Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Zimbabwe Fashion Week 2014 Day 3 – ST Favourites

What a spectacle Zimbabwe Fashion Week 2014 was, although yours truly only managed to attend Day 3; there was a lot of buzz and social media engagement to keep anyone informed and at the edge of their seats! From the onset of the ZFW Cocktail party to the Zimbabwe Fashion Awards, every hour of ZFW was documented by avid fashion lovers. So if you missed out, don’t worry just follow #ZFW2014 and @ZFW_Official and you are opened to a portal of Zim’s exciting Fashion Week.

Now with all of the events that were taking place this past weekend (SADC Fashion Week, Fashion Collective Market ZW and Shoko Festival) – ZFW managed to draw in a very strong crowd of loyal fashion lovers and followers who opted to attend every single event from Day 1. Myself however, was found attending Day 3 with my mind ready to be blown away (and blown away it was!). Not only was it a packed hall but the designers brought out their best work, and every show started on time and on point. The schedule for that evening included the following in their timely order:

Chizo by Chisoma Lombe
Moi Amara Couture by Jenika
Zimbabwe Designer Galleria – (Anaia Fashions, Smataz and Haus of Stone)
Taf the Taylor
Zargue’ Sia by Ishmael Tsakatsa
Afrikanus by Rui Lopes
Raaah by Rahima Mohamed
Shirt and Co
Thula Sindi by Thula Sindi

Out of all of the lovely designers, we fell in love with three (3) particular designers who gave us flowing feminine silhouettes, figure hugging contemporary pieces, a new form of appreciation for print and a beautiful colour palette to suit a fashion forward closet; Afrikanus by Rui Lopes, Raaah by Rahima Mohamed and Thula Sindi.

Afrikanus was by Angolan designer Rui Lopes who showed a stunning 9 piece collection that infused Western fashion with African detailing. African detail in Rui’s designs were found in his incorporation of print – with print detail in two white sheer dresses and a Java print one shoulder shift dress. Afrikanus’ collection gave a nod to the growing international trend of African Fashion on blogs and social media but with a texture of Western characteristics, particularly in the silhouette.

Flirty and cute, with a touch of print and pleated skirt.
Biggest trend on African blogs and social media is Dashiki and Java print, and Afrikanus brought it to us on the runway.
Print detail added to the empire waist and broad collar.
Designer Rui Lopes in his two defining pieces on the runway.
Raaah is a label by a Zimbabwean based in the UK. Her collection gave us bold, structured shoulders, a modern and chic take on a women’s safari suit and a flowing but loose asymmetrical dress which had a pop of colour that caught our eye! Rahima’s collection was dubbed the “Fly High Collection” in her look book, and this was her first showing at ZFW 2014 with a very well received applause from the audience. On a personal note, I lusted after every piece in the collection without a doubt of already having events planned in my mind as to where I can rock a Raaah dress or the Mirabelle maxi skirt in a deep plum colour – lusting after this polished label.

Those bold and structured shoulders on a white one piece bodysuit.

Modern take on a women's Safari suit called the Heather suit.
Once again, those broad structured shoulders on a shift dress.
Loved the colour and the asymmetrical flow of the Loosen up dress.

Thula Sindi
Special guest of the evening and closing designer on Day 3 was South Africa’s very own Thula Sindi, sponsored by the Cape Town Fashion Council, brought his 27 piece collection to Zimbabwe’s shores. Thula Sindi is a world renowned designer, whose work is not new to any runway, except for Zimbabwe of course. Every piece in Thula’s collection was form fitting, articulate and had an aura of high fashion coming down the runway – there was a piece for every different personality of a woman. From a monochrome giraffe print dress to a bright pink stunner, to short shorts and a maxi long navy blue dress with sequins. Our favourite was a black empire waisted dress made out of lace which was worn by model Tholakele Dlamini.

