Last weekend saw me working my makeup magic backstage at the world famous grand finale ‘Top Model Of Colour’ competition. In its 9th season it promised to be a spectacular event narrowing the large number of applications down to just 14 finalists. All 14 girls were winners in their own right by making it to the final, but only one lucky girl would be crowned Top Model of Colour Season 9 winner, winning a year contract with Mahogany International Model management amongst other prizes.
The winner… Aramatou
Being a well established event in it's 9th year and being the head hair and makeup artist I meant business. Everything needed to be perfect, these young ladies needed to feel a million dollars when they graced the catwalk in front of the judges and spectators of fashionistas, celebrity's, models, scouts and magazines. My job along with my team was to make that happen.
Working with head stylist Malaika Mwaniki from a moodboard I chose and designed a beautiful look to suit all girls. Using Mehron UK for Treasure House of Makeup I picked out beautiful hues to compliment the girls skin tones making them look and feel like a princess.
Makeup: Bev K, Rose Taylor, Rosita Baiamonte & Shindy. Hair: Byrony O’dame, Daniela De Cervo & Helen Leonard
KEY PRODUCTS – Mehron UK
- Célèbre pro cream foundation (base, contour, highlight)
- HD Loose powder
- Blusher in shades in Rosewood or Mocha
- Eyeshadow in shade Cocoa and White
- Lip cream in shade Cotton Candy
- Eyeshadow to match brow shade
- Black eyeliner very natural flick
- Black mascara
- Highlighter to compliment each skin tone
For the hair we kept it simple. Pulled off the face into bun so that the girls facial features really popped for all to see.
I take this opportunity to say a massive congratulations to all involved in this years final and pre show photoshoot and a special thank you to my team.
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!!!
Let me get straight to the point here, is the Top Model of Colour competition a racist, outdated competition that is no longer needed as all models of colour now operate on an equal footing with Caucasian models?
I ask this question as I recently received the email below and it alleges to be from an African American, The Email; Written by Camille Schmidt
Ok, My personal Twitter to you, as an African American Woman, I'd like to know who why do you label your Moel Show, '' Top Model of Color?''
I mean who the f(*^(^^$ would say that or label a show that in 2011. The first Top Model of Color was Beverly Johnson (USA), back in the late ''60's early 70's and 40 years later these woman of Color in Britain & Holland are still letting you single them out? So by saying ''Top Model of Color'', you are basically separating the women of color from the European women. You are in effect saying that the women of color have to have their own show, they can't participate in ours, etc. Either you are too dumb to understand the reality of what your show is doing by labeling women of color as different, or just plainly prejudice!
Sadly, you have bamboozled Blacks in Europe who will let you label them, separate them; in this fashion! Wake up it's 2011. I wonder what Tyra would say???
Or please pray tell, is this a network designed to introduce more Women of Color into the modeling world? Please help me understand, because in 2011, any women of color has a shot at a regular modeling career, the same as a White woman.
Another side to the story - I received an email from the London College of Fashion and it read as follows, the key bit is highlighted in bold below, The Email; Written by London College of Fashion
"Over the past few years we have been trying to diversify the look we have on the catwalk – our creative director has been instrumental in creating a show which demonstrates the breadth of talent that exists at LCF but also the extraordinary diversity within our student body which reflects fashion in its truest and most international state. LCF has worked hard to provoke debate around body image, age, beauty and ethnicity – and we want this to be reflected in our shows. Although there is plenty of evidence that the fashion world is changing we don’t think it is fast enough – and given that our students are the future of the industry we feel that it’s our role to be the ones to push boundaries.
But we feel that diversity especially amongst the models which are put forward for our shows by modelling agencies are not representative – hence the reason we’re looking to the public."
I have my views on both sides of the two emails but as always I look to you to educate me.
I have no idea of why I am talking about my personal issues here, o yes now I remember, I went down to register with the doctor and it took 10 days to complete the registration and then I went back to fix an appointment and it took a further 8 days to give me a date that I could come back to see a doctor – seriously in that space of time I could of cured myself or died. Anyway as I write (I nearly wrote right) I am still in serious pain, but the show must go on.
Enough about me and lets get on to some more interesting things, its spring time and the weather flatters to deceive as the sun is shining and it seems quite warm and with spring time comes the event season in full force.
