Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sessilee Lopez



Sessilee Lopez is an incredible Dominican model that is heating up international runways. These are her pictures from the Black Issue. I love her, she reminds me of the iconic Grace Jones.

Italian Vogue Black issue








So about a year ago, Italian Vogue brought some of the hottest black models together in the Black Issue. It featured icons like Iman and Naomi Campbell as well as newcomers Chanel Iman, Jourdan Dunn and Sessilee Lopez. How kind of them. It was beautiful though. Sold out everywhere so I ordered it on E-bay.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Salvador Dali

The artist Salvador Dali said "Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing." I agree with this and like just Coco Chanel I really don't mind being copied! As a historian, I tend to copy people lost in history that most people don't know about, not my contemporaries. That makes me appear a lot more original (and cleverer) than I really am! There's nothing new in this world, it's just a wonderful melting pot of experiences that you can choose to make yours. I think it's called the Universal Mind or something like that.

Style and Music

They go hand in hand, as fashion guru Nina Garcia stated, when the Beatles went hippie-psychedelic, the world went hippie-psychedelic too. When Debbie Harry from Blondie ripped her tights and hiked up her skirt, girls everywhere followed. This is Nina's set list of musicians with style.

Diana Ross and the Supremes reigned supreme with their feminine, glamorous 1950's sophistication. Diana said "With the Supremes I made so much money so fast all I wanted to do was buy clothes."
Cher has an exotic, hippie style and introduced California cool to the world. She said "I've always taken risks and never worried what the world might think of me. Until you're ready to look foolish, you'll never have the possibility of being great."

Joplin haunted the thrift stores and friend's closets for unique pieces. She customised her clothes with embroidery and beading. She was rock's first female star and invented her own style that you see on the Sienna Miller's of today. She famously said "Don't compromise yourself. You're all you've got."
She could easily be mistaken for a boy and that was the point. Patti Smith blurred the lines between women's and men's fashion and the rest of the world caught on a decade later. Patti said "There weren't a whole lot of female images that I could grab onto. So a lot of my influences were male."She was the first punk-rock princess. She loved to break the rules. It was her blend of sex and strength that made her a style icon and a symbol of the 1980's. Later singers like Madonna, Courtney Love and Gwen Stefani would all attribute their styles to her. Debbie said "I am the party."

Tina Turner with her miniskirt, lipstick and spiked hair. She is one of the most glamorous icon's of rock, known for her daring, edgy outfits and amazing legs. Tina said "Physical strength in a woman, that's what I am."
There is nothing daring or controversial that Madonna has not embraced or created. She is like a chameleon, constantly reinventing herself and her image. Her career evolved with carefully planned stylistic phases. She is quite simply, on the cutting edge. She said, "Better to live one year as a tiger, than one hundred as a sheep." I so agree.

Style




To me true style is effortless, simple. It transcends momentary trends. It is timeless. Stylish women like Audrey Hepburn tend to have their own unique, signature style that suits their body type. In Audrey's case it was the chic little black dresses and a beatnik style with capri pants and black turtleneck sweaters. Simple and effortless yet till today we have women like Victoria Beckham emulating it. According to Nina Garcia, fashion editor of American Elle, a truly stylish woman will have the basics, a classic white shirt, some well fitting jeans, a pair of black pants, a little black dress, a turtleneck, a trench coat, some ballet flats, a classic pair of black pumps, pieces that she can add to and embellish, as well as the trendy stuff. This is a wardrobe you could have had in 1939, 1969, 1989 or in 2009.

Erykah Badu



This is neo-soul singer Erykah Badu's ad for Tom Ford's White Patchouli fragrance. Gorgeous! I love Tom Ford. When he was with Gucci, his sunglasses and Black Orchid is one of my favourite fragrances ever. By featuring Miss Erykah Badu he's just reached out to a whole new audience.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Micheal Jackson


This is the way I'd like to remember Micheal Jackson. Rest in perfect peace.

Topshop London!

I love your store! Please give me a concession in the Topshop flagship store! People will be queuing up round the block for my designs! Call me!

Jump rope

Jumping rope is one of the best and most efficient forms of cardiovascular exercise. It's convenient, you can do it anywhere and it's great for toning the legs. If you have cellulite jump-rope for thirty minutes, four times a week!

