Just in case you did not get my subtle hint if you were not there, the question must be asked are you somebody, joke - seriously on this one I am just joking.
Over a thousand people showed up for the BEFTTA's on Saturday night, I might be slightly exaggerating but that is only because I don't know the capacity of the Lighthouse where the event was staged but it was a full house.
Everyone was dressed to the hilt, forget recession lots of people raided their piggy banks or recycled old clothes by putting a new twist to them and people made sure that they were dressed to kill. Whilst talking about dressing, I know the invite said black tie and wear a black jacket or suit but hey my excuse on my purple jacket with purple shirt and no tie came about because I am colour blind and my tie got blown away in the recent hurricane that swept the UK.
The venue was great and had all the mod cons and the stars of the entertainment and fashion industry did the event justice. It was a great improvement over the last 2 years (well done Pauline Long – founder & CEO of the BEFTTAs), the event started on time but on that one I must say Thank God for that, with over 150 awards and 500 nominees we would have been there all night. But the BEFTTA team got through them all and numerous people that would not normally ever have been recognised had the opportunity to be recognised which for me is a great thing. So regardless of the fact that we all think there are too many categories and nominees, I appreciate what Pauline and the BEFTTA Academy are trying achieve and they should be applauded not criticised.
I don't want any of you to think that I am giving this glowing review just because I, Mahogany and Fashions Finest between us received 5 awards (Fashions Finest – Best Event Promoter, Mahogany Models – Best Modelling Agency, Nana Afua – Best Female Model, IDeLick Media (Fashions Finest Official Photographer – Photographer of the Year and Mr Mahogany received a special award for Fashion Icon of the Year – receiving this award and peoples comments following this particular award has truly humbled me.
It was also nice to see Mink Cosmetics get an award for Makeup artist of the Year (they have been the official make up sponsors for all of Mahogany's & Fashions Finest events for the past year and to my main man & good friend, who filmed with me during the day and rushed off to collect his lifetime achievement award, Mr Adebayo Jones – well deserved. However if I am ever to get one, can I please get one before I reach pensionable age and I am well on the way there now.
"Michelle Obama" Gets Ghetto at the BEFTTA's...
Ok give me a break I am getting there, I know you were reading the title and thinking what has the above got to do with the title of your blog – well I had to talk about the BEFTTAs first before I talk about what Michelle Obama (actually it's about Dionne Rose who is a Michelle Obama lookalike), did at the BEFFTA's.
Well this is what happened, after the BEFTTA awards a few selected VIP guests and the award winners were invited for a small intimate dinner. It was a nice intimate affair with a performance from a rising super star Angela Ricci (this girl can blow). Anyway there were some small issues over the serving of the food and drinks and there was a group of women on the table next to us and I have no idea who they were, where they were from or what they do but towards the end of the evening a couple of the women on that table decided that they wanted to pick a fight with everyone that looked at them, spoke to them or breathed the same air as them and unfortunately our table was marked as public enemy number one.
I tried to stop my table from responding to the verbal attacks we were receiving for no apparent reason (if we had done something I would be honest, I would tell you), I even used a great saying of mine which is that "it is not every time you have to respond to a mad person, when they talk to you, otherwise you may look like the mad person". This worked for a while but the women on the other table continued their affront and Dionne "Michelle Obama" could not contain herself any longer and went for this woman with a full on verbal attack which included such words as bleep, **@#, bleep, bleeeep, and more bleeps **@#,, followed by bleep, **@#, bleep, bleeeep, and more bleeps **@#, (you may insert profanities of your choice as they most likely would have been used). DIONNE's language was too colourful and she got down and dirty and stooped to the level of these bush women and sadly they were bush and extremely manner less in their behaviour.
It was not a good idea to sink to their level but it was good fun seeing her lose it and we all had a good laugh.
Moan & Groan
This is not Africa feed yourself...
Over the past few months I have attended a number of award ceremonies, some bad and some good, which have included some of the most prestigious awards ceremonies in the UK including Fashions Finest, Screen Nation & the BEFTTA's. Each time I have left one of these awards I have left with the screeching of many people's voices furiously complaining about the lack of food at the awards.
