I am on a journey. I don’t know the destination, but I like the journey so far. In my quest to discover the intellectual (or grown up) side of fashion and style, I came across a manifesto from Vestoj (a journal of sartorial matters) that I thought I should share.
The manifesto (see below) reflects my deep feelings on fashion and style today. More so, it’s a reflection on why I think fashion should be taken seriously and why we ought to begin to discuss the intellectual side of fashion some more given this new era of fashion in the age of Instagram. With digital media changing the way clothes are presented, questions remain on how fashion should be reported, shared, or consumed. I long for the days when we all waited with fervor for the unveiling of new collections, when there were stories on the pieces unveiled, for clothes deftly described the way only a fashion critic could, with no outward homage to the designer, except and only if their clothes are worthy of praises. I realize these days are long gone and in their place are superficial posts and reposts in the blogsphere like the ones below.
Honestly, this is day 2, yet shallow posts on fashion and style remain. For example, why should it matter that a magazine described someone as basic in terms of their style (no offense to her, but it doesn’t make a difference to me and I am sure a lot of people would agree). Also, why should we care that an engagement ring be worthy of praises given “it’s non-blurry image.”
Will there ever be critical discussions on fashion. This is my hope. So I especially love this post by the Business of Fashion on the new cover of Marie Claire Magazine. This is a thought provoking piece on something as ubiquitous as the cover of a magazine and what Marie Claire is doing to change how we experience a cover. I loved reading this piece, because Marie Claire is working to take magazine covers to a whole new realm. With the non-stop quest for the next new thing in fashion, I am all for interactive covers, so kudo’s to Marie Claire for working to address this.
This post by Fashionista also on investment pieces is definitely a must read (read here). Personally, when I purchased my first designer piece, I don’t think it was for investment per se. Quality matters to me. However, I was glad to read about what matters if one should choose to resell their designer pieces, especially the need to take good care of these items (which I must say should be a no-brainer). Also, loved the advice on investing in well-established, high-end brands like Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Hermès (although that should also be a no-brainer).
So this African woman can dream and I DREAM FOR THE DAY WHEN FASHION IS TAKEN SERIOUSLY. I am going to try to use this blog to dream for a grown up, mature, serious side to fashion. As even Africa looks to define its own path with fashion, as we learn from our predecessors in Europe or the Americas, as we look to craft seasoned designers whose work are taken seriously for people all over the world, I hope this manifesto remains at the back of our minds. (For more on the Manifesto, see here).
In this world of fashion and style, why is the same not boring? Where are the intellectual people of fashion? Why do all some sites (which have been deemed influential) continue to treat its readers like we are all shallow, omg people, who by the way, do not deserve any intelligent conversation on style, fashion or even the latest on beauty without sounding like their audience are merely “chicks” who are weary of intelligent conversations on style.
I woke up today, excited about the day and curious to read what the fashion blogs are all up to, hoping for another day that “chick stories” and all frivolous posts in-between will not prevail. Since I came across the writings of Cathy Horyn, the last great fashion critic and this post by Jessica Grose for the New Republic on whether women’s magazine can do serious journalism (read here), I am now sort of weary of this world of fast fashion vis-à-vis, fashion blogs, and online magazines that we live in.
Honestly, the tunes everyday are old and familiar, and downright boring. Rather than genuine posts like the ones above on serious women, standing up for fashion magazine, or this love/hate relationship with fast fashion or why fashion brands parting with artisans in developing countries, we are left with shallow posts like the ones below on how to wear your favorite pumps? Mmh, pardon, me but it is the same way, one foot after the other, nothing special.
They deceive women with headings like the one above on how you will want every single Roland Mouret piece for Banana Republic, which is totally not true (I’m still recovering from the shocker that was Peter Pilotto for Target). Even, Vogue my beloved Vogue, whom I will always love, is in on the madness with a post on, get this, how to score a sporty ponytail? Yes, a sporty ponytail? Is there any hope? Please can these magazines and blogs alike start talking or discussing things we don’t already know!!! This is my plea to you. If you are seeing this, there are readers like me who are interested in genuine, serious conversations on fashion and style. Please change the prejudice out there that your contents are not valuable or that your readers are not interested.
On a lighter note, I especially chuckled at this new ad campaign by Vanity Fair in support of “Women who do.” First off, I applaud them for the campaign as I am all for celebrating women who inspire. But the ad caption, “This is a bra” and the really annoying image of one of a black bra defeats the entire purpose for which this campaign stands for. Honestly, with this ad, it is almost like we are back to the late 19th century when women were struggling for their rights to vote. Like really, how can we fight for equal pay for equal work in 2014, when a major company is featuring an ad with the title and the following: “This is a bra, it will give you lift… But this bra can only do so much until you put it on. It is what you do in this bra that is amazing, inspiring, and incredible.” Like really, in 2014! Seriously, show me or tell me something I don’t already know!!! Will fashion blogs and magazines alike and their ads, ever have a coherent point of view on women, for women? Will there ever be a space for intellectual fashion to grow?
