Adara Leigh of London has released their AW14 collection and it’s gourgeous! Perfect for those all important Christmas parties (can’t believe it’s just around the corner) during the festive season. The Firefly collection features sizzling hot African inspired statement heels and accessories that will blow your mind. Check out the collection below and let me know which pieces will be on your early Christmas wishlist.
Photo credit: Adara Leigh of London | Price range: £30-£365
One key autumn essential help you prepare for the colder season are loafers. From patent styles to bejewelled beauties, it’s a perfect way to kick-start autumn. Pair with thick tights to keep your feet toasty!
1. River Island Grey Patent Point Loafers, £25 | 2. Ted Baker Red Bejewelled Loafers, £170 (avaliable in store not online) | 3. Kurt Geiger Nadia Black Flat Loafers, £45 | 4. Next Navy Pointed Loafers, £28
During the Bank Holiday weekend, my cousin and I went to Old Spitalfields to attend The African Market organised by Open The Gate. The cultural arts and crafts fair features talented designers from Africa and inspired by Africa. You’ll find a range of orginal & ethical fashion, jewellery, accessories and natural beauty products. Everyone was very friendly with loads to tactics to sell you their products! One thing I love about these kind of events is that I get to see the designs up close as oppose to just looking a press releases and lookbooks. It also gives me a chance to speak with the designers and network. There were some real unique talent at the event while some designs had been done to death. Here are the highlights from the event and my top picks:
My cousin trying on the blue dress lol . Me in a ‘ghana must go style dress from Asda and designer Obiora Ichiebuka. If you plan to buy the dress you have to go one size down as it runs big.
My cousin wearing Eldimaa Fashion headwrap. Can be styled in various ways.
Open The Gate did an amazing job and I look forward to the next one which will take place at the end of September. If you would like to attend do check out the website and Facebook page for more details.
Since the age of 9, I’ve been wearing glasses. From geek glasses to coloured frames, glasses have become a huge part of my life. I recently took a visit to the opticians as I was well overdue for an eye test as my last one was two years ago! I did my eye test at my local Tesco as it’s free and got high ratings. The eye test went well and was told I have healthy eyes. I could have gotten contacts but scared of putting things in my eye and laser surgery is too risky. Although everything went well, Tesco’s selection of frames was disappointing as there wasn’t much variety and didn’t suit my face and found out it takes a week or so to get the prescription fixed. I couldn’t wait as I needed them urgently so ended up going to Vision Express at Lakeside. I handed my prescription and went to look through their frames and was spoilt for choice.
There was a Cartier frame which I absolutely loved but the price will give one a heart attack! I came across a pair from Carrera and it was in the 2 for the price of 1 deal so I got another pair from the same brand. Two days later I collected the two pairs and I’m pleased with their results. Unfortunately I couldn’t find the black frame online but the blue frame is available to purchase.
Carrera Blue Glasses | £189
The frames were comfortable and I like the fact I have two styles to play with. I also got the frames thinned down at £25 each it came to £239 with the 2 for 1 deal. It was very steep but at the end it was worth it as I has now given me a whole new look. Are you a glasses wearer? Glasses or contacts? Would you consider laser eye surgery?
Remember I did an interview with Abiye Accessories who found me on Twitter? Well she’s revamped her business with a new name (L’aviye), with a focus on exceptional, African-inspired accessories. Each piece is handcrafted and designed and made in the UK using carefully selected African prints and fabrics and finished with meticulous attention to detail. It’s polished, beautiful and of course stylish for the modern day fashionista. Abiye and I finally had a catch up with all the gist about the makeover and Eva Longoria.
1. Why did you decide to rebrand Accessories by Abiye to L’aviye?
I started ‘Accessories by Abiye’ as a hobby in December 2012 – I’ve always loved fashion, and Accessories by Abiye gave me an avenue to step into the fashion market. It was evident that the customers enjoyed the products, and a few months into the start of ‘Accessories by Abiye’, I felt it was time to take things up a notch. I wanted to be the best, I wanted people to see the potential in African prints – to see them the way I saw them. I wanted to create a brand image to tie in with the market that we’re trying to target.
2. How long did the whole rebranding process take?
I contacted Duvera Media in August, 2013 after ‘Accessories by Abiye’s’ feature in ELLE UK and Company magazine. I informed them of my ideas and we came up with a strategy for the rebranding process, and we launched L’aviye in November 2013.
