AFRICA IN THE CITY

It’s Saturday afternoon and I’m in a quandary as to what to do with the rest of my day, having dragged myself reluctantly to the gym for my weekly punishment I was feeling in an inspired mood to get out and about (any opportunity to hit the streets with the Nikon).
Several of my friends had told me to attend August in Africa Summer Festival, presented by The Africa Center at London’s Covent Garden, a celebration of all things amazing and African inspired. However central London on a Saturday isn’t one of my favourite things, especially since the week before I made the mistake of trying to shop the sales in Oxford Street on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Let’s just say the day ended with me having to express a few choice words to a complete stranger about the importance of common sense and decency. From that point I vowed never again.

I actually love Covent Garden, it’s an eccentric  mix of old London, mixed with modern shops and restaurants, however there is a reason I avoid it on any given Saturday, due to the very high volume of people in what is considered a very small area of space. It becomes a real challenge to traverse the streets to avoid collisions with tourists and general “out of towners”, whilst trying not to photobomb every other picture. Hence why my reluctance to attend the festival, however I needed to run a few errands, so as I was going to be in the area anyway it seemed rude not to attend, also an opportunity to celebrate the wonderfulness that is Africa.

Upon arrival in the Piazza we found a large stage, where DJ Oya Bun was currently playing an array of upbeat Afro Beats to keep the waiting crowd entertained. The atmosphere was relaxed and happy encouraged by the very fortunate good weather. As I said previously I hadn’t really intended on attending the festival so hadn’t checked the timings for the line-up, a quick google search later I realised we had missed a number of opening acts, which included; Ali Kamara, Simo Lagnawi, Bonga, Taalim and later in the evening Fuse ODG.

Undeterred we decided to explore the festival further, more importantly, do some shopping, which was perfectly timed as we managed to catch the beginning of an on the street fashion show, showcasing African inspired contemporary fashion, all put together by Vou Brown, fashion boutique located in North West London (I will be visiting in the near future)

Africa Summer Festival

 

 

The Men’s fashion did not disappoint

 

After the show we were able to shop the looks straight off the cobbled catwalk. My purchase of choice being an Ankara print turban, for those days when my hair is not looking quite ready for outside eyes and fabric covered earrings by Gitas Portal to add to my already too large collection.

African Summer Festival 2015

 

Overall the afternoon turned out to be a fun day it was nice to see young and old experiencing Africa’s finest. Showing the continent is more than a news headline but is rich with colour, culture art and fashion in its many evolving forms. Also a great precursor to next week’s event of Africa Fashion Week London, which I’m sure many of you will be attending.

Let me know if you attended the festival, your comments and feedback  are always welcome. Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog and follow me @mymagnoliasky

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AFRICAN FASHION: SOSOME POP-UP SHOP CAMDEN

Last summer I visited my dear friends Jennifer’s pop-up shop located at the Collective 159 Camden high-street, London for her fashion label  SoSoMe. An elective mix of African inspired prints, in modern shapes and silhouettes.

I look forward to seeing more of this growing brand at this years Africa Fashion Week London. 

SoSoMe

 

The brand is not just about prints, spotted this sequin tunic
SoSoMe

The brand creator/ designer herself was on hand to personally talk you through the unique pieces from the collection.

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The Collective is a great space showcasing upcoming talent and new brands.

Look Book: Green Trousers, Boots and Leather

The lure of the three day weekend, is enough to get anyone excited and out the house. My best friend Steph has invited me out for a late lunch, and though the sun is out the weather is in somewhat of a confused state.

Today I wore: New Look Leather Jacket, Michael Kors Watch, Topshop multi-stack rings, ASOS Jersey green trousers and my favorite Topshop block heel leather ankle boots.

Look Book Leather jacket Look Book Leather jacket

Stacked rings and sparkley things

 

Look Book: Early Summer In London

 

It’s mid-April and London is experiencing a mini heat-wave. I’m talking highs of 23 degrees, which to most brits is practically tropical temperatures, coupled with the fact it’s not even May, the hope of a great British summer is contagious.

London in the sun is something everyone should experience, the city and the people that reside in it are transformed. You can smile at strangers, eat alfresco and a hard working day easily blends into an easy hazy evening spent with friends.

I rediscover long forgotten places of interest as I happily wonder the city streets, in no hurry to rush home from the usual cold and rain.

I’m wearing: Leather Biker Jacket New Look, French Connection Breton Stripe Top, ASOS Mom Jeans and of course my Ray Ban Wayfarers, Michael Kors Slim Runway Leather Watch

 

Biker and Stripes

Bond Street London, heading towards Sotheby’s Auction house

Biker Jacket and Stripes

 

Flowers and the Checked Shirt

Early Saturday morning just after the rain.

It’s one of those weekends where I have everything and nothing to do, nothing I would want to do, but many things I have been avoiding. I need to leave the house; no I must leave the house…… weekly flower shop it is.

Today I wore: Topshop Ponte High-Waist Jeggings, The Pink Coat Jonathan Saunders for DebenhamsASOS Check Shirt , Office Leather Chelsea Boots, Accessorize Tan Leather Bag and Daniel Wellington Watch.

Flowers and Checks

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Look Book: Vertical Stripes served with lunch

Its a rainy, cold Sunday afternoon and I’m spending time with my lovely friend Joké . Its our first meet-up since the New Year so loads to catch-up on. Due to the bad weather we didn’t venture far and headed to the nearest warm place, serving hot food, which happened to be Cafe Rouge Tottentham Court Road.

Joké is wearing:

Vintage shirt from her Grandma, Jeans BDJ Urban Outfitters, Zip Front Cardigan H&M, New Balance Trainers and Necklace from  Accessorize 

Joke

Read more about Joké including her amazing Mexico adventure at: www.jorisocentric.blogspot.co.uk

Africa Fashion Week London 2014

 

AFWL 2014

7th – 9th August 2014, was Africa Fashion Week London (AFWL), a combination of catwalk shows and trade stands showcasing African inspired fashion. Now in its fourth year and held in a new location of London Kensington Olympia, this annual event as expected was awash with colour and authentic ethnic prints. South West London was encased in Ankara wax prints to traditional Ghanaian Kente Cloth, I was lucky enough to witness the action unfold. On and off the catwalk the fashion did not disappoint, some of the best looks were adorned by those on the front row.
We ate traditional aromatic and spicy Jollof rice, while enjoying some toe-tapping afro-beats.

AFWL 2014

Some of the best looks were spotted off the catwalk. AFWL 2014 streetstyle

Label watch:Kenyan based label Njema Helena
AFWL 2014

Label watch:Homegrown London based label Merci Me London
AFWL 2014: MERCI ME LONDON

AFWL 2014 ROUND-UP

Those that attended were able to shop many of the looks straight off the catwalk following the show. Catering was courtesy of Mortar and Pestle

Also at the show was Primavera Fitness, modeling her own African inspired print leggings.

For more on Africa Fashion Week London visit: www. africafashionweeklondon.com