Category Archives: Inspired by Africa

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.

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.

Cultural Loop: Angela & Vanessa Simmons in Virgos Lounge, Eve wears African Wax Print Jumpsuit, Christie Brown’s New Xutra LookBook & NBA Mavericks Player Dirk & girlfriend Jessica Weds in Traditional Kenyan Wedding

Plenty of newsworthy buzz has heated up the African fashion & entertainment blogosphere. From two Virgos Lounge sighting to a NBA All-Star wedding, CulturalToast.com presents Cultural Loop!

The Simmons sisters Angela and Vanessa were photographed wearing Virgos Lounge on and off the red carpet recently at the Art for Life Benefit event. Angela was seen in this Zaina dress with a funky fringe beaded bottom which you can purchase here.

Angela’s big sister Vanessa was also seen in Virgos Lounge at the launch of her new business venture Rose by Vanessa Jean clothing line at Miami Beach Fashion Week. Vanessa wore a stunning floral printed “Mollie Coral” wrap Skirt which you can purchase here.

I’m definitely loving the support the Simmons sisters is giving to Virgos Lounge. Angela’s a HUGE fan of the London-based Nigerian-run fashion line and I love the fact that Angela’s Virgos Lounge support is rubbing off on Vanessa. If you’re wondering about the Simmons sisters’ obsession with Virgos Lounge, credit goes to Angela’s Nigerian-American stylist Kanayo Ebi for hooking Angela up with Virgos Lounge yet again! I can definitely see Angela wearing this orange Virgos Lounge Tanya gown next on or off the red carpet next time…

I couldn’t help but fall in love with Eve’s wax print jumpsuit that she wore to the Intimately You Summit event in Philly. I also couldn’t help but notice that this jumpsuit is quite similar to the one Nadia Buari wore recently. It’s a cute look especially thanks to the lace detailing on the shoulder. Isn’t this a daring Aso Ebi inspiration, anyone?

Ghanaian fashion designer Christie Brown recently unveiled her latest lookbook – Xutra with chic wax print motifs. Christie debuted her collection at ARISE Fashion Week in Lagos earlier this year to great fan appreciation and rave. Shot by C.Asara Photography with hair and makeup by Maamess, model Amanda Hilaire definitely bought Christie Brown’s Xutra from design to stunning imagery! Connect with Christie Brown Online – facebook.com/ChristieBrownGH & christiebrownonline.com

 

CulturalToast.com is sending a huge congratulations to Dallas Mavericks NBA star Dirk Nowitzki and his new wife Jessica Olsson who got married over the July 15th weekend in a traditional Kenyan wedding! Dirk’s wife Jessica Olsson is of Kenyan and Swedish descent and Dirk is German professional basketball player! How cute and amazing are their traditional wedding outfits?!

Here’s Dirk & Jessica’s wedding details via Jambon News Sport:

It was a traditional kikuyu wedding ceremony commonly referred to as Ngurario.

The short version of the Kikuyu wedding, that is meant to announce to the community that the daughter is engaged, provided relatives from both sides with an opportunity to get to know each other and conclude ruracio (dowry payments) discussions.

When a couple goes through the ruracio phase, their wedding is officially recognized by customary laws.

There was plenty of fun and and plenty to eat and drink. The bride, Jessica was wearing a traditional Kikuyu garment and Dirk was in a dark brown traditional outfit with orange hues. Jessica was also presented with a kiondo by elederly kikuyu women. She had to demonstrate how she would go to the market and shop for her husband.

The NBA Star and Jessica Olsson held the ceremony over the July15th  weekend.  Jessica is born of a Kenyan mother and a Swedish father.

Munaluchi Bride magazine has the scoop on why Dirk and Jessica decided to have a traditional Kenyan wedding ceremony! Love that Dirk and Jessica are embracing their multicultural heritage!

image credits – Virgos Lounge Facebook. Getty Images. Jambon News Sports

Cultural Loop is a must-read news rundown within the fashion & entertainment industry!

