Friday, 16 March 2012

The "Glam Nigerian" Project

A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from my friend and fellow fashion and life blogger, Biki John. She was telling me about an upcoming project that she was working on. Here's how it went:

Hey Eric

I've been commissioned to style a fashion shoot to launch a site called Stylecasted-

The first of its kind, Style.casted proffers a simple but and most effective platform to celebrate and uphold the diversity and influence of our most obvious and beloved identity — our African style heritage — as well as foster a continued global appreciation of its wide-reaching impact. By virtue of curated daily images — images willingly shared by everyday (extra!)ordinary people — punctuated with bimonthly/quarterly professionally styled editorials, we aim to capture and illustrate African, and indeed, global fashion in a refreshingly new manner, pioneering a new fashionable era.

For the shoot the concept is, 'The Glamorous African Woman of Today' as Stylecasted is very young, I want to focus on getting a great photog, hair and makeup artist and model and not get too involved in Press Office drama, so the shoot is likely to be more portrait based. I want to go to Kotbusser Tor and buy ankara print fabrics and with brooches use them as head pieces, shawls etc.

I was wondering if on the day of shoot, you could help me with coming up with different shapes for the turbans etc/or loan me some of your dresses for shoot?
If you could help me on the day, I'd only need you for about 1/2 hrs.
What do you think?

Now, I was thrilled to pieces and I was trying to figure out what could I loan her. Then, a light bulb clicked on in my head. One of my fashion goals is to get at least one dress on the red carpet during awards season, and I saw an opportunity to put my skills to the test. I took a deep breath and approached her with the idea of creating two dresses for the shoot, if possible.

She loved the idea and we started talking concept. She put me on to her vision of what she wanted for the shoot and I took to it pretty quickly. I also started sketching out a few things that came to mind. She nailed the concept in one sentence, and honed in one particular vision :a glamorous Studio 54 style. I, then put on some music to put me in that place (70's Diana Ross and Donna Summer) and the dresses started to come to life on the page. Four dresses were sketched and two were chosen. One got changed at the last minute, but two dresses will be in this shoot. As Biki gave me the woman I was creating for: a glamorous Nigerian woman; the nickname for the project came to me as "Glam Nigerian" and all of the sketches were referred to as such.

We checked fabrics at my favorite fabric store and came up with these:

The first dress was supposed to be in a leopard print and in my interpretation of a Roberto Cavalli style.

Once we realized that the leopard print was a little thick and didn't have much movement, we then decided to make the skirt part of the dress black and use the leopard on top. Once we went back to the fabric store, the leopard print was gone and on the spot, we made a change to a gold and black snake print for the top and black full skirt with a high split in the center on the bottom. The top will have a curve cutout neckline with two straps in the back, connecting it all together.

The second dress will have a very low neckline and a high split on the side and will be made with a glittery copper fabric. The dress will also have a little more length in the back for a train. This dress was totally inspired by Donna Summer and Diana Ross. I also purchased this fabric and a pink/magenta version of it. I plan to create a couple of corresponding pieces to go with it, like a mini line.

Unfortunately, in the picture it comes out as silver looking. Here is the sketch of the dress:

This project is pretty awesome because this is one direction that I want to take my designs to.

Stay fashionable and sexy!!!!!