I have to break it down for you and it goes like this, yes it is true that nobody forces the organisers to put on these events and some of you might think that they benefit from it – on this I must correct you as it tends to be the nominees and the winners that primarily benefit as the recognition helps with the progression of their careers and the guest enjoy it because they get a night out and in most cases managed to get in free (not everyone gets in free by the way). The organisers spend thousands putting an event together and then people come to the event 1) expecting to get in free and 2) expecting to be fed and fed very well for free.
Do you know that to feed a person at an award ceremony costs (in london) on average between £35 to £65 depending on the venue. If I charge you an average price of £100 to £120 per ticket would you pay? NO you would not because most people won't even pay £30 for a basic price ticket. Ok let's assume that you are one of those lovely people that do pay and can afford to pay such prices that still does not resolve the problem, as unfortunately all of the nominees expect to attend for free and bring a guest so on average if the organiser has a total of about 40 to 60 nominees, which is about the average amount (sorry BEFTTA's this is excluding you), along with partners, plus judges, presenters and special guests, that means the event organisers must out of their own pockets find approximately an extra £3000 to £5000 (excluding drinks costs), so the final bill could be more in the region of £5 to £10,000. Hello where are they expected to find the money just to feed some hungry and in some cases ungrateful people. As after you feed them they would still complain that the food was not good.
So the moral of the story is before you complain about not being fed or there being no food at an event, if you did not buy a ticket don't complain and think about the poor organiser who is putting on the event and whom 9 times out of 10 makes a very big lost. Eat before you arrive or after you leave and be a bit more understanding. That way with your support we will keep improving, will do better events with your support and one day we will be able to give you a 3 course meal and not charge anyone to attend the awards ceremony. YEAH RIGHT.
I have to end by saying BEFTTA's did a 100% invite only awards ceremony, which was free to attend to everyone that had an invite and I still heard people complain that they had no food – ARE YOU SERIOUS!!!
By Pheobe Park
Controversial pop star Rihanna makes her British Vogue cover debut in November’s Issue. Rihanna is not new to the life of a cover girl; she featured in April with striking red hair and a lace gown. With women of colour always underrepresented in the media, does Rihanna cover make a refreshing change?
Rihanna wears Armani Prive couture, a short Marylin Monroe-esque wig and was shot by the legendary Mario Testino.
Rihanna’s cover was surrounded by controversy, including rumours that her skin had been lightened, to fit in with typical Vogue cover girls, the controversy was addressed by UK Vogue Editor Alexandra Shulman:
"The reality is that the pictures that were published came in exactly how they have been published - with absolutely no skin lightening," Shulman said. "If her skin does look pale it is probably because of the very strong sunlight in LA that day. We worked with her chosen hair and make-up team to present her in the way she was most comfortable with."
Despite the controversy, Rihanna looks stunning on the cover, and so do these legendary cover girls of colour:
October 1998 wearing Ralph Lauren
Michelle Obama features on the Vogue cover in March 2009 magenta silk sheath dress by Jason Wu who also designed her inaugural gown.Beyonce
Beyonce features in April 2009, in the controversial ‘Shape’ Issue
Judging by these backstage snaps from the SS shows the ponytail trend is here to stay.
By Pheobe Park
Months after the Royal Wedding, we have more than a few mementos of the great occasion, one of which is the trend for tartan on the catwalk. Tartan, hound's tooth and Prince of Wales checks were spotted all over the A/W catwalks, and this trend is so easy to replicate in your wardrobe.
Moschino Cheap and Chic
Kim Kardashian goes for the hound’s tooth look in Salvatore Ferragamo's flirty suit set, as worn by Lady Gaga and looks like a real businesswoman.
Get The Look
ANGLOMANIA, Tartan jacket: £410.00
Tartan Tights from promod.com at £12
MCQ Puffball tartan dress: £465.00
Sadly that was very short lived and things have gone back to normal and in some cases things are worst than before.
With all the chatter about diversity and inclusion in the UK you would have imagined that during London Fashion Week 2011, possibly one of the largest events of the year you would have seen a good representation of fashion designers and models of colour actively taking part in the main shows, but once again this was not the case and it looks like it would never be the case particularly here in the UK.