Fall in Love With QuellyRue Designs

CulturalToast.com readers prepare to fall in love with QuellyRue Designs created by New Yorker, self-taught handbag and accessories designer Racquel Dwomoh. I stumbled across QuellyRue Designs via Tumblr and I was instantly amazed by her creativity to showcase natural black beauty on a tote bag. From her Janelle Monae tote to her successful and fan favorite Naturally Tote bag, these tote bags are must for any Ankaranista who appreciates Etsy’s creative African fashion designers! I love the Afro Woman tote for the simple fact that her natural hair is in the shape of Africa. Etsy is a treasure chest for Ankaranista! Oh did I mention that I’m addicted to Etsy? (Shout out to Noah’s Crew!) Priced at an affordable price point between $36 to $40, QuellyRue Designs has something for every Ankaranista on the go!

QuellyRee Designs – Naturally Me Totes

QuellyRae Designs – Tote Bags

Afro Woman

Natural Hair Beauty 

Ode to Grace

J.Monae

I am African 

As you can see QuellyRue Designs incorporates traditional Ghanaian and West African textures and felt to show her appreciation for Africa. Who doesn’t like the tote bag with a wink? How about that trendy Fulani gold earrings?

Learn more about QuellyRue Designs:

QuellyRue Designs is a collection of handmade crafts, art, and accessories that is full of bohemian flare, whimsical, yet refined and reminiscent of a love for Africa. QuellyRue Designs was born out of a passion for handmade crafts and a vision for extracting beauty from objects that are seemingly ordinary, creating beautifully handcrafted merchandise to complement all occasions.

Racquel Dwomoh (pronounced Ju-moh), the self-taught designer behind QuellyRue Designs, prides herself on her chic, quirky, imaginative, super cute accessories bursting with color, texture, print and intricate patterns. These reflect her colorful memories growing up as a child in the buzzing city of Accra, Ghana.

In 2008, QuellyRue Designs was launched producing a spectacular range of handmade tote bags, hair accessories, jewelry, crocheted hats and scarves, brooches, and tech accessories, crafted from the finest fabrics, fibers, and materials from around the world.

For Racquel, the creative direction of QuellyRue Designs is to express all the creative wanderings in her mind, her art, and her personal style through luxurious designs that are artistic, whimsical, and necessary.

“I am a strong believer that the truest expression of love is art. The purest part of you is that which is created, born and nourished in your heart. My hands live to create…so I create.” – Racquel Dwomoh

Shop QuellyRue Designs Only on Etsy: etsy.com/shop/QuellyRueDesigns?page=1

image credits – QuellyRue Designs

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

Eva Marcille, Chanel Iman, Naomi Campbell & Nas Rocking Hip African-Inspired Designs

As I posted up on Tumblr (culturaltoast.tumblr.com) recently Eva Marcille, Chanel Iman, Naomi Campbell, and Nas were photographed rocking hip African-inspired designs on and off the red carpet. So much inspiration can be drawn upon how these celebrities wore their African-inspired fashion looks.

Eva Marcille attended LaLa Anthony’s birthday brunch in a Marni for H&M printed A-line skirt. If you can recall I did a post on this hot designer-collaboration for H&M much earlier. I love how Eva put her signature style funk on the skirt from the accessories to the make-up!


Not to be outdone but E! News reporter & Fashion Police correspondent Giuliana Ranic also wore a piece from Marni for H&M recently. As you can see Giuliana didn’t add much to the dress so it can be her statement piece.

Which of the two Marni for H&M looks did you prefer – Eva or Giuliana?

Chanel Iman (with Gabrielle Union) was seen in a high-waisted Burberry Prosrum skirt. Revisit my post on Burberry Prorsum’s African-inspired collection here.

Solange Knowles also embraces wax print fashion as she did in her April 2012 Complex magazine photo shoot. Both looks are taken from Burberry Prorsum Resort 2012 collection. 

Which Burberry Prorsum Resort 2012 look do you prefer – Solange or Chanel?

For her W Magazine July 2012 photo session, Naomi Campbell was seen in a African-inspired suit!

Nas wore a hip African-inspired ankara shirt by Woolrich Woolen Mills on the June/July 2012 cover of Complex magazine. The shirt is taken from the Summer 2012 collection which you can purchase here! Props to June Ambrose for hooking up Nas with some tasteful Africani-inspired fashion.

