London to host 7th Africa Fashion Week

By Ada Dike

Organizer of Africa Fashion Week has hinted about London readiness to host over 100 African fashion designers and exhibitors who would be  featuring at 7th edition of the event slated between August 11 and 12, 2017 at Grand hall of Freemasons in the Queen city.

Founder, Africa Fashion Week Nigeria/London (AFWNL), Ronke Ademiluyi, said that the event would be an exhibition of the African fashion whose creations had become unique designs and brands.

Speaking yesterday in Lagos, Ademiluyi added that designers and exhibitors would be coming from Ghana, Togo, Kenya, South Africa, Congo, Tanzania, Mozambique, Senegal, Uganda and Cameroon.

“Some Nigerian designers that will also be participating include: Signature Secret, Neopele, Lady Biba, Step Up, Sheila Black Style, House of Bo and Joela Bags,” she said.

Ademiluyi also said that the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), would lead a delegation of Nigeria’s best emerging designers that would also be accompanied by the Council’s  catwalk show.

She further said that no fewer than 10,000 guests were expected to grace the two-day show at the Freemasons Hall in London and that they would be entertained by 60 catwalk shows with daily exhibitions.

“This year’s show will hold in two days; with five shows, that will have 60 designers on the catwalk, along 40 exhibitors,’’ she added.

“Africa Fashion Week London, a sister event to the just concluded Africa Fashion Week Nigeria, is a celebration of African designs, talents and diverse ethnic fashions in the United Kingdom (UK).

The 2017 Africa Fashion Week Nigeria, organised in conjunction with the Lagos State Government in April and June showcased the nation’s iconic pride with the theme: “ Celebrating the vibrant Pulse of Africa’’.

Ademiluyi said that the African show would be part of activities to promote African fashion before the international community.

“It is going to be a celebration of African designs, talents and the diverse ethnic influences that contribute to the development of fashion industry in the UK.

“Samson Soboye, an established London-based fashion stylist and a creative director behind the brand `Afro chic’ who has worked as a freelance stylist for publications will be our head stylist for AFWL 2017 ,” she said.

According to her, since the debut of the programme in 2011, it had been identifying and promoting new and emerging designers inspired by the rich culture of Africa and contemporary designs.

Ademiluyi hinted that AFWL had become Europe’s largest event for African and African inspired fashion, adding that the show was conceived at promoting new and emerging designers that were inspired by the rich African culture incorporated into contemporary designs.

She said that AFWL had become the platform through which designers boost their creativity in African fashion at international markets, as well as the nation’s tourism industry.

Founder of Africa Fashion Week London/Nigeria, urged Africans to appreciate what they had, and promote them to the rest of the world.

 

Bags, ladies’ indispensable companion

By Ada Dike

It is rare to see a lady outside her home without a bag. This is because a lady’s bag complements her dressing.

A lady’s bag portrays her dress sense and tells who she is.

Ladies’ bags

Many ladies revealed that they put mirror, cell-phone, cosmetics, money, diary, keys, comb or brush, tissue paper, powder, complementary cards, identification card and vehicle particulars, among others in their bags.

Too many items in the bag make it heavy, sag and wear it easily.

These days, ladies carry bags of many colours but the popular colours include black, brown, blue, pink, gold and so on, but the commonest of them is black because it is a universal colour. Some bags have fusion of attractive colours and unique designs which make them popular in the markets across the globe.

Mesmerizing beads, shells, sequins and coins further enhance their elegance to a large extent. Various forms of bags ladies like to carry comprise: party bags, ladies beaded bags, ladies fashion bags and ladies designer bags.

Recently, a luxury Hermes handbag produced in 2014 and has 18 karat gold buckles and strap loops encrusted with 205 diamonds was auctioned at $380,000 in Hong Kong. This shows that handbags have gone beyond mere tools for carrying valuables to being used as a store of value.

 

Miss Nigeria pageant organiser celebrates 60 years of national unity

By Ada Dike

The organiser of Miss Nigeria pageant has flagged-off preparations for the celebration of 60th anniversary of Miss Nigeria scheduled to hold in November aimed at show casing attributes of Nigerian women and fostering unity among Nigerians.

Speaking at a media briefing in Lagos, Tuesday, to intimate the media on the event, which started in January this year, the Executive Director of Miss Nigeria Organisation, Dr. May Ikeora, said that all arrangements have reached advanced stage to achieve a successful multi-faceted celebration. 