Eva Marcille



Eva Marcille is the first and most gorgeous and successful America's Next Top Model. She's an actress too now. This is her on a recent photo shoot.

Holiday

It's obvious to me and everyone around me that I don't have the energy to do much of anything at the moment. Especially since my car and half my possessions were taken. I'm being forced to go on holiday while other people handle the design of the boutique that I still haven't started working on yet. All I have to do is tell them what I want done and hopefully by the time I come back in three weeks, there will be progress. In two months time, it should be open!

Le Smoking



This is so me, I love androgynous, male inspired pieces. When the first YSL Le Smoking suit appeared in 1966 as part of Saint laurent's 'Pop Art' collection, in the shape of a black jacket and trousers in grain de poudre with four button down pockets, and a straight cut, high-waisted satin version over a white organdy blouse, they were a controversial alternative to the classic little black dress or evening gown. Instantly adored by a chic collective of style icons including Catherine Deneuve, Betty Catroux, Francoise Hardy, Liza Minelli, LouLou de la Falaise, Lauren Bacall and Bianca Jagger, over the next 30 years Saint Laurent reinvented his signature silhouette in hundreds of new and different guises from dress and short versions to jumpsuits and trenches.

Today all Saint Laurent's successors from Alber Elbaz to Tom Ford and the current YSL designer, Stefano Pilati, all ensure that Le Smoking is an inherent feature in every YSL collection. I would wear one every day if I could.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Child's play

Most of the things I do i've been doing since I was a kid. I'm self-taught. My Mum said I started styling her at age 3. When I was 10, I was asked what my hobby was and I said "dressing up." At 11 I bought my first book on make up art and started practicing on myself, girls at my boarding school and doing make up for school plays. I also started writing little novels in exercise books which I would pass around the girls. I read a lot of books. None of these things were conscious, i did'nt know I was going to go into fashion or be a writer, i just did those things. I got into fitness early too. When I was 11 I became a full blown athlete and sportswoman (or girl), 100m, 200m, relay runner, we went to the English National Championships for our age group! I also played netball and hockey and tried cricket, football, rugby, tennis, swimming...... I went to a school where they'd make us do cross country runs in the rain, constant laps around the track and traumatic 15 mile bike rides through all terrain. I gave up all sports when I was 16 because I'm vain and did'nt want to turn into a man. It did my body a world of good though, i had a curvy slim athletic frame which stayed that way even when I did no exercise. That's why I do mostly low-impact, gentle exercise now, like Iyengar and Bikram yoga rather than Ashtanga, I also do the kind of Pilates that is very slow and keeps repititions low, if not i'd get too ripped, (too muscular) a look I don't particularly enjoy on women. When I was a very small child, i suffered from terrible excema which only went away with taking chinese herbs and eating very clean. I've had a great diet since I was 7. I don't eat chocolate or biscuits or cake or ice cream, maybe very occasionally. At 14, i sang on stage for the first time at a talent show as part of a doo-wop group. We won! When I was 12, I wanted to be a model for a while, forgot about it but started getting print modeling offers by the time I was 21 which I mostly turned down cos I was shy and forgot that I'd wanted to model. I'm only 5 ft 4. Now I model for the House of Makeda whether I like it or not.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Eva Green



Eva Green has said she doesn't care what people think of her clothes.

The actress, who is known for her quirky style, said she makes a special effort in front of the cameras but doesn't care what people think of her choice of outfits.

"I want to wear something that I wouldn't wear every day, I like to be a bit eccentric and I know lots of people say 'Oh my god blah' but I don't care, I want to have my style, I like to try something new," she said.

I love Eva Green's style. She smoulders.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My favourite jeans.


I love jeans by J Brand premium denim. Skinny, black, low rise.

Plank position.




This is the plank position in yoga. It's great for toning and strengthening the abs. The side plank does the same for the waist. You only need to do these three times a week or so. I never do sit ups or crunches. They bulk up the waist if you keep doing them, and give you too much of a six-pack cancelling out the effect of hours of quite painful corset training. We want ) ( not ! !.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Pam Grier




I looove the gun-toting, afro'd Pam Grier. Star of 70's blaxploitation movies like Foxy Brown, Coffy and Black Mama White Mama with their bad-ass soundtracks and glamorous dress codes. She was straight up gangsta, but still feminine and sexy. She often played good girls gone bad in the search for justice. Pam has become a respected figure for feminist groups and the black community.

