Monday, 11 November 2013

Local Lovely Flavour: Mbo Mahocs

Mbo Mahocs is the first Bulawayo person to be on the Cover of Jewel Magazine Zimbabwe's November issue! Now Jewel magazine is nothing new to the Signature Toscie blog but the cover girl Miss Mahocs is someone to reckon with. I first met Mbo Mahocs at the FWZ 2013 gala on Saturday and only chatted for a bit but she's such a doll that when i heard about this, i just had to share. So, Mbo Mahocs hails from the City of Kings and Queens; which is kwaBulawayo and is your fashionista, media darling; whose the fashion stylist for online Deck Magazine and is also a TV personality. She's also an academic, or an intellectual as per se with her studies in Architecture at Bulawayo Polytechnic.

Mbo Mahocs' further affiliation is under Hunnar Management Agency which is a talent agency by Gilmore Moyo (who also hails from Bulawayo and is doing amazing things in the Zimbabwe urban and media circles; love to meet him some day). Miss Mahocs' cover look and editorial spread is all done by Bulawayo couture, being dressed by Shadow By Sidumiso (he also dressed SA musician Zahara in this fab print blazer back when she visited Vic Falls in 2012), Rebelious Klothing, Annie Gonyora & Litso by Annie Maliki with jewellery by BlinQ - Sheenah Moyo.

Featured in the magazine this month is profiles on Nomashawekazi Damasane & Sidumiso Tshuma with his label "Shadow by Sidumiso" all hailing from Bulawayo and Hunnar Management Agency as well. This month's issue does justice to the talent coming from Bulawayo and their contribution to the growing Zimbabwean Fashion industry.

Jewel magazine circulates Mid November in Harare and beyond (starting today Monday 11 November, 2013).

As always supporting Local Lovely Flavour for the month of November.

Stay Gorg and Glam,

Miss Mbo Mahocs
Mbo Mahocs at FWZ 2013 dressed by Ganu Creations and neckpiece by The Ndau Collection.

Lessons Learnt From FWZ 2013

So, Fashion Weekend Zimbabwe 2013 has come and gone. The event had been a popular fixture on social media for months leading up to the actual event. I, for one, was glad that i attended the gala, as i learn a lot from these events and apply my knowledge for future reference. So, what did i learn from attending FWZ that evening? Well, other than meeting the lads and a few ladies by the media table; i took a few cues from their photography as well as some of the things mentioned below;

What To Wear?
The venue for the gala was at Borrowdale Race Course, with the open air and a pond just outside the entrance. As anyone would know, it gets a bit chilly in the evening during the rainy season and that evening was no exception. It was windy and chilly and anyone who wasn't expecting this sort of weather got goosebumps! Lucky for me i had a blazer jacket on; not something that i had planned to wear but i'm sensitive to any cold really. So, for evening outings like these i would suggest carrying a chic blazer jacket; one that is your personal staple and one that also works around all your clothes. Another tip is a bodycon dress, preferably one with long sleeves. Why i say this? The bodycon dress hugs your figure keeping you snug and warm; further more it is more stylish with one solid colour or just two contrasting colours as the print. But i would suggest it be a Little Black Dress (LBD), as worn by Zim Fashionista's assistant that evening. But be reminded to wear what suits YOU best, after all the function was all indoors, so the activity within the room does create some heat.

And The Shoes?
Since i was media, i was up and down a lot that evening! And the my choice of shoes didn't work with my constant movement. I give tops to my sister for wearing wedge heels that evening because she was effortless and comfortable. "Comfort is key" on such an evening especially if you know you are like me and want to take pictures and interview models, you will be on your feet the whole night. The lesson i learnt is to wear a wedge heel or a closed pretty court shoe to balance out your strut and to keep it neat! I don't know how many times my heel sunk into the mud that evening and got caught in the gravel whilst walking. Lets just say i sprained my little knee by the time 11pm came around. So high heels and peep toe sandals are a no go for me for outside evening functions.