Miss Nigeria is 60 years today. Founded in 1957, when we were trying to secure Nigeria’s independence, it was a more symbolic pageant specifically formed to promote peace and unity in Nigeria, which it has continued to achieve,” she said.

 “Today, we celebrate Miss Nigeria at 60. We have come a long way. It is another chance to refresh and search for what we can do better for Nigeria. How do we change with Nigeria and how do we make contributions to make Nigeria better?” former Miss West Africa added.

In continuing, she however, emphasised that the only way the pageant can be improved upon was for them to achieve the goals they had set.

“We have been working so hard from last year, especially, trying to make sure that Miss Nigeria as an organisation is clear with its objectives,” she stressed.

She mentioned the key elements of Miss Nigeria pageant, which include; the pageant itself, the women empowerment element as its vision today is empowering women beyond beauty, sustainable and long term project such as Green-Girl project, which is reviewed every five years, and the culture and heritage.

“Every Miss Nigeria surpasses what her predecessor did. It brings value to our community and the sponsors. Every year from last year, Miss Nigeria takes a state or two and promotes their culture and heritage. Last year, the girls wore Benin attire on stage thereby promoting Benin culture.

 “We want a strong Miss Nigeria. We want to bring back pageantry better than what it used to be. It is unfortunate that we have too many pageants today that diluted pageantry, we don’t want that anymore”, she said.

She revealed that they would continue to use Miss Nigeria as a platform to showcase who a beauty queen should be. According to her, Miss Nigeria is not a perfect girl but the everyday girl that represents the entirety of Nigeria and implored Nigerians to support her.

“Miss Nigeria embodies an intelligent and beautiful woman that understands her identity as a Nigerian. It is not about beauty or whether a girl is from East, West North or South. Last year, we had more girls from the Northern part of Nigeria that contested for the pageant. We don’t want a girl from a particular ethnic group but, a Moslem or a Christian from any state that will represent who we are as human beings,” she explained.

Miss Nigeria 1957, Grace Atinuke Oyelude

She summed up her statement by saying that the 60th anniversary is an avenue for them to tell Nigerians and the world that the pageant is bigger, stronger and better.

“This is Miss Nigeria, well structured to promote peace, unity and our rich cultural heritage,” Ikeora added.

In the same vein, Special Project Expert, Edi Lawani, said that Miss Nigeria has a lot of history comprising visual and spectacle that goes through stages of selection, training, boot camp and the grand finale.

He maintained that the need to ensure that the event is recorded and stored for generations yet unborn to watch is by storing it in a recorded form.

“From the technical point of view, moving forward, we shouldn’t make a mistake like in the past. To capture it properly, that is where we come in to ensure the technical requirement is put together,” he said.

“This year, we will ensure Miss Nigeria is presented in a way it can be termed world class that will make it engaging for people to want to watch after that day,” he said

Also speaking, the 40th Miss Nigeria, Chioma Obiadi, the current queen, said she has used the platform to orientate girls and women through Green-Girl project she inherited from her successor.

“While growing up, I wanted to be Miss Nigeria because it is ambassadorial. I would like young people looking up to Miss Nigeria to know that it is not about beauty but, for projection of peace and unity in Nigeria,” she explained.

The 22-year-old 200 level student of Geography and Meteorology, Namdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, reiterated that the 60 years old pageant has a lot of weight on her shoulders.

“It has been amazing. I have built my intellectual strength from being the queen,” she revealed.

It would be recalled that the winner of the maiden edition of the Miss Nigeria, Mrs Grace Oyelude, clocked on December 19, 2016, the day the 40th Miss Nigeria, Chioma Obiadi, was crowned.

The organisers of Miss Nigeria, in one accord stated that they would do all they could to sustain the pageant and ensure it continues to serve its purpose of bringing peace, unity and progress to Nigeria.

They revealed that they had written letters to the American President, Donald Trump, individuals, organisations and some multinational companies, intimating them about the world class event that has interesting programmes that would thrilled Nigerians and the world.

Established in 1957, the pageant which holds every year aims to showcase the positive attributes of Nigerian women and also serves as a platform used in uniting Nigeria.

Stylish Ankara outfits for office

By Ada Dike

One of the most popular fabrics today in Nigeria is Ankara, that is why fashion-conscious young ladies and women troop to market to buy it.

The material which was once referred to as cheap item and was mostly worn at home is now worn for occasions in town.

Ankara material is made from pure cotton. It is cheap, affordable and comes in six yards per piece.

