My 12th Feature In The ‘Independent Fashion Bloggers’ Weekly Roundup

IFB

IFB

Hot Links for Summer

Clearly, everyone around here is ready for warm weather. We’ve got kimono-inspired wraps, turbans, sunglasses, and sundresses, just to mention a few topics on the blogging radar this week. Where I live (San Francisco) it just gets cold and foggy in the summer, so I’m living vicariously through all of your summer wardrobe and beauty preparations. Bloggers are also covering some more sober topics including dress codes and marriage equality. There’s lots of good stuff to peruse so let’s get to the links!

Links à la Mode: May 21

SPONSOR: East Dane: Ferragamo ShoesSuperga, FurlaC/Meo CollectiveBaggu, Citrine Swim, Black leather booties, Veda, Wrap & Cotton dresses

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Black & Gold Glamour: Naija Wedding Style

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A few weeks ago, I did a blog post on Nigerian wedding, Aso & Ebi styles. My inspiration for this was I had been invited to a Nigerian wedding and for the first time in my life, I wanted to Go Naija Native.  I had this grand plan of choosing a style I liked, buying the fabrics and then getting a tailor to whip me up my first customised Naija Wedding creation.  However a lil’ problem namely-an anorexic wallet-meant I had to go back to the drawing board.  Well to my mother’s drawing board anyway.

Having attended weddings now for donkey decades, my mama (very conveniently) has an assortment of One Size blouses and wrappers with draw strings, so it meant I had a lot of choice.

I ended up opting for a black (embellished with sequins and lace, baby) and gold number. The 70/80s child in me loves that combination.  In the days leading up to the event, I was majorly worried about the outfit because it was so damn uncomfortable and restrictive!  So much so, that I decided that I needed armour to help me get through the pain.  And by armour, I mean make-up. And by that I mean: I got a make-up artist involved!

And without further ado, here’s the end result.

014017004Going Naija Native, was an experience I’ll never forget.  On the good side, wearing the wrapper made me feel like a demure geisha, as I walked, the constriction of the attire forced me to take small lady-like steps, my back was straighter and my head was tilted higher.  I have to admit, as corny as it sounds, I did feel deliciously ‘Nigerian’. Now lets talk negatives: don’t be fooled by the smile on my face in each pic, every pore on my body was oozing with sweat (yes, nice), when the gele was not tumbling off my head, it was giving me a damn headache!!  I could go on but why bother, you get the uncomfortable picture!

As much fun as it was playing the Naija Native Girl, and seeing the coooote glee on my mother’s face when she saw me all Nigerian’d Up: it will be a long time before I step into a blouse and wrapper contraption EVER AGAIN!!

Luckily, there are so many traditional alternatives when it comes to Nigerian weddings, I don’t have to wear a wrapper and blouse (with long sleeves!).  Here are some other gold aso-ebi styles I’ve my beady eyes on:

Bellanaija.com

Bellanaija.com

Fashionpoliceng.com

Fashionpoliceng.com

Anyhoo, back to me:

005I’m currently obsessed with punctuating my outfits with my/Ma’s red patent Prada’s: it gives that unexpected POW-Factor and makes my ensembles not so matchey-matchey.

What do you think of my Naija makeover? Do you have any upcoming weddings? What are you planning on wearing? Do tell, I’d love to know!

Top Accessory For Spring/Summer: The Glamorous Turban

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The history of the turban goes back a long fabulous way.  In fashion, the turban (or draped turban)can be traced back to at least the 18th century.  In the early 20th century, it grew to be commonly known as a symbol of Eastern Glamour.  However, in the 60s and 70s, with the help of designers like Biba and Halston: turbans became a popular accessory amongst Hollywood’s glamorous elite.  Trendsetters and shakers like Barabara Streisland, Elizabeth Taylor, Bianca Jagger and Sophia Loren paved the way for glamour by punctuating their outfits with turbans. At the moment, I’m really feeling the aura and impact of the ‘Glamorous Turban’.  If you follow my blog, you’ll know I’m obsessed with buying Ankara print materials and fashioning them into various shapes and sizes on my head.  However, the particular turbans I’m obsessed with at the moment are from a different beast.  Case in point, see below: 026As the 70s is one of my Go-To decades for fashion, I’m currently channeling Glamozonians like Barabara Streisand by pinning a brooch on my turbans.