3. The new look is quite lavish, polished and classy, would this sum up the L’aviye’s customer?
Yes and no. I wanted to create an impression with L’aviye – a lavish, sophisticated and elegant image, which sums up every woman who loves to dress up; but I think that everyone loves a bit of luxury from time to time, regardless of their style.
4. Now that you’ve launched your new brand, do you feel happier and more confident? What has the response been like?
Absolutely! Duvera Media literally made my dreams come true with L’aviye! It is everything I hoped for and more. And the response from the public has been overwhelming. Initially I thought people would hate it, because I was doing something different from the norm, but my customers really love it. Seeing that they appreciate it gives me so much joy & satisfaction.
5. What makes L’aviye different from Accessories by Abiye? Has the focus of the brand changed or have you kept snippets of Accessories by Abiye?
The elements of Accessories by Abiye that made it what it was, were the jewellery & accessories, the vibrant colours and the prints. I added all of this into L’aviye alongside making unique pieces that I hadn’t seen before. I wanted to step out of the box, and do something different from what everyone was doing, and I think that’s what makes L’aviye unique.
6. What projects are you currently working on at the moment?
We’ve just launched L’aviye’s summer/fall ’14 collection and I’m really excited, because the response has been overwhelming! I’m currently working on ideas for our Autumn/Winter collection.
(Her summer/fall collection ‘Pastel Elegance’ consists of handmade jewellery and accessory pieces inspired by pastel tones. The aim of the collection is to fuse African print fabrics centred around soft, feminine pastel hues with unique Western-inspired jewellery and accessories to create the African-meets-western look).
7. What are some of your favourite pieces from the current collections?
Ohhh it’s so hard to pick a favourite, but I’m particularly in love with the Georgia open toe pumps and the Zahara pieces.
8. Which designs have been flying of the shelves?
So far, all the shoes and clutches have been very popular.
10. If you could pick any celebrity to wear your accessories, who would it be and why?
I love Eva Longoria – she’s got this femininity about her. I think she’d look good in L’aviye.
11. What are your plans for 2015 for L’aviye?
I’d love to launch a clothing line in 2015, but I’m not sure yet when that will launch. That being said, you never know… Watch this space – it could come sooner than you think.
L’aviye’s summer/autumn 2014 collection is now avaliable to purchase from stunning rings to gorgeous clutches. Check out the lovely beauties in her shop . As a reward for sticking to the end of the post, L’aviye has kindly given a lovely 10% discount off any item in her shop. Just pop in promo code TREAT10 when you checkout. Be sure to follow her social media pages too!
Photo credit: L’aviye
My Shopping Trolley this week features African print acessories to add that pop of colour to your outfit. Perfect for those who want to experiment with their style and embrace things all prints. Enjoy shopping this week!
1. Topshop Aztec Scrunchie, £4 | 2. River Island Gold Tone Tribal Statement Earrings, £15 | 3. Ecletic Chique African Print Mini iPad Case, £40 | 4. Londonairobi Masai Inspired Cuff, £80 | 5. Ohema Ohene African Print Trainers, £50 | 6. Gidan Nodza at My Asho Patchwork Leather Belt, £65 | 7. Missguided Tribal Print Scarf, £7.99 | 8. Laviye Adrianna Minaudiere Clutch Purse, £29.99 | 9. Aspiga Lalo Beaded Pink Sandals, £29
How cool is this African print baseball shirt from newbie streetwear brand Ubuntou Clothing?! I love how the two looks are styled. The first one has gone for the timeless sporty tomboyish style with a pair of trainers while the other is feminine and sexy with a pair of heels. Another alternative would be to wear a pair of shorts or a skirt. Both shirts are unisex and made from 100% cotton in France. Would you rock this baseball shirt before the summer runs out?
Photo credit: Ubuntou Clothing
When I visited The Body Shop head office a few weeks back, one of the staff kindly gave us some goodies to take home one of them being The Body Shop Body Sorbet before it hit stores so was exciting to get a sneak peek! There are six varities to choose from (peach, satsuma, mango, strawberry, pink grapefruit and moringa). I love transparent packing as you can get a peek of what’s inside. The moisturizer is exactly like a sorbet/smoothie but for your skin and claims to deliver a frosty burst of moisture freshness to skin, keeping you hydrated without the sticky feeling. It’s light and fruity and perfect for summer as it’s not heavy on the skin. If you love fruity skincare products this one is for you and I just love the way it melts into your skin and leaves an aromatic mango smell that’s not overpowering. To kick things up a notch a top tip is to store in the fridge for a more refreshing moisturing sensation which will give a cold, satisfying feeling. The price is at £8 which is slightly more than I would pay for a body moisturizer but this one is worth every penny and would recommend trying before summer runs out. Are you a fan of The Body Shop? Will you try out the body sorbet skincare range?
