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Fashionable Friday with N.Splendide: How to Outshine The Bride at Her Wedding.

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Wait! Stop and think for a second before we all get carried away. Why would anyone want to outshine a bride at her own wedding anyway? And whose brilliant idea was it to write such a silly article in the first place? Considering I’m getting married soon, I never should have even remotely taken a crack at putting ideas in the minds of my fellow women. But then again, I fear nothing, because it is one thing to wish and it’s another to deliver on our wishes. So for all the women out there who might definitely want to try, I will genuinely love to see the attempt, and sure hope its a remarkably fashionable one at that, and as you know it’s wedding season all over the world (well, it’s always wedding season in Nigeria!), and today especially marks the Fairytale of ALL wedding; Prince William getting married to the lately-so stylish Kate!

I digress, back to you.

I know looking for a suitable dress can be nerve-racking considering all the “dont’s” that you must adhere to:

“Don’t show too much flesh…”, “Don’t look too sexy…”, “Don’t dress like a hip hop video vixen…” “Don’t wear a white dress….” The list goes on. Weddings are after all formal events and should be attended in formal attire.

Having been to my fair share of society weddings in Nigeria, I must confess that far too many Nigerian women are clueless about what to wear to weddings. The level of fashion criminality at such weddings is staggering and quite simply deplorable and unacceptable. Forgive my naivete, but last time I checked, weddings are not the best of places to give the world full view of thongs, nipples or whatever other part of one’s anatomy which ought to be reserved for a Studio 54 photo album (that extraordinary and notorious 70’s/80’s era discotheque in New York).

Yes, ‘classy’ and ‘trashy’ both consist of six letters of the alphabet, but that’s where the similarity ends.

Phew! Now that I’ve got that off my chest, let’s get back to you and me (being decent and law abiding citizens of fashion. Right?)

Now, let’s get one thing straight; YES, the bride should be the centre of attention. BUT then again, it is possible you fall into the category of either:

a.      The Groom’s Ex-girlfriend (a.k.a “It should be me standing up there with ……  ……………”);
b.      Someone that’s just envious of the bride for no apparent reason;
c.      Just a beautiful creature that loves dressing up and would rather or possibly unknowingly outshine the bride anyway by just being, well, YOU!

I’d like to think that you fall into the third category.

When invited to a wedding, my thought-process heads along the lines of long dresses, (although granted, some short dresses are much easier to pull off especially as the style and theme of the wedding might permit.

Being a fashionista, your first thoughts on receiving an invite whether verbal or formal is “what am I gonna wear?” Your second thoughts are, “what are the colors?” And this is where your plot begins. Its always cute to wear the said colors but you and I know you are not outshining anyone in those colors. Evil as this might sound, I will suggest going for a dramatic and radically different color and standout from the rest of the ladies in waiting, or not…

I favor two options. The first of which should be much easier to pull off if you are a woman with great curves, as most of us believe we are, and just as many of us actually aren’t. This option allows for your body, your walk, and that great… maybe red dress do all the work for you. I’m speaking of the gorgeous Victoria Beckam-Esq, form fitting, below the knee, plunging back stunner almost reminiscent of what British Socialite Tara Palmer Tomkinson (fondly called TPT) arrived in for the Royal Wedding.

There is nothing more flattering than showing up late at the wedding, dress holding you in all the right places, shoes so high you are sometimes scared for your own safety, strutting it straight down the center of the festivities to the cozy decorated sitting area of the bride and groom, where you manage to say congratulations with the ritual gesture of cheek kisses, knowing fully well just about every girl in the room is thinking to themselves, “who the hell does she think she is?” But with a smile on their faces at the same time and the bride is no exception. In fact, the bride is even more scared by the idea that her beloved groom has taken the time to savor the sight of your well moisturized skin, highlighted by the never-ending plunge on the back of your dress as you walk away. Picture that.

The second basically entails all that fierce attitude that comes with the first option, but just a little more subdued. This time, wearing a beautiful maybe pastel gown with a train that will almost panic the bride to look around in hopes of making sure everyone was actually here for her, and not you.