noglitternoglory.com

noglitternoglory.com

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Ps I wore this turban to a party in Lagos, Nigeria recently and guys kept calling me ‘Jasmine’ (from Walt Disney’s, Aladdin):Honey, I’ll take it! For me, turbans are a Spring/Summer MUST- HAVE.   Why?  Well, let me throw a few of their good points at you: 1) This elegant accessory is as cheap as chips, but doesn’t look it: especially when you pin a brooch or feather on them.  In Nigeria, my turbans cost me N2,000 a pop (roughly 6 pounds).  If you look to Asos, their turbans range from about 6 to 10 pounds.  2) Turbans alluringly cover up a bad hair day or a ‘I can’t be arsed to style my hair’ day. 3) Turbans fit any season.  I do prefer them in Spring/Summer as I just think, ‘French Riviera Poolside Glamour’, but turbans can be easily worn in the Autumn/Winter. I mean, they cover your ears, helllooooo… If I haven’t managed to convince you to invest in a turban this season, maybe the chic factor oozing out of these turban-wearing ladies will.

Iddavanmunster.blogspot.com

Iddavanmunster.blogspot.com

turban2

Sydnestyle.com

Noglitternoglory.com

Noglitternoglory.com

Noglitternoglory.com

Noglitternoglory.com

Icovetthee.wordpress.com

Icovetthee.wordpress.com

So now I’ve convinced you to join the Fab Turban Posse for Spring/Summer, it’s a good time to tell you that ASOS is currently selling an assorted mix of turbans.  As stated, they range between 6 to 10 pounds. Get Shopping People: http://www.asos.com/search/turbans?hrd=1&q=turbans

Good Times @ Afropolitan Vibes Concert (Freedom Park, Lagos)

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A few weeks ago, I went to my first outdoor concert in Nigeria-  The Afropolitan Vibes Concert.  Set up by Ade Bantu, the concert takes place once a month in Lagos and aims to promote Africa’s live music talent.

bantucrew.us

bantucrew.us

I have to admit, as I walked to the entrance gate of the concert’s location (Freedom Park), I had a lot of fear in my heart.  I was shit-scared of attending a free concert in Lagos, thoughts were racing through my head like, ‘What would the security be like?’, ‘Would there be decent toilets?’, ‘What if it gets violent?’  And I have to say, I was so pleasantly surprised by the night, it was one of those few times when I felt like I was back in Berlin. The crowd were awesome, it was great to see such a diverse group- Africans, Germans, Americans et al- all grooving to the pulsating African beat.   There was a decent supply of drinks and lots of scrumptious food to go around. I even did a double take when I walked past a vegan kiosk.  We’ve come a long way with regards to entertainment: BRAVA AFROPOLITAN VIBES!!

My highlight of the night was being introduced to one of the live artists- Niniola.

bantucrew.us

bantucrew.us

She had so much charisma and energy on stage, and that combination interwoven with great vocal chords, meant she whipped the crowd into a frenzy.

Werunthings.com

Werunthings.com

And what did I wear? Oh this old thing…well sort of, as I’m pretty much living in this Ankara print skirt at the moment.

afro7Btw, my black and gold studded boots are by Faith (London), I looove them!

Check out Afropolitan’s Facebook page to know what’s up, down and under.

My Silverbird TV Fashion Program Airs Tonight On DSTV 252 @ 9pm!

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Hey Everyone, its been a while!  I’ve been a No-Show in the Blogosphere these past few weeks because I was putting my all into my fashion program so it could be ready to air this week.  And people, it was a loooot of production work: I never dreamt it would take so much work- from assisting the editor in choosing the right clips, to scripting the voice-over and then working with the design team on the Promo image, organising the promotion schedule with Silverbird’s radio and TV team and then composing a press release for press… you get the picture?  That’s why I took a leave of absence from the Blogging World.

But now, I’m ready to give birth and here’s the ‘scan shot’ of my baby.  What do you think?

stv promo pressI have to give a Special Thanks to The Fashion Engineer, for promoting the premier of my show on her blog.  The Fashion Engineer is one of the leading fashion and beauty blogs in this side of the continent, the fab lady behind it is called Sayedero Enytan.  She and her blog appear in about every ‘Top 10 Fashion Blog’ list in Nigeria.  I’ve followed her blog for years and its great when you can form a relationship with a fellow blogger and they support you in this way.

I’d also like to extend a Big Thanks to another heavy-hitting fashion and lifestyle blog, OnoBello,com, for promoting my program on their Go-To platform. I’m deeply honoured and grateful for their support to raise maximum awareness for my baby.

