So we decided to randomly post something about designers we like... sort of an inspirational blog post of designers that are doing something different, that inspire us... and basically style we like. This week we are going to feature Vivienne Westwood for her unconventional style, political views/environmental responsibility and business acumen.
Dame Vivienne Westwood, (born Vivienne Isabel Swire on 8 April 1941) is a British fashion designer and businesswoman, largely responsible for bringing modern punk and new wave fashions into the mainstream.
She studied at the Harrow School of Art, taking fashion and silversmithing, but left after one term. After taking up a job in a factory and studying at a teacher-training college, Vivienne became a primary school teacher. During this period, she also created her own jewellery, which she sold at a stall on Portobello Road.
Westwood and former husband McLaren worked together to revolutionise fashion and their impact is still strongly felt today. Westwood has five exclusively-owned shops; three in London, one in Leeds, and one in Milan, others are franchises.
Westwood is also widely known as a political activist but mostly we just like her clothes.Westwood's designs were featured in the 2008 film adaptation of the award winning television series Sex and the City.
Deola Sagoe is a Nigerian fashion designer from Ondo State located in the lower western part of Nigeria. She started designing in 1998 and has since gained international recognition for her outstanding designs. Deola Sagoe has given African fashion in the 21st century the most radical expression imaginable, from the deeply rooted African fabrics to perfectly matched accessories. She is known for constantly fabulous designs, flawless color combination, attention to details and perfect finish and finesse.
Deola Sagoe has also participated in fashion shows in America, Europe and Africa alongside fashion enigmas like Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Chanel and Missoni, and was the unassuming winner of the ‘’African Designs’’ and MNET/Anglo Gold African designs 2000 (nomination by Andre Leon Tally, US Vogue editor ). Her lines have also been modeled in major International beauty pageants, including Miss Universe. To know more visit her on deolasagoe.net.
Hmmmmmm where to start... we went to see the Fela Musical at the movie theatre it was really great... and fun... and exhilarating and... should I go on....ok you get the point.
We actually wanted to go to London to see it and when I called to get the tickets there were two singles left, but at different rows and so I got off the phone to ask Alheri if we could still go, but when I got back on the phone the tickets were sold out.
So we had to say goodbye to the London dream, but luckily for us there was going to be a one time live broadcast of the show around the world- in high definition.
In Leeds it was at the Vue so, away we went to see Fela! And OMG it was spectacular! The role of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti was played by Sahr Ngaujah who did a great job of portraying the energy, passion and charisma of Fela!
Fela! explores the extravagant, decadent and rebellious world of Afrobeat legend Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, produced by Shawn 'Jay-Z' Carter, Will & Jada Pinkett Smith and Ruth & Stephen Hendel.
The singing was exhilarating, the dancing captivating, and the whole cast just made me so so proud.
Parts that especially stood out for me include the spiritual scenes with Melanie Marshall (who played Fumilayo- Fela's mother) singing- really lovely and touching voice.
Another part was where he talked about names and how people from England had English names, those from Germany had German names e.t.c So Basically he was trying to say- names are important and should be reflective of where you are from.
Ok! have to add a personal comment. Really had an aha! moment at that point because I never had an African name but just recently asked my dad why I didn't have one or a middle name for that matter, and he had no answer really... so he gave me an African name- my great grandma's name spelt Zewi but pronounced Zhewi. Sorry for veering off a bit but had to add that.
Finally, the part that absolutely stood out the most and made me laugh so hard was his view on colonialism- "when the tea drinking guests came; diamonds, oil and people went missing, and in exchange they left us with Gonorrhoea and Jesus Christ"
Jos or J-town as others know it, was known to be a town which welcomed lots of visitors from neighboring towns, states, other parts of Nigeria, and people from all over the world. The weather was one of the main attractions for the foreigners; as well as the serenity and the winding Plateaus... Jos was beautiful; very beautiful.
I used to love going to Jos as a kid. To me, Jos was like artwork with lots and lots of bright flowers and rocks and potato chips..(who doesn't love chips?) I always believed in my mind that everything would be alright once I was in Jos and that nothing could ever go wrong. I was always happy in Jos. I live in Abuja but I attended both primary and secondary schools in Jos. I went to Kent Academy in Miango, then I went to Hillcrest.
The first time Jos experienced its issues, I was still in Kent Academy and we were kind of far from the main areas that were affected. On my way back home (Abuja), we were stopped so many times by soldiers. There were even amour tanks roaming about the main streets of Jos. Jos was not safe anymore! Then people started killing other people and places kept getting burned down.
Recently, on a family trip to Jos, we went with the expectations of having flawless, amazing fun. After like 20 police stops we made it to Bacardi (not sure if its a bar or a club) the first day was cool, but we had to go back there again the next day because it was the safest place to be, and other places were burned down or not in the 'safe zone' or so they explained.
Below are some of the pictures we took...don't wanna use the really bad internet pics (of the Jos crisis) that are been circulated around. So these are pics of me back in the day and some from the road trip.
Back in the day/ The Good..
Me (second left, first row) in Kent Academy Chapel
Me (first right, second row) in Hillcrest Baskteball Team
Pouring water on the team captain after the last game of the season
Linda and I in Bacardi..
Plate of potato chips, liver sauce, egg and ketchup (I love ketchup)
The rocks... at Hill Station
Linda and Emmanuel (our brother)
Burnt down buildings at Anglo Jos
more burned down buildings
and even more burned down buildings....
a soldier parading the streets
Jos needs our prayers.
We all need to come together and pray for Jos so it can go back to the way it used to be. Lots of people have died and the death rate keeps increasing everyday.
We might not be able to do much, but one thing we can do is pray, so the violence will be put to an end and Jos will be restored.
