I trust you’ve all had a great weekend. The weather was at least consistent on this side of the world. I had a great weekend as I went to Salisbury, southern England, for a couple of day. I visited a friend who just moved there and he lives in the most remote part of Salisbury that I had no mobile phone network during my stay lol. It was kind of refreshing as for once, I had to just forget about my phone and enjoy nature. It was very peaceful and calm and I loved every bit of it.
Anyway enough of me trying to make you jealous about my weekend lol. I have been meaning to tell you all about this cool cocktail bar in central London called Artesian. I first heard of the Artesian a couple of months ago through a friend. Even though I was told good things about it, I wanted to check it out myself. So of course, I went for a visit to see what the vibe was like.
I promised two weeks ago I would share my experiences in Istanbul with you but have not been able to do so until now. I apologise for the delay and hope its worth the wait.
I will be sharing my experiences of Istanbul in two parts. The first article (this one) will look at this city’s architecture, where the second article will explore food, hospitality and the people.
First of all, whenever I talk about architecture in Europe, there are two main cities I benchmark my idea of beautiful architecture from which are Barcelona and Prague. I know other European cities have beautiful architecture as well, but the above two left a lasting impression on my mind for so many reasons. You can check out articles of my Prague experience here and here. But anyway, this article is about Istanbul so let me reel it in a bit before I get carried away with talking about other cities. Oh and the fact that Istanbul is not even in the European union is probably a good enough reason for me not to compare but anyway, moving on.
Ok, basically I have heard so many things about Istanbul from different people who gave good reviews about this city. At this point, you would think it’s a no brainer for me to just pick up my suitcase and head out there right? Well guess what, that’s exactly what I did. Apart from the little scare I got after seeing on telly the tragic occurrence of the Ankara bombing on the 10th of October, there was no stopping me from travelling to Istanbul. As with many of the places I travel to for the first time, I did not know much about Istanbul. In fact, I know so little that I couldn’t have told you more than 10 facts about this city. Shocking right? Well wait until you hear my big confession. Continue reading Beautiful Architecture – C F HIM in Istanbul→
As summer ushers in the peak wedding season for UK residents, its fitting for me to share some images of an amazing wedding I attended a few months ago between friends of mine Abi and Sam. This was not just any other wedding but a traditional Nigerian wedding.
Anyone who has ever been to a Nigerian wedding will tell you that they are colourful, lengthy, entertaining, vibrant and big. I mean there is no dull moment in a Nigerian wedding and Abi and Sam’s wedding was no exception. Armed with the knowledge that food and Afrobeat music was going to be in plentiful supply, I was determined to have an amazing time. After all, this would be my first experience of a traditional Nigerian or more appropriately, a Yoruba wedding.
Traditional African weddings are as old as humanity itself. In fact they are only referred to as such to differentiate them from western style weddings more commonly known as “white weddings”. The term white wedding has its roots from the Victorian era when Queen Victoria wore a white lace to marry Prince Albert in 1840. I don’t know why Queen Victoria thought it necessary to break the norm of wearing coloured garments but this has somehow become the de facto dress code for brides, with the entire ceremony now referred to as white wedding. I guess she has earned herself the title of trendsetter when it comes to wedding dresses.
Fast-forward to current day, a lot of couples choose to do both white and Traditional African weddings to cater for the Christian religious aspect and to bring in line their traditional identity as is customary in most tribes in Africa. Even though some might argue that traditional weddings are only an engagement ceremony and a prelude to white wedding, I happen to think that they have all the pedigree to make them full weddings depending on how the ceremony is carried out. Anyway, I am not a wedding expert so I will leave that for you to decide.
What Abi and Sam wore was absolutely beautiful. Not only are the colours vibrant and beautiful, the style encapsulate the tradition of the Yoruba people of Nigeria. Their garments are both made from a special cloth called Asa oke fabric hand loomed in western Nigeria. Asa oke means top cloth in English.
What they wore
Iro – a red with gold floral wrap skirt
Buba – a gold blouse
Gele – a red with gold floral head tie
Earring – Red and gold earring with matching necklace.
Shoes – Christian Louboutin
Agbada – Red and gold outer wear
Trouser – Cream linen
Shirt – Cream linen
Hat – Red and gold made from Aso oke
Shoes – Jimmy Choo
I am sure you will agree with me that this wonderful couple knows how to mix traditional attire with high end fashion to create a beautiful whole.
This was truly an amazing ceremony I was honoured to be a part of and if you are not familiar with the Yoruba tradition and custom of marriage, I hope you have learnt something new. If you are Yoruba or familiar to the tradition, feel free to leave a comment below if there is anything you would like to add. Enjoy the rest of the photos.
Africa Fashion Week London or AFWL has come a long way since its inception in 2011. This year’s event was held at the Olympia London on the 7th and 8th of August. It is another great example of how the African culture and lifestyle is influencing and taking roots in London as mentioned in my post August in Africa summer festival 15. AFWL is by a wide margin the largest catwalk event in Europe celebrating African styles and designs and has caught the attention of many even beyond Africa and Europe. The show has attracted over 300 hundred designers and more than 40, 000 visitors. I personally have little reservations about a few designers’ commitment to pushing the art from being a dream to truly becoming an avant-garde were by the framework for future African fashion is laid. Up to the point of typing this post, my research laid bare, for the lack of web presence on some of the designers and exhibitors. Living in a world where everything points towards digital, its surprising this minority have not tapped into this area to make themselves known.
Notwithstanding, collectively the runway shows for 2015 have been spectacular with many designers pushing the boundaries to widen the horizon of what is expected from an “African” themed fashion show. It is no longer the case where Ankara and Kente dominates the catwalk to represent the entire continent. For many years, designers have used these two fabric types to create what they saw as the embodiment of African fashion. To my delight, this is no longer the case and even for those who use Ankara and Kente have done so in such clever ways as to show a different dimension to the art of designing.
A good example is Mary Martin London. Mary Martin showcased some beautiful pieces to include a Cecil the Lion inspired dress. “When I saw the lion on TV I was deeply shocked” said Martin as she was interviewed by the BBC world service. Martin spent many nights working on the dress in time for the show. Other designers who showcased beautiful pieces on the catwalk for the 6:30 show on Saturday were:
Amanda May Needle point Soraya da Piedade Vanelse Sarah Arthman Kilumba Steve Mandy Nsoromma by Tribal Piece The organisers did a fantastic job to put this show together and i think it is going to get bigger and better in the coming years. I am already looking forward to AFWL16. As a men’s fashion and lifestyle blogger, i wish there were more men’s fashion designers out there. May be this is an area up and coming fashion enthusiasts need to look into. Browse through the photos and let me know what you think by leaving a comment