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe had that je ne sais quoi about her. She was luminous and has inspired many, from Madonna to Gwen Stefani to Anna Nicole Smith. Who could forget her breathy rendition of 'Happy Birthday' to Mr President. Or her roles in movies like Gentlemen prefer Blondes and How to Marry a Millionaire. She was a siren, keeping men like Arthur Miller and Joe Di Maggio under her spell for their entire lives. I love that!

Corsets.



Ok, I have to admit this. I did'nt get an hourglass figure from just doing Pilates and twisting at the waist. I live in my corset. I don't need to wear it that often but i try to wear for a few hours every day to maintain my hard earned twenty four inches. It may sound extreme but Marilyn Monroe did it and Dita Von Teese does it.

Back to Nature



I want to go back to nature. Back to simplicity. From the food I eat to what I put on my skin and hair.This world is getting too chemicalised for me. I'm a natural girl in a chemical world. I love organic or natural skincare brands such as Jurlique, Ren, Weleda, Dr Haushka and Jason's. I like using Dr Bronner's organic rose castile soap on my hair. Even our African black soap containing shea butter, lemon juice, honey and aloe vera is a better option than Dove. All natural mineral makeup is the next thing I'm going to explore.

My favourite booty exercise.

You know how it is being an African woman (or maybe not). Well anyway, you gotta have booty, even if you're small and petite like me, you try to enhance your ass-ets. Even white girls got ass nowadays. Look at Kim Kardashian. She's building a whole career off her derriere. There are men who have created a whole science about bums. They're called bootyologists. Check out their website www.assmatrix.com. This is my favourite butt exercise. It's called a bulgarian squat. I don't even know how to begin to describe it. Sorry. Google it.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Vivienne Westwood


"The only reason I'm in fashion is to destroy the word 'conformity.' Nothing is interesting to me unless it's got that element."

Over the last almost forty years, Vivienne Westwood has been one of the most inventive and influential British designers and the creator of the Punk movement in fashion. She said "you have a much better life if you wear impressive clothes."

Giving up.

I should probably give up, pack my bags and move back to London, but i'm not going to. I'm used to the chaos. The Buddhist principles of non-attachment to material things comes in handy now. I'm going to console myself by focusing on that.

An ode to my lost Balenciaga bag.

This is the Balenciaga bag i lost. It's my favourite bag in the world.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Barneys New York.

I know you are interested in Africa. I commend the fact you sell African products created by well intentioned Park Avenue princesses. Please come and find the authentic. The real deal.

Yesterday...

Some hater told me that I'm full of myself. Thank Jesus, do you know how many years it has taken me to become full of myself?

Ah Rihanna!



I have the perfect dress for you. I had a eureka moment this morning. Actually I have two dresses that would look divine on you, both made from African fabrics. How I wish you were reading this....

Friday, June 19, 2009

Rihanna....


Rihanna is killing the fashion game.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Secret Ceres


I must tell you this secret. Secret Ceres is made of the fruit pomegranate, kaolin and a naturally occuring stone. It is a stick and it's for women. It's from Asia and very popular with Asian women. How can I say this? Amongst other things, it's a natural cleanser so you can stop using all those chemicalised douche things that we African women love using. They are not good for you. It heals infections. Some women are using this stick to treat fibroids. One lady in New York that was about to have her womb removed because of fibroids used this for 1-2 months and is now pregnant. Secret Ceres can also be used externally, it's great for excema, blemishes, scars, stretch marks. I'm using it to fade out all the mosquito bites on my legs and it works like a charm. Better than any fade cream you wanna use. It can be used as a natural deodorant. An overnight face mask. You can swirl it around in water and drink it, it's a great cleanser for the whole system. A wonder product. I take mine everywhere with me and I have it for sale. For more information or if you want it, send me an e-mail.

More pics...