Our Favourite piece from Thula Sindi

So, with all that encompassed Zimbabwe Fashion Week 2014, this was ST’s favourites which of course gave you an insight of what went down on Day 3 of the event. Although these three designers caught our attention, we still give kudos to all of the designers for their immaculate work and bringing their talent to our attention. And a big round of applause to Priscilla Chigariro and her ZFW Team for producing a smooth show without a single hitch.

All the same I wish to thank everyone who nominated Signature Toscie in the category of Blogger of the year, alongside Zim Fashionista, Zim Fashion Diary and Kicking It with Mimi. Means the world that you guys read ST and my personal fashion adventures. So I thank you!

Stay Gorgeous,

Tendai Sophia

*All photos courtesy of SDR Photo*

Monday, 22 September 2014

What to Wear to Zim’s Busy Fashion Week?

Zimbabwe’s busy fashion week runs from 20-28 September 2014, and social media is already a buzz with programmes, ticket prices and headlining shows. Fashionistas are getting excited and planning their calendar with what to wear and designers are busy wrapping up final touches to their garments and collections. Since New York Fashion Week 2014 was at the realm of the Fashion World in the past few weeks; with street style bloggers, magazines, trends, fashionistas accompanied by massive instagramming! It’s only natural to seek some inspiration from the World’s biggest fashion show and fashion party, to bring a little taste back home. We have run down top 4 trends to copy from New York Fashion Week (#NYFW) and bring them back home to Zim’s busy Fashion Week. These trends are simple, straightforward and good for your pocket. Fashion Week is essentially about expressing your style at an arena that combines all that exudes fashion lovers, designers, the creative, models and magazines. So make some new fashion rules and give a twist to the old ones!

Channel an Androgynous look a la J Crew
J Crew is a well-known fast fashion retail store in the USA that has affordable and ready to wear clothing for the modern trendy woman, BUT on a budget. This year’s Spring/Summer 2015 collection was a particular favourite because it was super cool, non-fussy and can be borrowed from your boyfriend (Gents included). J Crew’s collection was primarily based on casual clothing, with a new twist in boyfriend jeans, slouchy denim and quirky embellishments on a mini dress. How would you channel J Crew’s look in Zim Fashion you may ask? Take an old pair of denims and switch it up in court heels instead of flats or wear a normal office pencil skirt but with a graphic tee shirt and high heels. Embellishments are your sequins which are usually placed on glam-y evening gowns and cocktail dresses; J Crew gave them a twist by placing sequins on a casual shift dress that has pockets to match! So if you have a simple shift dress tucked away, then this is the time to upgrade it by adding your own sparkle with sequins and shiny buttons. PS – you can DIY this at home or get a very creative tailor to help you.

Do Ladylike like Diane Von Furstenberg and Stella Nolasco!
DVF is the epitome of fabulous women’s fashion with modern silhouettes to complement her recent S/S 2015 RTW collection. The biggest trend she gave us was Gingham, her signature wrap dresses in modern patterns and a lot of black and white. What the blog personally loved about DVF’s latest collection is the incorporation of gingham in her clothing. Gingham is a boxed design on material, usually found on kitchen towels and table mats (double check the cutlery when you walk into a home/kitchenware store). Stella Nolasco on the other hand was super feminine with much longer silhouettes in maxi dresses and light summer colours, which included whites, pink and blues. A personal blog favourite from Stella was a white maxi dress with leaf detail on the bust. How should you be inspired by DVF and Stella Nolasco’s collection for Zim’s FW? Wear WHITE or a lovely wrap dress to emulate DVF’S signature work. If maxis are your thing then go for it a la Stella Nolasco, because Fashion is really not limited when it comes to Fashion Week.

Stella Nolasco's uber feminine collection, with long lengths and a wavy texture. Be inspired to accentuate your soft colours and florals for a feminine look this Zim fashion week.

Take it to the Streets and RUN WITH IT!
What’s fashion week without street fashion and street style bloggers right? Although Zim Fashion hasn’t fully bloomed in that sector yet, it’s still a great area of fashion to sought inspiration from since it could be your typical everyday look but with a quirky twist. Street style bloggers dress outside the norm and outside the box, so if you are a creative and bold character then bring out your best and loud looks to the streets of Zim’s Fashionable week.

