Fashion in Kenya

Kenya Fashion ShowNear the end of April, the nonprofit group Festival for African Fashion and Arts held the Fashion for Peace show inside the Nairobi National Park in Kenya. The show featured designers from Kenya, as well as from other African nations, including South Africa, Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda and Tanzania. Though widespread food shortages and ethic tensions persist, Kenya enjoys a relative peace. In response to the country’s changing political climate, this year’s event focused more on promoting Kenyan fashion beyond the country’s borders than on a clarion call for peace.
Of course, the high-end outfits stayed well above the purchasing power of the average Kenyan. The runway show was actually for international consumption and to mainly catch people’s attention. Lara Mastropasqua, one of the organizers, said that establishing a fashion industry in Kenya could create local jobs that would service the global fashion market. “From the textile workers, to the women who bead, to the small cottage industry people who have amazing craftsmanship, if Africans were to reinvest in their culture, there could actually be an entire industry that could develop,” she stated. “You will rarely have an African designer have the opportunity to show his or her talent internationally,” she said. For now, high-end fashion remains a luxury in the developing nation. Diana Libiso, a television producer who attended the show, said that price will always keep Kenyans away from designer clothes. “Your typical, average Kenyan would not spend above 25 dollars on an outfit,” she said.Fashion Show in Kenya


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Christian Siriano

Who could forget about the fierce winner of the fourth season of Project Runway, Christian Siriano? Well, he has been hard at work and designing away for the latest fashion weeks. Here are a few of his most recent designs.cs2cscs12cs4

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A Little Bit About…Betsey Johnson


Some may know her for her crazy fashion ideas and designs. At age 66, Betsey Johnson is also known as being one of the strongest women designers as a person. She is a survivor of breast cancer, has raised her daughter by herself, and still is known for her happy, outgoing attitude. Fashion Betsey JohnsonAt the end of her fashion shows, it has always been her tradition to do a cartwheel down the runway. (It doesn’t even matter if she is wearing a dress!) She took many dance classes while she was growing up, which inspired her love of costumes. After high school, Johnson studied in New York City at the Pratt Institute and then later graduated from Syracuse University where she was a member of the Alpha Xi Delta sorority. Her daughter, Lulu now works with her in the fashion industry.


“Making clothes involves what I like…color, pattern, shape and movement…I like the everyday process…the people, the pressure, the surprise of seeing the work come alive walking and dancing around on strangers. Like red lipstick on the mouth, my products wake up and brighten and bring the wearer to life…drawing attention to her beauty and specialness…her moods and movements…her dreams and fantasies.” -Betsey Johnson


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A Favorite…


pinupRight now, I’m all over the “Katy Perry pin-up girl” look. The new look for this spring/summer is all about the onesies and sweetheart necklines. Along with the influx of breezy dresses and jumpers in stores, I’ve been spotting the arrival of a warm-weather essential both anticipated and dreaded: the bathing suit. But despite what’s strutting down the runway in New York, the trend this spring isn’t about the “squint-and-you’ll-miss-it” bikinis, for once. Designers like Michael Kors, Diane Von Furstenberg, and Dolce & Gabbana all flaunted retro, pinup-girl-inspired swimwear: high-waisted bikinis, demure one-pieces, and skirted silhouettes.katy-perry

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No, not Vera Wang…

veraneumannVera Neumann! Mention vintage scarves and the name “Vera” immediately pops up into my head. My grandmother gave me countless Vera scarfs, each one of them a little different. The designer behind the name was Vera Neumann, an artist turned textile designer. Vera began designing textiles in the 40s after she and her husband founded Printex. She is known for her optimistic patters and bold color in her scarves. vera-logoShe chose the ladybug as her trademark to bring good luck, long life, and happiness to everyone! Now, anthropologie is introducing an exclusive line of apperal and home decor featuring prints by Vera Neumann.vera2


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Dangerous Shoes on the Runway


Fashion Zac Posen Fall 2008

There is an undeniable thing happening with shoes right now in the fashion world. They’re going insane. This is not new–shoes have been getting bigger and weirder for a few years now. But this season, they reached some sort of (ankle) breaking point. They are clunky and spiky and outrageous, studded up like dog collars or all out with inverted heels. At Rodarte, Prada, and Miu Miu, models stumbled and tripped and wiped out completely. It was impossible not to wonder: If professional models can’t make it down twenty feet of flat plywood while glued into their shoes—yes, designers have tried to resort to glue and tape—how in the world am I going to make it to my car? And what about the poor clothes? Sometimes the shoes are so fantastic that the clothes were merely an afterthought. They are lovely little sculptures, these shoes, worth admiring and puzzling over the physics. But for traipsing around in the real world: not so much.



Here are some of Spring’s Most Dangerous Shoes:


shoe1John Galliano

shoe2Dolce & Gabbana

shoe3Christian Dior


shoe6Marc Jacobs


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Michelle Obama on the Cover of O

Michelle Obama appeared on the cover of O with Oprah Winfrey, in the April publication. Michelle wears Michael Kors, which marks her second big Kors moment of the week after she chose one of his dresses for her official White House portrait.


Michelle Obama Wears Michael Kors on the Cover of O

It is the first time in nine years that Oprah has shared the cover with another human being. As you can see from the official seal in the upper-right-hand corner, this is Michelle’s first interview from the White House, which must be why Oprah’s drooling and rubbing her hands together like Michelle is one of those delicious White House cakes. Michelle looks absolutely astonishing in yellow and orange while Oprah looks splendid in magenta. (The bright new Spring colors!)

Here is Michelle Obama’s official First Lady Portrait. She is wearing a stunning black Michael Kors dress.

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