyah und Ich', and feel good about your style.

Love them as much as I do?! Check them out here: www.nyahundich.blogspot.co.uk 

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Modestly stylish and classy!
Saturday, 28 December 2013 22:22

That's so 2013 - Fashion Flashbacks!

This year has seen some unique and trend-setting fashion pieces. While some have been in full view of the public at large (mainly blared on our TV and laptop screens), some have definitely gone under the radar. Regardless, it's worth celebrating style and those who graciously embodied it. Enjoy my favourite pieces as I mark down the year 2013!

January's Pick; the beautiful Alicia Keys in a Michael Kors number. This dress almost went under the radar during the inauguration with Michelle Obama, Beyonce and a few others taking centre stage at different times. Red dresses are always statement pieces when rocked in the right way, 10 points to Alicia!
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Dress by Michael Kors

February's Pick; Guiliane Rancic looked elegant and suave in a nude Carlos Miele gown! Great detail and well draped around her petit figure.
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Gown by Carlos Miele

March's Pick; in this vogue cover, Beyonce looked fierce decked in Givenchy. And check out those plexiglass cone high heels with elastic straps!
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Givenchy ensemble

April's Pick; Zoe Zandala wearing a Calvin Klein piece in Berlin, Germany this year. Zoe is definitely my April girl...effortlessly classy!
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Calvin Klein ensemble

May's Pick; Sarah Jessica Parker at the BAFTA Awards. In love with this Ellie Saab jumpsuit choice! It sits on her body like a glove, and definitely a worthy substitute to an Awards-fitting dress.
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Jumpsuit by Ellie Saab

June's Pick; LOVE Emma Watson in this ensemble, at the 'This is the End' premiere. 2013 was definitely the year of jumpsuits.
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Top by Roland Mouret, pants by Phillip Lim and heels by Salvatore Ferrangamo

July's Pick; The Chanel Show at the Paris Fashion Week Haute-Couture 2013-2014 event. Alexa Chung may just be my golden girl for 2013. That may be because she chose to wear two of my favourite things; lace and velvet! My fashion forecast is- the reign of cute velvet dresses. Talk about vintage galore.
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Lace by Chanel

August's Pick; subtle and elegant make a mouth-watering pair in this ZAC Zac Posen dress, worn by Crystal Reed at the MTV VMAs last August!
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Dress by ZAC Zac Posen

September's Pick; Kate Middleton with Prince William at the Tusk Conservation Awards, wearing a dress by Jenny Packham. On a side note, has Kate ever worn an ugly dress (since she became the Duchess of Cambridge)? I think not.
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Dress by Jenny Packham

October's Pick; Blake Lively looked sweet in a Olivier Rousteing Balmain Paris 2014 collection. Nothing says classic-retro than an off-shoulder, quilted touch and a box pleated skirt!
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Dress from the Olivier Rousteing Balmain Paris 2014 collection

November's Pick; Chanel Iman at the Screening of the movie; 'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom'. No words! But to name a few stunning attributes in this appearance; the geometric cuts and draping, the fish tail drop, Iman's gorgeous skin...!
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Gown from J Mendel's 2014 collection

December's Pick; putting aside the 'deep' amount of flesh-baring, this Antonio Beradi two-piece suit is a 'jaw-dropping', 'all-eyes-on-me' piece. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley looks fearless, and it's hard not to in that suit!
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Two-piece by Antonio Beradi

What are your favourite pieces of 2013? Comment below!

Modestly stylish and classy.
Monday, 04 November 2013 22:08

Trending with leggings

We've become more and more fascinated with leggings than every before. More so 'treggings', but I'm really not so fussy about terms, especially when they only seem to keep evolving by one or two letters each time. But for the curious, treggings, in my opinion and in the most simple way, give a trouser fit but a leggings' feel. Its great really, no longer do we have to walk around with leggings that do nothing for the shape; the 'treggings' evolution now allows us to portray a slim, figure-hugging posture in the most flattering way.

But I'll keep it simple; we are loving the figure-flattering leggings! The patterns of what seems like a re-vamped wardrobe piece has been sculptured to fit unto the human body, in just the right places. And while we love to keep up with what's hot in fashion, its not always easy to find the right outfit for our leggings. Here are a few ways to keep recycling our fashion-favourite while looking chic and stylish every time!

