Fashion

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The Feminist in Us

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Wrapped Up

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An Overall Change of Mind

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Sun, Sand, Sea & Burgers

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Barefoot Fun

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Camel & Gingham Love

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International Women's Day by The African Communities in Hamburg

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A visit to the Ruhr Museum

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Making Magic Happen

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Leather & DIY Embroidered Shirt

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Kick Flare Jeans & Ankara Trenchcoat

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We turn 2 today

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Sports/No Sports

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Ankara Pencil Skirt for an Ambitious week

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Feminist

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Fashion Discussion & Y'akoto Live Performance

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Maxi skirt in Winter

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Contemporary Creative Africa (Social Media Week Hamburg)

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Street Style

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More Fabrics Please

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Subtle Statements

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Nairobi National Museum

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Heart on my sleeve

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Matters of the Heart

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All we need is love

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Winter Flares

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Fundamentalism

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Red & Warm

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Black Matter

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Handmade at Kariokor Market

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Backstage Outfit

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Designed in Germany-Made in Kenya

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Small Scale Fishing on Lake Victoria

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Printed Cap

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A Day just for Tractors

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Cami over shirt

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Casual Flares

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Proudly Kenyan

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Jeans & Tshirt dressed up

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Fabric Heaven

For any Ankara/African wax print lover, this shop is the true defination of Fabric heaven. Situated on Fuhlsbüttler straße 460 here in Hamburg is a charming little Fabric shop filled with the most amazing Ankara fabrics which are either made in Africa or from the Vlisco brand in Holland. The Fabrics are of high quality & is the reason why i often buy my fabrics from there. The lovely couple that owns the shop are always very helpful for first-time visitors on which print to choose or how much of the fabric to get.

So if you are ever in Hamburg & in search of some Ankara Fabric then don't forget to pay this shop a visit.

 

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An American Night of Swing

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Statement Trenchcoat as a dress

The trench coat is one of Fall's must-have piece of outerwear that is not only a timeless classic but also never really goes out of style. It can be found in many styles & colours & there is definately a coat for everyone's taste. Black, camel & grey are the most common colour choices but why not make a statement with a printed trench coat, like this Khanga one from our latest Collection.

And when you find a nice one like this, why not make it work double duty & wear it as a dress. Yes, i know it can be tricky with wind & the possibility of showing everything out, but it can totally work as daytime dress. A few important things to keep in mind are:

  • Always wear something underneath, even if it's just a simple slip dress like this one that i wore on this previous post or a pair of Spanx, because you need something between your skin & the coat that you'll want to wear again. Make sure that your undergarment's hemline is short enough so it's concealed under your coat-the look you're going for here is film noir sexy, not granny's day out at the library.
  • The length is quite important too, if it's too long, it will still look like a coat, too short & you'll risk overexposure. The perfect length should reach your knees.
  • Don't choose to wear your trench coat as a dress when you're in a situation that might get hot & uncomfortable, so Fall is the perfect time for such an outfit. Events that are mostly outdoors (a garden party or a day of shopping) are the best because nobody will ask to take your coat:-)
  • Accessorize to make your trench coat to look more like a dress & less like a coat;  add shoes that match your handbag (this will create continuity & make it look more like 'an outfit', pile on some sassy jewellery  or some cute socks with your heels like i did here & watch the compliments come rolling.
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DIY Patch Denim Jacket

Denim jackets are currently all over runways, Fashion magazines & on social media, but with embellishments such as embroidery & interesting patches. I have been, as any fashion lover been consumed with the desire to own one, but the reality is that they come at a price, a very high one most of the time. And so I began my search for patches & the perfect denim jacket (which i got off Ebay). All sorts of patches can be found on Ebay, Amazon & Etsy, but because i didn't have much time to wait for them to be delivered, i walked around the local shops & found some really nice ones.

It is still a work in progress as I hope to add more patches as I find them & maybe even try my hand at embroidery, but i love how it looks so far.

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1st German-African Symposium on Creative Economy & Cultural Entreprenuership & the Movie Premier of 'Kati Kati' in Germany

It was an exciting & inspiring evening dedicated to the creative & cultural exchange between Africa & Germany. A forum of guests took part in the discussion led by Judith Helfmann-Hundack (Afrika-Verein der deutschen Wirtschaft e.V.) & these included Onejiru Schindler (Musician, Member of the Board of Viva ConAgua), Julia Grosse (Journalist, Founder Contemporary And), Dr Andreas Görgen (Director General for Culture & Communication, Federal Foreign Office), Roland Göhde (Member of the Board, Göhde Foundation & German-African Business Association), Mbithi Masya (Director, Writer, Video Artist, Musician) & Dr Ribio Nzeza Bunketi Buse (Chairperson, Music in Africa Foundation).

They all shed light on the potential of the cultural & creative industries of Africa, in order to intensify the exchange between Africa & Germany & to stimulate new African-German partnerships in those areas.

One of such partnerships is the film production company 'One Fine Day Films', founded by Tom Tykwer & his wife Marie Steinmann, which supports young filmmakers from all over Africa to realize their projects. Fascinating results have emerged, such as the feature film NAIROBI HALF LIFE, which was the first Kenyan contribution to the Oscars in 2012.

KATI KATI, the current production of One Fine Day Films celebrated world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival this Fall where it was awarded with the FIPRESCI Prize in the Discovery Program. We were honoured to attend the Film premiere in Belin which not only brought together different partners in the creative & cultural industries in Germany & Africa but also talented Musician based both here & in Africa. Apart from the amazing Film, we were also treated to a live performance of 'Find a Way' (from the Film's soundtrack) by the beautiful & talented 'Mayonde' & 'Das Junge Orchestre'.

The Film which is directed by Mbithi Masya & produced by Sarika Lakhani will be shown in Cinemas around Germany including Münc´hen, Görlitz, Brühl, Düsseldorf & Münster so definately go out & watch it.

This kind of project of the One Fine Day Films is just one example of how Africa & Germany can close ranks creatively & economically.

 

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Denim on Denim

What's not to like about this classic 'Denim on Denim' look which no matter how many times it has been done, it just keeps getting more interesting. I've always owned a denim jacket most of my adult life, but somehow last summer when the trend became popular again, I realised that I had none. So, I started looking for one, but somehow considering how full my workload is during the warmer months, i never got the time to find one.