Prints are a big trend and a wardrobe staple for any chic fashionista! Whether African, graphic, tie-dye or aztec - prints are here to stay.
If you are big on trends, then the thigh high slit is something you might wanna consider this busy fashion week. Get heads turning in a sassy thigh high slit dress or maxi skirt.
A clean quirkiness with the fringe blouse and bowler hat. And a fresh clean, ladylike finish on street fashion.

Play it safe with BLACK
Black is a timeless colour that works with just about anything. If you prefer a more demure but yet still chic-sophisticated route, then black is the safest bet for any ensemble. Take a black ensemble and wear it with brighter accessories; such as a gold clutch, red heels or a neon choker. Black looks to keep you stylish can be a little black dress with red heels OR head to toe black in black pants, black top and a sleek black blazer with a classy bun to finish.

Black is simple, chic and versatile. Perfect for both day and night, all you have to do is switch up your accessories.
Fashion Week only comes around once a year, and with this year’s edition is jam packed with several events, which could feel a bit daunting and overwhelming with the variety of show times, ticket prices and transport. With a line-up of shows to choose from, it is wise to plan, co-ordinate and budget your transport, show times, tickets and outfits – you don’t want to be caught wearing the same thing twice AND you don’t want to end up stranded at a midnight show so PLANNING is off the essence.

*Check out Tweet-A-Cab Harare for all your transportation needs, from one venue to the next or if you need an alternative route to travel back home safely!*

*Keep in mind that MOST of the shows are scheduled in the evening from 6pm and onwards, Fashion Collective Zimbabwe runs from 11am to 5.30pm*

 All the same, have fun, note down and share the best of what #ZimFashion has to offer on your Instagram!

Stay Gorgeous!

Tendai Sophia

IG @tendaitoscie

Photos sourced from:

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Monochrome Lady

One of the things that people don’t know about me is that I’m a big nature lover. If you look back at a lot of the blog’s outfit posts I’m standing in front of a tree or a pack of dusty brown staircases. Nature is my thing, and I contribute to the conservation of the environment in the littlest ways possible – like keeping my rubbish in my purse until I find a BIN! I really cannot throw rubbish out the window or whilst I’m strolling down the street. That is just one of my pet peeves.

Today’s post is a monochromatic vibe with one of my favourite skirts’, and of course my treasured peplum jacket both from Jet stores. Wearing a plain skirt “kind of” freaks me out, so I try by all means to purchase something that my personality falls back into. It’s obvious that I’m a huge stripe lover, and of course my closet boosts a few stripe-y pieces. I completed this look with an old black tank top from Edgars (that has seen better days), and the cutest office wedges from Jet SA. The black leather clutch is vintage and always seems to bring an edgy vibe with its metal clip and ruched top. And the little charm keychain was an added accessory to the all-black ensemble.

Now I’m sure you are well aware of the blog’s styling segment which is The GLAM Project ZW – well I’ve been doing some soul searching as of late, in line with some projects I have been doing and I felt it fit that I rebrand to Signature Toscie Styling. Just to keep it in line with the blog and the vision I’m going after. Posts on The GLAM Project will still remain the same, but future postings will direct towards Signature Toscie Styling #STS. So look out for #STS or #SignatureToscieStyling on some of the blog’s social media, and get to know a little bit of my quirky style.

All the same I wish you a fabulous Fashion Week in Harare and Bulawayo!

As Always, Stay Gorgeous

Tendai Sophia

Thursday, 4 September 2014

ZFW 2014 Press Conference

“FASHION WEEK IS AN INTERNATIONAL BRAND” – this was a strong opening quote at the ZFW Press Conference that gave us the attendees a better understanding of the vision behind Zimbabwe Fashion Week. ZFW is amongst the top 5 ranked Fashion Weeks in Africa, standing in at Number 4 alongside Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Joburg, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa, Lagos Fashion & Design Week and Nigeria Fashion Week. The new Head of PR, Tinopona Katsande purported that there is no other live show or pageantry that has the level of extravagant production that Zim Fashion Week produces; with international performances (Flash Republic in 2013), regional designers (Gavin Rajah for 2013) and international photographers (Simon Deiner Photography) – ZFW tries to bring together the best of what Zimbabwean textile design has to offer on an international level of production.

