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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Behind-the-Scenes: Mashariki Mix, Episode 62

Mashariki Mix presenter Sarah Hassan wears metallic dress from VIVO at The Junction.

Shot at TRIBE Hotel in Gigiri.

Watch entertainment variety show Mashariki Mix weeknights at 19.30 on AfricaMagic (MNET).

VLISCO Since 1846. Finally Launches in Nairobi.

VLISCO and its stunningly editorial ads have always been associated with West Africa and everything that is avant-garde about African fashion: lithe, dark models swathed in colour. The brand's much-anticipated official launch into Kenya yesterday shows the promise of how Kenyan fashion is finally catching up to the rest of the world. It's genuinely exciting.

For those of you who don't know, VLISCO is African printed fabric made in Holland with Dutch wax. It's a high quality fabric with bold colours and patterns that's been around for a long time. In Western Africa (Cote d'Ivoire, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Ghana, Nigeria...) wearing African textiles every day is really normal, rich or poor. It's quotidien. I grew up in Abidjan, so I know first-hand. We have a little more trouble with that over here, having succumbed to a more 'westernized' perspective on dressing. But truly nothing beats the scene of a bevvy of women dressed in African print. 

We'll see how it all unfolds, how Kenyans incorporate traditional fabrics with modern shapes like the rest of the fashion world has been doing lately.

Inside the showroom.

The crowd at the Evelyn School of Design.

Big thanks to Mollie Mungai for facilitating the VLISCO entry into the Kenyan market, and for inviting me to be a part of this inaugural event. We wish the brand nothing but the best and hope it helps transform the face of fashion in Kenya.

The new Nairobi VLISCO showroom resides at the Evelyn School of Design in Lavington.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Behind-the-Scenes: Mashariki Mix, Episode 60

Mashariki Mix Presenter Nic Wangundu. Shot at the the BoConcept store.

Mashariki Mix presenter Sarah Hassan wears Plum Pretty.


Watch Mashariki Mix weeknights at 19.30 on AfricaMagic (M-NET).

Monday, February 11, 2013

Fashion High Tea 2013

The outdoor area of FHT at Zen Garden, before the well-heeled throngs arrive.
Hair and makeup masters respectively, Randolph Gray & Steve Koby.
Gracious FHT host Shivani Radia MD of Zen Garden

Stylist Eddie Kirindo

Photographer Emmanuel Jambo flirts with FHT organizer Grace Makosewe 
Designer Anne Mpinga

Mr. Marek Fuchs, the dapper Larry Jakanoi (who flew in from Dubai for this!) & me in my tulle hat. Image courtesy of Nick Klaus.

This is really just a selection, there were dozens of beautifully and thoughtfully dressed party people at the Fashion High Tea. Zen Garden is really the best of places for these glamorous afternoons of sipping cocktails and eating canapees. It's a day that may be out of reach for a lot of people (that sushi buffet doesn't come cheap), but for those lucky enough to be included, it's a pleasure every time. 

See the full story at Kenyabuzz

All images except the last courtesy of Tahir Karmali of; him and I make a great team, thank-you dahling.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Grand Opening: BoConcept

Last night M and I attended the opening of a furniture store, which was a first for me. Not just any furniture store though - BoConcept. Heard of it? Well its a Danish design line that's opened its doors in Nairobi.

A Danish design store might seem unusual for the old Nairobi, but this is the new Nairobi. This chic aesthetic for life is the new frontier. And with all these new glass buildings popping up around town to house them, let's hope this is only the beginning.

View of the BoConcept showroom from the parking lot.

The BoConcept concept is about European minimalism. Long, clean lines, seamless wood, some textured fabrics (goatskin cushions and carpets...), industrial lamps, and colourful statement home accessories (vases, knickknacks, shelves, etc...).  The prices were of course eye-wateringly on the high side (not for the faint of pocket), marked clearly in Euros. It's an upper-middle class project obviously.

The store display; sorry, a little blurry.
The foyer display. Me acting nonchalant. It's one of those brand spanking new Nairobi buildings.
Inside the store with Hawa & Marek. Image courtesy of SHK Consulting.
We had a couple of vodka cocktails and chatted with some lovely Danish Embassy people. Then on the way out we spied this adorbs Parisian-style cafe across the way called MAMA'S Fine French Patisserie

Fancy! Our town has arrived!