............... The Akpos Okudu 'Siren' Collection
Regular readers will know I'm not a fan of posting lookbooks, just the sight of an email with the subject line reading "For Immediate Release" is enough to put me off checking my emails. I have to really love it to consider it and the minute I viewed the pictures from this collection I was in love.
The collection is inspired by Sophia Loren, Dorothy Dandridge and sirens of the silver screen and I can totally see that in these gorgeous gowns.
The brand has employed satin and chiffon in jewel tones with touches of lace and elaborate draping, the results being true to the Akpos Okudu aestheic; fun, gorgeous and ready to wear.
Newly married Akpos Okudu Nwokekoro (I saw her wedding photos on Bella Naija and LOVED her proposal story) says “It was a dream putting together this collection. Often my art imitates life and this collection really captures this new phase in my life and the direction for the Akpos Okudu label, a little older, a little sexier.
Unleash your inner siren!”
Can we get into this beauty below. Looove this dress...LOVE. The bedazzled draping, the colour, the length...everything!
Everyone knows I'm a fan of back drama, give people something to ogle when you leave. This coral number is it!
My favourite of them all; the Sophia dress, it can be worn two ways and both ways are fantastic.
I love when designers depart from their usual aesthetic and still kill it, shows you how versatile they can be. Love the fact Akpos embraced her more grwon up side in this collection. I die for the first dress and the Sophia dress above.
A man can never have enough well cut suits, and the same is true of shirts. The perfect shirt can be the most versatile staple in a man's wardrobe, with the potential to transform a look from casual to formal and vice versa if styled correctly.
To buy the perfect shirt for the man in your life, first of all you'll need his neck and chest measurements. Take a peek at the size of one of his existing shirts, or simply ask him outright to make sure you buy exactly the right size.
The next step is to think about when he usually wears shirts. If he's more of a casual t-shirt man, you may want to kick off his formal collection with a classic long-sleeved shirt in neutral black or white - we wouldn’t want his introduction to the world of shirts to include any mention of the word "Hawaiian"!
At the other end of the scale, perhaps he wears shirts every day for work? In that case, you might want to mix things up a little by introducing a different texture. Look for a comfortable shirt suitable for wearing at the weekends, so it doesn't feel as if he’s dressing for work - numerous 2013 spring/summer collections including Brioni and Tommy Hilfiger featured denim, chambray, silk and jersey as opposed to the traditional cotton.
If your man has stylish leanings and isn't afraid to experiment with his clothing, there are a few details you should look out for that are set to be huge trends this year. Short-sleeved rolled cuffs popped up on the Calvin Klein and Lanvin catwalks, whilst collars, cuffs and trims of contrasting colours or textures were a big feature within the Diesel and Dries Van Noten collections. Printed shirts are also due to be a popular choice come the summer season, so look out for polka dots and stripes!
Tracking down the perfect shirt for your boyfriend couldn't be easier with the range of credit cards from American Express. For example, with the Green Charge Card you can earn exclusive membership reward points on virtually every purchase, which can be redeemed with fantastic retailers like Amazon and Harrods. With the added bonus of no pre-set spending limits or interest charges, it's the perfect accessory for your retail therapy sessions.
Who can forget this fashion fantastic photo from Fashion Week in 2011?
All the ladies were fly AF but top honours went to Shala Monroque in her chambray shirt and mustard skirt.
For months after that her look was re-created by fashionistas worldwide, I swear I saw someone pull a Shala at least once a week. Strangely enough I never got into it, I mean I had a denim shirt, I had a mustard skirt but the look was so overdone I let that bandwagon pass me by.
Two years later I hadn't seen anyone do the Shala in a bit so I figured it was safe and rocked it to work last Friday.
Zara denim shirt; Miss Selfridge mustard pleated skirt; Dorothy Perkins mixed coral neckpiece; ASOS gold & leather cuff; Prada baroque sunglasses; Louis Vuitton Alma GM in Monogram Vernis (another bandwagon fashion look I steered clear of till now); Salvatore Feragammo patent 'Varina' flats
Shout-out to my boo Archie for taking my pictures.
