Category Archives: African Fashion

Solange Loves Her Prints

Solange Knowles – one of Vogue’s Best Dressed Woman of the year – proved the high-end style publication RIGHT yet again when she stepped out in a Derek Lam number with funky Giuseppe Zanotti heels and a Lanvin clutch at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards in New York City. Everything about this Lanre da Silva Ajayi Couture-inspired look screams out – winning. It’s no wonder Vogue picked Solange for two years in a row for their best dressed list.Thanks to the West African-inspired lace patterns on Solange’s Derek Lam ensemble, that cultural presence is definitely presented. #AfroHipster

Derek Lam Spring Summer 2013

DJ Solange was in effect at the Mexico City opening of H&M.

While we patiently await the follow-up to Sol-Angel & The Hadley Street Dreams aptly named True, check out snippets of new music from Solange (below) or over at AMAZON.com. (I’ve already called Losing You as my current favorite jam. My favorite track is ) Solange’s EP True hits stores on November 27th.

image credits: getty images

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

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Thandie Newton Supports Jewel By Lisa

Thandie Newton was spotted wearing a Jewel By Lisa Spring/Summer 2012 jumpsuit and chrome Jimmy Choo “Anouk” heels at the Hope Rising Benefit concert in Toronto. Another red carpet superstar wearing JBL is always a breath of fresh air. Congrats to the JBL brand and its founder Lisa Folawiyo on this achievement. This is yet another step in JBL global red carpet take over.


In fact Thandie and her Half of A Yellow Sun co-star Anika Noni Rose paid a visit to Lisa Folawiyo’s showroom in Lagos. What a great moment for African fashion, isn’t it? This particular print that Thandie wore has also been seen on red carpet style stars Eku Edewor, Lola Ogunnaike, Catt Sadler, and June Ambrose.


The JBL Print That They All Have in Common

In related news, Thandie filmed Half Of A Yellow Sun and here she is with her co-stars Anika Noni Rose, Genevieve Nnaji and Chiwetel Ejiofor. A couple of years ago I made a dream cast for the film adaption of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s best-selling novel and I’m glad to see that my dream cast became reality. I’m eager to see this film when it gets its theatrical release in 2013.


image credits: tumblr & getty images

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

Link Worth Bookmarking: My Africanista

Ever found yourself pouring hours online looking for traditional wear inspiration? Ever found yourself looking for a hip wax print bow tie and pocket squares to rock to special occasion? Ever wondering what tasty African restaurant you should check out next? Ever wonder where you can get tasty African cultural food recipes? If you said yes to these questions, My Africanista is your online destination spot for all things African fashion with soul. (Visit My Africanista today.)

There you’ll discover handcrafted wax print Ankara bow ties that’s already been a hit with young Africanistas within the Tri-State region and with fashion, beauty and lifestyle blogger Kloudya. While browsing My Africanista, readers can groove to the latest tunes straight from the motherland. Good style inspirations, influential Africans, tasty recommendations are all locked in one hip destination spot – My Africanista!

Launched October 4th, My Africanista also highlights influential Africans Making It in America. So far My Africanista has highlighted three – Dr. Lesile Nwoke of The Ruby Project, the Tri-State’s hottest African male DJ – DJ Universe, Feyisola Ogunfemi of Statueque Events and Edmond Mbiaka of Quotes for the Mind. My Africanista is a promising business initiative drawn upon Chikara Iwuagwu, R.N. based out of Northern New Jersey. She says four is her lucky number and I think she beautifully struck out on gold with My Africanista. This business is full of win. It has already been highlighted on Fashion’s Night Out 2012 and at this year’s Nigerian Independence Parade celebration in New York. Cultural Toast wishes My Africanista continued success! My Africanista has got that Cultural Look locked in for sure!

Behind the Scenes of My Africanista Premiere Photo Shoot by Bola Okoya of Triibe Natiion

>>>>Visit My Africanista: Website. Shop. Facebook. <<<

Photo credits: Bola Okoya of Triibe Natiion for My Africanista

Cultural Mark is a feature highlighting influential Africans leaving their impeccable mark on the global community for a positive image of Africans outside of the Diaspora.

Liya Kebede & African-Inspired Prints at Balenciaga Spring 2013 Paris Fashion Week

Ethiopian model Liya Kebede (and current Donna Karan Woman fragrance brand face) walked the Spring 2013 runway at Paris Fashion Week for Balenciaga. I couldn’t help but notice that two of the runway looks at the show was heavily influenced by Dutch wax prints, ankara, and African fashion.

