STYLE NOTES: Ituen Basi//Nigeria [DAY 1, Africa Fashion Week 2010]

The Ituen Basi brand usually invokes certain very specific images - African Print/Ankara deconstructed and reconstructed, shredded, transformed, beaded - making it the go-to brand for a certain timeless, classic look. Her latest collection, bright, beautiful, and bold as it is, is a fascinating study in Ankara's unprecedented ubiquity. If Ituen Basi pushes the boundaries of Ankara , it is in transforming it from the commonplace, the everyday and the trendy into something of a permanent lifestyle fixture. From chic purses, to flats, bangles, and brooches to mono-print dresses and separates, nothing is immune to Ankarization.

Having followed Ituen's work closely, there's a sense of deja vu we get with this collection - we've certainly seen many of the prints and concepts explored before. One particular highlight, however, was her re-interpretation of the iro and buba (traditional top and wrapper) with charming results. That said, Ituen Basi's use of rich prints that often evoke eras gone has become a hallmark of her work in the last few years and we wonder how long the love affair can, will and should last. It'll take fine-tuning the balance between being known for a certain aesthetic and finding ways to creatively and constantly push the boundaries. We're not convinced that was completely accomplished with this collection but being the fiercely talented designer she is, we're sure there's more to come.

See the entire collection here.


STYLE NOTES: Deola Sagoe//Nigeria [DAY 1, Africa Fashion Week, 2010]

There's no way to go about this without being dramatic: Deola Sagoe broke the faucet and rained down glamour. 

It was a staggering and stunning downpour at Deola Sagoe's show earlier today - an avalanche of influences from the swinging 60s, to a dash of victorian glamour and a perhaps subconscious dose of underwater inspiration. From dresses that mimicked the glorious metallic colors of fish and their dazzling scales re-invented as sequins and embellishments, we couldn't shake off the feeling of mermaid/otherworldly glamor. For a collection almost exclusively executed in the distinctly African aso-oke [traditionally woven cloth] as many of her past collections have been, this is an astounding testament to Deola Sagoe's ability to invent, re-invent and transcend. 

The emphasis on movement and shape alongside the most stunning design elements (sharp shoulders, embroidery, sheer panels) tied this collection up in a neat little bow and filed it in the 'extraordinary' compartment of our hearts and minds. A stunning and unbelievable sartorial and visual experience.

Here's a closer look at the most striking design elements:

A touch of the polka:

Magnificent floor-length frocks

Gorgeous multi-tone metallic looks that reminded us very much of colorful fish:

Mini metallica:

Lace and sheer panels:

A dose of black:

Shape and movement:

Victorian glamour, complete with lace and plaid:

Skater waists and sharp sleeves/shoulders:

The designer herself:


See the entire collection here, courtesy of AFI.


STYLE NOTES: Xuly Bët//Senegal + France [DAY 1, Africa Fashion Week 2010]

Xuly Bet's was the first show at the much anticipated Africa Fashion Week 2010 taking place from June 30 - July 3 in South Africa. Famous for his urban wear, Xuly Bet's collection stuck to his street glamor aesthetic and featured a range of pieces inspired by the great Grace Jones, including a sequined hooded dress and several other hooded pieces. Latex and denim also made appearances as we've come to expect but the highlights for us were his refreshing use of sequins to inject doses of life and fluidity into the heavily black collection. Here's a closer look at some of the pieces that caught our eyes:

See the entire collection here.


On the Street....Sarah R. in Black, White & Gold, Paris

On the Street....The Hat That Makes the Suit, Paris

I love the less structured, relaxed nature of his suit, but the whole look rests on the coordinated slouch of his hat.

This is also one of those looks that, if worn exactly the same way as this gentleman, would look great on the right girl.

Sneak Peek: Chichia London Fall 2010

Au Courant Daily recently posted an exclusive sneak preview of Chichia London's Fall/Winter 2010 collection, Insomnia. Many of you are probably already familiar with Christine Mhando's (head designer of Chichia London) soft spot for kanga print but what's most fascinating about her work is her ability to re-invent and modernize a staple print season after season, making it a highly sought-after must-buy. If the preview is anything to go by, we're going to be exceedingly broke come Fall 2010, but with kanga print and the possibility of a collection chock-full of dazzling embellishments, we're not sure there's anything to complain about.

Truly can't wait to see the magnificence that is Chichia London unfold! More images as soon as we have them.


At Dries Van Noten....All White, Paris

Press Release: Deola Sagoe to unveil "VINTAGE" at Africa Fashion Week tomorrow!

[Click image to enlarge or click here, scroll to the bottom, and click "VINTAGE"]

As we wait with bated breath for Deola Sagoe to unleash her genius on the world at Africa Fashion Week tomorrow, we couldn't help but do a little snooping around to bring you a sneak peek of sorts. We now know it's going to be a nod to eras gone by, paying homage to the "rhythm of the swinging sixties" with the "glitzy glitter of sequins" and, of course, aso-oke. Needless to say, Deola Sagoe will more than likely bring down the house and we'll give you front row seats to the experience.

See the schedule for Africa Fashion Week 2010 here and stay tuned for photos and reviews.


Event Love: Kemkemstudio @ Temple Muse [Sat., June 26, 2010]

This past weekend, Kemmy Oguntosin of Kemkemstudio unveiled her exclusively for Temple Muse collection, "The Great Gatsby." Featuring dresses and separates done mostly in black and white print, the pieces are at once delicate and strong, playful and sophisticated, and abounding in the most charming details, including lace + sheer panels, ruching and netting.

This brand is certainly one to watch as Kemmy proves she's as fluent in aso-oke and ankara as she is in contemporary ready-to-wear. Enjoy these photos from the event:

Kemmy and Marylee Matucci of Momo

Model wears a piece from the Great Gatsby collection

A guest tries on an AMAZING piece from the Great Gatsby collection

Ijeoma Ndekwu (Fashion Editor, Bella Naija) and Stylist Omoyemi Akerele

A Kemkemstudio tie-dye piece

Terrence Sambo and Kemmy

Looks like it was a fun outing! Here's wishing Kemmy more success! If you're interested in any of the pieces, they're exclusively available at Temple Muse, Lagos.

See more of Kemkemstudio's work here.


Photos courtesy of Kemmy Oguntosin


On the Street...via Valfonda, Florence

Rani Emaan's New Formal Line

Outlet Details: H/No 205, str 12, Chaklala Scheme III, Rawalpindi Cantt, Pak.
251 higby rd, New Hartford, NY. USA

On the Street...Color Story, Milano

On the Street... via Sant'Andrea, Milano

This young lady looks like a classic Italian film goddess of the 50's and 60's: a modern, sharpened Sophia Loren.

The tattoos take her look to a entirely different place. Honestly, I can't decide if they add or distract from her natural beauty but, with that added edge, it's hard to take your eyes off her.

Neha Ahmed for Chenone 2010

On the Street...rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, Paris

On the Street...Shirtdress Shirt, Paris


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