Fastforward to a month ago when i decided to make a DIY Patch denim jacket that are at the moment cropping up in photos & videos everywhere. And I knew in my heart that the idea for the DIY that I had would look better on a denim jacket with a vintage/used look. But every Thrift store that I went to didn't have any because a denim jacket is considered to be a 'summer piece' so they were all not on display, & i searched in almost 4 Thrift stores. Fortunately, i managed to get the perfect one on Ebay (my favourite shopping website for all things vintage) at an amazing price of 10 Euros (claps hands excitedly). A few patches, pinning, ironing & stitches later, I had this amazing Patch Denim Jacket which I combined with a high waist jeans with almost the same amount of wash to get this look.

I will be soon be sharing with you a DIY post so that you can also try to create this (in my opinion) all year round piece that every 'Fashionista' should own.

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Love Art at Home

This was my second time attending the annual 'Affordable Art Fair' in Hamburg & i quite enjoyed the experience this time, mainly because we didn't go with the Kids, so we had ample time to walk slowly through the gallery & take in the beauty of each and every piece of Art.

Over 75 national & international galleries participated in the exhibition which offers the public a chance to not only view the wonderful artworks but also buy them with a price ceiling of 7,500 Euros.

It was quite interesting to have a chance to see so many paintings, sculptures & even photographs in that inspiring atmosphere, and it is definately a highlight for us whenever it's shown in Hamburg. In as much as the price range of most of the Artwork was way over my budget, there is just something special & inspiring that you feel when you get a chance to view them & that is what I love.

 

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Beauty with a Purpose

The Gar Gar Foundation is the brainchild of the reigning Miss Kenya Germany, Fatma Hanke. Together with other young professionals based all over the world, the Foundation's purpose is to raise awareness about female circumcision which believe me is still being practised by several communities in Kenya & in Africa as a whole. We attended a Charity Event orgarnised by Fatma Hanke that took place at the Martin Luther Church here in Hamburg where we not only had some tasty foods, got to purchases original Maasai Accessories, enjoyed live dance performances but also had an opportunity to learn more about issues affecting the girl child in the nomadic communities.

 

Even though the Foundation is relatively young, it has been able to do quite a lot in helping the young girls back in Kenya, but more can be done. So, let us join hands & help Fatma realise her dream of ending Female Circumcision by donating funds to her Foundation. You can get in touch with her through her Page on Facebook.

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Cosy, Comfy and Chic

 This is my type of outfit on any cold day, a chunky knit roll neck sweater to keep me warm, a pair of printed culottes that is comfy but also stylish, a flat pair of shoes & a nude clutch bag to pull the whole outfit together. A simple outfit that you can put together quickly when you need to look presentable but don't have time to fuss with too many details. I kept my accessories to a minimum with just my usual watch & mirrored sunglasses.

 

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Vintage Shopping at a Fashion Museum

A warm day spent at a Fashion Museum that is situated inside an ancient Castle is my defination of a good day. Schloss Meyenburg which was build in the early 1400 was restored and turned into a Museum that includes a Fashion Museum, Historical Museum & a public library.

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Business Casual in an Ankara Blazer

There's something formal about Blazers that has a way of pulling together an outfit which makes it a must-have in any woman's wardrobe. And an Ankara Blazer is even better because it gives an outfit that serious look without being too plain or boring. This would be the perfect work outfit for anyone working in a creative field, an event, casual dinner, church or to a party.

 

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Leather & Satin at the Elbphilarmonie

 

Almost 10years & €789 millions later, the Elbphilarmonie was officially opened to the public by Hamburg's Mayor, Olaf Scholz. So of course there was no way we were going to wait any longer to see it & all I can say is that the wait was well worth it. It is such an amazing building which has a 82metre long Escalator that takes one through the Concert building.

 

The Plaza, which is the absolute highlight of the building is on the 8th floor & opens up to a round spectacular view of the City in an area of 37metres. With several restaurants,  hotels & high end appartments, let's just say that this has been added to the sight-seeing spots in Hamburg & is a perfect location for taking Photos.

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Noah's Ark

 

The 70-metre long replica of Noah's Ark is the latest & until now the biggest Project by Aad Peters(55), a Dutch Puppeteer, TV Entertainer & Journalist who has worked in many countries & conflict-ridden regions like in Libya, Syria or Iran. He came up with the idea to build the Ark as a way of telling the Biblical story of Noah not only to children but to adults too because he believed that most people don't know much about the wonderful Biblical stories anymore.

 

The Ark's interior which is so well decorated & is filled with beautiful wooden carvings of different figures in the Bible, made by talented Sculptors from Chechnya. Inside it is a small playground with lots of adventure swings, a restaurant that is fully equipped to cater for guests & Events too, a reading area filled with lots of interesting books, a piano, several cosy seats where one can just sit & enjoy the moment, an Aquarium, a small cinema hall where Films are shown & even rabbits which are kept inside the Ark and this is the highlight for most Kids.

 

It is truly a work of Art which not only takes you on a historical journey of the Bible but also gives you a totally new point of view of the Bible as a whole & it was such a blessing to have seen it. We were lucky to be able to visit it while in Denmark where it had docked in Esbjerg for a few weeks. It sails throughout Europe & you can visit their website here to find out when it will be docked in a city near you. This is one 'Museum' that I highly recommend to visitors of all ages.

 

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Cold Shoulder

 

Velvet, cold shoulder, peplum detail & Turtleneck all in one piece! Well, leave it to me to combine 4 trends into one amazing top. This started out as a dress but because I had snipped away a piece of this soft & luxurious fabric to DIY some shoes (coming up soon on the Blog), it ended up being a top with peplum details (mainly because I don't do croptops, well until I join a Gym someday).

 

I teamed it up with distressed skinny jeans, black chelsea boots & an Ankara Infinity scarf that was featured in this previous post. The scarf not only adds an interesting print to the outfit but also more warmth especially during this cold season. A simple but eye-catching outfit that is not too casual & can be worn during the week, or even over the weekend.

