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

 

My London: Brick Lane shopping

After filling our stomachs with what seemed like all the pancakes at Hoi Polloi Restaurant, Ace Hotel (see my previous post), it made sense to go for a walk to try a burn off some of our very large brunch. So myself and my friend Carina headed over to Brick Lane only a few minutes’ walk from Shoreditch High Street.

 

 

Brick Lane is an interesting place, where you will find some of the best curry houses, vintage shops and street art which line this very unique street. The street style fashion is amazing to observe from 90’s throwback, 80s punk and modern day mod-tailoring. There is a high concentration of people wearing Mom Jeans and a 2.8 average jaunty hat ownership per capita (note these statistics are completely fictitious though probably not far-off).

Brick Lane Vintage shops offer an array of retro fashion, though not the cheapest but you will be spoilt for choice.

Our first stop is the ever popular Rokit Vintage and Retro Clothing Shop, which has everything from old school Puma sneakers to cut-off vintage Levis 501’s.
Rokit

 

The Vintage Market Brick Lane.
Indoor market with various vendors all under the one roof.

Carina tried on this hat for so long I thought she actually had bought it, at only £15 it was a bargain.
Brick Lane Vintage Market

 

 

Today I’m Wearing: Topshop Parka, H&M printed blouse, Daniel Wellington Watch and Vintage Silk Scarf from my trip to Hong Kong.
Topshop with Vintage Silk Scarf

Brick Lane BookShop
I’m not sure when William Shakespeare wrote Othello, he had “MR T” in mind, but I think it works.

We accidentally happen upon a Street Art tour group, and decided to tag along for a moment, which is another great thing about Brick Lane the art is everywhere. Round every corner or side street you can find another piece more thought-provoking than the last.

As the afternoon sun starts to dim we head back to Liverpool Street Station to catch the tube home, I’m very proud of myself having controlled my urge to buy anything, but there is always next time.

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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Paisley Print Midi Dress

Paisley Midi Dress

This dress was a recent online purchase from Dotty P aka Dorothy Perkins. I wanted something midi length, long sleeve and suitable for work. I was pleasantly surprised when my purchase arrived, as we all know online shopping is a gamble at the best of times, but this dress ticked all the boxes. It was a relatively mild winter morning so I threw on the forever faithful biker jacket. Accessorized with my multi chain Topshop necklace, Timex digital watch and mixed things up with gold and silver jewellery.

Dorothy Perkins midi-dress, Jaxon hat, Topshop ankle boots, Timex Watch

Paisley Print midi dress Continue Reading