It’s been described as the chicest show ever. Truly, Karl Lagerfeld knows how to make a woman swoon over Chanel as his shows are always so memorable and oh so grand. Unless you are one of the lucky few who received the most coveted invite in the world, a ticket to the Chanel Haute Couture show in Paris, then you are probably (like me) scrolling through instagram or the internet (admit it, you are) in search of the latest collection that was unveiled today.
Consider me your Chanel messenger (you can thank me later). I have done the legwork and identified 5 key pieces from the show that are truly glamorous and would make you swoon (spoiler alert, there is one for pregnant brides too and so many reference to Versailles). In fact, these pieces show off Lagerfeld’s skills at it’s best as he shows hand workmanship that are truly quite lovely to look at (see this image below)
Truly, he is a designer who knows how to make a woman feel regal in a modern and sleek way, and the intricate gold embroidery on his white pieces, dancing around necklines, on the side of the gowns or on straps in some cases are #todiefor. But I know your time is precious (afterall you are at work, right, lol) so here are my top 5 key pieces from Chanel Haute Couture show that are truly lustworthy and I think you’ll agree too…
1. Dazzling beads and embroideries set against clean lines almost like jewelry on the clothes themselves
It is time to give BellaNaija the praise it deserves. For the past couple of days, if you followed any of the BellaNaija social media feeds (my guilty pleasure being Bellanaijaweddings on instagram), you would have noticed the countdowns aptly described as “something new is coming to BellaNaija.” It all started almost 6 days ago, when the first countdown appeared with the question ‘You ready’?! and talks to “expect greatness” as BellaNaija would be 8 on July 1st.
Truth be told, I watched my feed everyday, wondering what the new thing could possibly be. I read the comments from it followers. Some wondered if it would be a “new app” (something that would honestly be great), others noted that maybe it’s “the best brides of 2014” (another brilliant idea considering I am a new bride too… wohooo). The anticipation was rising with each new day. And we waited like we were pregnant with unapologetic excitement for what BellaNaija would unveil on July 1, 2014.
Gone are the days of red BN color we have all come to love all over the site, instead the site has been revamped and replaced with a modern silhouette, in black and white colors that truly take BellaNaija to another level. There is also a section on “star features” which lets you access the BN articles you love directly. Also, as a junkie for quotes, I am digging the BN quote of the day section, and the “love this” button #deservesanapplause. While we celebrate 8 years of BellaNaija and wish them much success, it is the comments from it’s followers that we applaud today as we reminiscence how BellaNaija has revolutionized social media (see it’s first logo below)…
For example, it’s followers are best beyond grateful for BellaNaija and they clearly reveal why the site has the ultimate staying power, case in point, follower Molara Akande noted the following ” you have been a blessing in so many ways to a lot of people and a great ambassdor in showing foreigners that Nigerians are really stylish and hardworking.”
But one instapost (not a comment, an entire post) that made me really take a step back to reflect on BellaNaija today is the post by follower Abisola of makeupbyashabee. She stated the following (and I know this is long, but you really have to read it in it’s entirety to see why this ode matters) ‘Happy Anniversary BellaNaija. Congrats to their amazing and talented team. May God grant you many more years of prosperity and fulfilment. May God continue to bless you as you’ve been a blessing to Young entrepreuners. Thanks very much for the support and encouragement. Those reposts have been life changing. You don’t want to imagine the bookings we get after every BellaNaija repost. May God continue to announce you for good…Greatest wedding blog that liveth @bellanaijaweddings…
Now these are everyday Nigerians and many of them took the time to celebrate with BellaNaija yesterday…Truly BellaNaija is the most important style influencers for Nigerians, Africans, and beyond. And though it’s hard to believe that it’s been 8years since BellaNaija was first introduced to our lives, (visit the original blog seen here to see how time flies), their diligence and perseverance is truly a testament of why this site #deservespraises. BellaNaija has managed to etch itself into our collective consciousness as the number one site for all things naija style and entertainment which we here in the diaspora have come to appreciate and love. And honestly, it played a huge role in my decision to curate my own stylereport.
So, I am am writing this post to send a toast to you today BellaNaija and I wish you many, many more years of delivering nonstop inspiration to help women in Nigeria and beyond live a more stylish and creative life, as we catch your fire, naija style…
Happy Friday everyone and my sincere apologies for my absence of late. Lord knows I have been so busy. Why? Well, I am planning a wedding while enjoying the precious moments of toddlerhood with my Belle. Quite frankly, the things I go through each day with my toddler alone, ought to the written up to see if I am alone in the world. I digress, but my toddler is simply amazing sometimes and other times, too much to handle. I really love her, but to think she is not even 2 yet and full blown toddlerhood has begun. Anyways, I hope you now see why my hands are full. I still love this blog, I love style, but family really comes first and so my sincere apologies for my absence. So as per wedding inspiration, I will have some of my friends in asoebi and so I was browing through the internet to get a sense of what styles they should sew. Each friday, God willing, I will try to post some style inspirations for my friends and for people to simply admire. I hope you like them.