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Africa Day Rendsburg

To offer the people of Rendsburg a small view of the fascinating continent of Africa & it's beautiful people. This is the aim of 'Auf nach Afrika' (Off to Africa), an Event orgarnised anually where vendors from all over Africa  come together to not only display their merchandise, but also to give the public information about the various self-help projects based in Africa, whose products are being displayed.

It was our first time attending this Event, which was celebrating it's 10th Anniversary & I was very impressed with what I saw. Not only by the products for sale but also the Food, Music, Dances & Fashion Show orgarnised by the hard working students from Cameroon who are all based in Kiel. We had lots of fun as is always expected at African Events & we even got to win an original Painting which we will proudly display in our living room.

Below are some of the wonderful images that we were able to capture at the Event.

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Shifting Boundaries

Truth be told, styling overknee boots can be somewhat a challenge because they have a way of making an outfit look, well 'over-sexy'. But the perfect way to tone things down a bit is by adding some black tights.
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All black at the the Visual Leader 2016 Photos Exhibition

So Band tshirts were originally sold at specific Band concerts as part of their merchandise and were worn by their fans to show off a shared idealogy with the band or movement. But in the recent years, it has gained much popularity to a point that now it is being worn for how it looks than for the music.

 

 

I find them pretty cool because because they add a certain 'Edge' to a whole look. I am definately not a big fan of Rock Music or Heavy metal  even though my Hubby is. That's actually why I decided to get myself one, (& also because I've seen lots of girls rocking it). When we first met, the only 'Rock bands' that I knew were Evanesense, Linkin Park and Nickelback (which he calls soft Rock, for girls). Now, you will find me nodding my head to tunes by Metallica, Motorhead and I even know who Kurt Cobain(Nirvana) is.

This was the outfit that I went for when we attended the Visual Leader 2016, a Photos Exhibition here in Hamburg where the best Photos featured in Advertisements, Magazines, Newspapers & Websites were displayed. About 280 impressive works of Art were on display and we all quite enjoyed the Exhibition.

 

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My DIY Budget Wedding

 

'Budget' & 'Wedding' are 2 words that are rarely used together, and definately not to be easily found in any bride's vocabulary. Just like every little girl, I'd always dreamt about having this big & romantic wedding where i could wear a ball gown & feel like a princess just for one day. But somewhere along the way, reality checked in & my dream changed quite a bit when it came to my time to get married. I remember how my sister & wedding planner (who was based thousands of miles away in Kenya) would send me Wedding Ideas & Blogs to try & help me come up with a plan for my wedding, but i kept on telling her that all the 'Blings' involved were simply too much for me. I wanted something small & intimate instead, & she once commented that I had really changed. I wasn't the same 'Flo' with whom she had peeered over 100 Bridal magazines as she was planning her own wedding (in which I was a Bridesmaid).

 

 

Almost every woman dreams of having a grand wedding where everything is perfect but honestly speaking, nobody needs to go bankrupt to have a beautiful wedding, when there are several things that one can use with all that money like:

-Saving up to buy a house

-Start a new business

-Travel the world

-Pay off student loans

--Helping others

-So so much more

 

Personally,I felt like in as much as a wedding should be one of the best days of someone's life, we chose to focus more on the marriage than on the wedding itself which in actual sense only lasts for a couple of hours (or for a few days in some cultures).

So, today i share with you a couple of DIYs that I was able to do for our wedding which not only saved us quite a sum of money but were also fun to do & for which am truly proud of myself for achieving (in a record time of 4 weeks). I hope that this may inspire someone who is also in the process of planning their wedding & also to discredit the myth that weddings have to be costly. With a small budget and lots of creativity, everything is possible.

  • Rings: Quality matters very much here so one should invest in good quality rings because you get to wear them for a long time (lifelong, God willingly).
  • Dress: This was not easy at all. At first i wanted a Tea-length skater type of dress in lace, but getting one that i liked wasn't so easy. I remember buying a vintage one on Ebay & i thought that i could have it tailored just the way I wanted but the seamstress that I got wasn't of any help. But in the end I found my perfect dress (previously loved and for only €60) on Ebay,  a strapless mermaid fit dress that had some embellishments under the Bust. I fell in love with the dress the minute that I saw it & I remember sending my sister a picture of myself in it and she loved it too. I had to take it to a seamstress & have her add the lacing details at the back because I was pregnant with my son & the dress had to accomodate my growing bump. I made a brown belt with lace flower details to pull in my colour scheme which was brown & orange. But I also just wanted to create some form of waist because i was not feeling exactly shapely during that time. I also bought a Petticoat to put on under the dress to add more shape to it.
  • Shoes: These are my favourite shoes in the whole world, not just because I wore them on a very special day but also because i can put them on on other occassions too. White shoes were just not in my plans because I couldn't think of any other time that I would want to wear them. So, that's why i decided to go for these Pink statement shoes & i still love to date.
  • Bouquet: Our wedding was in October & so I wanted to feature Fall colours (Brown & burnt Orange) in my wedding bouquet & that's what I told the Florist. I went to the store with Photos of what I wanted & she made it exactly the way I had pictured it in my head & even added some pearl pins to it which I loved. And I kept my Bouquet because i got attatched to it somehow & also because i just don't understand this tradition of the bride throwing her Bouquet to a group of single ladies. Mine still hungs dry in my living room as a special reminder of my big day.
  • Best Maid's Outfit: My best friend was my best maid & she was a really big help in planning our wedding. I got her a simple lace sheath dress in brown with nude shoes. I had planned for her to tie an orange ribbon around her waist to add some colour to the outfit but i misplaced the ribbon on the big day.
  • Flower Girls' Outfits: I wanted my daughter & niece to also have outfits that they not only could wear again but also something different from all the white 'princess' themed dresses. So I got them brown Tulle skirts with pink detailing , pink cardigans, white stockings & black ballerina shoes. They had their hair in small cornrows & I made them white flower crowns to wear on their heads.
  • Flower Pompoms: The kids carried these instead of baskets with flowers because I find those too cumbersome for the little ones. I made Flower Pompoms after scouring Youtube for a Tutorial & they turned out so beautifully. I kept one (which thank God survived the Kid's activities) for keepsakes too.
  • Accessories: A long veil at the Registrar's office would have been very out of place so I went for a more demure look with a Fascinator that I also bought on Ebay. I added a bigger Flower pin to the side. My Maasai Bangle ( a gift from a dear friend) & matching earrings (a gift from my sister) added an African touch to my outfit thus staying true to my style. And because it is quite chilly in October, I had a delicate wrap on my shoulders which I bought at that shop where I'd had my dress adjusted.
  • Invitation Cards: Instead of spending a small fortune having our wedding invitations made by a Printer, I decided to make them myself using brown & gold with a touch of lace & orange ribbon to add some elegance to them. I have to admit that this was the most challenging DIY of all because of how time consuming it was, but i liked how they turned out in the end.
  • Boutonnière: A floral decoration worn by Men on the lapels of their suit. I simply bought some plastic flowers, cut out a little branch, wrapped it with some ribbon & attatched a pin to it & voila, Hubby had his Boutonniere.
  • Thank you Gift: I find it quite important to show gratitude to your wedding guests by giving them something small but meaningful which will also always act as a reminder for the beautiful occassion. I bought some candles, wrapped them with some brown burlap trimming, tied a ribbon around it & attatched a small thank you note to it. These served as our 'Thank You' Gifts for our amazing guests.
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1 Slip Dress-5 Outfits