Model: Nasai Forna
From time it has been hard if not close to impossible for black press to gain access to the main fashion shows at London Fashion Week, which also includes getting official photography accreditation for LFW.
We are treated like unwanted pest and like second class citizens by the LFW staff. Some of the people I interviewed said they were spoken down to and interrogated by, and even made to point out their work to members of the PR company whom were giving out passes on the day. The impression given was that we were trying to obtain passes by deceit or that their publications and work were not worthy of a pass to access London Fashion Week. We must remember that they had already been given accreditation by email having pre registered and I assume all the checks had been done before the accreditation was issued and that is the reason they were there in the first place. If this were a universal practice being done to everyone it would not have been a problem but once again it seemed that this rule only applied to the black press or people that were black. Dont get me wrong it did not happen to everyone, before people start saying "I attended and that did not happen to me".
Model: Tanya Beresford
Talk can be very cheap if it's not followed up by action and I for one am fed up of being treated like a second class citizen, being made to justify why I am worthy to attend despite the fact that Fashions Finest is currently one of the biggest fashion websites out, i am fed up of not being given invitations to shows or when they are given, they are standing only, but straight after the show the PR companies contact us to publish articles of their designers on Fashions Finest despite the fact that they refused to give us invitations.
The only real things of colour to come out of London Fashion Week 2011 were in the collections, bold mixes of colours with a hint of ethnicity about them brought to us by designers such as Mary Katrantzou SS12, Michael van der Ham SS12, Peter Pilotto SS12 to name a few.
Model: Forough Hosseini Jonghani
Fashion is a universal thing and people of all backgrounds are interested in and want to keep up to date with the latest trends and even buy some of the pieces if they are within their budget. It's money in the designers pocket regardless of the pocket it came from, surely it's time to stop the talk, open closed doors and see some positive changes in the UK, it's LONDON Fashion Week after all - should it not also have a good representation of the diversity within LONDON?
Photo Credits: iDeLick Media
The biggest problem I am having is I don't really seem to have anything that is worth talking about, this is partly because all the things I really want to talk about would upset some people and bearing in mind nobody wants to invite me anywhere anymore I have to be careful not to alienate people any further so that the one invitation each year I get to an event won't be withdrawn as well.
I think by now you have gathered that I have absolutely nothing to talk about.
You do however deserve something so let's get down to some nitty gritty and back to a former favourite old subject I use to cover called Moan & Groans.
Moan & Groans...
You Have To Work To Be Successful...
Some promoters and organisers of competitions may be able to relate to this one. What is it with competition winners, such as those that compete in beauty pageants, modelling or talent competitions that feel that once they have won a competition that all they have to do is sit at home and watch East Enders and success would just drop on their lap. Wake up, nothing ever comes for free and without hard work, even if you win the lottery you still have to go and buy a ticket at the shop, check the result and if you did win you would have to go and collect your winnings – so you still have to do something.
Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaahh, what makes some of them think that once they have won they would become superstars and make loads of money by doing nothing, then to make it worse they get upset and jealous of other contestants that decide they are going to use being in the competition to progress their career.
I have seen this happen so many times and I guess that it would be unfair to name particular competitions but I have seen people that have placed second runner up do 100 times better than the person that won, got immense publicity, mixed with the stars , got numerous jobs and became a household name and I admire this particular young lady for her tenacity, strength and perseverance especially bearing in mind the winner and others tried to shut her out of things.
My advice to the organisers is that if you wish to promote your brand you have to adopt the Simon Cowell / Mr Mahogany attitude which is only work with those that want to go places and DUMP those that don't as it a waste of your time and energy.
On this particular issue I will end by saying that jealousy and envy is not good for the soul, since Nana Afua Antwi won season 6 of Top Model of Colour, alongside her admirers she has had a lot of criticism and nasty comments from wanna be and some established models that are jealous of her success, people like Nana and a model I will name as Sro work very hard for what they have achieved, as much as possible they have nice demeanours, are professional, courteous, ambitious, they make the calls, they attend events when they have no money, they talk to people and sell themselves, they market themselves and try and attract positive publicity – they pay their dues. Models, they have not got their success from just sitting at home waiting for the phone to ring, so look towards people like Nana Antwi, Sro and Rachael Williams as inspirations and stop hating.