Women’s curves have been something a contentious issue in the fashion industry. Size 0 models have made many believe that it is best to pursue a shapeless silhouette, and billboard adverts still propagate unhealthy images of skeletal figures. And this is despite publicity to encourage the industry to use more realistically sized models. It’s high time that women’s curves were celebrated again! With a flurry of sexy and curvaceous ‘real’ women in the spotlight, maybe the time is finally here. Cosmo recently published a slideshow of some of the most beautiful and successful celebrity women, many of whom have curvy silhouettes. Stars like Scarlett Johansson, Kim Kardashian and J-Lo are all celebrated for their womanly figures, and their red carpet style encapsulates the glamour and elegance that the right kind of clothing can give to hips, boobs and a waist. Burlesque artist Dita Von Teese is fast setting a trend for bringing back 1950s glamour, complete with cinched-in waists, big hips and proper busts. With the red carpet now welcoming an hour-glass shape, the high street is set to follow. High street fashion is now slowly working towards trends that are more designed for a curvier physique. Pencil skirts, mid-heels and statement jewellery are currently in vogue so you can now dress for your shape while staying on trend!
On top of that, Shapewear, the brilliantly flattering underwear, is taking the fashion world by storm. These attractive undergarments smooth your body-line so that everything sits where you want it to! And there is no need to worry about having a Bridget Jones moment with your scary big knickers – Shapewear is stylish, elegant and on trend. Isme’s range of Shapewear currently features a great selection of chic pieces, in black, beige and white, with appliquéd lace and decorative edging for every problem area that you might want to tackle.
A fashion-forward and affordable way to enhance your womanly curves in the way you want to. Now I've never had to use Shapewear but recently some areas have started to....lose their elasticity so to speak, so its looking like that day is coming sooner rather than later. Thing is I've always been worried about how ugly most of the ones I've seen are, absolutely far from flattering. The Isme range eliminates all those fears though, smoothing away all your disagreeable bits while still looking sexy. Love! So yeah, when that dreaded day comes, I know I'm covered.....literally. Lol, sorry, bad pun. Love and light xx
I've had this post in my drafts for a few weeks not but completely forgot about it. This was when I still had my big hair, I really miss this hair, definitely have to get it done again.
Anyhoo this black dress is one of my favourites, if my colleagues only knew how many times I've rocked this dress with a different jacket, shirt, belt, brooch......the dress def has super re-rocking powers.
Zara boucle jacket, ASOS dress, Salvatore Feragammo 'Varina' flats, Bali bead & pearl necklace from The Pearl Shop
*sidebar* The lovely people at The Pearl Shop just named a piece of jewelry after me. Get into the 'Daks' freshwater pearl & black onyx necklace...
I am beyond honoured, this is so awesome, thanks guys!
The Modern Day School of the Arts is a University for the study of the arts and design in Lagos and it offers courses in Creative Writing, Fashion Design, Multi-Platform Communications, Photography, Web Design and Development. Teaching these courses are a staggering array of talented professionals in their field; Ituen Basi, Don Barber, Toni Kan, Tolu Ogunlesi, and Victor Ehikhamenor.
I first heard about MDSA via Instagram and was instantly intrigued, see I'd always wanted to do a Creative Writing course, I know I can write but I've always wanted to learn the proper form and structure of writing. So I got on their website and started to do my research and I was super impressed by what I saw there. Omoyemi Akerele of Style House Files, whose reputation spreads beyond fashion as an innovator is on the Board of Advvisors so I knew I was on to a good thing.
I registered for the Creative Writing course and was invited to take part in a 2 day workshop prior to the kick off for the week long workshop. It was taught by Toni Kan who I'd been a fan of since he used to write for Hints Magazine. Now at the time, I was in primary school I think and was definitely not supposed to be reading Hints but I was such a voracious reader that I read everything I could get my hands on, even the back of cereal boxes when there wasn't anything else. There was no discrimination, as long as something had text on it I would read it.
With Toni Kan
The workshop took place the first week of February and was so much fun, I mean I love Law and all but classes used to get so tedious that several times I wanted to start screaming in class so I could be certified insane and won't have to go to school (true story), but this was...easy, I mean I found it easy. Writing is something I've always loved and has always come naturally to me so having to "study" it was a bit laughable. It was like taking a class where you had to learn to eat ice-cream....
