The Royal Wedding recently took place and a friend of mine that had nothing to do with his life sent me over a BBM and it did a comparison between a British Royal Wedding and a African Royal Wedding.
Due to the fact that some of it is in pigeon English I have had to do a translation for our non African compatriots.
See people wey get money to do wedding, yet dress simple, the bride's gown is simple and is not exposing any cleavage. The priest preached a meaningful message within 20mins, he no use handkerchief/towel, he no drink water/juice, he no need scream and do show-offz.
He wrote his sermon on a piece of paper not ipad/lapy. He no need to hail iya Charlie or do any form of patronising. No Aso ebi wey cost well, No thanksgiving, offering etc.
No babes with fake eyelashes, holding blackberry and pinging @ reception.
Chei, 9ja hail una.
See Queen of England convoy. Just one car and one SUV. If na Naija u go see cars with siren and Anti riot squad, Anti bomb squad, Bakassi boys, OPC, Boko Haram, Kalakato, NSCDC, FRSC, SSS, Army, NN, NAF, EFCC, Militants and all 4 d convoy....na wa Naija!
Translated English Version with a Mr Mahogany Twist
When rich people do a wedding and despite the fact that they have lots of money they do not over dress and dress simply in coat and tail and elegant dresses with hats, they don't go to a wedding exposing all of their cleavage.
When the priest gets up on the pulpit to preach at the wedding, it is a meaningful message that lasts for 20 minutes not 2 hours, the priest wrote it on a small piece of paper and was not using an Ipad or laptop. Whilst preaching he did not need to sing the praises of her majesty, he was not pouring sweat when he preached, he did not need to drink water or juice, he did not need to scream and shout and roll on the ground to get his message across. There was no thanks giving offering that asked for you to donate every penny you had, plus your car and you
At the wedding there were no women wearing fake eyelashes and whilst the ceremony was going on they were not using their Blackberry’s and pinging during the church service. As you know if this had been a black wedding the BBM’s would have been going off nonstop, with updates, pictures, Facebook status and twitter update by the second, with running commentary of whom was with whom and whom should not have been with whom and how some women forgot to cream their feet and you could see the white crustiness of their feet.
Finally when the various members of the royal family were on their way to the church they arrived with only one range rover following behind, but if it had been a black wedding behind the royal car there would have been cars with sirens blaring, anti riot police, bomb squad, CIA, FBI, Mossad, MI5, MI6, the Army, the Marines, Special Forces, helicopters and unmanned drones.
Black people just need to make sure that when they get married EVERYONE knows about it.
HEY PEOPLE THIS WAS JUST A BIT OF FUN!
WRITTEN BY SOPHIA BAKER
In this feature we will be addressing the lack of black model in high end fashion magazines and why that is so. When I first began my research into the black models in the UK and the US, I knew I would come across some unpleasant truths but I did not expect to feel totally deflated by when I concluded my research.
Firstly let us look back to a time when black women were dominant in the media. In Paris 1921, Miss Josephine Baker a performer, with an audience of the rich and white set the standard for others to follow and opened the door for other black women. Of course she encountered opposition and prejudice but generally she was adored, praised, envied and lusted after by both men and women. Paris was more open to different races it would seem and there were black models gracing the runways in the 1940s and 1950s. But although all appeared well, Josephine and other young black women were still subjected to racism and seen as freaks or savages. Similar to what Sarah Baartman experienced when she was brought over from her native South Africa in 1810 and paraded as a freak in a circus because of her big bottom. You might ask well how does that relate to black women today, why is it relevant? Well it helps for us to understand what the audience viewed black women as. Why were they subjected to abuse while their white counterparts were not?
It goes back to what beauty meant at the time. Beauty was something that could was understandable, something conventional and unlikely to offend. A black woman could be considered completely beautiful, have flawless skin, great bone structure but if her skin was too dark, well that was unacceptable and incomprehensible for blacks and whites. Afua Adom features editor of Pride magazine and a freelance fashion stylist says, 'I know loads of black models who have experienced racism in the industry. Apparently mainstream won't be able to relate to a black model'. Who on earth could change the perceptions of the white gaze in the 1950s? Maybe Helen William's, the model who had the aquiline nose, big oval eyes, perfect lips – not too big. The girl who was offensively described as a white girl dipped in chocolate (by other black women). Although extremely offensive, that did not stop William's from breaking through to 'white' magazines. There was a place for dark skinned woman after all and Helen opened the door.