Remember when Sanaipei Tande (a Kenyan musician & Radio Host) was once featured on Pulse Magazine in a Slip dress at some Award Show, and everyone (me included) was like, ''Why on earth is she wearing a a nightdress out of the house?'' Well, now I've been forced to eat my words because here I am wearing a Slip dress from my new collection, not once, but in 5 different outfits.

Outfit 1

Keeping it cool & casual by combining it with jeans & a roll neck pullover for some extra warmth.

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A day at the Blavand Beach

Denmark is known for it's long & endless beaches & that I am a witness of. One of these is the 40km long Blavand Beach which lies in the Western part of Denmark on the shores of the  North Sea. It is bordered by the Horns Rev Sandbanks which make it perfect for swimming & wind surfing. On it's northern part is the Military & natural reserve Kallesmaersk Hede where many migrating birds find refuge.

 

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Oslo for a Day

Oslo is a beautiful city which we unfortunately only got to see a small side of. Our 4 hour tour of the city was part of a weekend cruise that we made on the Color Magic Cruise Ship to celebrate Hubby's Birthday.

Oslo - Oriwo-design
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Face of Kenya Germany 2016

Not even my babysitter cancelling on me at the last minute could keep me away from this Event. Honestly speaking, the 6 hour drive with the Kids was totally worth it because the Event was such a success. Fun, food, laughter, dance, networking, coming together for charity and just this great feeling of being among your fellow Kenyans was simply unbeatable. 'Dressed to Impress' was an understatement because everyone looked amazing.

 

 

The Kenyan Embassy, Berlin was represented by the First Counsellor, Miss Betty Cherwon & the Event was also graced by distinguished guests from all over Germany & UK too.

Kudos to the Event's organisers, Janet Wainaina & Tony Haublein & their Teams for putting up such a successful Event. You can count on our assistance & attendance in your next upcoming Events.

And to the beautiful ladies who not only took part in the competition but also managed to raise money & awareness to the different Charity Organisation of their choice, Thank You. To the winner and the new Face of Kenya Germany 2016, Diana Warindah , Congratulations and we wish you all the best in your new reign as a representative of all Kenyans living in Germany.

 

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O-Xun Beauty Event Berlin

'Anytime women come together with a collective intention, it's a powerful thing.'

O-Shun
One of the seven African Powers. The Goddess of love and abundance. The power of desire is hers and she often uses this power to transfer. She is beauty, laughter & generosity. The erotic is her sacrament. She is often compared to Aphrodite and is identified with the portrayal of our lady of Caridad. O-Shun likes to heal hurt with love and plants seeds of change in people.
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Sponsor an Apple Tree

In today's world, there are several Cultures/Traditions that you might come across which often seem neither understandable nor relatable. And in as much as we may not understand them, I believe that the best approach is to respect them and maybe even learn a thing or two from them.

 

 

One such Tradition for me is 'Sponsoring an Apple Tree'. I had no idea that such a 'thing' even existed. Sponsor a child, a community, a school project, a business endevour, a tree (as part of Environmental Conservation), even a person's lifestyle...those I have heard of before. But as my Mum often says ''Wuoth eka inee'' (travel & you will see)! In Germany you can actually pay a certaim amount of money to one of the many Apple Farms here in the North, and you get a Tree which bears your name. This is done in honour of a child's birth, christening. a new marriage or relationship or to even  symbolise the loss of a loved one. You get to do this for 1 year & during the Harvest season (usually in Autumn/Fall), you can pick the Apples from your 'Tree'.

 

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'Mali Blues' in Hamburg

Music is an essential part of the cultural identity of Mali. But unfortunately that all changed when in 2012 the Islam Radicals invaded the Northern part of the country.

 

 

The Documentary Film 'Mali Blues' which was screened this week in Hamburg describes how these Radicals accussed musicians of going against the ways of Islam, destroyed their instruments and threatened them with death. Most of these musicians, like Ahmed Ag Kaed, a Tuareg, fled the North, his home and Family to go live in Bamako, Mali's Capital City.

 

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The Night of African Entrepreneurs

With more than 300,000 African immigrants living in Germany & a good number of them running successful businesses which contribute to the economical success of this country, an Event in Hamburg to celebrate them was definately worth attending.

 

 

The Night of African Entreprenuers in Germany orgarnised by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, was a forum to discuss about the History, Conditions & the success stories of various African Enreprenuers based in Germany. In attendance were among others Clement Klutse (Designated Chairman of the Immigrant Entreprenuers Organisation), Miranda Oben (IT Engineer & Presenter), Dr. Norbert Tschirpke (Researcher at the University of Südwesrfalen), Theresa Franz (CEO of Intertranslations), Yolander James (Fashion Designer & Owner of Yolander James Fashion House), Derrick Tawah (Founder & CEO of NjangiList), Girmai Teclai (CEO of GT World of Beauty GmbH).

It was very inspiring to hear from all these successful speakers about their humble beginnings & what motivated them to work hard to achieve the heights of success that they enjoy.