Ofcourse, there are a lot more ways to wear your leggings (or skinnys), but I find these four ways to be pretty distinct and easy to create. So whether you are going for a smart/casual look for a semi-formal function (1), wanting the comfy, casual, yet chic look (2), up for a snazzy 'ready-to-hit-the-town' look (3), or just the retro girl on the block (4), its leggings all-day, every-day!
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How would you style your leggings for a 5-day week?
Thursday, 19 September 2013 16:36

Let's hear it for Minkoff, New York...

My favourite runway from the New York Fashion Week so far is Rebecca Minkoff's Spring 14 collection. There are three Cs that I believe make up the best wardrobe for the working, up and running 21st century lady; Class, Chic and Comfort! We have gotten so used to associating 'chic' with Victoria or Kim's 8/9 inch heels and skin-tight leather pieces. However, some of us want to be able to run around in some comfortable loafers without loosing the much-desired chic and classy attributes. Rebecca Minkoff nailed these three elements in each of her SS14 runway pieces. The subtle boyish and care-free cuts do not compromise the feminine touch that the floral and delicate prints create. Not to talk of the soft colours Minkoff uses, which screams, 'the elegant lady of Spring'. And finally, Minkoff's Spring collection should be our number 1 inspiration for our High-street buys because of its multi-functional use. You can either wear a Rebecca Minkoff for an up-town shopping spree, or doll up and add some stilettos for a formal do.

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Sound off your comments on your favourite collection/s of the week so far!
Wednesday, 14 August 2013 17:15

AFWL - An African Explosion

I attended the Day 1 exhibition of the AFWL 2013 show and met with a few designers and their unique brands. Engaging with each designer and getting to learn about how they started, their inspirations, and where they hope to be in the near future, was definitely the highlight of my time there. Take a look at a few of my sneek peeks.

Vou Brown is a boutique that houses a wide range of designers. I had to take a few snaps of my favourite designer pieces; accessories in ankara are always favourite wardrobe piece to brighten up any staple number.

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I was privileged to meet with Dionne, the owner of another unique accessories brand. I fell in love with a few items that had particularly afro-centric prints, which are also a great blend with every day wardrobe items.
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Kiyana Wraps is a revolutionary brand that makes head wraps a convenient go-to piece, and a permanently styled accessory. The variety of colours and textures of these wraps also means head wraps aren't just for particular garments. Not to mention that these wraps can be re-styled!
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Wednesday, 07 August 2013 11:41

Vintageous

A while back I attended a pattern cutting course and had the privilege of learning about industry secrets to styling and pattern manipulation. We were also shown some major throwback pieces from as far back as the 1940s! You can literally smell the vintage, musky scent by looking at these pics. But in ladies fashion some things never change, and that is the use of lace, beads, or brooches to bring out a classic wardrobe piece.

Enjoy!

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Side View Navy Blue Jacket

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Front View Navy Blue Jacket

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Soft Petit Ladies Jacket

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Embroidery Jacket

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Ladies Indoor Gown
Monday, 24 June 2013 15:04

Colour Coated

Fashion campaigns generally advertise the designer's most recent collection and depicts its embedded ethos. This season, the best campaigns tend to be the ones that are advocates of colour and diversity. Both being synonyms to each other. There is always something about such campaigns that appeal to a wider audience, and welcomes authentic creativity in choice for both the designer, and the consumer. Take a look at few of my favourite campaigns from this year so far. I have only had to come across a few of them and mentally my summer has already begun on an exotic Caribbean island, or an Atlantic cruise.
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This is one of many that epitomises colour and diversity. Models engaged in 'talking' to the camera by displaying qualities of multiculturalism. Its amazing how a European multinational company has used its campaigns to reach the shores of every continent, both literally and artistically.

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Duro Olowu's collaboration with JC Penny, launched in 2013, is described as a 'riot of colour'. The African designer was able to cross shores to reach the Western world and maintain its pride in heritage and culture.

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Kenzo's spring campaign this year was also all about bold prints and patterns. The models are used to illustrate the illusive and artistic qualities of colour and patterns.