What about the pictures?
If you are like me and appreciate good, if not great photography AND further like photos taken by yourself; then invest in a camera! I really enjoy taking photos, its no secret that i push myself to take something different and from my own point of view, and then i describe to you, whether through my blog, twitter, facebook or even word of mouth. I believe a picture says a thousand words. So, for that evening i didn't have a camera; but that didn't stop me from taking pictures (silly me because i should have thought twice about this). The only problem is they were taken by my cellphone (which has had better days, but now its telling me otherwise). So you can imagine my frustration when 60% if not 75% of my photos came out unsatisfactory and not up to the standards i require myself for my blog. What i learned that evening was from the media table; YOU CAN'T USE YOUR PHONE TO TAKE PICTURES! Why i say this? The lighting that evening was a bit dim and further switched between dark and light when the models came in or when the hosts came in. During that time you spent a bit amount of minutes trying to switch your phone camera settings to suit the lighting so that your photo comes out right! Its a lot of hustle and bustle and only further disappoints you and wastes your time because you miss every shot! My advice is rather invest in a digital camera or a trusted tablet such as an ipad or galaxy tab to take your photos.

From the media bench
And don't forget your make-up!
It really wasn't hot that evening to say you needed touch ups or your makeup was melting off. But what i did notice is that a lot of the ladies make-up was glowing (including the models); kind of a shiny look going on. I'm not so much of a make up marvel but i did take note of this and want to inquire on how they do it. My lesson learnt here is keep your make-up glowy and subtle for an evening event. Nothing too overdone, because trust me the lighting and the camera can actually show your make-up in the photos. I trust that the Black Opal Team did a fab job on the models and the hosts.

From my opinion, I think FWZ lived up to its notion of Fashion, Food and Music fiesta. The fashion to begin with was something new, which were our emerging designers who were given a centre stage to launch themselves. The Food was catered for by a chefs who created a full buffet from start to finish. The Music was definitely on point, with two local artists being Audius Mutawarira and Shingi Mangoma, with our opening act courtesy of the dance group High Definition. 

Although the tickets were above reach for many (US$65 for general entry and US$75 for VIP which included a pre-cocktail gathering, the after party and the goodie bag that had a piece from The Ndau Collection); the experience was something to indulge in and one that i learned ALOT from. I'm pretty sure i left out a few details, but as mentioned from my first post; so much was going on that evening and one can only take in so much.

Here's to Fashion Weekend Zimbabwe 2014.

Yours truly in Glamour...

Stay Gorg and Glam,

Thursday, 7 November 2013

FWZ 2013 Emerging Designers

Fashion Weekend Zimbabwe was mainly focused on the Emerging Designers who were the highlight of the evening. The young designers had undergone an intense mentorship during the course of three months to prepare for the finale held on Saturday. Initially the Emerging Designers were a Top 8 group but later downsized to Top 6 as designing duo Thelma Chindabata and Yvonne Feresu who were St. Dominic’s A level students, had to step down. The designers’ collections were a breath of fresh air that evening, consisting of a lot of brand new designs as well as introducing themselves to the fashion market of Zimbabwe. Our emerging designers that evening were (in order of appearance):

  1. Edmond Chikumbirike
  2. Natasha Theresa Kagoro
  3. Samantha Dika
  4. Nyasha Nhutsve
  5. Samantha Natasha Matemadombo
  6. Tanya Mushayi
Out of all the designers, I’m glad to say I have managed to foster a pretty good friendship with Natasha Kagoro, Nyasha Nhutsve and Samantha Matemadombo. I’m still to acquaint myself with Edmond, Samantha D and Tanya Mushayi; hopefully in the new future.

Edmond Chikumbirike of House of Azalion
Tafadzwa Edmond Chikumbirike of House of Azalion was the only male finalist who showcased a feminine collection that consisted of long maxi dresses in prints and one with a solid grey, finished off with a scarf as an accessory. The fitting around his dresses were lose but yet functional, if you want your dress flowing with the wind and not to snug on your skin, then this collection is for you.