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Miss Kenya Charity Dinner

 

3 Course Dinner, Champagne Reception, Live Music, Entertainment & a chance to give back to the Society; there was no way I was going to miss this Event. The Miss Kenya Germany Charity Event  at the La Rosa Restaurant was organised by the winners of Miss Kenya Germany Beauty Paegant 2015 & 2016 to raise awareness to their causes & also to raise funds towards their respective Projects.

 

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Open Air Cinema in Hamburg

Growing up in Kisumu (my Home City), we always had Open Air Cinemas in our neighbourhood where Films would be shown once a month (if i remember correctly). And my Mum categorically forbade usto ever attend them, claiming that lots of brawls occurred there and it was totally unsafe for us Kids. The only time we were ever allowed to attend them was during Easter when a 'Jesus Film' would be screened.

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'Small Scale' Sales, a challenge for Businesses

It reaches  a point in every small scale Business' or Entreprenuer's existence where there is a need to have an increased level in Sales. When you start any Business, every single order that you receive is a milestone that is greatly appreciated. But for any Business to succeed, there needs to be a constant flow of such orders to ensure a continuity in production which in turn means a continued existence for the ´Business.

 

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'Alafia' African Festival in Hamburg

One of the biggest African Festivals in Germany took place for the 14th time this Year and as always, it attracted many visitors who were able to enjoy the various Stands & Entertainment Programmes that were offered. It started on Friday 26th August & lasted the whole weekend. There were stands with Food, Clothing, Jewellery, Interior Decorations & even a Kid's Entertainment Tent. And the Live performances were just as exhilarating as always, with some amazing Talents like Wiyaala, Abou Day, Ejaspapa & Rachelle Jeanty.

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'Art of the Brick' Exhibition in Hamburg

Lawyer turned Artist, Nathan Sawaya resigned from his successful Law career and began to build famous Artworks using LEGO Bricks.

 

The thinking man
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'Ogoya Nengo & The Dodo Women Group' live in Hamburg

'Ogoya Nengo & The Dodo Women's Group'  is a Kenyan Volksmusic Group led by the talented Anastacia Oluoch Akumu. Her talent was discovered as she as a little girl was herding her Father's cows & has been described as being able to sing before Chiefs & Warriors, both standing on their feet & dancing to her wonderful tunes.

 

The name 'Ogoya Nengo' is a reference not only to the 'Magoya-Clan' to which she belongs but also the relatively high renumeration that she is paid as the most expensive Dodo Dancer at the moment. 

The confident Anastacia together with her Team are doing a great job keeping the old Genre of music alive for the new generations to enjoy. And that we did, when my Friends & I attended their concert here in Hamburg. This was part of their Europe & USA Tour which am happy to hear that they make every year. It was such an amazing experience seeing these robust musicians doing what they love & the love & applause that they got from the whole Audience. Everyone was on their feet dancing & cheering even though they did not understand a word that they were singing. It just goes to show how Music joins us all no matter what corner of the World we come from.


Am looking forward to seeing this Group live again the next time they come on Tour again. 

 

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Sneakers Exhibition in Hamburg

Who would have thought that attending an Exhibition all about 'Sneakers' would be so interesting. I am not exactly a 'Sneaker/Sport shoes Fan' even though i have to admit that they are the most comfortable shoes ever made. But walking through the Exhibition & reading all about the history & development of this 'Kult' in the last years was really impressive.

 

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What's in my Bag (Dashiki Print Bag)

It's said that you can tell a lot about a Woman's character by just taking a look at the contents of her bag. Well, in my case, that can be quite challenging because i carry almost everything in my bag. I love big bags in which i can just throw in everything that i need (which is a lot most of the time). So, when i find a nice big bag, i carry it every single day. And at the moment, am loving my new Dashiki Print Handbag, which will soon be available for sale here on our Website, & in different prints. It's big enough to fit in a lot but also stylish & just the right pop of colour that you need to add to a plain & simple outfit.

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African Village Event

I was honoured to get an invite to showcase my products not only as a vendor but also in a Fashion Show at the recently held African Village Event in Basel, Switzerland. The Event was organised by Lilian Njoki who i must say did an amazing Job, seeing that this was her first time holding such an Event.

The Event brought together People from all over the World who came together to celebrate our beautiful African Culture at the Restaurant90 in Basel. Apart from the Fashion Show, there was also different performances of Songs & dances from talented Artists based in Switzerland, with different vendors selling Foods from all over Africa, Accessories, Make-up & Clothes too.
It was a fun experience for everyone including the children & we got to mingle with different people & just enjoy ourselves.
Here are a few of the beautiful moments that we were able to capture.
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African Women in Europe conference 2016

The African Women in Europe Conference is held once a Year in different cities in Europe with an aim to bring together women from all over Africa who live, work or are based in Europe. This is a Forum which provides them with an opportunity for them to meet & discuss various issues affecting them, how they can deal with such issues & to generally enjoy each others' company while learning about something new in the process.

 

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Someone to look up to

It's unbelievable how mothers seem to always have the right advice to give when you absolutely need it:

  • Friends are like running water (when I tell her about a fading friendship).
  • Your Job is your first Husband (when she encourages me to put more effort into my work)
  • Always talk to the kids & explain to them what they've done wrong (when my daughter is driving me crazy)
  • Forgive them for they do not know what they are doing (when am angry or disappointed by someone)
  • Pray, Pray & Pray (she reminds me about that every time I talk to her).

Thank you Mummy for your Love, Advice, Prayers, Encouragement, Sacrifices & most of all, for my Siblings. I strive everyday to try & become even half of the woman that you are. We love you so much & wish you a Happy Mother's Day.

 

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Hamburg Marathon 2016

The annual Hamburg Marathon sponsored by HASPA (one of Hamburg Banks) took place today and as tradition, we were there to support the Kenyan Team & all those who participataed in the Marathon. The Kenyan athletes did really well as always attaining position 2 & 3 by the men.

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Evening gowns for the Miss Kenya Germany Pageant 2016

To be honest, designing & making these African inspired evening gowns for the Miss Kenya Germany Beauty Pageant 2016 was quite a big challenge for me. In as much as I love my prints & bright colours, I always try & tone down on my creations, make them into simple outfits that do not 'shout' in any way & can easily be combined with other pieces already available in any woman's wardrobe.