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MSGM Spring Campaing, 2013. MSGM's half-illustrated fashion campaign depicts creativity and the multi-dimensional aspect of colour, texture and pattern. The use of mixed media plays great emphasis on the Italian's choice of vibrant colours and fabrics.

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Just Cavalli's spring campaign earlier this year taunted us all with the beautiful sun and sights of the island of Ibiza, (with beautiful people and flashy gears!).

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And last but definitely not the least, one of our most cherished high-street brands unleashed a summer campaign that continues to wet our fashion appetites. Following similar patterns to up-scale brands like Just Cavalli, H&M took on nature-inspired patterns.

What makes a good campaign for you? And if you know any good fashion campaigns of 2013, feel free to share them with us!
Tuesday, 04 June 2013 09:02

Summer time is here!

Summer time is here...and colours and patterns are out. We get a little lazy during the long winter months, pulling out dark and dull coloured wardrobe items. By the time spring and summer come around we are so hooked on dressing for the cold, that we forget to take advantage of seasonal trends that will bring a spark to the wardrobe. Here are just a few of my favourite pieces that are pattern-tastic. Enjoy!
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Solange in Just Cavalli

This is one of my all-time favourite pieces of Solange. The beautiful and most convenient thing about a bold splash of patterns is that you get to worry less about which accessories to add. You've already made a statement, and all you need are the right clutch and heels to define your statement. Oh, and another thing, you have an excuse to go for a bold lipstick of any colour your heart desires.

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Rimmel cosmetics 3 for 2 deals in most cosmetic stores!

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Solange, London 2013

I remember growing up I was told never to mix different pattern styles together in one outfit. Well, this breaks all the rules on conventionalism! I think the key to rocking a cute number like this is to use the bare minimum or even no accessories. Solange's defined makeup and bright lips add cohesion and balance to this extraordinary blend of patterns.

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Peter Pilotto, 2013

I love Pilotto's play on texture and dimensions in this latest collection. The use of straight lines and figure-wrapping folds gives a structured look that will flatter any figure. Normally, people tend to resort to black dresses to hide unwanted tummy or side bulges, but this piece can enhance the curves at the right places. Its amazing what patterns can do, given the right choice of patterns!

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Giambattista Valli, 2013

My favourite pattern piece in Valli's latest collection.

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Erdem

Erdem is fearlessly pattern-centric. Patterns generally have a retro-feel to it, but these pieces scream art and have a somewhat renaissance feel to them. Art lovers, indulge!
Tuesday, 26 March 2013 12:38

'Spring-Clean Heels; my list'

With a new season comes new buys (and forget the weather, we don't REALLY need a legitimate reason to go shopping)! Our wonderful high-street numbers have duplicated some of this season's catwalk fashion for an affordable enjoyment. Here are a few goodies that I would personally bag and add to my heavily winter-inspired closet. Whether you are a comfort-girl and need wedges for support, or you prefer out-in-the-town heels, here are some of fashion's favourites. Two words are on my trend radar; patterns and ankles!

Enjoy!


River Island

Black contrast wedge high-top
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Beige snake pointed court
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Zara

Wedge Sneakers
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Wide heel sandal with ankle strap
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Dorothy Perkins

Grey ankle straps
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Navy Western straps

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Topshop


Giselle strappy-top sandals
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Surrender bow platform
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Sunday, 27 January 2013 20:06

Michael, Korrr its cold!

So, we have been in the freeze of winter for a while now, and most of us are anticipating the return of bright skies, sprouting lillies and sun rays. But sometimes these days just don't come quickly enough, or last long enough in this part of the world,. So much so that we have created a brown/black/grey colour culture for our wardrobe preferences. Rarely are people bold enough to strut in bright colours and display peep-toe heels after sunset.

What will wash away those Autumn/Winter Fashion blues? Michael Kors' (or MK inspired outfits) pre-fall 2013 collection, may. I fell in love with this collection because of the creative blend of different textures. The hybrid of seasons, colours and patterns presented in each item makes Kors are favourite designer this season.

You can also change things up with some River Island ankle boots, and/or Kurt Geiger knee-length boots (below) depending on the outfit. Nothing screams 'chic' like studs; and nothing is as regal as the right elegant knee-length boots, in my opinion.