For all of you based in Nigeria, I hope you get to watch the program.  And for everyone else, I am working with STV to upload the Fashion Special on YouTube, so you’ll all have the opportunity to watch it.  WOOP!! WOOP!!

Have a good week!

 

 

9 to 5 Work Style, First Dates, Art Cafe Lagos…

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Yesterday evening, I had a delightful First Date wiiiiiith- A GIRL!  About two months ago, I met the lovely Anna at a YAP & E networking event and we spoke for a few minutes before she had to leave.  Liking her vibe, I took her details before she headed out the door.

Fast forward a couple of weeks later, we arranged to meet up after work.  I suggested the ‘Bar, Grill & Tea Room': Art Cafe because although I’d never been to it before, I was intrigued by its name and had seen some cool pics of it on a blog.

Upon, arriving at the restaurant, my eyes were immediately drawn to the graffiti painted on the corner of its entrance.

??????????With regards to my experience at the Art Cafe in general, I’ll definitely have to visit the eatery again so I can investigate every nook and cranny.  As the title of my post indicates, I was on a ‘first date’, so it was not the time to wander through the restaurant, taking pictures et al.  I did love the fact that the cafe had what they call an ‘outdoor oasis’ and I look forward to munching and drinking there after the Lagos unforgiving sun has set.

In summary, I liked the kooky ‘thrown together’ decor of the cafe and the warm earthy colour palette; it reminded me of a restaurant I would stumble upon in Berlin…

013????????????????????At a quick glance at the menu, I saw Art Cafe served a range of coffees and teas (including organic), homemade baked goods (hhmmm, Banana Cake!) and a bevvy of sandwiches, baguettes and toasties.

But back to my date, because she plays a large factor in why I enjoyed my first visit to the vibrant restaurant so much.  You know sometimes, you really want to go to an event or place, but then you mistakenly invite the wrong person and you spend the evening mentally stapling pins into his/her head?  Luckily, this was not the case for me last night.  Anna came to our date at the proper time and not Nigeria time (YAH!) and we proceeded to have a good chin wag for well over two hours.

In fact as she made me laugh for the upteenth time, I couldn’t help thinking- why it so hard to find the male equivalent of ‘Anna’ in Lagos??!  True, it was my second time of meeting her but from our chats and what I could see: she’s stunning, well spoken, funny, intelligent, career-driven: so much so, that she left her job to start her own global consulting business for non-profit organizations.  She’s also a huge fan of the Disney Princesses, and I love to hear quirky facts like that about people because I love to slip into that whimsical childlike realm…especially when life in Lagos is always there to bitchslap you back into reality.

Seeing how effortlessly stylish she looked last night as she sipped her tea, I asked if I could take some pics and she consented.  That made me like her even more, as I enjoy people’s company when they like to get involved/into the swing of things.

028??????????How lovely is the print on her form-fitting pencil dress?  If that’s not great 9 to 5 Work Style, I don’t know what is!

034The streamlined dress was made for her by her tailor.  Note To Self: I need to get her tailor’s details…

Before we left the Art Cafe, I got Anna to take a picture of myself.  Of course.  You’ll see there are no wigs insight today.  Yesterday, an aunt of mine saw my hair and remarked on how the sides were looking much better, so that and the fact that it was Too Damn Hot yesterday, encouraged me let my TWA fly!

??????????To round of this article, I urge those of you who have moved recently to Lagos and are looking for new ways to meet people to go for the networking events hosted by YAP & E.  That’s how I met Anna, and I owe the Founder a big Thank You.

I also urge you to pop into Art Cafe next time you’re feeling peckish, desert thirsty or just want to be surrounded by fab art whilst listening to soothing music.  I’m definitely going to take another trip there, the place has Retro Lagos Meets Vintage Mississippi In A Brooklyn Alleyway styled fashion shoot all over it!

Art Cafe: 282 Akin Olugbade Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.

My Clothes Credits: White lace top- Topshop, Midi Skirt- Peekaboo Vintage, Accessories- Vintage, Shoes: Prada

Sunday Best Clothes, Tropical Punch Style & Settling…

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Hello all, how was your long Easter weekend?  Isn’t it sad it’s all over, tsigh…

I feel I have to share that since I’ve been back in Nigeria, I’m enjoying going to church  a lot more.  Apart from the fact that I find the singing and Gospel sermon a lot more lively than I did in my former London church; I looove to observe how the ladies here dress to Praise The Lord. No be small ting O, in Lagos, the walk to the altar is like a runway and you best come correct.