                                  Fatuma Hanke                  Miss Kenya Germany 2016

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DIY Boyfriend Jeans

Today at last I get to share with you my first DIY. Well not really my first DIY Project but the first 'officially camera documented' one. I love DIYs, it's just fun for me to try out stuff myself & am quite blessed to have been able to turn one of them (sewing) into a career (Oriwo-Design).

 

 'Boyfriend Jeans' are one of those trends that I prayed would go out of style soon so that I wouldn't have to try them out because, honestly speaking, I've never found them very flattering. I mean, how can a baggy loose pair of Jeans do anything for a woman's shape. But I have been proven wrong, this is one Trend that is here to stay, & as they say, 'If you can't beat them, then join them'.

 Thus with lots of caution, I tried out this trend by making my own pair because there was no way that I was going to spend my money on something am not even sure how much I would love. So armed with a pair of scissors (small & big), Tweezers, a Kitchen grater ( a piece of sandpaper works even better, but I couldn't find one at the time) & an old pair of jeans that I have owned for some years & were a cool find at a Thrift Store, I set out to make my own pair of distressed Boyfriend Jeans.

 

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Flare Affair

 

The first Blog this year, i know crazy right. Things have been crazy, new Orders coming in everyday while working on the Spring/Summer Collection 2016, which is finally out. Am just greatful & happy for the new Doors & opportunities that are coming my way. Please, don't forget to follow me on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter to keep up with all that is coming up.

 

I brought back the 70's on this Post: a Big Afro, Flared pants, Stripes & Platform shoes.
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New Year Outfit Inspiration

Just a few more hours to go till the end of 2015, & what a great Year it's been. As they say, better late than never, my last Post of this Year to show a few Outfit Inspiration for the New Year Celebrations tonight. Everything from casual to Elegant but all with a small touch of 'oriwo-design' and Ankara. Hope you enjoy, get inspired & have a Blessed New Year 2016.

 

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Summer Dress in Winter

 

Am back after a long Hiatus, but hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas. We had a good one, spent some quality time with loved ones and are still enjoying the Holidays. Schools closed a week before Christmas & that meant that I had to stop working to stay home with the Kids until they go back in January. That essentially means that everything stopped, my business, orders, new outfits & hence the lack of new posts on the Blog & my other social media sites. Am now in fulltime 'Mummy-mode' which is a bit pretty crazy sometimes. I enjoy spending time with my babies but I also miss my sewing room & machine, just can't wait to go back to work next year, finish up some pending orders (thank God for having such understanding Clients) & start working on the Spring/Summer Collection which is pretty late.

 

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Sequin Iro & Buba

'Iro & Buba' is a traditional outfit generally worn by Yoruba women but which has recently gained popularity by women of all ages & from all over the world. I fell in love with it when I first saw one of my favourite Fashion Bloggers, Sylvia Njoki of 'Style by Sylvia' rocking it.

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Statement Red

When you are invited for an Event or you have a special ocassion to attend, do you immediately have an idea in your head of the outfit that you are going to wear or do you wait until the last minute to get yourself that perfect Outfit? In my case, I am somehow always prepared with several outfit ideas in my head, it's actually the lack of opportunities & ocassions to wear them to that fails me. This outfit is one of those ideas that I have always had & finally found time to make for a Fashion event that we went for this week on Wednesday (I'll write a separate Blog on that & share some pictures too). In the past, I've always made outfits for special occassions which unfortunately I couldn't wear again on any normal day, that is. So to try & change that, I decided to make Wide Leg Trousers which I could wear again with some other top, to work or even to church. And the Peplum Top can also be combined with anything, jeans, skirts or even simple pants. I went for this wonderful Red Fabric that I got on Ebay to keep with the Festive season & to make it a statement on it's own.

The outfit was quite a Hit at the event & I received so many compliments for it making me quite happy with the decision.

Hope that you are all having a lovely week & a wonderful Advents Season. Stay blessed.

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Casual with an Ankara Edge

A new week is here with us & the December weather is being true to itself, cold, windy & rainy. It's time to get out those Christmas decorations to bring in some little shine into our Homes & slowly get into the Christmas mood. This funnily shaped dress (Trapeze dress) has been on my 'To make List' for quite some time. It is actually my second attempt at making it & even thougth it turned out shorter than I had expected, i still kind of like it. I used Polo Jersey Fabric that I bought at Coban Kurzwaren & Schneidereibedarf, here in Hamburg which is what I also used to make the lower part of this dress, which I featured previously on this Blogpost. TheFabric is so soft & comfortable, & warm too. My plan of pairing it with short boots changed when I realised how cold it was when leaving the house. So, I opted for Thermo Leggings for extra warmth & these Timberland-inspired boots that I bought almost 3 years ago. They used to be a lighter brown in colour but kept on getting dirty too quick so I applied a shoe polish which was a darker tone of brown & voila, I love them. For Accessories I decided to brighten up the almost 'All black Outfit' with an Ankara loop scarf which is super warm but also added colour & character to the outfit. My everyday watch & an 'All saints bangle' which was a gift from my Mum finished up the look.

Wish you a lovely week.

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Ankara & Nude

In the past few years, the colour 'Nude' has taken over the Fashion & Beauty industry, from outfits, shoes, accessories to even make up. I quote SAMANTHA CRITCHELL AP, fashion writer  who says ''In fashion, the word 'Nude' is most often used to describe a shade that is a little darker than champagne, lighter than sand and perhaps with a hint of blush or peach''. Some view it as the wearer's skin colour & this opens up to a wide range of skin-colour Tones.

I guess that until I get a Fabric, outfit or accessories that matches my skin tone perfectly, I will just have to settle for the 'Woldwide acknowledged' Nude colour. That's exactly what I did with this outfit below-Ankara combined with every nude thing that I own,  an Outfit that I would wear on a Date or to lunch with the girls. Hope that it inspires you all.

Wish you all a lovely weekend.

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Affordable Art Fair in Hamburg

Snow & Rain over the weekend usually means a visit to a Museum or Exhibition, so on Sunday after church we headed over to the Hamburg Messe (Exhibition Halls) for the 'Affordable Art Fair'. This is an Exhibition held yearly to bring together Artists, Galleries, Art lovers, Buyers & Collectors.  And what a collection of beautiful Art was on display, Photographs, Still life, Potraits, Abstracts & even sculptures.  There were so many beautiful images to capture, I'd like to share a few special ones with you.