Enjoy!

Micheal Kors pre-fall 2013 collection

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Shu Pei Qin

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Shu Pie Qin 2

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Daria Strokous

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Romina Lanaro 

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Romina Lanaro

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Kora Emmanuel

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River Island's black studded stiletto ankle boots

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Saskia Kurt Geiger high heel boots

Sunday, 09 December 2012 11:01

Music Soul...My Style Countdown

Unique in both music genre and style, these ladies have truly made black beautiful. There was a short period between my pre-teens and early teens when I would have done anything to keep my hair as flat and straight as possible. My worst decision was using the electric hot come day after day until may hair became undesirably whispy and uneven. But the topic on hair is only one of several things that many women have found hard to embrace in its natural state. Looking back, I ask myself, where were all the black African/American celebrities who could have inspired and encouraged so many young girls to embrace their features and characters, making it desirable even to non-African/black females? Whilst family plays a key role in bringing love and assurance, the music industry has (maybe unfortunately so) made direct impact on identity. Unfortunately coming up with results and conclusions is outside the scope of this post.

Take a look at my compilation of (what I have called) soul-style which we can celebrate to date; artists who have brought solidarity to embracing identity and ancestral pride. Encore.

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Lauryn Hill

The first on my list of soul-style beauties is Lauryn Hill, whose eminence is largely based on her avant-garde style and genre. Her commitment to the Afro, braids and dreads while showing off African-inspired jewellery, is one reason soul-style has become influential in music and in any other influential industry. 

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Jenelle Monae

At number 2 is Jenelle Monae. Her signature suit-piece takes me back to the jazz era and the soul music of its time. She also makes grooming the Afro hair effortlessly achievable and consistently on-point. Beautiful! 

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Esperanza Spalding

I was recently introduced to her music and was captivated by her voice, and-of-course, her hair and style. The African-American jazz bassist is nothing short of emulating ancestral pride (no matter how diverse her background is). 

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 India Arie

...the soul that lives within India is beautiful, carefree and striking. Her Acoustic Soul album was a source of inspiration for many individuals, stylists and designers by the uplifting message of embracing inherited beauty while letting go of any false identity. Deep.


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Jill Scott
A lot of us know her from star performance on Tyler Perry's 'Why did I get Married (1&2)', and many of us love her for her alternative style in spoken word, poetry and music. Her hair, makeup and smile is always flawless.

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Asa

Between soul, jazz and funkadelia, Asa has remained unique and brazen about her heritage. I admire how she combines her African roots with her European upbringing in her choice of style and motifs.

Who would be on your list for Soul-style?
Thursday, 25 October 2012 13:21

Flair for Natural Hair

'Team natural' has been the recurring trend for afro-hair, used by advocates (both professional and amateur) for healthy hair. Many believe that chemically relaxed hair has been an age-old way of trying to westernise the African woman, creating an illusion of a self-image that is not authentic. On the other hand, some disagree saying that this trend is just another fashion fad that has come back as a trend, just like the 60s' and 80s' 'goggle-like glasses'.

Whilst this may be a heated debate, a few things run through my mind as I question this topic of 'natural' hair. If the purpose is truly to promote healthiness and self-confidence, why has the goodness of natural hair been hidden from the 'center' of the media (i.e. Youtube) world until now? It may just have turned viral thanks to a few Youtube celebrity make-up tutorials, which was then imitated by individuals who now 'teach' from their bedrooms. Is this just another example of a celebrity-led and endorsed world? Solange for example has made the natural look (afro) the 'must-have' look. I'm not sure where natural hair-care products would be today if she had continued to parade in slick, long hair from one cover photo to the next. We can't forget that celebrities are being paid to endorse a look- which is maintained by personal stylists, taking away the pain and time of actually looking after tough hair (or weave). So why go through all the aches and time of actually maintaining tangle-endowed hair?