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

image credits – NecoleBitchie.com, Twitter, Getty Images, Complex Magazine, W Magazine

Marni for H&M’s Inspired by African Wax Print

L.A.M.B., Burberry Prorsum, Gregory Parkinson, Boxing Kitten, and countless others in recent years has looked to African Wax Print fabric to add that extra essence to their collections. So it comes as no surprise that the latest designer-collaborative effort at H&M, Marni has also followed suit. Marni and its creative director Consuelo Castiglioni just held a red carpet celebration for their collaboration with H&M. Attendees Imogen Potts, Milla Jovovitch, Mena Suvari, Sofia Coppola, and Jessica Chastain caught our attention wearing traditional West African fashion dresses. We love the attention West African fabric is getting on a global scale. If these red carpet worthy looks are any indication, Marni for H&M will definitely be a huge hit which follows suit with last season’s success Versace. Check out the entire Marni for H&M lookbook here which includes not only womenswear but accessories and menswear.  Expect plenty of patterns for this new high-fashion H&M line.

Sofia Coppola

Milla Jovovitch

Jessica Chastain

Imogen Potts

Mena Suvari

My two cents: Lady Gaga, Kate Bosworth, Solange Knowles, Anna Wintour, June Ambrose, Tai Beauchamp, Angela Simmons, LaLa Vasquez, Khloe Kardashian, Nicole Ari Parker, Heidi Klum, Esperanza Spalding, Catt Sadler, Elle Varner, First Lady Michelle Obama, and many more have all embraced a trend that’s been in vogue for centuries. It’s a trend worth looking at it and it’s certainly not a fad. The fascination with African wax print fashion is the originality and creativity that comes with it. The endless possibilities on how to wear it has birth many designs and tumblr pages. Marni for H&M hits stores March 8th!

Marni for H&M Official Launch Party Video

getty.

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

Omotola’s Bunmi Koko Moment + Gwen Stefani Rocks Batik at Harajuku Mini Target Launch

Two of the global’s biggest stars – Omotola and Gwen Stefani – put their own funky spin on cultural red carpet style. Gwen opted for the African fashion fabric prints while Omotola channeled a classic, Grecian-inspired look.

Nollywood superstar Omotola was seen in a yummy yellow Bunmi Koko low-cut pleated creation alongside the dress’s creative director Bunmi Olaye. Bunmi Koko as CulturalToast.com first reported just wrapped up their appearance at New York Fashion Week to fave praise! For those that recognize Bunmi’s lavender and yellow caftan, it made its runway debut via her Allure of the Sirens presentation at this past NYFW! It’s always great to see Nollywood embracing the African fashion scene!

Gwen Stefani wears a black and white batik-inspired pantsuit from her L.A.M.B Spring/Summer 2012 collection at the launch of her new Target children line, Harajuku Mini. It’s no secret that Gwen loves prints. Her past two collections was heavily influenced by African fashion fabrics from ankara to batik. We love that Gwen kept the same hair and the outfit as the runway look.

style// wireimage // bunmi koko // getty

Cultural Pose is a look at red carpet events!

African Fashion Spotlight: Estelle’s Mimi Plange to Solange, Anna Wintour & Kate Bosworth in Burberry’s Ankara

The appreciation for African Fashion fever has never looked radiant as it has in the past few weeks! From Estelle’s red Mimi Plange arrival dress at the 2011 Black Girls Rock event in New York City to Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour wearing a Burberry Prorsum ankara trench coat at Paris Fashion Week, the spotlight on African fashion has once again intensified! Let’s take a look back on some of our favorite African fashion red carpet stunners…

Spotlight #1 – Estelle in Mimi Plange

When Estelle stepped out in this fire engine red satin ruffle Mimi Plange dress at the 2011 Black Girls Rock event, a collective round of applause was heard within the African fashion circuit. After all the dress was picked from the very collection that Vogue Editor at Large Andre Leon Talley physically co-signed when it was first unveiled during New York Fashion Week. Mimi Plange’s a fab Ghanaian fashion designer who CulturalToast.com had the pleasure of meeting at her private NYFW show. Estelle looked simply divine in this Mimi Plange “Scarred Perfection” Fall 2011 dress!