Zimbabwe Fashion Week is a Trust organisation which is non-profit and purely strives on Sponsors and Buyers. A few of its sponsors this year include Sensationnel Hair by Outre (who were present amongst us) and Mahindra, who will provide transport and logistics throughout the event for the Young Designers and Special Guests from 25-28 September. During the press conference, the Young Designers Programme was the opening sequential and a discussion that I was personally looking forward to as YDP is a strong premise for this blog. This year’s YDP has 10 participants who are being trained in basic pattern making skills, touring the textile industry and being given seminars on manufacturing in Zimbabwe. The YDP participants are required to produce two garments to showcase at ZFW which are later scored for the Young Designers Competition.

This year’s edition of the YDP is pretty exciting as 3 out of the 10 participants come from outside of Harare – 2 students from Bulawayo and 1 student from Mutare. The Ministry of Youth, Empowerment and Indigenisation are also on board with the YDP, as one of their representatives Mr. Acie Lumumba stressed that the Ministry of Youth is openly available to support young boys and girls through job creation, ZIMASSET and the business of creating opportunities that has been spearheaded by ZFW. Fashion is a very unrecognised field in Zimbabwe at the moment, which requires its own set of skills, creative and initiatives, different from anything academic.

This year ZFW plans to take it a step further by having a synergy of build-ups to the main event, through what is dubbed “The Fashion Night”, in collaboration with Maestro Restaurant once a week. Not only that but International Buyers have taken interest in what ZFW has to offer during the 4 day event, and as stated during the press conference – “exporting our local designs might be the way to go right now, as local buyers are not interested to purchase, AND the zim market relies soo heavily on international trends, more so than looking back at home” (this explains why a lot of boutiques in Harare are expensive and cheap imports are the next alternative).  Some of the Special Guests to grace ZFW are the judges from the Cape Town Fashion Council under the directive of the African Fashion International (AFI), who will select top local designers that will go on to further showcase their work at a slot during Africa Fashion Week in Joburg. Entertainment this year is strictly local, with Mokoomba being the headlining act for the ZFW Fashion Awards alongside MMT.

On a personal closing note, I’m intrigued by what I learned and noted at this press conference, not only that but I hope that this post opens doors for Fashion Bloggers in Harare and Zimbabwe, because our ‘Digital Sassy-ness’ is needed to promote our own Fashion industry on a digital platform.

“There is not enough support for designers and fashion in ZIMBABWE”

“There is not enough funding for FASHION in ZIMBABWE”

I thank you for Reading, Stay Gorgeous!

Tendai Sophia

Tinopona Katsande addressing the Press and Affiliated Media during the ZFW 2014 Press Conference.
Models wearing House of Alpha Rose by Yvonne Ndawana
Mr. Acie Lumumba from the Ministry of Youth, Empowerment and Indigenisation.
One of the Sponsors; Sensationnel Hair by Outre
Models in Alpha Rose.

Monday, 1 September 2014

September's Fashion Calendar

Hello Empire!

Welcoming you to a very fashion forward September in Harare this month. SPRING is here and all the best of it comes with fashionable events to dress up for and to get acquainted with. Two major events highlighting this month are Zimbabwe Fashion Week 2014 and the first edition of SADC Fashion Week 2014 - the first of a regional fashion show coming to Harare (how exciting!). A brand new event to look out for is Fashion Collective Market Zimbabwe - a new initiative for designers by designers launching 28 September 2014. And not to forget some soul searching vibes for the artistic individual with Intwasa Arts Fest and Shoko Festival. Mark your calendar, because all these events take place in ONE week (20 - 28 September 2014)!