Africa Fashion Week London kicked off last week Friday for two days at Olympia London. Unfortunately I couldn’t attend the first day so went for the last day on Saturday. This is my third time attending and was much better than the last two seasons. The lovely Caitlin who does Digital Marketing at Farfetch invited me along and went with my vlogger friend Maryam, Louisa from Afroblush and Emma from Friday Born Designs who I blogged about earlier in the week. Last year the exhibition and the catwalk show was split into two but everything was all in one place. What I love about AFWL is that there’s a lot of energy and the atmosphere is fun and exciting and everyone is so friendly. My favourite collections this year are G321, Koko Fashion, Njema Helena, Slyvia Owori. There were also returning designers and models which was great as it gives a chance to see how the designer has grown from one season to another. Here are the highlights!
Gnostic Jungle is an up and coming brand that launched four weeks ago so very new to the fashion scene! The footwear brand designs African print trainers in the UK and get them produced overseas. They showcased their menswear summer collection at AFWL and will be launching the womenswear collection later on in the year so will be looking out for that.
It was a very long and tiring day and left before the last show as I had to head back home. Overall it was an awesome day and although this is their fourth season, I still believe that there is room for improvement especially now that the event has grown in popularity:
- Press centre- It would be great to have a place where the members of the press (magazines, newspapers, bloggers and etc) can relax between shows and use the opportunity to charge their phones, camera and use laptops and etc.
- To have press who work for a magazine or have their own blog sit on the front row along with the VIP guests as opposed to having everyone in the press pit as the place was way too small.
- A larger exhibition with womenswear, menswear, children, accessories and home decor
- For the future shows an actual stage should be used as opposed to having a fabric placed on the floor
- Make the breaks shorter between shows. The breaks were an hour and a half long and after going around the exhibition twice there wasn’t much else to do. I think having fun activities like a nail station, photobooth and makeovers would be great
- Showcase menswear and childrenswear designers on the catwalk
- Have models with African inspired hair
1. My Asho African Print Crop Top, £30 | 2. New Look Blue Ripped Knee Skinny Jeans, £22.99 | 3. H&M Patent Black Loafers, £14.99 | 4. Osei Duro at Gather & See Maena Shell Top, £56 | 5. Topshop Black Baggy Distressed Jeans, £55 | 6. George Red Buckled Sliders, £10 | 7. FAIR + true at Fashion Conscience Black and White Peplum Top, £56.25 | 8. River Island Mid Wash Slim Boyfriend Jeans, £40 | 9. Zatchels Green Classic Saddle Bag, £30
Friday Born Designs is an African-inspired clothing and accessories label for men and women based in London. Founded in 2012, Emma Amoafo pays homage to the motherland with vibrant African prints with a fresh, young and modern twist. I actually met her during Africa Fashion Week London (post going up on Friday) wearing one of her designs and she was so lovely and currently in her final year at uni studying medicine.
She sent me her lookbooks last week and was blown away. I love the fact that it’s affordable as it’s very rare to come across with African designers and most importantly wearable. It’s perfect for print lovers out there and shows that you don’t have to be African to wear African clothing. All profits from sales are used to buy resources for Bless the Child Orphanage in Kwahu, Ghana. Here’s her lovely womenswear collection titled Top Button below and be sure to check out the menswear too!
Photo credit: Double E Studios
African gourmet food company Pepper and Stew has announced their sauces and spice kits are now available at luxury department store Harrods. I’m genuinely happy for them as it will bring diversity to Harrods and a taste of Africa to London’s doorstep. I actually reviewed their delicious Jollof Rice cooking sauce a while back and makes it easier and quicker to prepare African dishes. There will be a numner of varieties to choose from including the classic Jollof sauce, Cape Malay Curry and the award-winning Egusi Stew. The three aromatic spice kits include Cape Malay Curry, Kelewele, and Suya, are perfect for summer to use asmarinades for meat, fish, chicken and vegetables for barbecues, salads and other light dishes. The spices and sauces will be available on the ground floor Food Hall to purchase.
Cooking sauces: £4.95
Spice kits: £2.50
Photo credit: Pepper and Stew