Either way, its interesting to note that it is a breakthrough era for Vogue and black super models who are no longer hiding behind excessive weaving and lace-wig buying. Suffice to say that Facebook, Youtube and twitter have made it easier for fashionistas, stylists and designers to know exactly what their consumers want. Information on hair care is easily accessible, everywhere and anywhere. As a social media user and as an African woman, I am persuaded that this is an authentic trend, reflecting a real need for self-confidence in one's identity, coupled with the right knowledge and application. Of course, there are certainly aesthetic and commercial elements of 'team-natural'. For all we know, this may have all stemmed from a research breakthrough by a hair care company, who is working endlessly to promote the goodness of natural hair- but unfortunately, I don't have the facts on this. We are definitely returning back to the 'natural African woman', and this time on a bigger platform.

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Black models and hairstyles on Vogue Italia 

What is your view on the natural hair trend?
Friday, 21 September 2012 12:07

The new Fashion DNA...LDA

Lanre Da Silva Ajayi (LDA) could be today's face of Vogue Africa. Not many home-grown artists can overcome the limitations of culture and its surroundings, and pay admirable tribute to international and historical fashion with such ease and sophistication. Whilst retaining the influence of her Nigerian roots in choice of patterns and colour, Lanre has successfully mounted the global fashion stage several times as she carves her niche in combining 'print, exquisite and even traditional fabrics'. Also, its no mystery why this designer is known for her vintage style, as her motifs date as far back as the 1940s. Lanre's taste in pattern and material is exceptionally eye-opening for new designers like myself, paving the road away from purely culture-specific fashion to capturing quality and relevance. Notably, Lanre's ability to draw on international concepts has attracted sustainable success world wide.

From jumpsuits, to blazers, to high-waists, to slender shorts, Miss Ajayi is definitely hot on the trend thermometer. Here are some of my favourites from LDA's listed collections...enjoy!

Oriental Classics collection

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Cruise 2012

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Tresor Brilliant

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Labour of Love

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Modern Age

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Gallery of Poems

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Reflet De Lumii

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For more on LDA and ordering, please visit www.lanredasilvaajayi.com
Wednesday, 22 August 2012 00:28

Pretty Pleats Please

Pretty Pleats PleaseI picked up an 'Aeroports DE Paris Lifestyle' Magazine at Paris airport on my way back from a beautiful and sunny family holiday in Montpellier last month. Usually, I don't end up even looking back at any magazine I pick up at an airport, talk less of actually reading it. Maybe it was something to do with the fact that I was passing through the city of fashion, which would be inspiring regardless of whether it was just a tourist literature guide.

I'm glad I was intrigued enough to manoeuvre through the magazine. It was in such leisure reading that I found something 'new' in summer fashion, in the style of Afro-centric; Issey Miyake Pleats Please (and Caroline Baggie. Read the July edition to see the pieces). Generally, I think that Afro-centric has become this season's motif. And no doubt it is a good choice because of its exotic and not-the-girl-next-door vibes that such a style can transmit in a European setting. Who would have thought that modelling a Brocante Heteroclite african mask would do well in a shoot comprised of Patrizia Pepe mini shorts and an all casual trench dress. Its surprisingly subtle the way style has emerged into unifying pieces that come from different shores of the earth. The Marabelle edition below reminds me of a Cameroonian wax print Ankara that came into my possession a few years ago. Feast your eyes on these colourful goodies.

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New ORE print series by IM- mineral and natural print colours 

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Edition by Julie Marabelle (cut-out and maps motifs)

What do you think of the 'Pleats Please' by Issey Miyake? 
Saturday, 28 July 2012 23:46

Nico Didonna S/S 2013 Collection

The show was held at the elite Belgrave square at the Italian institute. Guests were given a red carpet welcome and Champagne and canape as we waited in anticipation for the show to start.

"This time my collection aimed to capture natural elements such as air and sun. The texture and structure is different. For my last collection I was in Italy so the elements were completely different."

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 Me with Nico Didonna

When talking to Mr Nico Didonna after his show, I was able to pin down to words what made his pieces coherent and rhythmic to one another. There was definitely the illusion of a breezy mild romantic spring in Didonna's choice of style and texture. There was also that Italian Burlesque and theatrical feel due to dramatic patterns and off-symmetry slant. We were wowed by the illusive texture and colour combination that unique and thus unusual to the eye. His past collection has been more electric in colour and structure. This time we saw a wave of pastel, earthy and warm attributes to each piece which was very inviting and endearing. The ribbon band and soft ruffle was a central piece on the catwalk, enhancing the feminine shape. There was a good balance between the peculiar patterns and a classic ensemble; the pencil high-waist skirt was more-than-once combined with an unconventional top piece.