I'm going to start posting more pictures of things I've made, and when we make some new pieces, things I have for sale. I just need to find the pictures first. My mum who lives in London is setting up my PayPal account as we speak cos I'm not good at doing those type of things. To all those wonderful, blessed people who've been trying to order from abroad, kindly bear with me. I know it's not very professional but I'm doing this all alone. I don't even have an assistant. I'm trying to get production moving smoothly. I've got some photoshoots planned but tend to find them very draining cos I have to do everything by myself, location, makeup, styling, sometimes even the modeling and photography too! I've found this amazing girl now to be the other face of the House of Makeda. So i'm gonna do a new collection and a brochure I hope. I was a UK size 6-8 six months ago, now I'm a size 8-10 (with a size 6 waist, just perfect for me with my Sophia Loren aspirations) and can't fit into any of the samples anymore and she's the same size, so neither can she!

And...

To all those who love me, my style and what I'm trying to do, I love you too! Lots of cyber kisses to you! God bless you!

Getting personal.....

I must rant this morning. I'm noticing that Nigerians sometimes don't really like the new, the different or the exotic. I am very different with my waist length all natural, gorgeous locks! Someone said to me a while back that I'm too alternative for Nigeria and should go back to Camden Town or wherever it is I come from! People have said to me that I'd never get married! Can you imagine that? They don't know that there is at least one man in this country that likes the hippie me and that I will get married when I'm ready! You should hear the things some people say to me and about me just because they have no idea where I'm coming from or where I'm going to! Sometimes some young ass twenty-two year old girl will come up to me and talk patronising nonsense because I'm very quiet and look like I'm nineteen and stupid though I'm a full-grown, intelligent, twenty-nine! Please never judge a book by its cover. Some people have actually tried to run me out of this town in ways you cannot imagine! I'm just too much of a mystery for their limited imaginations. Haters! I'm one of the most hardheaded b***hes you'll ever meet. A steel magnolia, as quiet and wordless as I seem to be. Y'all just make me laugh and add more fuel to a fire that's never going out. Just watch! As Fela said "who no know go know! Or in the words of the late rapper Notorious B.I.G, for those who don't understand broken English, "if you don't know, now you know, n***a!

Designer bags I love!

I'm not someone who goes out to buy every latest It bag that comes out but there are certain classics I just can't do without. First being my black Chanel 2.55 quilted classic. I wear a lot of black and gold at night so this bag is the perfect accessory and just the right size. It's been around for decades. I love the House of Chanel! I want to get it in chocolate brown next! Or maybe red! I'm a haute bohemian! I don't just shop at vintage and thrift stores!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

At Last....

Speaking of Etta James, I adore this song of hers called 'At Last'

At Last
My love has come along, my lonely days are over,
and life is like a song

Ooh at last
the skies above are blue
my heart was wrapped up in clover,
the night I looked at you

I found a dream
that I could speak to
a dream that I can call my own
I found athrill
to press my cheek to
a thrill that I have never known

Well
You smile, you smile
and oh the spell was cast
and here we are in heaven
for you are mine at last...

Amber Rose.




Amber Rose is Kanye West's new girlfriend and her style is quite frankly sick. Just ridiculous. (In a good way of course)! There are few who can do what she does with her unique style.

A Miracle!

Writing this blog must be good for me cos my writer's block is going. I'm going to release a double sided single soon with two tracks. One called 'Africa,' the other called 'Afrodisiac'! 'Africa' is for everyone, Mum, Dad, kids, it's a cover of a sixties Afro-rock song with my words. 'Afrodisiac' is sexy and for the clubs and is totally original! Wish me luck!!

Sade Adu!



The embodiment of a super cool jazz mentality. I love her laid back aloofness onstage. She is currently working on a highly anticipated new album! Can't wait to hear that one of a kind voice again!!

Cadillac Records.

Just saw the movie Cadillac Records with Mos Def and Beyonce and I really liked it. It tells the story of Chess Records, Muddy Waters, the blues and Etta James. I LOVE the blues. It was music that started on the plantations in the south and was derived from the field hollers of the labouring slaves. As you can imagine they had a hell of a lot to be blue about and a lot of their songs were really about the oppression they suffered at the hands of their masters and not just love songs. Martin Scorcese produced a great series of documentaries on the blues that is not to be missed.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bellydancing!

Bellydancing is a sexy and feminine way of keeping fit, great for toning and shaping the waist, stomach and hips. I mean look at Shakira! Who does'nt want some of that? I'm obsessed with having an hourglass figure like the Sophia Loren's and Raquel Welch's of this world. Tiny waist, big boobs, hips and bootaay!! Most of the exercise I do revolves around maintaining my 24 inch waist! There are some great bellydance dvd's available on Amazon. I like the ones by Neon best.

