journal

FROM GHANA WITH LOVE! – YOU ARE WELCOME

We’re back, after a very long break. Thanks for visiting!

I had such a wonderful, sweet time in Accra…during my whirlwind, fabric sourcing trip in September. First off, it was my first visit to an African country besides Liberia. From the time I stepped out of the well-lit, multilevel airport and then drove past manicured street blocks peppered with high-rise buildings on broad, pothole-free roads, I thought, “THIS is Africa” and felt a sense of tremendous pride and hope.

Downtown Accra

Don’t get me wrong, Accra is not perfect but the development and depth of its middle class are awesome. And then my godsister Josephine and her family. Their hospitality embarrassed me. She laid out my dinner and breakfast and fussed when I didn’t eat the whole plate. I feebly tried to wash my plate and got shoo-ed out of the kitchen. So much kindness, so much love, such a blessing. And everywhere she took me, I was greeted with “Akwaaba” or “You are welcome.” That “You are welcome” really touched my soul. Not, “Welcome-and-let’s-keep-it-moving” but YOU are WELCOME.

Stuntin’ in Makola market with the girls

Who takes time to look people keenly in the eye and warmly grasp their hand with two hands? My hurry-hurry Americo-Liberian heels were cooled, humbled and blessed by all of it. The four days went quickly, a blur of church on Sunday (rain, so no Liberian refugee camp visit, bummer), Makola Market on Monday, Accra Mall and a factory visit on Tuesday and then the Osu street market to round up souvenirs and more distributor visits on Thursday. In true business-nerd fashion, I didn’t hit up the tourist spots, but I had a wonderful, productive time and thank God for all of it. In my next post, check out my fabric design finds.

Even the taxis encourage you. I love this place!

The new Justice building

COLLECTION: THAKOON PANICHGUL

Wow! Where do I begin? Let’s start with the designer –Thakoon Panichgul is amazing! Thakoon’s eye for art, fashion, detail and design capture the essence of an innovative designer. Born in Thailand and raised in the States, Thakoon draws inspiration from all realms of the world and showcases this consistently in his work. His eclectic, impeccably tailored, colorful and innovative creations have graced the frames of Sarah Jessica Parker and most notably, First Lady Michelle Obama.

Thakoon’s talent and flawless execution is magnified in his Resort 2013 and Addition collections. The color scheme, mixing of prints, and geometric patterns all fuse to make beautiful pieces. While Resort 2013 gives us romance, illuminated patterns and a softer color palette , Thakoon’s Addition collection offers edge, fierceness, movement and bold prints all capsuled into one. If this is what 2013 is looking like, I’m most certainly anticipating the new year. Enjoy:)

Thakoon Addition

Thakoon Addition

Thakoon Addition

Thakoon Addition

Thakoon Addition

Thakoon Addition

Thakoon Resort 2013

Thakoon Resort 2013

Thakoon Resort 2013

Thakoon Resort 2013

Thakoon Resort 2013

Thakoon Resort 2013

Thakoon Resort 2013

I DREAM OF SUMMER: EXPLORING SUMMER’S ECLECTIC TRENDS

Suakoko Betty at African Fashion Week 2011, demonstrating mixed prints with striped blouse and printed pants.

Alas! Warm breeze, sizzling BBQ’s, beautifully bronzed skin and of course, enchanting fashion. This summer I’m ecstatic about so many fashion pieces. Like many others, summer has always been a very inspiring season for me, partly because of the gorgeous weather, the adventures that I dare not explore in the blistering cold, and the festivities. Although I adore the winter months for the knits, layering and wedged booties, nothing can compete with mid May through August. This year my love affair with summer leads me to any and all prints, pastels, lace, print blazers, printed sunglasses, textured clutches, pleated skirts, statement jewelry, and loads of color!

First off –prints. Something about floral, African, checkered, cheetah and polka dot –to name a few – that has me in awe; its complete genius, and mixing them? Einstein. Celebrities like Solange, Rihanna and June Ambrose execute this trend effortlessly. Mixing prints is a rejuvenating trend because it not only showcases an individual’s personal style and creativity but also challenges the notion that pieces always have to match.

Romance is in the air with this pleated maxi skirt from Zara.

Secondly, mint and blush color trends, and lace and pleated skirts just oozes romance. Although classic, it helps soften the edginess of the summer by reverting back to soft colors, breathable tunics, flowing maxi skirts and lace embroidered blouses. Romantic date night anyone?

Beyond the clothing, accessories have a special place in my heart this season. This summer I am opting to put down the carry-on luggage formally known as my tote and duffle handbags, and reach for more clutches. Besides being extremely cute and well safer, (nowadays carrying an excessively heavy bag like mine is a health hazard for me and whoever I knock down with it –I’m just saying) clutches are versatile and more ideal for summer occasions and events.

Textured clutches especially, have become a favorite of mine, simply because they add an extra edge to any ensemble. Faux crocodile skin, studded, and bowery or woven clutches can offer justice to any outfit. This summer fashion is all about having fun, mixing it up, remaining comfortable and traveling through each and every fashion avenue. Whether you’re exploring a trend or inventing one, be confident, be creative and be you! What summer trends are you looking forward to exploring?

Studded clutch from Zara 2012 Summer collection.

Pleated lace prom skirt from top Shop

Floro embroidered shell top from top Shop.