Zimbabwe Fashion Week is the premiere of Zim Fashion in its 5th year running, this year's theme is AFROCENTRICA being held at the revamped Harare City Library in the heart of Harare. Although last year's show had a few of it's own setbacks - it is still exciting to check out this year's edition and their special guest Uri Kolokolnikov from the medieval series the Game of Thrones. Not sure who the headlining designer will be, but i'm sure to keep you posted.
Zimbabwe Fashion Week runs from 25- 28 September 2014 - ticket dates are still to be announced, as well as the scheduled shows and the participating designers at the Press Conference.


First of its kind and officially launching in 2014, SADC Fashion Week 2014 celebrates the fashion, models and designers within the Southern African region. Harare was chosen as the first destination, with tickets already on sale at the Book Cafe (along Samora Machel avenue). SADC Fashion Week kicks off with the SADC Fashion Week and Style awards, where our very own businesswoman Pokello Nare and supermodel Nyasha Matonhodze have been nominated for SADC Fashion Week Model of the Year. Celebrity guest is Model and Actor Irvine Bosha who is also a Zimbabwean alumni. SADC Fashion Week runs from 20-27 September with the Grand Official Cocktail opening on 20 September from 5pm - 10pm - tickets for the opening are as follows: VIP $50 and Standard $30. Tickets for the Runway shows on the 25th, 26th and 27th September are pegged at $30. Location of the event has not been posted, but i'm sure it will be announced soon. In the meantime, check out their Facebook page for more info.


Fashion Collective Market Zim is a new initiative by designers Danayi Chapfika of Haus of Stone and Rudo Nondo of Anaia Fashions. Both these ladies felt the need to express designer's views from their own point of view (without the array of fashion shows), and what better way to do that than to launch a collective market of independent and up-coming designers in Zimbabwe. Everything that will be on sale is local - and if you don't know your local designers, then this is an event to check out. The location is the Palm Estate in Greystone Park and tickets at the entrance are $5 ($5 off your FIRST PURCHASE whilst you are inside). The theme for FCM 2014 is RETROBASS (old school vibes and a lot of 90s fashion) as seen on their Facebook pageIndependant designers who will showcase at FCM Zim are Ska Sebata, House of Tatusi, NDNM (just to name a few) and the designers themselves.
FCM is on 28 September from 11am to 5.30pm.
*Check out their interview with Ngosikadzi Blog here*

Supporting FCM are Fashion Weekend Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe Designer's Galleria.

September also offers something for the arts and music lovers- Shoko Festival and Intwasa Arts Fest are also aligned in the same week. With Shoko Fest in Harare and Intwasa in Bulawayo.

In it's 4th year running, Shoko Festival covers live music, spoken word, poetry and comedy with a ridiculously reasonable price of $30 for the four (4) day fest. Location is at the Alex Sports Club, with the theme Re-Inspire, Re-imagine. 
Shoko Fest runs from 25-28 September.

Intwasa Arts Fest is in the heart of Bulawayo, although i do not know much about the Fest, i did come across it very recently on Twitter. It's been around for quite some time, hitting its 10th year running. It offers the best of Bulawayo's Arts and Music scene, with international artistes gracing the Festival as well
Intwasa Arts Fest runs from 23-27 September, in some of Bulawayo's locations.

"INTWASA is held in September. This month is very significant to the people of Bulawayo and Zimbabwe in general. September marks the beginning of spring; a time when a lot of activities are done. Spring is the season of regeneration and rebirth. A season for new beginnings and new life. A season of bloom, happiness and celebration."

20-28 Sept is a very busy week in September for Fashion and Music lovers. A lot of planning and outfit co-ordination is required so Mark your dates and time, and indulge in some of Zim's finest events to grace Spring. Make sure to carry some extra cash just incase there is some purchasing required and have fun taking in new cultures.
As a fashion loving girl, the fashion events is where you will find me roaming around and taking snaps.

Happy Spring-tidings!

Tendai Sophia