Fab! View the full collection here.

image credits – imaxtree

Cultural Model Runway is a style feature focusing on black models represented at various international Fashion Week events.

Cultural Loop: Obsessed With Solange’s Losing You Music Buzz


The wait is finally over. Solange Knowles, who CulturalToast.com would like to officially nickname Prints Empress**, has release a sneak preview for her music video, Losing You, off her follow-up to a personal favorite – the 2008 record Sol-Angel & The Hadley Street Dreams.* Press play to check out Solange’s funky take on “Suck & Blow.”

What a kiss, huh? See it in gif form via Eff-Yeah Solange:

In the Losing You clip, Solange is proving why I’m officially nicknaming her Prints Empress**. There are prints upon prints in the video and I spy notable fashion labels clamoring for the spotlight too. There’s plenty of Solange’s style favorites featured from Kenzo, Opening Ceremony, DVF, J Crew and Suno! The video, which is set to be released on October 2nd, was shot on location in South Africa. Featured in the teaser is Eliot Glass, Cherie Camacho, Jonathan Zeizel, Darlene Okpo, Jean Jersey Klan, Saada Ahmed, Lizzie Okpo, and Devonte Hynes. Her music video is said to be a stylized documentary which in her words, will be…

“largely be inspired by the color in the architecture and townships around here. We’ll just take a camera and see what happen.” {Singers Room}

Losing You also as Solange stated is “eclectic with ’80s references and African percussion influences.” (From what I’ve heard, it’s going to be another hit for Solange!)

Solang also kept up social media presence by updating her Facebook page to name drop a new soon-to-be-released B-side track – Sleep in the Park, which drops on November 6th! (Two new Solange songs is due out by November?!)

In between shooting the music video, Solange made time to do a photo-shoot for Elle Magazine South Africa. She will be the November 2012 cover girl! Solange has embraced her love for CapeTown, South Africa by stating,

“I came to Cape Town for the concert with my sister nine years ago. In just under a decade it has changed so much. From what I have experienced it is such a diverse city. I love the arts and the creativity here, also the element of youthfulness.” (Singers Room)



Because Solange Knowles has always been a style muse to CulturalToast.com, check her out rubbing elbows with Roberto Cavalli at his Just Cavalli Milan Spring 2013 Fashion Week runway show.

Yup, it’s official! We’re obsessed with Solange’s Losing You Music buzz! (*Side note: Let me go down on record to say I’ve purchased two copies of her album which are both scratched up, fell in love with her live performances back in her I Decided era, loved her DJ swag, and now I’m beyond excited that she’s returning back to her music roots. I Told You So remains a personal favorite Solange track to this date!)

Losing You Teaser Trailer

Image credits – Getty Images, MiddleChildSwag, Eff-Yeah Solange Tumblr x Solange-K.net

Washington Roberts Spring 2013

Despite the relevant staying power trend of using African-inspired wax prints in the global fashion industry*, Washington Roberts doesn’t sink into that ubiquitous look. Instead Washington Roberts created 8 chic looks for the modern woman who wants to look her best for a fun night out.

I applaud Washington for not using African prints as sometimes quite frankly it can be repetitive. *African fashion doesn’t have to mean batik, Ankara, or traditional lace. Granted that wax prints has gotten critically acclaim reviews from the international fashion world and it has also open endless opportunities for many designers but it is NOT the state of African fashion. There’s so much more to African fashion than wax prints. We’ve seen what African fashion is without the use of wax prints thanks to labels like Tsemaye Binitie, Christiane King, Mimi Plange, Virgos Lounge, Mataano, Maki Oh, Grey, Re Bahia and many more.

With that said, I hope Washington Roberts will lead the pack of boldface African fashion designers straying away for a while that is from using wax prints in their womenswear and menswear collection. I loved the pastel colors, the peplum color block look and the blue panel sequin tuxedo dress from the Washington Roberts Spring 2013 line.

Stay tuned to see which piece is Washington’s favorite in my interview with him posted soon!

image credits – WWD & Getty Images

Cultural Runway is a style feature focusing on runway looks inspired by African aesthetics & designed by African fashion designers presented at various international Fashion Week events.

African-Inspired Looks at Moschino Cheap & Chic Spring 2013 London Fashion Week

Just when I thought the fashion industry’s obsession with African-inspired wax prints was just for a season or two, Moschino Cheap & Chic designed stunning looks for their Spring 2013 collection at London Fashion Week.

Maybe Moschino’s creative director, Rossella Jardini and Cheap And Chic’s designer, Francesca Rubino is just as obsessed with African batik prints as we are all?

I do however love the tropical, pineapple prints!