Have you ever worn a dress and thought yourself a princess, even if it was a dress you could not afford but just decided to try it on anyway, just to feel royal for a moment? That’s the dress I’m talking about here, and that’s assuming you can actually afford that dress. With shoes just as high, but enveloped by the drapery of the chiffon and silk that flawlessly trail you as you walk around the room a little more than you need to. This dress calls for all the glorious and glamorous swan-like hand movements that would easily be reminiscent of Natalie Portman reprising her ballerina role in a sequel to Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, assuming she didn’t do a good enough job in her Oscar winning performance in the first installment.

It will give me nothing but pleasure to see Nigeria’s Social Elite pull off such stunner looks. Are you up to the task?

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Here Comes the Bride: Lanvin Blanche Collection

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Lanvin Blanche S/S 2011 Collection

Paris, summer 1911, Jeanne Lanvin created her first wedding dress for her fashion housein Paris. It’s been 100 years and the historic French fashion house continues for many years to create the Collection Blanche. Alber Elbaz reveals the bride of grace and elegance, even for Summer 2011. The precious fabrics of the dress with the bride celebrate the happiest day of his life. In this immaculate wardrobe, there is a personality to suit each bride, from the most romantic to the traditional brides to even the most daring ones.

Lanvin Blanche S/S 2011 Collection

The unveiling of the sneak peak of this collection last night was just a perfect accessory for the Royal Ceremony that took place today. A Lanvin Blanche bride will always have the chance to choose between the elegance of a dress-coat in washed silk faille, or a wash cloth top and ecru organza, playful fabrics giving each bridal piece a modern, edgy yet soft romance outlook.

Lanvin Blanche S/S 2011 Collection

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A few pieces from the Lanvin Blanche Collection was also featured exclusively in Net-a-Porter’s ”The Wedding Magazine

The collection is not for a bride who thinks of herself as CinderellaAlber Elbaz on the new Lanvin Blanche Collection

ImageCredit: Net-a-Porter / Lanvin

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Who Wore it Best?: Amber Lancaster and Kat Graham Spotted in Mimi Plange “Adette” Silk Faille Dress

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L-R [Amber Lancaster       -    Kat Graham]

 

Actress, Amber Lancaster popular for her role in  The Hard Times of RJ Berger was seen at the US Weekly Hot Hollywood event sporting a  black Mimi Plange “Adette” silk faille dress [S/S 2010], just last month, Kat Graham from the Vampire Diaries series was seen sporting the same dress from the Mimi Plange collection. These beautiful ladies sure know how to wear an LBD but with different accessories, to each their own they say.

Mimi Plange piece on a Model for the S/S 2010 Collection.

 

Who do you think rocked this dress best? Amber with the gold sandals or Kat with the bright coloured polka-dot heels?


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Bunmi Koko and Eunice Olumide Shortlisted as Nominees for Scottish Fashion Awards 2011

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The nominees for the Scottish Fashion Awards  2011 have been shortlisted and we very proud of Bunmi Koko [Designer] as she was nominated in the Retailer of the Year category and Eunice Olumide [Scotland-based Model] in the Model of the Year category.As it has been over the past years, the judging panel will be deciding on who takes away in the award in each category, we wish them both luck with the nominations.

“The talent pool highlighted by the judging process for the Scottish Fashion Awards gets better and better each year, making our job increasingly difficult.” – Dolly Jones {Editor of Vogue.com}

 

Bunmi Koko with Models behind at her LFW A/W 2011 Show


Retailer of the Year - Sponsored by Braehead

  • Spoiled Brat
  • ROX
  • Mackintosh
  • Bunmi Koko



Eunice Olumide

Model of the Year  - Sponsored by Toni & Guy Haircare

  • Vanessa Kanbi-Premier
  • Tali Lennox-Next
  • Sophie Kennedy-Clark – Storm
  • Louis Galloway-Elite
  • Freddie Rayner-Model Team
  • Eunice Olumide - AMQ models


Info credit via Vogue.