Ankara provides warmth, so, it is an ideal cloth for Nigerians even during rainy season. Ladies hardly complete their shopping spree without adding Ankara material.

Styles being created with Ankara by fashion designers are trendy, beautiful and attractive, that is fashion-conscious ladies match with skirts or trousers to office.

Nigerians mourn Nollywood actor,Moji Olaiya

By Newsdesk

Nollywood family who were terribly shock at the death of one of their rear gem, Moji Olaiya, have been expressing their heart felt grief over the death of the actor.

Olaiya, 42, died on Thursday in Canada of cardiac arrest. She was said to have given birth in Canada two months ago.

Those close to her said before her death, Olaiya made some comments on her Instagram wall.

Just two days ago, she wrote on her Instagram page: “Allhamdulilahi to you Allah. I give all the glory for all you have done. I will forever praise and worship you. It’s not by power but the Grace of Allah. Thank you for the gift of life. Thanks also to all my friends and family my fans for your supports and prayers. Love you all.”

In another post, she made after, she announced to her fans that OkikiApp is now available on all App Store, read watch she posts; “watch movies from me and other great actors for free.”

When her Instagram account page–@mojisolaabikeade, with 240,000 followers, was searched, the page turned out to be full of lamentations and condolences, from her fans

Veteran actor, Yinka Quadri, reeked that her death has robbed Nollywood family and the entire entertainment industry of a talented actor and expressed his condolences to the family of the deceased.

For Director of Public Relations and Media Affairs of the Theatre Arts and Motion Picture Association of Nigeria (TAMPAN), Yomi Fash-Lanso confirming the death of Olaiya in a statement said:

“It is with a heavy heart and sad disposition to hear about the sudden death of our colleague; friend and sister, Moji Olaiya, whose death occurred few hours ago in Canada, few days after giving birth. According to reports that we gathered, we learnt she had heart seizure and couldn’t make it,’’ he prayed.

“We pray, that her soul finds eternal rest with her creator and pray to Almighty Allah to comfort the family she left behind and give them the fortitude to bear this great irreparable loss’’.

He charged all members of TAMPAN and friends to be calm as the association awaits further reports.

President of Actors’ Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Emeka Ibeh, was among the earlier mourners who expressed their condolences. Ibeh prayed God to grant the family that Moji Olaiya left behind and begged God to give them the fortitude to bear the loss.

Ibeh said that the artiste would continue to live in the memories of her fans because of her contributions to the development of Nollywood.

“In her little way, she contributed to the development of Nollywood and she will be greatly missed by her fans. I pray that God grants her family members the strength to bear this loss at a time like this,’’ he said.

Ibeh urged other actors in the country to continue to impact positively on the entertainment industry saying that their good works would definitely live-on after them.

Also, the founder, Different Aesthetics, Arts and Culture Management based at the National Theatre, Lagos State, Tope Babayemi condoled with the family of the deceased.

Babayemi said that the entertainment industry has lost another bright talent that had contributed greatly to the popularity of the local movies.

Actor Femi Branch said: “We were just mere colleagues until the day we had a certain discussion in Sagamu with Aunty `Fali Werepe` and you rose in my defence.

“I have recounted this tale to more people than I can recall and in every instance, the mention of your sincere intervention was the highlight of my tale. That day, I knew the good hearted Moji Olaiya and for as long as I have the gift of memory, Mojisola Olaiya will remain embedded in my heart,” he added.

“Sleep well `Mj’. May God erect a canopy of protection over your children and the family you left behind. Lord, please take away this hand of death moving over our industry and please open our eyes to know that life belongs to you and only you can give it in abundance”.

To Funke Adesiyan, it’s still a tale-tale story. Here her. “Days like today should not exist. I refuse to believe the news of your untimely demise. I still don’t get why good people don’t last. You were a true soul”, she lamented.

“Beautiful in and out with absolutely no space in your heart to hate or pretend to love. You were so genuine. May Allah rest your soul and give your family the fortitude to bear this loss. It’s a sad day,’’ she said.

Ask Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Okiki Films Sunday Esan, how he feels, he would tell you that he is in shock.

“I’m currently in a state of grief and shock. Is it true that Moji Olaiya is gone? My good friend is no more; I will miss her personality, talent and humility.’’

The late queen of the screen, Moji Olaiya was said to be the daughter of a popular highlife musician, Victor Olaiya.

