Category Archives: Cultural Presence

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.

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.

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

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.

Angela Simmons Dazzles in Jewel By Lisa & Kanayo Ebi rocks Virgos Lounge Clutch at ARISE African Icons NYFW SS 2013 Runway Show!

What Angela Simmons wore to the event caught my eye instantly. Angela Simmons continues her love for Jewel By Lisa. She was spotted at front row with her stylist Kanayo Ebi rocking the embellished jacket from Lisa Folawiyo’s critically-acclaimed  Jewel By Lisa Autumn/Winter 2012 collection.

Angela’s Jewel By Lisa jacket is a style favorite! Who else wore Angela’s JBL jacket:  African models Millen Magese and Ediomi Utuk wore this jacket for a photo session with Jewel By Lisa Autumn/Winter 2012 lookbook and Munaluchi Bride Magazine respectively.  In Style National Style Correspondent Tai Beauchamp’s Jewel By Lisa Autumn/Winter 2011 jeweled jacket was amazing at the 2012 pre-Grammys event! Model Georgie Badiel walked down the runway for ARISE magazine Autumn 2012 runway show in Lagos last March.

Just imagine it was during NYFW Autumn/Winter 2012 shows this past September that Angela was seen rocking Jewel By Lisa designs. Great to see Angela continue to show love to JBL. Stylist Kanayo Ebi also donned a yummy yellow and black Virgos Lounge BEE clutch for her ARISE African Icons front row appearance. Kanayo and Angela are definitely great supporters of the African fashion initiative!

image credits – Chioma for CulturalToast.com, Kanayo Ebi, Jewel By Lisa, AdoreAngela.Tumblr.com, Virgos Lounge x Getty Images

Kat Graham in Tsemaye Binitie Autumn + Winter 2012 Jumpsuit

Vampire Diaries star Kat Graham (@katgraham) has always been appreciative of African fashion designers from Mimi Plange to now Tsemaye Binitie. The Swiss-born American actress and singer best known for her role as Bonnie Bennett was seen in a sleek black leather Tsemaye Binitie jumpsuit at the Samsung’s Galaxy SIII event in Chicago! She completed her look with Monika Chiang shoes and CC Skye accessories! I think she completely OWNED this look! What I love about this look: The geometric shapes on the pants!

Kat Graham’s Tsemaye Binitie Winter + Autumn 2012 Runway Look

Tsemaye Binitie AMFW Lagos , Nigeria 2012

Tsemaye in his own words…

ESSENCE.com: What is the number one quality that you want a woman to exhibit when she puts on your clothing?
Tsemaye: My girl is a modern icon of strength, beauty and glamour!

Kat Graham wearing Tsemaye Binitie is GREAT NEWS for the London-based designer! I’m definitely digging that cultural presence on the red carpet! 2012 has been good to him from Alicia Keys rocking his designs on the cover of Vibe magazine’s 2nd Global issue to his well-received ARISE Made in Africa in New York & Lagos runway presentations! Next up for Tsemaye is his much anticipated appearance at NYFW ARISE Made in Africa: African Icons runway presentation on Thursday September 6th!

>> Tsemaye Binitie Online: Facebook//Twitter//Website// Tumblr << 

image credits – Getty Images, KatGraham.com, Tsemaye Binitie

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

Angela Simmons Wears Virgos Lounge Bee Clutch to Vanessa Simmons’ 29th BDay Bash

Angela Simmons attended her older sister Vanessa’s 29th birthday bash rocking a lime green mustard, gold and black Virgos Lounge “Bee” beaded clutch. Vanessa’s birthday celebration was held at the Sugar Factory in Las Vegas! Virgos Lounge needs to seriously consider making Angela Simmons a.) their spokesmodel for their new collection or b.) named one of their style items after her. Angela simply adores Virgos Lounge and CulturalToast.com is eager to see what Virgos Lounge red carpet worthy style item that her Nigerian-American stylist Kanayo Ebi*  will pick out for her next!

*Kanayo Ebi with her clients and close friends Angela and Vanessa

Unfortunately for the fashion-forward shopaholics who aspired to have this yummy accessory in their closet out there this clutch is currently sold out! (Damn it! There goes my birthday wish from me to me, lol!) Angela’s love for Virgos Lounge continues to grow. Love this support of celebrities embracing African fashion labels!

Angela’s ensemble consists of a white sheer lace Edwing D’Angelo dress and black Christian Louboutin daffodil pumps! Work it out, Angela!