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Up in the Air Editorial for Fashion Gone Rogue shot in Cape Town, South Africa.

Written by . Posted in Blog, Editorials, HauTe Spots.

Featuring  Anastasia Yukanina and Leandro Sorice as a pretend couple sporting vintage designer pieces + posing right next to an antique plane + shot in Cape Town, SouthAfrica ; Location of the shoot looks ever so fabulous. Retro-inspired theme aside, Cape Town appears to be a HauTe Spot to visit judging from this shoot.

 

-Romola Sadiq

ImageCredit: FashionGoneRogue

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Virginia Museum of Fine Arts,Richmond [VMFA] Host African-Inspired Fashion Show.

Written by . Posted in Art, Blog, Fashion Shows.

Last Thursday, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond hosted an African-Inspired Fashion show in honour of the newly installed African collection and the extraordinary exhibtion Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art of Ancient Nigeria” {Ile-Ife is one of ancient cities in Nigeria, highly respected due to it’s richness in culture} . The evening witnessed African-Inspired pieces with stunning models present.  Daphne Maxwell Reid and Jay Sharpe lent commentary for a show celebrating and inspired by ”Ife Art in Ancient Africa” for Friends of African & African-American Art.

Artists of the Kingdom of Ife (in what is today southwestern Nigeria), created sculptures that were among the most beautiful and sophisticated works of art being produced anywhere in the world at the time. Dating from the 12th to 15th centuries A,D., the arts of Ife are noteworthy for their visual power, iconic complexity and variability of form. One of the  high points of the exhibition is a group of awe-inspiring, life-size portrait heads of copper and various alloys that used techniques far in advance of anything available in Europe or China at the time. Surprisingly, in light of the unique importance of Ife art and civilization, no broad-based museum exhibition outside of Ife itself has featured these works. The Nigerian government’s exceptional commitment to the project, with loans from the magnificent collections of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, has led to the inclusion of approximately 100 of the most famous and beautiful Ife objects. Previously shown at the British Museum , the exhibition was described by critics as “flabbergasting”, “once in a lifetime” and containing “artworks that rank with the Terracotta Army, the Parthenon or the mask of Tutankhamun as treasures of the human spirit”. In the Sunday Times, critic Waldemar Januszczak wrote: “A glorious display of Ife sculpture has arrived at the British Museum. Nobody — and I mean nobody — in Britain should miss it. Why? Because it changes our understanding of civilisation. Because it rewrites the story of art. Because it is a once-in-a-lifetime revolutionary event. If none of those is a big enough reason for you, then go along merely to enjoy some of the most graceful and lovely sculpture ever made. Trust me. You need to see this one.” Organized by the Museum for African Art in New York, in collaboration with the Fundación Marcelino Botín of Santander, Spain, and the Nigerian National Commission on Museums and Monuments.Curated by Dr Enid Schildkrout, Chief Curator, Museum for African Art.

The exhibition started off on February 12, 2011 will run up until May 22, 2011.


ImageCredit: SuzanneHall on Picasa

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Tsemaye Binitie Piece Featured in IKI Magazine.

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A research and pervasive spirit of freshness and purification will be our 4th Issue’s key driver. After the long dark Winter, we deserve a break! And Spring is in the air: time to shake off the Winter cobwebs and let the fashion fun begin and the colours speak our mind and creativity! Colour can be taken literally and/or thought wider, in its variety of facets: it’s up to you! Just take a moment to relax your mind, close your eyes and imagine to be in the middle of a field full of brightly colored, fragrant blooms about to begin pushing their way up through the moist soil – Iki Magazine

In the ‘‘Colour me Bad” Editorial of Iki Magazine shot by Emma Noren, it features bright coloured pieces throwing out a welcoming embrace to Spring. Amongst the fabulous  numbers featured, we spotted a piece by Tsemaye Binitie ( As seen above on the model) – Floor length red cocktail dress with ruched neck-line.