 

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Braving the cold weather

No matter how many Fall & Winters you experience, the first snowy day always feels like the coldest day that you have ever experienced in your life, well for me anyway. It snowed for the first Time this Autumn on Sunday & I thought to myself, why not bring out my Faux Fur Coat. I didn't own one (yet) so I made one instead. I'd bought some faux fur fabric on EBay a few weeks ago to make a Faux fur clutch but when the Package arrived, the fabric turned out to be  bigger than I had expected. So I decided to make a coat that I had longed for for quite some time.


Sewing it wasn't as easy as I had imagined because the 'Hairs' (is that how they are reffered to?) were strewn all over my sewing room. By the Time I was done, it looked like something had exploded in there, Thank God for vaccum cleaners. I like how it turned out even though I kind of look like a Yeti (do those creatures really exist?), but it's warm & looks very 'expensive' & store-bought.

I combined it with an all Black Outfit & thigh high Boots to keep most Focus on the coat. Am not so sure if I will wear the coat on a normal day just because of how easy it  gets dirty but it will definately be making a comeback on the Blog during this Winter. Wish you all a lovely week.

Fau Fur Coat               DIY
Faux Fur Fabric           Ebay
Tshirt                            Local Botique (men's section), something close here & here
Leggings                      H&M (old)  Love these & these are really affordable
Boots                            Local Botique     Check these out
Sunglasses                  H&M (old)   



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'Markt der Volker' (The People's Market)

It was a rainy weekend & therefore the perfect weather for a visit to the Museum. We visited the 'Museum für Volkerkunde' in Hamburg (read all about our previous visit there here), where there was an International Market showcasing different works of Art from all around the world. There were over 80 Stands presenting colourful, creative, handmade artefacts from all continents, the perfect place to get special & ''unique' Christmas gifts for loved ones.

This years' Exhibition centered mainly on 'Variety in Africa' which had different programmes; Coffee-tasting, Dance workshops & fun for the kids. The Programme's highlight was a traditional Dance Show ''Dance & Rythmes of Africa'' from the Group DIAMORAL. We all had quite an interesting afternoon, made some good contacts & will definately be going back there again soon.

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Boubou & a Maxi Skirt

Have you ever seen an outfit for the first time & knew immediately that you had to get it? Well that was what happened the minute that I lay my eyes on this 'Outfit' at the Dockland Fashion Show 2015. This amazing Top was designed & made by a talented Designer here in Hamburg, & when I approached her to ask her if I could buy it, imagine my joy when she offered to make me one, for free. I combined it with black leggings & heels for a friend's wedding but on this day, I decided to style it with an Ankara Maxi Skirt to give it even more volume, just as recommended by the Designer. So many people complimented me on the outfit as were taking these Photos, it's something different but I totally love it.



The Design is inspired by the grand Boubou/bubu, a flowing wide sleeved robe traditionally worn by men in West Africa, and to a lesser extent in  North Africa. But it has increasingly become popular in all parts of Africa & even styled by women because of it's 'ceremonial' look & comfortability.

Wish you all a blessed week & a lovely week ahead.


Boubou             Meme Designs

Maxi Skirt         oriwo-design

Shoes                Thrifted

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Fast Fashion-the darker side of Fashion

Slow Fashion-What we are all about here at oriwo-design.

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Dashiki at the Market

In my head, this is me when I meet my neighbour/ friend at the Market & she tells me a very interesting and funny story that just makes me laugh out loud.

 

Well, this is not a typical outfit that I would wear to my local market in Kisumu, Kenya (Oile Market). I can just hear my Mother's voice, ''Flo, don't you dare leave this house that you are going to the Market in that short dress. Please put on a Trouser or a skirt under...''

 

But this is an Outfit that I can wear to a Party, Lunch with friends, Date night or to the Farmers' Market here in Hamburg (but of course with my Mother's words still ringing in my head). What I love about it is that there's no don't need for extra Accessories because the Dashiki Print makes a statement in it's own. I love it & will probably have it hanging in my closet in 10 different colours. 

 

Do you like it? If yes, then it will be available in my online Shop as from tomorrow.

 

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Celebrating Love

Which better way is there to celebrate a Wedding Anniversary than to attend a lovely Church service, visit an Animal Farm with the kids (where they both got chased by goats, a very funny scene) then get to dress up & go for dinner, alone ( a very rare occurence) with Hubby. Oh, how we enjoyed our date, sitting in a chic restaurant, eating & having a conversation without having to stop every 2 seconds to answer my daughter's '99 questions' or to pick up something thrown down by my son. We enjoyed the ambience, food, drinks & just savoured the 2 hours that we had while being greatful to God for bringing us together.


Lucky me that I didn't have to search far & wide for an Outfit, I went for this beautiful Guipure Lace  Skater dress that is part of my Fall/Winter 2015 Collection, an Ankara Headwrap & my cute Fuschia shoes that I wore 2 years ago at our wedding. I kept the Accessories simple with my favourite (only) Micheal Kors watch, a Sisal Clutch bag that was a gift from my sister & some almost 10 year old Silver Hoop Earrings. That was a wonderful day & I can't wait to celebrate even more special moments in the years to come.

 

Wish you all a lovely week.


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Shift Dress & Faux Fur

Fall/Autumn is here which means wind, rain & cooler temperatures so our wardrobes have to also be adjusted accordingly. What really helps is having some basic pieces which can be layered to make different outfits. This Ankara Print Shiftdress available in my Shop is one of them, it's simple silhouette & colourful Print  makes it stand out. It can be styled in different ways. On this day, I went with a random slim brown belt cinched around my waist to create some shape, overknee boots (bought these at some local Botique, love these here)  & added this Faux-fur Shawl( whuch is part of a thrifted Zara Blazer) for some added sophistication & the much needed warmth. This Shawl here is also quite nice & is giving me ideas for some new Faux -fur DIYs, I can't wait to share them with you.


Wish you all a lovely weekend & don't forget to give your views below about this look.


