journal

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.

“EVERYBODY SAY YE-YE!” — REMEMBERING THE GENIUS THAT WAS FELA KUTI

fela4
An inventor is more than somebody who just creates something. It is one whose brilliant thoughts, advanced foresight, knowledge and pure talent blend together to develop a craft that is revolutionary. An inventor not only creates, he or she inspires. Nigerian born Fela Anikulapo Kuti was one of the greatest inventors.

Deemed as one of Africa’s musical geniuses, Fela Kuti not only transformed the music scene in the early 1970’s, he reinvented it; by fusing funk, traditional Yoruba music, jazz, calypso, salsa, Highlife and African classical music to form Afrobeat.

His energy, presence, rhythm, and undeniable talent composed one of the most diverse genres in music and cast light on the rich talent of artists in Africa, with hits such as “Yellow fever,” “Teacher, Don’t Teach Me No Nonsense,” “Water No Get Enemy,” “Shakara,” and “Sorrow Tears and Blood” which spoke of the potential for prosperity throughout Africa and the human struggle.

Politically, Fela was an avid supporter of the Pan-African and Black power movement. In the 1980’s Fela created and rallied for his political party –the Movement of the People (MOP) and urged Africans to take pride in their culture and value their rich history and potential. He denounced European exploiters and spoke of the inequalities and prejudice that presided in Nigeria amongst the classes.

Fela’s magnetic energy not only embarked on a new wave of music in Africa, but also raised awareness in the people to become self-reliant and embody self-pride in themselves and take ownership of their land, interests and their vitality.

Beyond politics, Fela’s presence was dynamic. His energetic on stage demeanor along with his distinct collection of tailored to the tee, fine embroidered suits, signature beads and jewelry, set him apart. Fela offered the world a fresh take on music, culture and art and pioneered with many other African artists to set the bar for African influence.

Decades after Fela hit the music scene in Nigeria, his influence continues to reign in theatre –such as the Broadway Hit FELA!, in music –with his everlasting imprint in world music and popular culture, and in contemporary fashion like the Fela Kuti inspired collection by Nigerian knitwear designer Buki Akib.