Nina Simone-The High Priestess of Soul was a piano player, singer and performer, "separately and simultaneously". On stage, Simone's style of music ranged from gospel to blues, jazz and folk, to songs with European classical styling.
Nina Simone's feeling good is making me feel real good right now- I know it sounds cheesy but I just feel like 'its a new dawn, a new day and a new life for me and I'm feeling good'
We have talked about Asa in a past blog post. Asa is one of our Naija soul sistas that is a free spirit, and her new video has the old school 1960's vibe going on...
Its called 'Be my Man' from her new album Beautiful Imperfection
Ok! so we decided we were going to start blogging about the things we do, the life we live and things we love/influence us, kinda started with the designers we like etc so we will randomly post a blog about designers we like, but for right now... just enjoy reading about our inspirations, and in between remember to check out our stores and keep buying Maali... Be blessed...
This is a list of the top 5 things/people/shows...anything really, I'm loving right now. They also influence my style and my person.
1. Erin Silver ( played by Jessica Stroup) in the hit TV show 90210....her style..her outfits...her personality (awesome!!!)..she dares to be different and it works for her.
Jessica Stroup as Silver in 90210
2. Vintrals.Vintage stuff and floral stuff...do the maths..Vintage + Floral = Vintral..(hehe)..I think the combination of both is very powerful and chic..check this out..
A collection of Vintral stuff
3. Tan accessories, Tan shoes, Tan bags..they just make some boring outfits look sophisticated and cool.
Absolutely loving the tan men's shoes...
4. The Big Bang Theory..(Hilarious!)I could actually marry Sheldon and laugh forever..lol. Set in Pasadena,California, the show is centered around five characters: two roommate Caltech geniuses, experimental physicist Leonard Hofstadter and theoretical physicist Sheldon Cooper; their neighbor across the hall Penny, an attractive blonde waitress and aspiring actress; and Leonard's and Sheldon's equally geeky and socially awkward co-workers and friends Howard Wolowitz, an Aerospace engineer and a non-PhD from JPL, and Rajesh Koothrappali, a particle astrophysicist postdoc also working at Caltech. The geekiness and intellect of the four guys are contrasted for comic effect with Penny's social skills and common sense. If you have never seen it...start watching now...its actually really funny.....
a clip to convince you...
5. Urban Outfitters (the stores)...if you know me really well and you go into one of the stores.. you will probably be like.."this store is so Alheri.." lol. I love everything about the stores. From the way they are designed, to the way the clothes are arranged, the music, ALL the clothes..absolutely everything..all the stores are full of awesome creativity...
a collage of the interior and exterior of different U.O stores
Maali started in 2009 with a dream; a dream of fashion as a gateway to pursuing our passion and also helping local sewers in Africa. It was also created to increase economic opportunity for women in developing countries and to also provide an avenue for sustainable income, by bringing the designs and clothes to the western market, and in turn selling our T-shirts and other brands in Africa.
Maali also aims to help children and women in Africa by donating a portion of our profits to chosen non-profit organizations; Gweimen Center is one of such organizations.
Consequently, when you purchase any Maali clothing you “bless a child”.
About the Gweimen Centre
Everyday, 6000 children are orphaned from HIV/AIDS worldwide.
Gweimen, in the Nigerian language of Jaba, in Kaduna State literally means peace and tranquility, shalom, a place of safety and welcome.
The Gweimen Centre resulted from the efforts of a community to provide for the needs of the most vulnerable populations in the path of the AIDS pandemic sweeping Africa: widows and orphans.
In Kwoi, Nigeria, the survival of these children is threatened daily, as they struggle for basic nutrition, education and social acceptance. For each of these children, there is a family - a widow, a grandmother, an uncle - that struggles to support them without access to adequate employment opportunities, health care and basic resources.
HIV/AIDS, poverty and hunger threaten the lives, the families and the communities of people around the world. In Kwoi, people have joined together to address these challenges in their community and make a difference.
Out of this, the Gweimen Centre was born, a sustainability centre to help widows, orphans, and other community members help themselves through education, health care, economic empowerment and basic necessities.
What You Can do to Help Buy Maali and a percentage of profits from the sale of Maali products goes to Gweimen Center.
Make a tax deductible donation today and help this community's dream for a better life come true! Your generous contribution will make a difference! You can bring hope to widows and orphans of HIV/AIDS.
The Gweimen Centre is a tax exempt organization [501 (c) (3)]. They take their responsibility seriously to wisely manage funds, enabling greater help for more people. Ninety-five percent of all donations go directly to the people of the Gweimen Centre.
Please contribute today, online or by mail.
US/UK- www.gweimen.org and click donate or Gweimen Centre
P.O. Box 165 La Fox, IL 60147
Nigeria- donate @ Gweimen Centre Ltd/GTE UBA account 0040-011-000045-5
Your donation will provide:
3 meals a day for orphans
Training for widows to be able to support their families
Healthcare for HIV+ people
A community center where people can grow and build hope
To know more about Gweimen Center; go to www.gweimen.org
Happy New year to you all... Its been a year and some.... since we started Maali and we have been blessed and overwhelmed with the support so far. Thanks to everyone who has bought...lived... and given Maali. These are just some pictures of us @ random times living life and wearing maali. Stay Blessed x
Alheri wearing Ghana Print dress on the way to church
Linda @ the Nigerian 50th anniversary celebration
Linda and Alheri (left) wearing Maali women's and men's wear
Alheri in pink Maali vest and tutu skirt
Alheri in Maali T, scarf and purple tutu skirt
White Soul of Africa Maali T
Amina wearing Maali lace dress
Purple African print dress n purple George dress by Maali