Spotlight #2 – Anna Wintour in Burberry


The Queen of fashion wore a stunning ankara trench coat lifted from the much-talked about Burberry SS 2011 collection. Who would thought or imagine the words Anna Wintour and ankara in sentence? Burberry made it happened! Take notice the appreciation for African fashion has heated up the mainstream media and we predict it’ll be here long after the frenzy “shimmers” down.

Spotlight #3 – Solange Knowles in Burberry


The ever talented younger Knowles sibling has been consistent with wearing ankara and bold prints courtesy of Boxing Kitten and Opening Ceremony. So it comes as no surprise to see Solange in another exquiste Ankara creation (Burberry Prorsum Resort 2012 shoes) at the recent Burberry Body Event. We love Solange’s high-waisted knotted, ruched skirt! We can’t help but notice how Burberry Prorsum Resort 2012 chunky heels made another noteworthy appearance for its Spring 2012 London Fashion Week presentation as wedges!

Spotlight #4 – Kate Bosworth in Burberry


Also at the private Burberry Body bash hosted by Christopher Bailey was actress Kate Bosworth who wore a stunning ankara halter dress from the label’s Spring 2012 ready to wear collection. Do you prefer the runway look or Kate’s way?

photo credits – Getty, Style.com, Burberry Prorsum & Mimi Plange

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

Fatima Samad and Feyisola Ogunfemi in Toriola Custom Designs

The very first feature on CulturalToast.com was on New York-based Nigerian fashion designer Tori Famuyiwa. At the Afripreneur of Tomorrrow Scholarship Ball on Friday September 30th, his designs appeared on the event’s Nigerian-American host and CEO of Statuesque Events Feyisola Ogunfemi and Design By U Ghanaian jewelry designer Fatima Samad. CulturalToast.com was on the scene to capture two kodak moments of Fey and Fatima in Toriola Custom Designs. Check it out…



Connect with Design By U online: Facebook//Blog//Website
Connect with Statuesque Events online: Facebook//Website//Twitter
Connect with Tori Famuyiwa Online: Facebook//Tumblr//Twitter

Check out a sneak preview of Tori’s Fall/Winter 2012 collection:

images taken by culturaltoast.com

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

House of Dereon’s African-Inspired Collection Launches at London’s Selfridges

House of Dereon, a fashion label run by Beyonce and Tina Knowles, presented its Afro-centric collection at London’s Selfridges. Many of the looks were based off Mud Cloth, Aztec prints, and tribal influence. House of Dereon also incorporated headwraps, feathers and statement pieces into their collection. This is no surprise to any Beyonce fans as she stressed back in March that she was inspired by Fela Kuti for her current album production. We spotted Sudanese model Ataui Deng walking down the runway at the House of Dereon fashion show…

The mom-to-be also told CNN International that her House of Dereon collection was inspired by her world trips to Brazil and Asia.

This collection was inspired by a lot of my travels. I did a world tour, I traveled to Asia, Brazil, all over the world and I saw such beauty and my mother traveled with me and we decided we should mix these great cultures together and make something original and beautiful, and this show celebrates the global nomad, and one day at the rate we’re going which is such a beautiful thing, there won’t be all these different races we’ll all just be mixed up and beautiful and that is so wonderful exciting and refreshing you know we have the mixtures of the African hair wraps and some of the Asian prints and we mix it with different textures sequins and gold jewelery and it just becomes very refreshing. (source)

To coincide with the release, a African remix of Beyonce’s song, “End of Time” played at the runway presentation. Check it out…

The Winter/Autumn and Holiday 2011 House of Dereon collection was viewed by fashion industry insiders on Saturday September 17! One of the looks presented was first worn by Beyonce for her Fela Kuti-inspired photoshoot for L’Officiel Magazine back in March 2011!

Beyonce – L’Oficiel March 2011

Shop House of Dereon at Selfridges right here!

Getty. L’Officiel Magazine