Advertising.

So I'm gonna start going out there and doing some advertising. I thought of approaching a couple of popular Nigerian women's magazines to do editorials, but have no idea how to get my introverted foot in the door. Here, the same designers are in the magazines every month. Anyway I trust that God loves the underdog. He will see me through.

Note to Self.

Damn baby, you're gonna have to get ingenious to cover this rent. Positive thinking and creative visualisation like there'e no tomorrow.

Seun Kuti


Seun Kuti is Fela's son and his spitting image. He performs and records with his father's Egypt 80 band. He also does Hip-hop and produces artists! He has a great new album out called 'Many Things,' full of contemporary yet authentic afrobeat. Make sure you get it! He also performs monthly on the last Saturday at the Shrine when he's not on tour. Look out for it!

Fela's Queens....


I love their fire dance, their ancient egyptian inspired makeup and aura, the coconut beads and ileke on their waists. Some of these women were quite amazonian and stuck with Fela through thick and thin, through numerous beatings, imprisonments and God know what else. Amazing!!

The Makeda Studio

The Makeda Studio is my design studio. I'm building a little music studio in it as we speak. I kinda live in it. My tailors live with me. I have a small fashion library and archives. The workshop and cutting rooms are downstairs. I am also trying to create a dance studio where I do my choreography and where you will all soon be able to come for special dance and yoga classes for women only, if i ever get round to it.

Nina Simone.



Nina Simone is my ultimate musical inspiration (apart from Fela, Marvin Gaye , Curtis Mayfield and Bob Marley)! She was the High Priestess of Soul and supremely stylish, outspoken and afrocentric. A jazz singer, classical pianist, an absolute Diva.

Yay!

I have two new tailors. Back in business!!! I was getting quite perturbed seeing as I have a boutique to open in a month and no clothes to put in it.

Coconut Oil.

Coconut oil is one of nature's wonders. It is probably the healthiest oil you can consume. it's a good fat so you can cook with it, drink it for a flat tummy, put in your hair and it's great for the skin. A good thing to do is massage coconut oil all over your body and go into a sauna for fifteen minutes. Its benefits include stress relief, weight loss, maintaining cholestrol levels, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. It is anti-fungal, anti bacterial, anti-oxidant, all around great!

Monday, June 15, 2009

No one on the corner has a swagger like us!

I love hip-hop and tend to infuse a hip-hop attitude into everything i do. Hip-hop attitude meaning confidence, self belief and an unmistakeable swag.

Tiring.

I can't lie, i'm pretty exhausted. Burned out even. Every day i have to try to do some yoga and pilates, then try to overcome my three year long writer's block and write some songs, then I have to do some dancing, then some vocal exercises. Then I have to design some clothes, go to the market, chase after my tailor, practice my keyboard, chase after the various artists i collaborate with. Go look at some tiles for my boutique. Plan the whole thing in my head. Make some sketches. Go to the studio to attempt to produce these songs I am trying to write. Oh shit, is that dress still at the embroiders? I have a headache.

Oops! Almost forgot!

The amazing picture above of the topless, beaded Queen is by photojournalist Ophori Israel.

Yoga!

I love yoga and have been practicing on and off for ten years now. I should be a lot more flexible than I am, considering! I avoid Ashtanga or power yoga like the plague. I don't wanna look like Madonna (no offense)! Nice, gentle yoga and pilates can give you a strong, feminine hourglass figure if practiced right. Even a simple forward bend done every day is great for shaping the waist.

Style Icons.

Anita Pallenberg and Marianne Faithfull were two original gangsta's of seventies style. They were the rock-chick girlfriends of members of the Rolling Stones. They laid the blueprint for Kate Moss and Sienna Miller. Highly influential, sexy in their kaftans, leather pants and boho chic.

Centre of the World: Africa

Fela Anikulapo Kuti composed a piece called Africa Centre of the World. I would say this is the inspiration behind everything I do as an African woman and Pan-Africanist. African women and their descendents in the diaspora are the most neglected, downtrodden and underestimated in the world and that's the truth. Free Africa!! Buy African!!

Missing tailor...

I can't make any dresses at the moment because my one tailor seems to have disappeared into thin air. It's incredibly hard trying to establish a fashion house in Lagos, Nigeria. I need an assistant.