Black women were breaking all kinds of barriers down. In the 1960s, British icon Donyale Luna became the first black model to feature on the cover of UK Vogue in 1966. Beverly Johnson became the first black model to feature on the cover of US Vogue in 1974. Tyra Bank's was on the cover of the best selling Sports illustrated in 1997. There were many firsts before and after these models and to date the Black Issue of Italian Vogue is still their highest seller. 'It was intended to be the worse selling issue but my campaign on Facebook helped it to sell out twice! I had a point to make', explains Sola director of Mahogany International Models.
French designers such as Givenchy, Christian Lacrois and Yves Saint Laurent preferred to use black models at one time but when Spaniard Paco Rabanne used Jamaican model Kelly Williams in one of his shows, there was outrage and controversy. The reaction from the audience was shock and disgust claiming that fashion was for whites not blacks. Hiro, a fashion photographer who worked for Harpers Bazaar at the time, was given an assignment in Kenya and requested a black model. It seemed logical that a black model would suit the surroundings more than a white model. His request was refused and so he turned down that job. Nick Knight is another fashion photographer, known for using unconventional models. In his video 'untitled' he expressed, 'I am virtually never allowed to photograph black models and usually no excuse is given'. Vivienne Westwood and Naomi Campbell have also expressed their views on the lack of black models represented in the industry. It would seem that this is not a new subject and yet there is nothing happening about it.
What is the real issue with using black models? Who are these high end magazines marketing to? The answer is the white and the wealthy. Sola says 'It is purely about money and opportunistic. When Italian Vogue made their black issue, it was around the time of Obama being elected as President and tied in nicely with current affairs. It was never about promoting black models'. This brings us back to the issue of black models don't sell. At least not to the intended market; how could a white woman relate to a black woman's shape, hair, and the way the clothes appear on them? So is it only about commerce or does race play a bigger role? In, 1976 when Iman appeared wearing clothes made by prominent designers such as YSL, Issey Miyake, Versace and many others, she appealed to the masses and was very successful for 14 years. But according to editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine from 1965-1997 Helen Gurley Brown, black would offend readers. It seemed like there was one rule for runways and another for magazine covers and editorials. Magazines typically stayed within a standard, and didn't stray too far from it. The publications did not want to alienate its audience. When Harpers Bazaar used Elizabeth Princess of Toro on their cover in 1969, they put a white model alongside her just in case they stood to alienate any of their regular readers. This ultimately diluted the presence of Elizabeth on the cover. There seemed to be a kind of Fascism when it comes to the industry. One has to be of the Aryan race, all blonde with blue eyes to exist. Fashion is all about the unobtainable, they don't want everyone to be able to get the nicer things in life. It is all about commerce and has never been about representing the colours of the world. So why not just accept that? I can't...
The world is so behind. Everyone seems to believe that we have more moved forward in terms of acceptance but in reality, it feels like the button is firmly pressed on pause. Sometimes it plays in slow motion and we get a breakthrough. After all, we have models such as Naomi and Alex Wek who have sustained a long career in this harsh business. Then we have the hopefuls, Jourdan Dun, Ajuma Nasenyana, Chanel Iman, Ajak Deng and Rose Cordero. All of which are stunning us and taking our breath away with their beauty. They reflect a wide range of black women and so therefore do not alienate black woman who do not fit the white girl dipped in chocolate mould. But we need more and soon. Of course there is racism in this business. And maybe there always will be in countries that are predominately white. Although we have had high profile figures in the industry who have spoken about it, no one is speaking now. The media has pacified the black public by making them believe that is has changed. They gave us the Black Issue of Italian Vogue (published only in Italian) in 2008. That was nearly three years ago. Hopefully with the exposure of these new black models they will be used more consistently and it is not just a replay of the 60s.
I think it is important that black models are seen as beautiful models and not beautiful 'black' models. Just why can't the model be beautiful and that is it? As demonstrated on the Channel Four series 'The Model Agency', new face Leomie Anderson was told she was 'one of the top breakthrough black models'. In which she replied 'aww that's nice' and appeared grateful for the title. I could almost hear her thinking why she could not just be breakthrough? Why black?
Fashion photographer Oliviero Toscani, had the right idea for his United Colours of Benetton campaigns. He used all kinds of people. He used people from the streets to reflect everyday life and what Benetton represented, their motto being 'All the colours of the world'. One day I hope to see all these colours because they are beautiful being black is not a trend, we are here to stay!
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.