I Don't Know You, So Stop Talking About Me...
I think age sometimes has a negative effect on people and in this case I am actually referring to myself as I cannot believe how much I have calmed down and that I have been so nice as not to be naming names in my blog, but it is getting to that stage that is enough is enough and if people want to continue slandering my name all over the place I will have no alternative but to declare war and people I fight dirty.
On one hand I take it as a compliment that people feel I am worthy to be spoken about whether it be good or bad however the problem I have is when people say I said something and I didn't. Some of you know me very well and know that I say it as it is (this may not always be a good thing) but at least I am honest and if I have something to say about you I can and will say it to your face. At that point if you disagree with what I say you have the right to cuss me out, slap me or agree with me, I don't feel that I am horrible for the sake of it and hopefully I just say the truth.
Recently I have had a couple of different people, who will remain nameless talk about me to people I know and have lied blatantly to them, saying I said what I didn't say and there is one woman in particular that has been doing this – now before you start thinking that it is the fury of a woman scorned, I can assure you I have never met this woman in my life, I know of her but if I walked passed her on the street I would not know her. To a variety of different people she has said I have said things about them which has caused problems for me with regards to our relationship (o by the way if someone says I said something about you, pick up the dam phone and ask me if I said it and if I did I would tell you or put it into context and if I say to you I did not say it then trust me I did not). Sorry back to this woman, she also has been running down my business and what I do, which is cool as all businesses get criticism but this is different, this is just nasty comments for the sake of it and trying to take away business from me, my friends, my family, my village and anyone else I have ever bought Macdonalds for.
Enough is enough and if I hear one more thing from this woman I am putting her on notice I am coming for you. For those of you in the fashion industry I will give some clues as to whom I am referring to – she is a designer, a stylist and I think she claims to be a show producer (MEOW) and she sees a lot, the last one is cryptic clue.
I would like to congratulate the Mahogany and Fashions Finest team on the multiple awards that either our models or our companies have been nominated for and they include
Magazine of the year: Fashions Finest
Best Events Promoter: Mahogany International and Fashions Finest
Best Photographer: iDeLick Media (official Fashions Finest Photographer)
Best Female Fashion Designer: Adopted Culture (Design Label of TMC Season 6 Winner & Mahogany Model Nana Antwi)
Best Male Model: Ibukun Jegede (TMC Season 3 Winner) & Jason Daniel Best (TMC Season 5 Winner)
Best Female Model: Nana Afua Antwi, Samantha Watson, Gisela Wanjiru Greiner & Abie Koroma, (All Mahogany Models)
Best Modelling Agency: Mahogany Models
Best Wardrobe Stylist: Samantha Watson (a Mahogany Model)
Across the board including models and TMC winners we have a total of 13 Nominations.
Please VOTE FOR US
The Beffta's will be taking place on 22nd October (BEFFTA stands for Black Entertainment Film Fashion Television & Arts Awards)
Don't forget not to miss out on the biggest event of the year, The Screen Nation Film & TV Awards 2011 annual ceremony aka the 'Black Baftas', celebrating outstanding achievements and diversity on the British screen, will take place on Sunday the 16th October 2011 at the indigO2, hosted by one of TV's favourite couples Angellica Bell and Michael Underwood. PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS HERE
Fashions Finest are pleased to be one of the main media sponsors of this event.
This was meant to be a short blog but I got carried away moaning about people, anyway on a lighter mood watch this video, its a little bit old but it was sent to me by MBD and I thought incase you missed it, its worth the watch.
HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY TO NIGERIA FROM A PROUD NIGERIAN!
London Fashion Week saw many new trends being set by the fashionistas in attendance. One of the big trends was for personalised jewellery.
JewelleryPersonalised.co.uk are the one-stop website to create your very own piece of fashion. Their service uniquely allows you to create your own name necklace, initialled bracelet or logo'd charm bracelet and view it online, before you place the order.
Check out our necklace designed especially as a LFW special!
Jewellery is available in many different styles and metals and prices start from £28.00 for a name plate in sterling silver.
On the 5th August Italian Vogue published an online trend forecast suggesting that hoop earrings were coming back, calling their post "Slave Earrings" the earrings they were referring to are the trendy big hoop earrings which are commonly worn by black women.