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Walk for Freedom(Hamburg) 2015

All throughout life we have been fighting for freedom in different areas of life, & 1 fight that we thought that we had won was aginst Slavery. But sadly enough, this Phenomenon still exists with upto date with over 27 million people still enslaved & 1.4 million of them as sex-slaves. Astonishing is that now in the 21st century, there are more slaves than ever before and that is because of the fact that Human trafficking has become one of the most booming businesses generating over 32 Billion Dollars per year.

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dockLand Fashion Show 2015

Finally I get to present to you my Fall/Winter Collection 2015. The last month has been short & hectic as I worked long hours to turn my ideas into reality. And at last, I got to present the outfits at the dockland Fashion Party 2015 on the 1st of October at IndoChine Restaurant, 


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 Hamburger Nähtalent 2015

I am truly sorry for the lack of posts on my Blog for the last month. Things have been really crazy this month because I have been working day & night on my Fall/Winter Collection 2015 (which I know is pretty late, seeing that other Design Houses have just released their Spring/Summer 2016 Collection). My new Collection which is almost ready will be released at the dockland Fashion Party 2015 on the 1st of October at 6pm at IndoChine Restaurant,  can't wait to see you all there.

So, in the craziness of designing & making the outfits, one Saturday morning I dragged my whole Family to go with me to one of my favourite Fabric Supply Stores here in Hamburg, Mahler Stoffe to buy some Fabrics that I needed. And while climbing up the stairs to go into the Store, I saw a Poster on the Wall announcing about a Sewing Competition (Hamburger Nähtalent 2015) & told Hubby that I would like to take part in it. The Competition was organised by Nähmesse Hamburg which is a Sewing Exhibition that takes part every year in Hamburg & brings together many Stores & suppliers of all things to do with sewing & tailoring. Last year was my first time attending the Exhibition & even before finding out about the Competition, we were planning on going to the Exhibition this Year too. So the following week, we did a small Photoshoot with me wearing a combination of this skirt & jacket, filled out the application forms & sent it the Organisers. The voting was to be done either through likes on Facebook, Emails or Fax, so Hubby, close friends & I started 'campaigning' on Facebook to try & get as much likes as possible. And how great is our God when on the closing of the Competition, I was among the Top 20 & won a chance to showcase my Outfit on the last day of the Exhibition.

 

After Church on Sunday, with the help of my good friends, we organised a Model, Make-up Artist, Stylist & Photographer & went for the Exhibition. It was such a proud moment for me to see my Outfit on a Bust among all these other beautiful creations. And seeing my friend walking down the catwalk in it was just amazing. But the best moment of all was when I heard my name being called out as Position 3 chosen by the Jury. All I can say is thank you Lord for this Talent & for giving me a chance to do what I love. I got a Participation Certificate which I will proudly hang in my Atelier & a Gift Voucher for purchasing Fabric at my favourite Fabric store, guess where...Mahler Stoffe (where it all began). We had a wonderful time & I even got to visit a Stand by True Fabrics, one of the Suppliers of Ankara Fabric here in Germany. They have such beautiful Fabrics & am sure that we will be working together in the future. I also met some wonderful people who really loved my outfit & encouraged me to continue doing what am doing.

 

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who's been supporting me since I started this new jorney of my life, may God bless you all. Hope to see you at the dockland Fashion Party this Thursday at IndoChine Restaurant in Hamburg.

 

Below are some Images captured by my wonderful Hubby...Enjoy & have a lovely week.

 

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Focus

In the last week, I've had a lot of time to really think things through & get a new perspecive into life as a whole. With all the different things that go on in our lives - career, family, responsibility, finances & emotional burdens, we often find our focus shifting from the important things and onto petty stuff. That's why it's good to take some time off to re-think things out & just prioritise. As always, let's put God first & focus on him & slowly you will realise how he changes your perspective & shows you the really important things like family, health & just being happy while having positive thoughts.

 

My outfit on this post what I wore to my hubby's birthday earlier this month, which we celebrated by attending church together, going for lunch at our favourite restaurant before making a picnick at Hamburg Stadtpark. The outfit was inspired by a photo of this outfit posted by Beauty J'adore, who is one of my favourite bloggers. I used some white curtain that we bought some time back from IKEA but never got round to using. It was just lying so I thought, why not put in into better use, so I changed the top design a little by lowering the peplum part & adding sleeves. I was a bit scared about an all white outfit making me look like someone working in the health sector, but I kind of like the way it turned out. With some African accessories, the Headwrap that I shared on this previous Post, which is part of my upcoming line of Headwraps, the outfit came out quite nicely. I also made outfits for hubby & the kids to match my outfit. Here are a few pictures.


Wish you all a 'Well Focused' week.

 

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Fabric Shopping

Grüß Gott (greetings from Austria) where my Family & I are on Holiday.

 

Hubby was kind enough to drive through Holland so that I could visit 'Jansen Holland‘, one of the main suppliers of African Wax Print (Ankara) Fabricin Europe, they also carry Vlisco Fabrics. Am currently working on a late Fall/Winter collection which will hopefully be out this October & will be incorporating Vlisco‘ Fabric which am so in love with.



The Shop is just amazing, so clean & well arranged with beautiful Fabrics that one is spoilt for choice when you enter there. And their service is just impeccable. I was able to pinpoint some Fabrics that I really loved and they will be delivered to my Atelier by the time we get back to Hamburg. I can’t wait to start making some beautiful garments after this well-deserved break because I have many great Ideas.Here are some of the Pictures that we captured while there with my crazy shopping partners.

 


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Mix & Match with 'Cinderella Shoes'

Am back after a little break. Hope that all is well. My outfit today is a bit of an Office-look that can be worn on a hot day. The shorts are slightly long which makes them a bit 'office-appropriate'. They are old, bought them almost 3 years ago from H&M, a few options here & here, while the short-sleeved coat which also from H&M is a Thrift find, but I found these which are super-cute. The 2 are almost the same shade of Brown thus my matching them to make a suit. I have on a stretch top inside, also from H&M. And my cute 'Cinderella Shoes' (that's how my daughter calls them because they are Gold & glitter) are from Ebay.


To add some 'Ankara Touch' to the Outfit, I tied an Ankara Headwrap which will soon be available in my Shop. I tried out a 'Queen Nefertiti Headwrap' which I found on YouTube, but am not sure if I got it right.  I hope that I can link the Video here for you to try it out too.

 

Wish you all a lovely week.


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