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Black and white is the new colour and we have seen it everywhere in Vogue this season. But rather than the usual black and white polka dots and checked patterns, there has been a sophisticated and subtle mesh of both colours as though both colours were ordained to co-exist.

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This was my favourite piece, reminding me of a recreation of a Michael Jackson stage piece. It is flexible in quality and can transform from a dinner/ball occasion piece, to a high-fashion shopping spree set. Today, exclusive fashion is not only reserved for the Grammys and Oscars- the high society also want to take their style to the street, and the street to this exclusive society.

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Whilst the menswear was more conventional in pattern and cut, Didonna mastered a playful combination of smart and casual in his two-piece suits. I love the leather heavy-duty jacket on top of a cotton summer-slacking trousers, as it artistically captures the transition from Winter to Spring.

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What do you think of the new Didonna collection?

Photo credit: Keji Ewuosho 
Saturday, 28 July 2012 20:03

Lady Floral

Finally, a breath of femininity is back and has taken the centre stage in high fashion. I believe that there has been a slight deterioration of the femininity of womanhood as women clothing no longer needs the strict and ordinary rules that clearly distinguish the two sexes by apparel. Nonetheless nothing has better defined the cutting-edge, 21st century woman than the freedom of clothing. I particularly admired Gwyneth Patrol's elegant cape number by Tom Ford at this year's Oscars; somewhere down the line we have been told that as women, the more front and back you show the more likely you are to be found in the 'best dressed' column. Patrol, along with several others, posed as a garland of beauty in her lady-like version of what seemed to be a straight coat.

This season heralds an invasion of floral styles. From Chanel to the British high street's River Island, floral has been gracefully re-vamped returning once again as a lady's best friend. Some of us grew up seeing floral prominently pasted as curtain pieces and covered on precious dining room tables. Little did we know of the long-age beauty of wearing floral and its adornment qualities. Today, a floral blazer or a floral body-con summer dress easily does wonders for your fashion cred. Its one of those times to dive into your ancient-of-days wardrobe piles and replace the old with the new; or in some cases, pinch one of your mum's hay-days apparels. Another beauty of this new vogue is its recyclable and malleable nature. You don't need to go all out in the town and run up a bill in the name of revamping your wardrobe. Floral is close by most of the time, and its all about how you sport it. Its an invaluable skill to know how to look at what you already have, and make it work for you. Having only witnessed two decades, I regularly take advantage of the forever fluctuating fashion seasons and have managed to re-use and re-style certain article pieces that had previously laid untouched for years.

Take a look at some of those who have mastered their own 'floral come-back' in the most chic and stylish way. Notably, floral on ankara is a breath of fresh air after the techno-wave that drove Africans to wearing symmetrically confined and monotonously (quite boring) geometric patterns. I fondly recollect the traditional floral-cut ankara that my aunties wore when I was growing up; which has now become a unique part of today's African attires. 

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African floral dress - BHF

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Me wearing floral ankara lace with sister, far right & family and friends.

 
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Dolce and Gabbana's debut couture collection - Source Vogue.co.uk

 

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A Dolce and Gabbana's piece from theh debut couture collection - Source Vogue.co.uk

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Olivia at the couture fashion week in paris- Haute Couture F/W 2012/2013

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Chanel dress at summer show, 2012

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Elena wearing 'Buggi Meek' at couture fashion week, 2012


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River Island's Black Floral Print Dress
 

Whether you are old or young, high street or couture, casual or smart, floral is back- and I hope its here to stay!