I still haven’t adjusted to all the Church Razzle & Dazzle, but I have my Ma to bring me up to speed.  Here is what she wore to mass last week:

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??????????I love the intricate detailing of her dress, the floral applique, the tassel rope detailing on shoulder, the regal combination of gold and white…it was made by her tailor…

015When I wanted to take picture of my Ma’s footwear, she screeched at me, ‘No Biki, these are my house slippers!!’  I just laughed, these bejewelled slippers are her ‘casual’ footwear.  I want to be like this when I’m older, Glamour All The Way Baby…

Yesterday, although it was Easter Holiday Monday, there was no rest for the wicked and I went to Silverbird TV studios to do more production work on the Fashion Special show I’m making with them. I decided to don a maxi dress that would make one think of sandy white beaches, aquamarine waters and Tropical Punch!

??????????????????????????????I’m really into statement rings right now. My snake one is by H & M, I collect Snake Accessories, and was happy to add it to my reptile pile!  The ring on the left is my Ma’s, I borrowed slash stole it!

??????????Dress and earrings: H& M

What do you think of Lulu Lola?  That’s what I call this wig by the way! Here is what she looks like when I lay her down:

007And now to discussing Settling: I don’t know if its the same for most of you, but I’ve found that as I grow older and gain more knowledge of what I want and where I want to head in life, I tend not to make many compromises with regards to who I let and keep in my life socially. Putting it bluntly, I have a low bullshit threshold. However, I’m new to Lagos and can’t approach cultivating friendships with guns blazing.

With that in mind, fast forward to me having a conversation with my Ma about a guy I was trying to befriend.  He had made a few irritating comments one of which was, ‘I hate it when you try to act like you’re not Nigerian’ (a statement I’ll HAVE to dissect at another time, but till then bear in mind the guy has met me all of 4 times in this lifetime).  Anyhoo, I was asking my ma for advise on whether it was time to start-accidentally, on purpose- ignoring his messages/calls.  My ma suggested that due to me social position (or lack thereof), it was worth pursuing the ‘shadows’ of a possible friendship with the dude.  In my opinion, to some degree she advised me to settle.

Had she given me this advice in Berlin, I would not have followed it as I have enough friends in either city to not suffer fools lightly- however Lagos is another story.  To make a long story not very long: I followed her advice, and as you can guess it was to my detriment.  However, the experience has made me stronger and I’ll be raising my bullshit threshold,that much higher!

When was the last time you settled or compromised on your values?  And how was it to your detriment? Do tell, I’d love to know!

 

My TV Style, Statement Eyeglasses & Vivica A. Fox Wig….

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I totally landed in Lagos last week Wednesday, upon touchdown, I had to head straight to the TV company I’ve been working with.  If you read my blog regularly, you’ll know that earlier on this year during London Fashion Week A/W 2015, I filmed a Fashion Special for a TV studio in Lagos.  Well, I had to put the project on ice when I returned to Nigeria because I was in Port Harcourt working in the school, and there was no way I was going to leave the hard drive/’my baby’ with the Lagos team, whilst I was in Port Harcourt.  Anyhoo, I’m back in Lagos now and the project can go on as I’ll be in town to supervise and assist daily with the editing and promotions.

As part of the promotions for the Fashion Special program, the TV team suggested I do a Teaser to whet people’s appetite.  So last week, I went to the studio to film the Teaser, it was a lot of hard work as there’s so much to think about when you’re in front of the camera- there’s the worry of remembering what to say, speaking in a coherent fashion and then for me: I have to watch out that I don’t look like Jim Carrey on acid because I realised on playback that I’m super SUPER animated when I speak- my eyes/eyebrows wriggle all over the place, my arms flail wildly, why hasn’t anyone told me this??  Anyhoo, I wore this to the studio:

??????????People, I AM OBSESSED WITH MY NEW LILAC D&G GLASSES.  For years now, I’ve wanted a pair of statement glasses for my everyday shenanigans.  You know ones that scream, Yes I’m Shortsighted And WhhhAAAT??!! Now, I’ve got them, what do you think?