The article stated ''Jewellery has always flirted with circular shapes, especially for use in making earrings," and "the most classic models are the slave and creole styles in gold hoops." "If the name brings to the mind the decorative traditions of the women of colour who were brought to the southern United States during the slave trade, the latest interpretation is pure freedom. Coloured stones, symbolic pendants and multiple spheres."
Lets break this down – Vogue were in their right to talk about upcoming trends but to call them slave earrings especially when it is well known that over recent years they have been commonly worn by black women is – putting it in nice simple English, not very nice. I am doing well nowadays as I have been able to keep my language extremely polite because if it was the old days I would have used far more choice words to say how I feel about their description of earrigs worn predominantly by black women – slave earrings.
The good bit is as soon as the uproar started over the article Italian Vogue tried to talk their way out of it, Franca Sozzani, editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia, described the article as a "really bad translation". "The Italian word, which defines those kinds of earrings, should instead be translated into ethnic-style earrings," Sozzani said. Slave or ethnic to me they are just as bad, why are they not just described as earrings.
After doing some research, Schiavo, the word used in the initial story translates directly to "slave", while the Italian word for ''ethnic" is etnico. So once again not only do they feel it is ok to use derogatory terms about us but it is also ok to try and insult us by saying that when it was translated it was translated wrong – yeah right this is a load of crap and bulls*#t, sorry I have slipped back into bad language again. This is what such lame arse excuses do to me.
Please don't insult our intelligence just be upfront and say you messed up, you referred to what our women wear as slave earrings and you are sorry and you have removed the article and we are suppose to be ecstatic that after insulting us you have removed the article so we should just shut up.
The sad thing is that they would never ever write such articles that refer to the Holocaust in such ways but when it comes to people of colour it is always open season – I guess it is because generally we don't complain and we continue to buy such magazines even after they tell about ourselves.
A number of the comments floating around state that it is a racist article, I have kind of given up on racism as being an issue, because as stated above people of the world are allowed to say anything they like about black people and later apologise and everything is ok and in the process they get a lot of interest in their publication due to the controversy and then just say sorry afterwards and it quietly fades away. I say this because these sort of things are happening regularly and with no punishment to those that do it.
Congratulations to Charles Thompson on his MBE...
I must be living in cloud cuckoo land as I only just found out that my good friend Charles Thompson the founder of Screen Nation recently received an MBE for his Services to the Black Film Industry in the Queen's Birthday Honours List last month.
It is such an honour when people you know are recognised and rewarded for many years of hard work, hopefully one day I will get a MBE, yeah right, not likely. If I ever got one it is more likely to stand for Must Break Even.
Well done Charles and we wish you the best of luck at the star studded 7th Annual Screen Nation Film & Television Awards 2011 taking place on the 17th October at the indigO2, London
The 7th Annual Screen Nation Awards is the UK's only international Film & Television event celebrating the achievements of black talent and is broadcast on OH TV.
Fashion Fair and Celebrity Make Up Artist, Sam Fine Join together.
Fashion Fair Cosmetics, a global cosmetics company for women of colour have announced their new appointment to the team, celebrity make up artist Sam Fine. Sam Fine will be working as a creative director, this means that his job will allow him to create new products, work on existing products and improve it, guest appearances. This will all start with the unveiling of the spring 2012 collection....isn't it exciting?!
"Sam Fine is a true artist who understands women of colour and has built an illustrious career unparalleled in the industry," said Clarisa Wilson, President of Fashion Fair. "His experience in the fashion editorial world with global beauty brands and celebrities will translate wonderfully with Fashion Fair, and our consumers will reap its benefits. We're thrilled to have him with us, and you'll be able to track his progress at Fashion Fair."
I personally haven't tried Fashion Fair products, however members of family have and said that they have found that the pigments in the colouring was too red and overpriced for the amount you receive.
So I'm looking forward to seeing how Sam's expertise in make up and skin tone within the women of colour will impact Fashion Fair.
For more information: Fashion Fair, Sam Fine.