Mahogany Bridal Fashion Show...
On Sunday 20th March we had our Mahogany Bridal Fashion Show and even if I say so myself and also based on feedback that I have received from exhibitors and visitors alike, it was a fantastic show – CHECK OUT SOME OF THE PICTURES. It also saw the debut collection of Nana Afua the current Top Model of Colour winner showcasing her collection under the design lable Adopted Culture - we wish her all the best as she strives to be a top designer alongside being a top model.
On that note I should also say well done to Iju who was the runner up of Top Model of Colour UK she was one of the few Nigerian models that was chosen to catwalk alongside all of the international models such as Aminata Ayinde (winnner of ANTM) at Arise Magazine Fashion Week that is a fantastic achievement. Makida Moka who also took part in TMC UK also featured as a model at AMFW.
Essex Fashion Week...
I took a trip down to Essex Fashion Week as Sherece Rainford of Sassi Pr invited us down. I really can't keep up with the fact that everyone is doing a fashion week. This is its first year and as such there was not too much to shout about, except when I walked in there I thought that I had entered the Orange mobile tent as it was awash with the glow of orange from the number of girls that had fake sun tans. That aside it would be interesting to see how it develops.
Young Designers Awards...
Saturday is the Young Designers Awards which has been going for a while now and has a way of discovering new talent. So believe it or not this year is going to be the first time that I am attending the event, so I will give feedback in my next blog.
Upcoming Events In Brief...
FASHIONS FINEST RENAISSANCE – 17TH April - MORE INFORMATION HERE
TOP MODEL OF COLOUR - APPLY NOW
FASHIONS FINEST AWARDS – 22ND July – MORE INFORMATION & TICKETS
AFRICA FASHION WEEK LONDON – 5 & 6 AUGUST – places still available to showcase – no fee to pay as places are sponsored for UK based designers – deadline is 31st MARCH. Email for an information and application pack.
Most of you know that I am an American Idol fan and last night it was Motown night on American Idol and my boy Jacob Lusk (see me talking as if I know him or he knows me), sang like a Mother F**k*rrrrrrr. That boy can blow, sorry I don't have the video from yesterday night to show you, but to give you and idea of how great he is I have included below the video from his audition. Tell me he can't sing, I dare you!
He was asked to sing for his life but only seconds into the song he was stopped by the judges who unanimouslyvoted to use their one and only save to keep in the competition. lucky him he will also be going on the tour - well deserved.
Not sure what happened with the voting this time round but America you got it wrong.
News in Brief...
I so want to talk about Libya – but I can't – it pains me that I can't, it so so pains me – can you feel my pain? My views on western hypocrisy may get me sent to Guantanamo Bay.
I am not even going to mention his name as he is not worthy to have his named spoken in public but someone that can rape and assault elderly women needs to rot in jail till he dies, in my opinion that is too nice a sentence.
A fantastic actress was buried today and may she rest in perfect peace.
Moan & Groan...
It's been a while since I did a proper moan and groan but following on from my Arise Magazine Fashion Week blog and my having a go at designers in my last blog. I now feel that I have to do an official moan and groan and unfortunately I have to once again have a go at designers.
I feel that it is only fair that if I have a go at models for being unprofessional, I should also have a go at (some) designers for committing the same sort of unprofessionalism. My point is this, if I offer you a COMPLIMENTARY (you saw that I put it in capitals so that I could emphasise the point that the designer is not paying), place at one of my shows and then you tell me at the last minute that you can't do the show or even worse you do not show up, trust me I am going to black list your A**E (sorry but you have to fill in the blanks) and never again would you ever get a complimentary place in one of my shows, no promotions, no referrals and you would always pay full price if you ever want to be in one of my shows again.
It costs us a lot of money to put on shows but overall as the designer you get the real benefit of doing the show as you get the business, the kudos etc and just cos you got it for free you feel that you can just cancel last minute. You better believe it, that if you do that to me I know where you live and I will come for you.
On a serious note designers, models, creatives if you commit to something you must be professional and deliver and stay committed no matter what crops up, cos I know that if you paid with your hard earned money you would not be cancelling and the truth of the matter is that you are spoiling it for others.