I’m also wearing one of Vivica Fox’s wigs from the actress’s, Vivica A. Fox Hair Collection line. Maybe it’s all that Wendy Williams watching, but I’m totally into wigs now.  My hairline suffered a lil’ bit from the Mohawk cornrow style I did over Christmas, so as much as I adore that hairstyle, I have to listen to my hairline and leave it well alone for now. But at the same time, I’m so BORED of looking in the mirror and seeing the same ol’ TWA, so HelllloooOO Wigs! Underneath this black bob, I’ve a protective hairstyle where my entire hairline is out in its fuzzy glory and I’ve cornrowed the rest of my hair, as this made it grow the last time. This is a good hair compromise, non?

Vivica Fox- Thank You! Personally, I think starting this hair extensions line is the best thing she’s done throughout her whole career!!  I can almost forgive her for dating 50 cent and wearing that Hoochy Contraption to the Grammys. If you don’t know what I mean…

Grindmixtapes.com

Grindmixtapes.com

I’m super excited about how the Teaser and Fashion Special will turn out and I’ll keep you posted each step of the way!  Have a good week! Bisous

 

 

 

 

My 11th Feature In The ‘Independent Fashion Bloggers’ Weekly Roundup

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IFB

IFB

Learning à la Mode

The thing I love most about fashion blogging is that it’s rarely only about clothes. It’s about the cultural traditions behind an outfit, using your creativity to create a whole new look, or to discover the real personalities behind style icons. This week’s roundup is enlightening in so many ways. We learned that Nigerian women really know how to do it up for weddings, that two skirts worn together can look very chic, that Anna Wintour is lovely during an interview (and might even tell you your second-hand dress is pretty), how to survive a shopping break… read on for these educational tidbits and so much more!

Links à la Mode: March 26

SPONSOR: Shopbop: Spring dresses, Nude, and Black Wedges, Black Booties,Peep Toe Booties, Ankle boots, Knee High boots, Leopard Flats, Red Pumps & Wedge Sandals

Want to be featured in Links à la Mode?
1. Read the updated rules and submit your links on this page: Links à la Mode.
2. If your link was selected and you need this week’s code, visit this page: Links à la Mode Code.

Nigerians Do Glamour- Aso-Ebi Style Edition

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So. Ok. If you’d asked me when I lived in London if I enjoyed weddings, I would have replied in the negative. However, now I spend more time in Nigeria, I have to say, I really enjoy weddings.  You see here Nigerians, well Lagosians give you a Wedding ExtravaganzA!  Budget willing, that translates into majorly lavish settings, great range of food, amazing music etc etc AND THE FASHION SHOW OF ALL SHOWS.

It is the latter, I’m focusing on today.  You see, up to this point, every Nigerian wedding I’ve attended, I’ve dressed in Western clothing and felt good with my appearance until I got to the wedding reception.  It’s at that point I’ve felt like how Cinderella felt the night she watched her step-sisters and step-ma go to the ball in their finery as she remained in her dour rags.

So this year I said- No More, its time for Mama to join the Flash Brigade and get her a traditional attire sewn.  That has meant I’ve had to get a crash course lesson in aso-ebi wedding style.  What is aso-ebi? It’s a social culture that originated from South-West Nigeria.  By direct translation, it means ‘Uniform, solidarity outfit of the family’. When this culture began, it was a uniform outfit worn by family members of a celebrant during an occasion.  It was how guests identified themselves.  What began as a symbolic gesture, moved to a symbolic F-A-S-H-I-O-N fiesta.  The fabrics also evolved from the aso-ebi fabric (one of the oldest Nigerian indigenous fabrics) to aso-ebi worn in different fabrics- lace aso-ebi, ankara aso-ebi etc.

Ok, now you’ve been schooled, let’s see what I’m speaking about shall we?  Whilst deciding upon the style, fabric, print etc of the aso-ebi I’ll get sewn, I’ll do these aso-ebi editions, to show you my inspirations and give you a taste of the Glam Factor in Nigerian Wedding Style.

Emerald Green Delight

asoebi24Pastel  Perfection

asoebi18Va Va Voom Print

asoebi20Simply Chic

asoebi1150s Retro Fabulous

asoebi10Embellish Embellishment

asoebi8It’s All In The Back

asoebi5Tangerine and Beige

asoebi4Regal In White

asoebi27Mermaid-style Finery

asoebi21I love how the aso-ebi can be worn in the full blown traditional syle, Gele(head gear) and all and how it can be worn in a more contemporary way, i.e. using a 50s silhouette. I’ll be going for all the bells and whistles with my aso-ebi.  Which is your favourite? Which would you like designed for yourself?  Do tell, I’d love to know!

Images Courtesy of Bella Naija

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