Wednesday, 04 July 2012 10:14

Knowles Knows How

'If your hair is wreaking havoc on your neck, I say turban it' tweets Celebrity Stylist June Ambrose (below). Apart from the days that you just want to tuck your hair away, head wraps have become a favourite outfit-booster. Not only stabilising what could have been a hair-do failure; they really do add to an outfit. Solange Knowles has pretty much occupied this truth. She has successfully earned an admirable image in the fashion world, and this may have a lot to do with the way she works those voluminous afros or those past-the-behind braids. Even when style changes with season, we see that Knowles has managed to adapt this special head piece with time. But there is a lot more to this wardrobe article that could easily find in any lost and found pile, or in a heap of old and unwanted clothes. I know that in Nigeria, the presence (and size) of one's 'Gele' or 'Ichafu' (head wrap) reflects your social status. Whilst this may now seem an ancient theory, pride and elegance are qualities that sub-consciously make this piece a bonafide part of both traditional and social dressing in the African Community. Similarly, other societies like America's high fashion in the 60s have explored the power behind these head wraps which have notably been sported by Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn.

It's a myth to believe that this head piece is, or should be locked up away as an old-fashion item. Thanks to the likes of Knowles and Ambrose, a new pattern has been set and the head scarf revived. Its timeless quality may be the reason for its sustained relevance amid the changing seasons of fashion. Gone are the days where head scarves amongst the African community are only pulled out for religious reasons and celebration events. They have now been moulded into fashion's flexible characteristics of street, urban, retro chic and much more. Did I mention its economically viable? I don't know how many wardrobe pieces can maintain its flavour and remain conveniently accessible to all like that of the head wrap. Maybe its because its a hand-styled item (now as a turban) and so can adapt to any fashion rhythm. It has moved from the traditional borders of Africa, to the shores of high fashion. Check out Miss Knowles working fashion's favourite hair piece, in all different shapes and sizes.

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Celebrity Stylist June Ambrose seen here in her turban number.

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Solange (photographed by Patrik Sehlstedt Realisation)

For her head wrap she wears a silk scarf by Louis Vuitton. There is something both captivating yet liberating about this piece; the silk touch and heavily adorned neck suggests royalty, while the over-sized denim jacket and cut-out t-shirt gives a rugged and urban feel to the outfit. Simply, the LV head piece has been a main transformer tool for this shoot.

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Even when off official duty, Solange has never been off style duty! (source www.sandrarose.com)

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Solange seen here again sporting the same jacket with Michelle Williams. (source www.sandrarose.com)

The head-band style is especially good for those grown-out-braids days when you want to keep those roots under cover. 

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Nothing says Afro-queen better than bold, long braids and a beautifully fitted ankara head piece. It also has a bohemian feel to it. (Sources naughtsnotcrosses).

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Solange on vacation earlier this year with her son Julez

I love this retro-like piece. A colourful head piece can sometimes replace the need for an over-done jewellery set or hand-bag choice.

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Solange did it again with complementing outfit with head piece. For those days you want to work the natural hair, let the head wrap do all the work! (source www.sandrarose.com)

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DJ Solange

Don't be afraid to mix your elegant outfit and heels, with a boyish rugged look. This bandanna looking piece won me over with the leopard print details. This season, with print, you win!

If you don't have a head mannequin to use, I suggest practising head scarf tying on a willing friend. There are many ways to tie a head-scarf and practising is a great way to master your own technique. If you are completely lost, simply google ideas for styling with head scarves. 

Saturday, 23 June 2012 00:00

My Forever 21

I've never really come to figure out why people want to remain forever twenty-one. Maybe it's because it's the comfortable age between having mastered adolescence, and feeling at your prime to achieve literally anything your heart is set on. Just turning this milestone age, people ask me what its like to have arrived, and my response is seldom clear, even to me. Truth is, there is no special 'twenty-one' feeling. You can either feel advanced, or believe you're as young as you feel. Even the term 'youthful' is so subjective. For example, many connotations include 'sexy', 'wild' and 'strongly independent'. Unfortunately, a part of the fashion world has lost the ability to translate sophistication and elegance through different generations. I think the closest we got to this has been lost somewhere in the Victorian ages, where women of all ages dressed in the same manner of propriety and conformity.

