Monthly Archives: January 2012

This Or That Edition Featuring Kaisa Struss, Solange Knowles, Ashley Madekwe, Nyasha Matonhodze, Kerry Washington, Lady Gaga & Yaya DaCosta

This or That Edition on CulturalToast.com examines style trends on and off the red carpet. Sometimes it’s a fashion face-off or two looks that’s quite similar. There’s plenty of great features such as this and much more published daily on the Tumblr page. This or That has quickly become a hot commodity on CulturalToast.com. Join us in discovering a few fashionable style shows we couldn’t resist sharing with our readers. Origami, ankara, lace and ombre all made it into our latest This or That edition.

First up, there’s THE coveted Burberry Prorsum SS 2012 ankara jacket that appeared on the February 2012 cover of Harper’s Bazaar Spain featuring Kasia Struss and was also seen on Lady Gaga. This ankara print jacket first made its runway appearance during London Fashion Week before it was later seen on Lady Gaga.

Lady Gaga vs. Kaisa Struss in Burberry Prorsum SS 2012

Actress YaYa DaCosta and Solange Knowles are into this season’s trend of the moment – lace. Don’t you love Solange’s green lace Dolce & Gabbana Aso Oke-esqe dress during Milan Fashion Week? YaYa added green accessories to her black off the shoulder lace dress when she attended W Magazine’s 69th Annual Golden Globes award celebration in New York City. Natural curls and bold red lipsticks completed both fashionista’s red carpet looks.

YaYa DaCosta vs. Solange Knowles in lace

Editorial to real life has never looked glamorous thanks in part to Nyasha Matonhodze and Kerry Washington’s origami white Donna Karan frock. Kerry was seen in this lovely get-up from Donna Karan’s Resort 2011 collection at the 8th Annual Keep A Child Alive Black Ball. Nyasha wore this look for her Vogue Japan November 2011 editorial.

Nyasha Matonhodze vs. Kerry Washington in Donna Karan

Zimbabwe’s it girl and Louis Vuitton’s it model Nyasha Matonhodze wraps up our fun This or That edition thanks to her high-profile Topshop Fall 2011 print AD campaign. ABC’s Revenge Ashley Madekwe is also a fan of this ombre look when she attended the Forevermark and InStyle Golden Globe event.

Ashley Madekwe vs. Nyasha Matonhodze in Topshop

Has any of these looks inspired your next evening out on the town?

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This Or That examines style trends on and off the red carpet. Sometimes it’s a fashion face-off or two looks that’s quite similar.

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Kendra Wilkinson in Christiane King at the 2012 Golden Globes

Reality TV star and former Playboy starlet Kendra Wilkinson pose in a stunning white strapless number by Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire fashion designer Christiane King at the 2012 Golden Globes NBC Universal Viewing After Party. She completed her look with pink suede peep-toes and her husband Hank Baskett! (-wink-!) Kudos to stylist Gabby Lewis for picking this red carpet gem for Kendra!

Hollywood embracing African fashion at major red carpet events is always a winning combo. Who could forget Nicole Ari Parker’s Kiki shirdress during Oscar weekend 2011? Didn’t you cheer when Angela Simmons was seen in a Virgos Lounge dress at New York Fashion Week?

Christiane King, best known appearing on Project Runway, posted on her Facebook page  that Kendra’s wearing the Marilyn dress from her latest collection, which can be yours for $445. (This dress also comes in black!)

Christiane King on her Marilyn dress: Channel your flirty side and take on holiday parties in our pretty Marilyn dress. The subtle sweetheart neckline, sequined bodice, and the three-dimensional floral mesh skirt combine for an evening look that’s short and sweet.

It’s great to see African fashion designers getting that Hollywood nod! Speaking of which, big congrats to Idris Elba (representing London, Ghana, Sierra Leone) on his win for Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television award at the 69th annual awards event! He won a Golden Globe for his role in the BBC drama series, “Luther.”

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Cultural Presence looks at how celebrities and everyday people wear African fashion straight from the runway.

Best of 2011: Models To Watch

2011 produced lucrative milestones for African models both on and off the runway. Fatima Siad, David Agbodji, Ajak Deng, Makida Moka and Ataui Deng arguably held down the runway and editorial fashion strut this year.

Zimbabwe’s Nyasha Matonhodze has arguably become the it model of the year thanks in part to her Topshop, Louis Vuitton, and current Versace pre-Fall 2012 AD campaign. Nyasha walked down the runway for Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, Lowe, Narciso Rodriguez, Michael Kors, Yves Saint Laurent, and she also appeared in the March 2011 editorials for Harper’s Bazaar and Teen Vogue magazines.