Photo by Eva Fydrych
Vancouver is a coastal harbour city in British Columbia. It is the third largest city in Canada and it routinely tops the lists of the world's greatest places to live. With beautiful landscape and natural environment, interesting architecture, great restaurants, museums and galleries – it is definitely a destination worth visiting. Major film studios in Vancouver have turned the city into the third-largest film production centre in North America after Los Angeles and New York City, earning its film industry the nickname Hollywood North. Fashion scene in Vancouver has grown rapidly in the last couples of years, showing some fresh talent and innovative ideas. Local designers like Jason Malto, Malene Grotrian, Catherine Regehr or Obakki by Treana Peake are becoming more and more popular and recognized in the international markets.
Jason Malto Spring/Summer 2011 campaign
Robson Street – the main shopping street in the city – carries both designer brands and high street clothing chains. It is in fact one of the hippest shopping spots in Canada, where you can find everything from top-end vintage to fresh-off-the-runway. Robson street starts at BC Place and runs over 1.5 miles to Stanley Park. This unique street was named after John Robson, British Columbia provincial premier from 1889 to 1892, and it is considered one of the most expensive and trendy retail areas of Canada (next to Bloor Street in Toronto and Ste-Catherine Street in Montreal). With the eclectic mix of shops and restaurants, it is probably one of the biggest Vancouver attractions and a must-visit place for anyone interested in fashion.
Popular shopping malls in the surrounding area include: Pacific Centre Mall, Sinclair Centre, The Bay and Sears department stores, and exclusive Holt Renfrew.
Window displays at Sinclair Centre & Holt Renfrew in Vancouver, August 2011; Photos by Eva Fydrych
Yaletown – a trendy downtown neighbourhood. Many of Yaletown's former industrial brick warehouses have been converted into super-hip clothing stores, designer furniture outlets and showrooms. This is one of the best downtown spots for locating the latest fashion: clothes, shoes and accessories.
Don't miss Atomic Model Boutique (1036 Mainland Street) – that offers young contemporary designers such as Alice & Olivia, Blur, Harkham, La Rok, Sass & Bide, and collections from all main fashion capitals. It is a one-stop shopping destination for trendy haute couture. Eden (#104-1042 Hamilton Street) – a high-end boutique with a vintage Victorian feel – has a great selection of fashion from the US, UK and Europe.
John Fluevog store in Gastown; Photo by Eva Fyrdych
Gastown – the City's oldest neighbourhood – has changed enormously over the last ten years and is experiencing a true renaissance of style and design. This historic district is now home to independent art galleries, restaurants, nightclubs, souvenir shops, and stylish fashion stores with very unique interior design. Popular annual events that take place on the cobblestone streets of Gastown include the Vancouver International Jazz Festival and the Tour de Gastown international bicycle race.
John Fluevog store in Gastown; Photos by Eva Fyrdych
Chinatown – in the heritage area around Main Street and Keefer, you will find everything from fine embroidered linens to silk robes, exotic fresh products and delicious Asian cuisine. The summer weekend night markets are always popular and attract both locals and tourists looking for the freshly prepared Asian delicacies.
Chinatown in Vancouver is Canada's largest Chinatown. The “China Gate” on Pender Street was donated to Vancouver by the Government of the People's Republic of China following the Expo 86 world's fair, where it was on display. In addition to Han Chinese from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and
Mainland China, Chinese Latin Americans have also settled in this area.
Chinatown gate on Pender Street; Photo by Eva Fydrych
Chinatown; Photos by Eva Fydrych
Vancouver is not only a stylish cosmopolitan city, but also a perfect place for all art lovers. The city offers a great selection of museums and art galleries with permanent and visiting exhibitions. There are many interesting sculptures located in the streets, and some great examples of modern architecture and interior design.
You can find many galleries specializing in Native Art, and offering some of the largest collections in Canada. Masks, clothing, prints, and carvings – the rich tapestry of cultures belonging to the Indigenous Peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast.
“The surrealist revolution in art” exhibition; Photo by Eva Fydrych
Street sculpture: Photo by Eva Fydrych
When it comes to local transport, there are many great ways to explore Vancouver. One of them is taking a funky tourist bus, painted in pink or red, that can take you to all main city attractions. Have fun!
Pink sightseeing bus; Photo by Eva Fydrych
Find out more about Vancouver.