The class was well attended and the students were engaging and interactive and Toni Kan was a phenomenal teacher. I was a bit wary about that at first because being good at something doesn't necessarily mean you'd be able to impart that knowledge to the next person, but he totally allayed all my fears.
At the end of the workshop we were set an assignment to write a story with the central theme being Valentines Day. The premise was based on an experience Toni Kan had a few years ago where he walked into a restaurant on Valentine's Day and there was a woman sat at a table by herself, gorgeously dressed who proceeded to demolish a 3 course meal meant for two people during the course of the evening, all the while looking happy and content and not the least bit uncomfortable that she was eating by herself at a romantic restaurant on Valentine's Day. We had to write a story incorporating that visual and creating a back story surrounding it. We would read out our stories at the next class and Mr. Kan would pick his favourites to be published in the Sunday Sun.
Mine was picked (yay me) and published in the Sun on 17th February, unfortunately I was out of the country on the 17th and by the time I got back I couldn't find a single vendor that could get me the Sun of the 17th :( Anyway I wanted to put the story on here so you guys can read it.
February 14th 1961
“It’s a boy!”
“Here’s to never having another Valentine’s Day to ourselves again darling” gasped the sweaty, once pregnant woman to the man, her husband who stood by her, enduring her painful grip on his hand.
He gave no answer, smiling through his tears.
February 14th 1992
“Lola, will you marry me?”
A ripple of excitement went through the crowd gathered that day for what had begun as a birthday celebration but would end as an engagement party.
The tall slim woman looked at the man, love shining though her eyes, “so if I say yes do I still have to give you a birthday present?” she quipped and the excited guests burst into laughter.
“Just say you’ll be Mrs. Rotimi Oladokun and you’ll never have to give me a present for the rest of our lives.”
February 14th 1993
Lola and Rotimi were observed sneaking out by a side door by their wedding guests who elbowed each other smiling at the newly wedded couple’s eagerness to snatch a moment alone on their wedding day.
Rotimi’s best man, an infamous rake looked on wistfully, “you know”, he said to one of the groomsmen, “these two almost make me want to give it all up, being around them is dangerous to a bachelor’s sense of well-being.” “Osaro the man!” laughed the groomsman, “you know you like women too much to ever settle for just one.” “That is true” mused Osaro, “but they give me faith, maybe one day I’ll meet my own Lola.” He was lost in this reverie for a few minutes then noticing a group of bridesmaids and in particular, a spectacularly endowed one walking towards them, smiled “but today is NOT that day.”
February 14th 2011
The woman performed her toilette carefully, she luxuriated in a scented bath for at least an hour, applied her make-up with a skilled hand, spent ages moisturizing his favourite body butter into her already fragrant skin.
She held up the Tiffany Amber dress and smiled, tonight she was going to be a knockout, tonight she will make him prouder than ever.
Every diner that walked into the Jade Oriental restaurant that most romantic night of all nights noticed the stunning woman sitting at a table by herself.
Most of the men would have made a play for her themselves if they weren’t commanded by the rules of Valentine’s Day to be perfect gentlemen to their long suffering significant others, but the same thought passed through everybody’s mind “I wonder what sort of man would keep such a beautiful woman waiting on such a day.”
Still alone, the woman ordered a veritable feast, when the food was laid out before her she smiled with pure delight.
She took out a photo, kissed it and whispered “Rest in peace darling.”
…..and on the anniversary of her late husband’s birthday, the day he asked her to marry him, the day they became man and wife.....on Valentine’s Day;
Lola Oladokun picked up her fork and knife and attacked her food with gusto.
Love and light xx
You can find out more about the Creative Writing course and other courses at the Modern Day School of the Arts Nigeria HERE
I think we all know by now that black and white is in and not just regular old black and white separates but colour blocked, graphic prints, stripes etcetera etcetera etcetera.
This is nothing new, they were in last year, Spring 2012 to be exact, I remember River Island resplendent in a sea of minimalism. Fashion cheats, fashion repeats, don't stress yourself buying new things, its a conspiracy!!!