Sudanese models Ajak Deng and Ataui Deng (not related!) won over the crowds at various international fashion week presentations from New York to London to Paris for Christian Dior, Lanvin, Thierry Mugler, Reed Krakoff, PreenMara Hoffman, Oscar de la Renta, and Manish Arora. Ataui and Ajak appeared in the crowd favorite Harper’s Bazaar editorial.

Togo’s leading male model David Agbodji had women swooning over his Express and Calvin Klein print AD campaigns. David also cleared up the rumor that he’s Nigerian! He signed on to do editorial work for D&G, Cole Haan, Gap and Harper’s Bazaar. On the runway he proved why he’s the only male model to watch on our radar in 2012! Swag, indeed!

America’s Next Top Model alum Fatima Siad’s biggest accomplishment came courtesy of  her groundbreaking Hermes runway appearance. Shortly after Fatima appeared in two stunning magazine photo shoots for Jones and Arise. Fatima certainly proved that there is a CAREER after ANTM! As Fatima eloquently said to The Cut,  If you use your time on the show in a smart way, you can take your career to the next level.

Nigerian-Jamaican model and Face of Sleek Nigeria winner  Makida Moka was Bridget Awosika’s muse for her Spring/Summer 2011 presentation. She also landed a modeling gigs with two rising Nigerian labels, Maki Oh and Phunk Afrique. In five years she plans to launch her own clothing line. Makida obviously loves and supports the successful Buy Nigerian fashion campaign and we are eager to see which label she collaborates with next.

Flaviana Matata, Chika Emmanuel, Eku Edewor, and Millen Magese are four models we predict are onto groundbreaking moves in 2012. Which one of these models are you going to watch out for in 2012?

image credits – Getty, Style, Wireimage, Twitter, Models.com

Cultural Annual Review is a recap of what happened in 2011!

Best of 2011: 12 Fashion-Forward Designer Labels To Watch

2011 is over and done with but let’s look back at what a great year in fashion it has been for several notable African-run labels. Bridget Awosika, Suno, Jewel By Lisa, Anita Quansah London, Virgos Lounge, Burberry, Bunmi Koko, Mimi Plange, LemLem, Kiki Clothing, Suno and Thakoon ruled the red carpet with classy innovative sleek designs. A winning factor for each designer was of course the loyal support of their high-profile clients.

Jewel By Lisa

Lisa Folawiyo, creative director and founder of Jewel By Lisa, has solidified her fashion stance. From her well accepted approval at Arise Made in Africa New York Fashion Week presentation to her newly launched diffusion line, The J Label, Lisa’s JBL has proved she’s truly a houshold name in fashion. Her biggest milestone in 2011 came courtesy of E News Correspondent Catt Sadler wearing her designs three times on air. JBL has gone Hollywood! Jewel By Lisa went on to become a red carpet fan favorite as seen on Eku Edewor, Solange Knowles, Kendall Jenner, Genevieve Nnaji, and many more. Currently Lisa has announced plans to release a coffee table book which CulturalToast.com previewed at NYFW SS 2012 and it’s definitely worth the wait! We’re eager to see what Lisa has planned for 2012!

Anita Quansah London


2011 was Anita Quansah London’s year of success! Public admiration for Anita Quansah London’s handcrafted jewelry collection ignited when Keisha Buchanan stepped out in a neckpiece at Naomi Campbell’s Fashion for Relief launch. Nigerian singing sensation Tiwa Savage was obsessed with Anita Quansah London designs whenever she had a red carpet event to attend. Shortly after Anita Quansah London announced her collaboration with fellow Nigerian fashion label Jewel By Lisa for their new diffusion line, The J Label. Currently Anita Quansah London is working on a new diffusion line due to launch soon!

Kiki Clothing



When actress Nicole Ari Parker visited her husband’s paternal home of Ghana, she fell in love with Ghanaian, Nigerian fashion house Kiki Clothing. Nicole wore not one but two dresses from Kiki Clothing to major high-profile red carpet events this past year. Back in October, Kiki Clothing presented their latest collection at Africa Fashion International Week in Cape Town, South Africa. Kiki Clothing’s founder Titi Ademola is sure to bring IT in 2012!

Bridget Awosika


A well deserved recognition from Vogue Italia was just a perfect way to sum up rising Nigerian fashion label Bridget Awosika’s 2011. Nigerian TV personality Eku Edewor became Bridget Awosika’s most vocal, loyal supporter. Beloved by top Nigerian red carpet beauty queens like Funmi Iyanda, Tiwa Savage, Eku Edewor, EMLN 2011 winner EMLN 2011 winner Chika Chinwe, Nigerian model Makida Moda, and Adora Oleh. Bridget Awosika has bloosom to a high ranking contemporary womenswear line. 2012 will of course bring the Bridget Awosika name to red carpet fever heights!