Her journey to Nollywood began her with Wale Adenuga Production (WAP), starring in the popular family TV drama series of Super Story, where she played the role of Ireti in “No Pains, No Gains”.

She also featured in other movies such as: “Agunbaniro”, “Sade Blade”, “and Nkan Adun ’’and“Omo Iya meta leyi”.

Moji received awards for her diligence in Nigeria and abroad. She was nominated as the Best Supporting Actor of the Year 2003 for the Reel Award.

She also won the Best New Actress award and she said then that such awards were always motivating her to put in her best in any roles assigned her during movie productions.

Nigerian movies win award in France

By Newsdesk

The Wedding Party and 76  two films from the shelves of Nollywood  have jointly won the 2017 NollywoodWeek Public Choice Award in Paris, France, as this year’s NollywoodWeek Film Festival ends.

According to the organisers, eleven films were shown during the four days of the festival, including five films in competition.

NollywoodWeek Film Festival, Tuesday announced that ‘The Wedding Party and 76’ have jointly received the 2017 NollywoodWeek Public Choice Award.

The festival trophy was given to Izu Ojukwu, the Director of 76 and Moses Babatope who represented the film in the absence of the film Director, Kemi Adetiba in a closing ceremony that was followed by World Premiere screening of Ctach dot er; by the Director Walter Taylaur.

“I was not expecting this award. It’s an honour for me and for everybody who worked on the film”, said Izu Ojukwu.

Moses Babatope expressed his joy at winning this year’s award and declared that it was a good omen as the production of The Wedding Party 2 had just begun in Lagos and Dubai.

The high quality of the selected films for the 5th edition has been praised by journalists and film critics.

Eleven films in total were shown during the four days of the festival, including five films in competition: Dinner, Gidi Blues, Green White Green, The Wedding Party and 76.

“The festival has really cemented its place in the Parisian cultural calendar. Each year, we try to offer the very best of Nollywood to the Parisian public by bringing the newest developments in the industry”, he added.

“This year we screened a web-series from REDTV and for the first time, an animated short film from Anthill Studios called Play-Thing,”Director of Communication and co-founder of the festival, Nadira Shakur, said.

According to the organisers, the selection of the 2017 edition of NollywoodWeek was rich and eclectic. The Public Choice Award ultimately went to two very different films but both have left an indelible mark on the Nigerian cinema landscape over the past year.

Is pajamas street-ready style or fashion world gem?

Adjustment and new look that comes with pajama in recent time shows that designers really want to turn the fancy night wear into glamorous street wear,  but average shopper seems unconvinced with idea, suspecting conflict.

Yet fashion industry would not let the  idea go, despite reluctance to wear a pair of silk pajamas to a cocktail party.

Indeed, in an uncharacteristic display of independence, confidence and adherence to civility, consumers have been immune to the concept; they’ve ignored the celebrity endorsements and the cache of designer labels.

The nation is bravely refusing the normalization of pajamas, with  shoppers, stay strong.

Bearing in mind, designers are not touting basic cotton PJs, flannel oneness or even filmy nightgowns;  they want people to wear extremely fancy silk pajamas and dressing gowns – the sort that you might sleep in, if you had a manservant dressing your bed in Pratesi sheets and Hermès throws.

The point of these pajamas, however, is not sleep. They are intended to be glammed up with chic shoes and a handbag, a slash of red lipstick and a significant amount of chutzpah.

Perhaps, a robe top over trousers and a dress shirt,  people supposed to wear the look to a holiday party, celebratory dinner, or to mall.

A significant portion of the fashion industry has gotten behind this notion. Recently, a Givenchy floral pajama top was for sale on the Neiman Marcus website for $811, marked down from the original $1,690.

That was just for the top; the bottoms were extra. At Saks Fifth Avenue, customers will find a Gucci corsage-print silk pajama top priced at $2,200 and the bottoms at $1,300.

And in September, when Bouchra Jarrar debuted her spring 2017 Lanvin collection, the focus of the line was boudoir looks, including a particularly striking black-and-white striped robe worn as a blazer.

Further down the fashion food chain, Victoria’s Secret is selling after hours satin pajamas.

And J. Crew has a pajama shirt paired with jeans as well as a pajama jumpsuit styled with one of its black Regency blazers and black flats.

To be clear, these are not pajama-style garments, nor trousers that simply borrow the loose fit and drape of sleepwear.

Ostensibly, these are pajamas, promoted for both men and women.