Natasha Kagoro of Black Excellence
Natasha’s collection for Black Excellence was second up that evening. This collection was for the modern young woman who likes to keep it up-to-trend but yet still sophisticated. Natasha’s collection was characterised by the colour blue! With a blue off the shoulder blouse paired with cigarette pants, a full blue ensemble that had a one shouldered blouse and shorts to match. My favourite things from this collection was the circle skirt and modern powersuit modelled by Chipo. This suit was a green blouse with high waisted brown pants; focus being on the blouse because it had well planned out beaded detail at the back.

My favourite ensemble modelled by Chipo
Samantha Dika of Esdea Couture
Samantha Dika and Nyasha Nhutsve had one thing in common; their colour palette for their collections was black and white! This I loved because I think they both incorporated the monochrome trend (of black and white) in their own signature manner. Samantha’s collection stood out with the zebra print detail fused into her collection. I further liked that she had a man’s ensemble in her collection, with a zebra print tie and detail on the gentleman’s waistcoat. Samantha Dika is also a double-threat, being both a designer and a model.

Nyasha Nhutsve of Nhembe Aleth
Nyasha Nhutsve’s collection was all white. It was seriously feminine with all white dresses (in fashion acronym it is the LWD). Her dresses had Victorian-inspired sleeves and an African print detail of little san people with drums. Her collection was seriously on point and perfect for the sophisticated woman that has an appreciation for beautiful form fitting dresses. For those of you who don’t know, Nyasha scooped an award at the Clothing Indaba 2013 held early this year in June in Borrowdale.

Samantha Natasha Matemadombo of Identite Noire
Identite Noire is literally Black Identity when translated into French. Samantha’s collection was literally a fusion of art brought into life. Her collection was seriously African but with an artistic modern edge added to it. The defining factor of her clothing was the back view of a North African mask in the centre which was adorned with beads connected to the garment. It was just aw-sight-awesomeness. This girl really put thought and preparation into her garments. To finish off her collection, she came out in her own design which was a cute mixed print circle skirt with a matching buttoned up sleeveless blouse.

Tanya Mushayi of Tanya Nerfetari
I have heard soo much about Tanya from blogs and social media but I hadn’t known who she really was. I even follow her on Twitter just to get to know her better. As a designer, Tanya has been around for quite a bit, having dressed a few local personalities including Tehn Diamond. Now Tanya’s collection was the last out of all 6 but was worth the wait. Her collection was a 60s mod inspiration with an incorporation of an African princess-ism. Why I say so; there were two dresses with a black and white checkerboard print with one that had a side slit. The interpretation of the modern African princess was in two creations that both were pants and a matching bodice, kind of an androgynous feel to fashion. I quite liked the prints on both her ensembles.

Deepest apologies for my poor quality photos

Tanya Mushayi with a model wearing her designs.
So there were have it! Our six emerging designers. Later in the evening Samantha Matemadombo was named the FWZ 2013 emerging designer, which was probably a tough decision since all the designers did such a phenomenal job, even I myself was impressed. All the models shoes’ were courtesy of Shoe Sensations and their make up by the Black Opal Team. Now since my photos were not up to my varied standard, I have opted to share my illustrations through photos by Tnash Photography. Below are some of my photos from the backstage action where you can spot Shamiso Ruzvidzo (@ShamisoRuze) in action.

Samantha Matemadombo and Samantha Dika both wearing their designs.

Shamiso Ruzvidzo at work. 

The models' footwear was from Shoe Sensations.
Once again a phenomenal show that Shamiso Ruzvidzo put together, especially for a first timer and for such a big event. I hope for it to be bigger and better in 2014. Next up will be lessons learnt from FWZ 2013, mainly what not to do and what to expect at the media table.