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

Image credits – Adore Angela. Virgos Lounge. Getty Images

Bookmark Nigeria’s Stylist to the Stars Bolaji A’s Must-See Tumblr Page – Bolaji’s Stylelist

Creative Fashion stylist to top Nigerian artists and celebrities Bolaji Animashaun has a eye orgasm worthy tumblr that you MUST check out. CulturalToast.com readers already know that we support African fashion stylists making IT in the industry. On her official tumblr page aptly named Bolaji’s Stylelist, Bolaji chronicles her daily styling runs featuring several of Nigeria’s superstars from Eku Edewor to Dolapo Oni to Tiwa Savage to Nike Oshinowo. Most of her styling work on her tumblr page showcase her keen eye of fashion seen on 53 Extra hosts Dolapo Oni and Eku Edewor. (After all Bolaji is the head stylist and Fashion Director for the hit Nigerian-based show 53 Extra. It’s no wonder she’s one of Nigeria’s top 5 fashion stylists!) Dolapo and Eku, hip fashionistas, definitely make African fashion designs POP!

I’m beyond thrilled that she launched this tumblr page to showcase her work. What I love about her work is her love and pride for African fashion designers. Be prepare to see your favorites in Deola Sagoe, Maki Oh, Tiffany Amber, Landre Da Silva Ajayi, Republic of Foreigner, Clan, Re Bahia, Virgos Lounge, Viv La Resistance, and much more. I’m definitely eager to see which top African fashion designer look Bolaji would style next on Eku and Dolapo!

Eku Edewor (@EkuEdewor) in Lanre DaSilva Ajayi

Dolapo Oni  (@marcydolapooni) in Clan, Re Bahia, and Grey

I’ll leave you all with Bolaji’s latest styling gig – Eku Edewor in Huda Couture

Dolapo Oni in Clan

Continued success, Bolaji!

Visit her official tumblr page at: bolajianimashaun.tumblr.com

image credits – @Bolajee

Cultural Spot highlights outstanding, influential Africans in the media showcasing positive images of the Diaspora!

Chanel Iman Rocks Wax Print Head Gear & Scarf for Vogue Italia July 2012

Chanel Iman pose for Vogue Italia July 2012 issue wearing handmade West African and Ghanaian kente textile garments as head wraps. Inspired by the African continent, Rushka Bergman styled Chanel Iman for her latest Vogue Italia editorial.

I love how the fabric prints were used to give her editorial a pop of color against her teal Miu Miu Fall 2012 power suit! I could see Chanel rocking any piece from Jewel By Lisa’s Resort 2013 collection in place of wearing the scarf and head gear for this photo session! I do  however love her Marc Jacobs skirt in the gif below…

It’s great to see West African wax print fabric being used in a high fashion setting. It continues to amaze me the growing trend of “African fashion fabric prints” in mainstream media. Influential African superstars are also embracing the trend of wearing textile prints on and off the red carpet. Ghanaian actress Nadia Buari just last month was seen in a cute jumpsuit at the red carpet premiere of Shackles and Secret Burden alongside Jackie Appiah and John Dumelo. What would blow my mind is when Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, or Nordstrom follows suit with H&M and do a designer collaborative collection with high profile African designers for their retail chains! A girl can only dream!

What are your thoughts on Chanel Iman and Nadia Buari wearing wax prints?

image credits – Ameyaw Debrah,Vogue Italia via Hell Yeah Chanel Iman

Nneka Wears Anita Quansah London Neckpiece for Her Mania Magazine July 2012 Cover Feature

Nigerian superstar musician Nneka looked fierce wearing a stunning statement neckpiece by Anita Quansah London on the July 2012 edition of Mania magazine – the “Fearless Fashion Issue.” Nneka, who is about to release her new album Soul is Heavy looked beyond fierce rocking Anita Quansah London’s handcrafted neckpiece with her statement making hairstyle!

I am presently looking forward to the next project. I have the theme “oil” in mind. I want to see how people relate with oil. What the advantages and disadvantages are. I want to see how children see oil and this is very interesting because you are not putting anything into their minds. – Nneka to Mania

In the accompanying photo Nneka is wearing a black silk top and aso oke pencil skirt by KEMKEM Studio. Nneka’s skirt is taken from the KEMKEM Studio Autumn/Winter 2012 collection. I love how Nneka made the skirt her own. She didn’t wear it exactly like the runway, picture perfect photo!

I also discover the exact neckpiece Nneka wore for her cover shoot from Anita Quansah London’s Twitter page – @AnitaQuansahLon.

The London based Ghanaian-Nigerian designer also shared on Facebook several photos taken from her upcoming collection. Anita show the safety pin, the body piece and two feather neck pieces from new collection.

Don’t you want them all?? Simply stunning!

Celebrities embracing the bespoke jewelry curator Anita Quansah London is pouring in daily from the red carpet to magazine covers. In fact, this past April Alicia Keys wore her neckpiece fo her VIBE magazine feature. Congrats to Anita Quansah London for continuing to expand her successful brand. As I told you this past January, Anita Quansah London is one designer to watch this year!

image credits – Anita Quansah London & Mania Magazine

Which African fashion design do you prefer on Nneka – Anita Quansah London or KEMKEM or do you love both looks?

Cultural Newsstand highlights the cover stories seen on international newsstands.