Indeed, in recent years, entire brands have been born solely to cater to the idea that people should wear fancy pajamas on the street. The Italian brand F.R.S. (both the founder’s initials and an abbreviation of “for restless sleepers”) uses fabrics patterns and rich colors that call to mind life in a Medici palazzo. Piamita was founded by two fashion editors in 2011 with fashion pajamas as its early focus. They ooze charm.

All of these garments have luxurious fabrics, elaborate patterns, saturated colors, comfortable silhouettes. They are, in fact, quite handsome. But they look precisely like what they, in fact, are: Pajamas.

And they are thriving – within the fashion ecosystem, anyway. In the spring, Dolce & Gabbana hosted a “pajama party” in Los Angeles, where guests Naomi Campbell and Jessica Alba were decked out in pajamas.

The Hollywood reporter, Booth Moore, recalled a model, Gigi Hadid, wearing a pajama jumpsuit on red carpet.

Moore has also seen the look at fashion-y Los Angeles parties. She, herself, owns a lovely pajama shirt, purchased from a shop in Paris, but has any of these looks really been spotted in the wild?

Moore, author of where stylists shop,remarked that she has not seen such anywhere around the world and that not even in Los Angeles, the city that turned pink velour track suits into a fashion statement.

Meanwhile, on the East Coast, it is a look a fashion director, Nylon, Joseph Errico, a fashion and culture magazine based in New York, claimed she has not seen hit streets very much

He liked the idea of it because he  owns a Prada pajama shirt that he bought way back few months ago and had  rocked it for a fashion shoot. But he just can’t see it finding a niche in real life.

“Does it walk down the street or just from a chauffeured car to a private event?” Errico wonders. “I don’t think it’s going to break out.”

In the nation’s capital, there is no love for PJ style – not even at one of the city’s great bastions of fashion, Hu’s Wear.

“Do people even wear pajamas to bed these days?” emails an incredulous Marlene Hu Aldaba from the fashion trails in Europe, where she is looking at clothes for the next season and avoiding pajamas at all costs.

“This feels like another effort by designers and the fashion industry to impose some abstract vision on us.

Sure, some of the softer pajama looks are feminine and flowing, but are designers just sitting around scratching their temples trying to figure out, place they have  not been before: pajamas to dinner! That’s it!’ Pure shtick.”

The fashion industry’s fascination goes back more than a decade.

In the Prada 2002 spring collection, the designer included metallic gold shirts cut precisely like a pajama top and shorts that looked like the lower half of a pajama set.

And other designers including Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce, have for years included a few pajama looks in their runway shows.

“But the trend picked up momentum in the last few seasons. All the cool fashion editors started wearing pajamas”, Errico said.

“They wore them with their kangaroo-fur-lined Gucci slides. They tossed Céline coats over their pajama-clad shoulders”.

“And there is more to come in the season the industry calls pre-fall, according to Roopal Patel, fashion director of Saks Fifth Avenue.

“I don’t think pajama dressing is going away anytime soon,” she says.

Remember Kate Moss in her sexy Calvin Klein slip dress? Women wear camisoles as shirts and don’t mind showing off an especially best way to rock it.

And folks delight in boarding airplanes or heading to brunch in sweatpants, leggings and T-shirts that make up in comfort what they lack in style.

“There’s a degree of function in athleisure,” Errico says. “There’s this assumption that there’s a stop at a gym along the way.”

Pajamas, however, are intimate without the sex appeal. They are all comfort without even the pretense of function.

There was a period when rebellious teenagers or overtaxed parents wore their jersey or flannel sleepwear out to coffee shops or the dog park.

This iteration of pajamas exuded laziness. They were a declaration of surrender – or, at their silky best, an affectation.

Fashion pajamas are more complicated. They require a certain level of fashion savvy – to make clear that the look was intentional, not happenstance that requires work.

Selena Gomez was recently photographed wearing pajamas on a shopping trip. Her hair was in a low ponytail; she wore bright red lipstick and black stiletto pumps. She looked fashionable, but she did not look comfortable.

Still, Patel is committed to fashion pajamas. She says they have sparked more interest in for-the-bedroom pajamas from snazzy brands like Fleur du Mal. And, yes, people really are incorporating them into their everyday lifestyle. Well, fashion people.

Beware of fashion people. But if you cannot resist their siren song, Patel offers this: “Layer a pajama top under a blazer with jeans and a little slipper or loafer,” she says. “Try a striped pajama bottom with a solid top to give it balance.”

“It’s really about having fun,” she says. Whether you like it or not.