I'm not a big fan of black and white seeing as I was forced to wear it everyday for about 7 years while studying and practicing law but even though I love to hate it I can't help but appreciate the sartorial figure one cuts when donning a super fash black and white look. Plus its a staple of some of my favourite designers; Celine, Jil Sander, Chanel.....classic shit.
I recently sent out a Fashion Newsletter for the Women's Network in my office where I trumpeted the resurgence (again) of this super sharp monochromatic palette. So yah, I'm here for black and white *face palm* in a big way.
On Sunday, I had a super busy day and as a result of the fact that Lagos is roasting slowly on Jehovah's barbecue pit I had to wear something that ensured I won't be reduced to a puddle once I stepped outside, plus I was feening for some black and white...therefore....ta-daaaa!!
See why the post is titled Jailhouse Rock??? Felon couture is center stage, orange jumpsuits coming up next.
H&M striped shirt; H&M shorts; Topshop Gladiator sandals, ASOS neon laser-cut oversize clutch; Zara neon necklace; Dolce & Gabbana sunnies
So yah, dressed in my best "I belong behind bars" finery, with the AC of my trusty Toyota cranked way up I was ready to hit the town.
Headed to the Minku A/W 2013 bag launch first of all after a rousing lunch at Ocean Basket. Photos from the launch coming up in another post.
Stella-Maris of Stella's Addiction; Kunmi Otitoju of Minku and Wana Sambo of Wana Sambo
Then I headed out to my aunts surprise birthday do which was a blast as all the Okpaleke bashes are.
Uju Offiah of Meena
After all that waka, I ended the night at the Muson Centre where I went to see a play starring Yaw and Funke Akindele titled 'The Bar'.
It was terribly interesting.
Apparently its an annual event but this was the first I'd heard of it. The basic premise is a cast of characters, sometimes one person but never more than two cast a satirical look on everything that's happened in Nigeria over the past year; political scandals, financial misappropriation, nepotism, bombings, election rigging, money laundering.......basically a day in the life of the average Nigerian. These characters tell the story of these happenings without mentioning any names just with a few clues enough that the audience are able to guess who is being lampooned. From time to time you'd hear the names being mumbled by the audience, it was great fun.
This year's play starred Yaw and Funke Akindele and I don't mean to be offensive or anything but I'd only ever heard Funke Akindele speak in her "Jenifa" accent, not like I thought that was how she spoke 24/7 but I thought it might be very close. Surprisingly (to me anyway) she had a very normal accent, she sounded like the next person, I was really shocked. She even spoke phoneh from time to time, it completely blew my mind. She would lapse occasionally into her Jenifa tongue which the audience loved but for the most part she spoke in a regular Lagos accent which I and a lot of people that grew up in Lagos have.
*sidebar* This Lagos accent consists of pronouncing words properly so it almost sounds like phoneh but not quite and its partly tribe neutral, no-one can tell what part of the country you're from, but then some specific infrequent words give your mother tongue away as a result of parents who grew up in the East or North or West. It also has a trace of Valley Girl gained from watching countless American tv from the time you learn how to speak, and finally its peppered liberally with slang and pidgin. Unless you escaped from Lagos just after secondary school and even after moving back tenaciously held on to whatever foreign accent you acquired abroad, ten to one, you most likely sound like this.
Anyhoo Funke Akindele's regular voice is just well....regular. Now I know so I don't think the girl is really a Suliat from Aiyetoro.
You see why I said my day was mental? Good fun though.
So a while ago I decided to take a step further towards this whole "building a brand" thing and make some t-shirts with my blog name on it just for me to wear out and about, be my very own billboard if you please.
Who'da thunk it though, other people actually want the stuff and so far I've sold about 8 pieces. I have now decided to spread the word.
The Black Tees
The White Tees My friend Nwabugo got one
I love them so much I even wore one to work.
TWP tees available to order, comes with either just "Third World Profashional" written on it; or
"Third World Profashional" written on it with the accompanying pink silhouette. Available in black and white.
To order please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your colour, design preference and size.