Nonetheless, we celebrate the development in the fashion industry; young people could now carve out their own identity and become creative and industrious individuals. But if there is a gap in the industry, it's the question of how to form a bridge between the different generations in coherent style so that quality isn't lost. We can learn something from mature women in their 40s/50s who can complement style, with grace and elegance. Those who have arrived at personal success, gained recognition and are truly admired by the admirable, carry a persona and style that we could borrow. As much as we young folks/young-at-heart don't want to be mistaken to be 20 years older than what we really are, we can replicate classy styling that still screams 'forever twenty-one'- and at any price too! In my attempt to bridge this gap, I put together some of my favourite Ankara pieces by some of my favourite designers;

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Solange in Boxing Kitten by Maya Amina - at the 'Victoria Secrets Collection, 2011.

Swing on this season's favourite high-waisted top and mellow it down with any modest yet stylish high-waisted skirt.

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Overcoat by Bombe Surprise

For a casual outfit on those mild weather days, nothing says young and free like an oversized jacket over figure-hugging jeans.

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Kente top 

Did you know that should-pads make the waist look slimmer? You can't do wrong with this fitted top made casual yet slick with some skinny jeans! 

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Asaka Oge

I'm in love with these blazers by Asaka Oge. Blazers are the perfect transformer tools that will bring any outfit to life- whether you want to dress up or dress down.

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Another amazing and must-have number by Asaka Oge; a flattering high-wasited pencil skirt.

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Aldo Shoes

Ankle-straps and woven platforms are this summer's talk. Nothing says '21' like the right heels to accentuate those summer legs! 

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Vlisco Bag

With all the boho-craze currently going on, check out this cute ankara styled bag by Vlisco; a shoulder strap bag by day, and a clutch bag for that special outing! 

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Russian Vogue March 2012

Part of dressing young is adding colour - appropriately of course! I just love this jewellery ensemble I found in the Russian vogue; including Boucheron, Cartier, David Morris and Harry Winston. Of course, you don't need to spend thousands of pounds to look as vibrant. This summer, the high streets are oozing with bold colours.

Know any other 'twenty-one' summer favourites? 
Wednesday, 13 June 2012 21:25

Wear yourself a Jubilee

Contrary to the on-going media splurge since Kate Middleton's wedding to Prince Williams last year, she is not the only fashionista in the royal family. This month, we pay tribute to our queen as we celebrate, in one way or another, her 60 glorious years on the throne. There are many reasons why Her Majesty has the connotations of splendour, propriety and dedication. But quietly, she secures a high rank in the elite and prestigious fashion sector. Of course, young Kate is definitely a fashion force to be reckoned with. And its not just because of her model-like frame, or the fact that she's already mastered how to compose herself in a royal fashion. On a Jubilee tour with the queen, Kate pulled off an old-school look with such chic-style and class.

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Kate wearing a teal suit by L.K Bennet 

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The queen wearing cashmere by Angela Kelly

Old really does complement the new. On the same tour, the queen was covered in cashmere from head to toe. We see how style transcends through different ages and generations. The smartly placed darts on her jacket, with a suave accent of black proves the ageless quality of class and style; not to forget that Her Majesty was a young style guru once. She has witnessed decades of style transformations. How was she able to maintain modesty and dignity in the notorious 60s, and the rock'n'roll 80s? Well, maybe the regiments of being a royal kept her in the straight and narrow, but her designers are praise-worthy- notably, Norman Hartnell! When you are appointed as the queen's designer and dressmaker, you've pretty much reached a peak on your success graph. Hartnell, who died in 1979, had a sophisticatedly diverse porfolio, from designing the queen's wedding dress, to designing for the film 'Suddenly Last Summer' in 1969, along with several other films. Take a look at some of my favourite Hartnell pieces. (Pictures from 'My Richard Curtis London').

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The Queen's wedding- 1947. Decorated with 10, 000 bead pearls with thousands of white crystal beads. The embroidery consisted of different symbols from the commonwealth countries.

Can you spot them/know what they are?


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Heavily adorned silk gown worn at the House of Representatives (Lagos, Nigeria. 1956)

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Cream gown with blue embroidery (Canada and USA tour in 1957)

For more on the queen and fashion, I personally recommend Jane Eastoe's book 'Reigning in Style'. For fashion lovers and admirers of the Queen, this book is perfect for learning what has made her wardrobe so exquisite and agelessly feminine. What are your thoughts on vintage fashion?

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