Much of this collection I can definitely see on who I call – the industry’s prints ambassador fashionista Solange Knowles. Speaking of Miss Knowles, she was spotted at New York Fashion Week rocking a wax print hat by South African fashion label Babatunde.

Moschino Cheap & Chic Spring 2013 Runway Video

Thoughts on Moschino Cheap & Chic African-Inspired runway look?

Image credits – Imaxtree

Cultural Runway is a style feature focusing on runway looks inspired by African aesthetics & designed by African fashion designers presented at various international Fashion Week events.

Daks from Third World ProFashional Wears Virgos Lounge to London Fashion’s Night Out

Adaku (Daks) From Third World Profashional (better known as one of CulturalToast.com’s favorite Nigerian female blogger) was spotted by the camera lens of Zeldan + Festus in a gorgeous Virgos Lounge outfit!

Here’s the 411 (and yes I had to throw out that MJB old school slang out there): Daks wore this ivory gold pattern beaded Virgos Lounge “Moss” blouse with a blush pink high waist “Holly” skirt with a colorful tribal beaded belt.  She completed her look with a Olivia Pope worthy Prada handbag! (Unfortunately the blouse is sold out BUT the skirt is still up for grabs!)

Love this outfit!

Follow Daks online: Twitter//Website

Image credits – Zeldan + Festus

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

Cultural Shop: Tsemaye Binitie Revamps Website + Anita Quansah London Jewlery Now Available on LuisaViaroma.com & Personal Online Boutique

Fresh off the heels of his successful Spring 2013 collection runway presentation at ARISE African Icons during New York Fashion Week, Tsemaye Binitie revamped his personal website to include his Autumn/Winter 2012/2013 lookbook: http://www.tsemayebinitie.com/. One look from Tsemaye’s new collection has already become a fan favorite to Vampire Diaries star Kat Graham.

 

Anita Quansah London opened up a new brand-new online boutique hosting her stunning hand-crafted jeweled neckpieces. There’s currently 8 looks available on her personal website: http://www.anitaquansahlondon.com/shop.html To top that good news off, Anita also announced on her Facebook page her that LuisaViaroma.com has been included as a stocklist for her statement jewelry. Tiwa Savage, Nneka, Alicia Keys and Keisha Buchanan are celebrity fans of her line!

Congrats to Tsemaye and Anita!

Noteworthy Online African Fashion Boutique: Malakh & Sco where you can purchase pieces from Republic of Foreigner, Toju Foyeh, Grey, House 38, and Andrea Iyahmah! http://www.malakhandsco.com/shop.php (The company joins the growing online boutiques catering to African fashion designers which include MyAsho.com, Agnes & Lola, Moda Operandi, Hertiage1960, Eve’s Apple, ASOS, and many others!) Shout-out to Terence Sambo!

Image credits – TsemayeBinitie.com & Anita Quansah London

Cultural Shop highlights African fashion garments sold via upscale online boutiques.

African fashion designers at New York Fashion Week Spring 2013

Spring 2013 saw creativity pouring in from African fashion designers from the iconic ARISE magazine runway show to Mimi Plange’s Manolo Blahnik shoe collaboration. Spring 2013 was truly a celebration of the brilliancy African fashion designers pour into their womenswear and menswear lines. Here’s a brief rundown on favorite looks seen on the catwalk.

Arise African Icons – Tiffany Amber, Tsemaye Binitie, Gavin Rajah, Ozwald Boateng

Tiffany Amber

“I have a special place in my heart for the ARISE shows. It felt surreal to walk down the runway again. It was like we were at a party thrown by the world. I loved it and can’t wait to do it again…”

Tsemaye Binitie

“From the backstage production and calibre of models, to working with world-class stylists and make-up artists – and being at the Lincoln Center… It was all wow!”

Gavin Rajah

“My US clients appreciate my craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail. By showing my luxe pret-a-porter collection last night, it was great to fly the flag for South Africa.”

Ozwald Boateng

“I wanted to support the important work ARISE is doing for African fashion. It’s good to help bring the stylistic messages of the AMFW experience of Lagos to New York. I have a good following in the States and have showed solo at NYFW three times…If you’re interested in the American consumer. NYFW is where it’s at.”

Maki Oh

“I have put my ‘AMFW Designer of the Year’ Award on my dining table, beside an amethyst candle holder and other awards I’ve won. I was excited about the whole line-up ARISE had chosen. Great times ahead…”


BCBG Max Azria Spring 2013

Suno


Washington Roberts

Mataano


Duro Olowu

Mimi Plange

Complete runway reviews coming up!

image credits – imaxtree, wwd.com & style.com