Tsemaye Binitie dress, Left

 

ImageCredit: IkiMgazine

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African-Inspired: Missoni [Spring 2011] Piece as Seen on Margherita Missoni

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Margherita Missoni (Heiress to the Missoni Empire) seen last week at a cocktail party sporting a Missoni piece with the Missoni  trademark geometric/zig-zag print from their Spring 2011 RTW Collection. The collection as seen on the runway, paid tribute to multi-cultural groups across the world including Africa {Sneak Peek of Spring 2011 RTW below} . The piece Margherita is wearing gives off the impression of a free fitting sun dress made out of African Fabric.

Missoni Spring 2011

ImageCredit: Style.com

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Suzaan Heyn’s Store Now Open in Johannesburg

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Suzaan Heyns store is now open in Johannesburg located on the corner of the 9th street and Rustenburg Road, opposite the Bamboo Designer Lifestyle Center. The store will stock Suzaan Heyns Mens and Womenswear collections, selected Marc Jacobs sunglasses, UK based shoe label FINSK and jewellery by Ivka Cica.  The position of the store was influenced by the promotion and growth of creative hubs for local designers is very important to the development of the design industry in South Africa. Now consumers can choose thislocation as a shopping destination and visit designer stores that include SUZAAN HEYNS, Black Coffee, Entropy, and Superella. For Suzaan, “ the perfect Saturday for me is going shopping for fashion, antiques, for art,wine, to have something great to eat, have a look through books, and to purchase something for my house. This spot offers such an experience.”Suzaan is most excited about the opportunity to escape the studio tointeract with her customers and regular clients, and read a book outside the shop with a good cup of coffee.


The colour scheme reflects a fusionof different styles from vintage to contemporary South African designers,to artisan pieces, to art deco. Every item by a particular designer has been selected for its unique style and complementary character to the SUZAAN HEYNS aesthetic. Suzaan was particularly excited about the collaboration between herself and Adriaan Hugo, of Dokter and Misses, on the design of the store’s clothing rails and other interesting fixtures and fittings. The shop has been fitted with a sumptuous carpet that is actually grass and this leads to functional rocks that are used to anchor the rails for the clothes. Surrealism is evident even in the mirrors placed in the shop, one of which looks like it is dripping. One of Suzaan’s favourite pieces is a number of ceramic hands, made by Ceramic Matters, placed in the lights that look as if they are reaching downwards to the customers.

The store launch was supported by Patron and Appetizer,M.A.C and TREsemme provided samples for the launch and Ira wines supplied bottles of wine for the store launch.

 

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Fashionable Friday with N.Splendide: The Quest For The Perfect Wedges.

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Spring is here and I’m sitting at Cafe Bistro with dearest friend Osaru waxing lyrical about that most important topic – shoes! The conversation veered into the subject of wedges. Now, not being the kind of girl to wear wedges, I had very little interest in her ardent endorsement of the shoes.

She went on to predict a love affair between me and the wedges she bought in New York a few months back and being the naturally curious type, I succumbed to her invitation to pay her “friends” a visit. I cannot be too certain what transpired between my first sighting of the shoes and the beat my heart skipped, but I knew that the unthinkable had happened – I was in love with them! The shoes are perfect for her style which I would describe as “very sexy but structural”
The day is still early and my search for my first perfect wedges has begun in earnest. After browsing my favourite site. www.netaporter.com I finally had a break with the YSL Spring 2011 Venice sculpted wedge sandal in gold – perfect, beautiful, sexy, and  very stylish. I love it for me. I love the metallic angled edge behind (it will go with my Spring/Summer wardrobe) and it would make a lady out of anyone . Needless to say I just had to get them!



Are they challenging to walk in? Yes. But am I still in love with them? Yes!

I have a lunch date soon and I’ll be rocking my new heels and feeling like a new woman.


Fashionable Friday is a weekly column on HauTeFashionAfrica.com that shares the tales of a very Fashionable Elite African Stylist, Fashion Critic & Wardrobe Stylist, N.Splendide!

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