Stay Gorg and Glam,

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Fashion Weekend Zimbabwe (FWZ) 2013 Inaugural Gala

On Saturday 2 November 2013, Fashion Weekend Zimbabwe took place at the Glass House at the Borrowdale racecourse. Now for some of you who don’t know, Fashion Weekend Zimbabwe was initially a weekend festival over a two day weekend event, but turned into an evening gala to introduce the official Fashion Weekend Zimbabwe (FWZ) festival for 2014. With the theme; Fashion, Food and Music, FWZ was setting a high fashion/event pace for itself, and I must say it lived up to its expectations. The event was everything glitz and glamour from the opening performance to the time I left. Everything went off on a high note with no slip-ups in sight! I, for one applied for a Media form so I got a pretty good back view of the full glass house from the media table/bench. Scanning from the outside view to where I parked the car, to the side view of the mini island/pond out on the front door and to the front stage where our lovely hosts @RuvhiPari (Ruvheneko Parirenyatwa and @LochNation (Lorraine Charlotte Bgoya) from ZiFM Stereo graced out evening. Our hosts were dressed by Cotton Seed Couture for Ruvhi and Maita Marimo for Lo, with their jewellery both by The Ndau Collection and make up by the Black Opal team (I need to give these guys a visit sometime).

Lochnation, one of our hosts for the evenig. Unfortunately she had to step down as she wasn't feeling too well. Poor girl lost her voice. Later in the evening @MboMahocs of Deck Magazine stepped in to replace Lo.
@RuvhiPari did a fab job as our host for the greater part of the evening. She definitely worked the room.
Backstage, the Black Opal team doing make up for our hosts and the models.
The décor was just BEAUTIFUL! With delicate draping of the fabric from the ceiling, finished off with a massive crystal looking chandelier and run lights complimenting the drapes. A touch of green accent was on the dining chairs which comprised of sheer green fabric; to keep to the theme. The tables were adorned by mini-chandeliers as the centre piece with FWZ mini-gift bags scattered over. If I can recall, the décor was by the Little Décor company (will need to double check on this). Oh..! and how can I forget our guests who were dressed to the nines! Some of which included sponsors from the Culture Fund, former Miss Zimbabwe Vanessa Sibanda and her hub, DanTs Media and owners of JEWEL magazine Daniel and Tsitsi Mutendi with songstress Ammara Brown; just to name a few.

Mini-chandeliers as the centre piece. My apologies for the poor picture quality.
The big chandelier in the centre of the room.
Just outside by the pond area was the Designer Capsule which consisted brands of Timeless Beauty Spa/Rungano Rwedu, Diva’s Secrets, Lady Targaryen and Ndeipi Zvirisesei urban wear with their tees and caps. Back inside, the dinner looked just scrumptious from where I was, with a full buffet and champagne flowing courtesy of Alliance Francaise de Harare. The cash bar was right in corner from where we were seated. Unfortunately no dinner was served for the media table.

Our media table/bench and the cash bar in the background
The evening’s opening act was by the gentlemen of High Definition who gave such a stellar performance. They initially came out modelling and I thought the show had already started but to my surprise, the three young men broke into dance right in the middle of the room! It was just too cool! The fashion show went on to be opened by Sabina Mutsvati with her very bold and unusual collection, which I have to say, was put well together. The theme of Sabina’s collection matched with the background recital of Cheukwa by @RuTendoDeNise.

Two of Sabina Mutsvati's creations backstage
By Sabina Mutsvati
There was soo much going on that evening that I’m sure to leave out a few details. But, on nights like these, I like to share a little more detail, so its always signatory that I break down this event into three parts (as I did for Zimbabwe Fashion Week), to let you in on the experience. This covered just the general atmosphere of that evening, next up I focus on the Emerging Designer’s collections and what I learnt from the guys by the media table.

Myself and @MboMahocs, thinking about doing something to my little fro'. Its about time.
Miss Mbo Mahocs dresses by Ganu Creations. We had one fashion thing in common; we were both rocking circle skirts that evening. Mine was from Zim Fashion Week with a little added twist.   
My sister and Ammara Brown backstage.
My pass was a green tape around my arm
What's a fashion gala without glitzy clutches? Guess which one is mine...
Back in A bit…

Stay Gorg and Glam,