Virgos Lounge

When Nigerian stylist Kanayo Ebi pick out a silver sequin one-shoulder jumpsuit for her client Angela Simmons, all wanted to know who design it Nigerian, London-based label Virgos Lounge has provided women with contemporary, vintage-inspired designs since its 2008 launch. Currently the label just release their Party Collection featuring their favorite model Omowunmi Gbadamosi. Angela has since bought the glamour of Virgos Lounge to Betsey Johnson’s runway presentation at New York Fashion Week.

Suno

First Lady Michelle Obama, Esperanza Spalding, Solange Knowles, Heidi Klum and Tai Beauchamp all wore the bold prints from the New York-based fashion label in 2011. Whether it’ll be Tai’s Suno x Loefller Randall canvas printed wedges or Michelle’s s silk pleated skirt, Suno produced classy design that will make every fashion-forward girl splurge a little! Suno currently re-launched their e-commerce site, where fashionistas can either window shop or shop ’til they drop!

Thakoon

Two Kardashian sisters (Kim & Khloe), Solange Knowles, First Lady Michelle Obama, and supermodel Iman sworn by Thakoon in 2011. Thakoon also created a limited edition Massai print scarf that sends all proceeds to famine-torn countries within the Horn of Africa – Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti. Although Thakoon’s pre-Fall 2012 collection is a slight departure from their print heavy, Kenya-inspired Fall 2011 collection, we’re eager to see what else they have in store for 2012!

Burberry

Burberry was definitely inspired by rich African textiles for their 2012’s Resort and Spring collections. Lady Gaga, Anna Wintour, Solange Knowles, Kate Bosworth and Transformers star Rosie Huntington-Whiteley were faithful to Burberry’s prints in 2011. The hoopla on all things African fashion intensified, hasn’t it?

Mimi Plange

2011 produced Mimi Plange’s biggest accomplishment thanks to her collaboration with Manolo Blahnik which she revealed at her A Flower in the Desert Spring/Summer 2012 presentation during New York Fashion Week in front of her fellow fashion supporters Duro Olowu, Bethann Hardison, Rachel Zoe and Andre Leon Talley. Kat Graham, Vanessa Hudgens, Rihanna, Kristen Cavallari, Mary Birdsong, and Estelle were all seen in Mimi Plange designs.

Bunmi Koko

Before Bunmi Koko’s founder Bunmi Olaye stepped down as the lead designer from her label, she provided classy eccentric designs as seen on Omotola, Melanie Brown, Michelle Williams, and Keisha Buchanan in 2011. (FYI: Omotola was the first to wear the lime pleated dress from Bunmi Koko’s Spring/Summer 2012 Allure of The Sirens collection. Currently Bunmi Koko presented a revamped website or a droolworthy e-commerce site. As for any explanation why Bunmi departed her label, she only had the following to offer: I have not giving up on my dream, however the time has come for me to pursue a vision that is entirely my own.

LemLem

LemLem ‘s founder Liya Kebede put her supermodel skills to the test in 2011 when she stepped out on numerous occasions wearing her Ethiopia-based womenswear line. We fell in love with Liya’s handkerchief-styled handwoven tunic when she attended the Tribute to the Models of Versailles 1973 at MET back in January. Who could resist her scarf, too? Liya continued to be her label’s best spokesmodel when she wore Lem Lem to two high-profile New York City film screenings. Currently LemLem has launched a Tumblr and of course a hip new Resort 2012 collection. Liya started LemLem in 2007 “inspire economic independence in her native country and to preserve the art of weaving.” We’re eager to see what else Lem Lem has to offer!

Wrapping up the very best moments in African fashion were Gwen Stefani’s L.A.M.B collection, Chayla’s Deola Sagoe stunner at New York Fashion Week, Eku Edewor’s Republic of Foreigner embellished top, Teyana Taylor’s Vibe Vixen African-inspired shoot, Jackie Appiah’s Jil F.A.C.E. List Awards dress, Genevieve Nnaji showing loyalty to Zed Eye & Jewel by Lisa time and time again, and Gregory Parkinson’s African-inspired totes. These designer labels are THE ones to watch in 2012 as we predict more groundbreaking milestones to come for each one. Out of the 11, which one has you wanting to know what’s their next move in 2012?

image credits – Getty, Splash, WENN, Wireimage, Twitter, Facebook

Cultural Annual Review takes a look back in the previous year in film, fashion, entertainment and much more!