Sunday, 19 August 2012

Ghana Rising’s Top Ten Fashion *Pieces/Moments* of 2012.…

Paulina Opoku-Gyimah says: Regular readers of Ghana Rising know all about my love of all things made or inspired by people of Ghanaian origin. And while I love most of the things I write about here on Ghana Rising Blog, I really do folks; -there are some things, pieces and moments that have really, really, touched, moved and effected me with regards to fashion -and are as follows.

Note, there are hundreds of pieces and moments that I could have written about but I wanted to set myself a challenge, so I thought I’d be very grown up and pick just ten, -sooo you can imagine just how special these ten pieces/moments are to me!!! Enjoy…xx

1) The Asante Jacket by Hemma

I’m still in love with the Chanel-esque Asante Jacket by Hemma. I first blogged about this exquisite jacket back in 2010 and up till now, I still haven’t managed to find another jacket that comes close…

Up there with the likes of Yves Saint Laurent’s Le Smoking jacket and Diane von Furstenberg’s iconic wrap dress -this beautifully cut, classic jacket is made with hand-woven Kente from Ghana, has exquisite silk lining, -is uber flattering and like all well executed quality pieces, -lovingly made to last.

Also, like all iconic garb, the Asante Jacket by Hemma and has numerous fans including First Lady Michelle Obama.

2) Menaye Donkor Muntari wears Vionnet in Ghana, Africa -and makes fashion history….

I wonder, do you think that when Madame Madeleine Vionnet was designing her much coveted iconic bias-cut, Grecian goddess type dresses back in the 1930’s that she envisaged an African woman wearing her designs in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2012? Nor do I and what a hoot!!!!

We all know African fashionistas are doing their thing. And that when it comes to fashion, they are striking out and refusing to be left behind!!! But if truth be known, even the most moneyed, most well heeled, globetrotting African It girls tends to buy the obvious when it comes to high fashion. Thus you’ll be hard pushed to find Carven,
Azzedine Alaia, Balmain or Orsini Vintage pieces in the uber fashionable closets of Africa’s style queens….

So when former Miss Universe Ghana 2004, model, actress, philanthropist and AFWL 2012 Ambassador, Menaye Donkor Muntari wore that beautiful dreamy delicate yellow Vionnet dress to this year’s Ghana Music Awards -it got my fashion juices going.. I just had to asked around, I also googled and low and behold -no one else has done it before…

Looking absolutely fabulous with her hair elegantly tousled and cascading to the side, her make-up on point, -Menaye Donkor Muntari paired her dreamy maxi Vionnet gown with a black clutch and Dolce & Gabanna shoes -and made fashion history by being the first person to wear bona fide fashion insider favourite, Vionnet -not just in Ghana but Sub-Saharan Africa…. You go girl…

3) The Koko Classic bag by Oheneba Designs…

Are you thinking, ‘Chanel’s 2.55’ ? So am I!!! The delectable Koko Classic bag is by Pamela Boateng, -an innovate fashion designer who is now shipping her much coveted bags worldwide -you go girl…

I first wrote about Ms Boateng in 2009 when she was designing under her Flawless by Oheneba label, -and she’s comes such a long way and I’m sooo pleased.

I knew Pamela Boateng was special way back but her bag designs have blown me away.. Honestly, I was planning on leaving her yummy bag out so that I could keep it for the first issue of my magazine… But I wanted this list to be uber authentic, and as I love the Koko Classic soo much, - just had to include it in my list of fashion pieces that have touched and inspired me….

The Koko Classic bag is sooo fabulous on sooo many levels. Its style, size and the fact that its kind of like the 2.55 but in wax print is sooo sexy and now!

The thing is, I’ve often wondered what some of the world’s most icon and coveted bags would look like -made from Ghanaian wax print cloth, -and this yummy bijoux, quilted bag with chain handles is all I dreamt it would be, -just exquisite.

The Koko Classic bag costs $300 and is available from:

4) The SHIK Collection Dress…..

Ghana Rising’s favourite piece to-date by a Ghana based designer, this SHIK Collection dress is beyond cute…

A fabulous, fabulous effort and a step in the right direction, -this dress is a million miles away from the lazy, copy-catty, basic, same ole, same ole dresses churned out day in -day out in Ghana.

Optimistic, aspirational, whimsical and fun, this youthful dress has sooo much going for it.

Presenting a cornucopia of yumminess including: gold baubles embellishment details around the neck, puffy sleeves, a mini prom skirt with lashings of delicate chiffons and tulle, this dress needs only to be a tad longer, maybe a tad more generous with the sleeves (it appears tight) and its perfect!!!

The SHIK Collection, a society favourite, is the go-to label for Ghana’s style elite -and has numerous fans including Ghana Rising fave, TV presenter Agnes Ntow…

Ghana Rising is now a fan -and looks forward to SHIK Collection pushing the boat out…

I look forward to seeing SHIK Collection’s designer Shika Geo-Glavee, really start to experiment (maybe add more embellishment like Swarovski crystals, jewels, sequins, denim, studs, eyelets, chains, paint, add saris, use lace -restyle vintage pieces by incorporating them into her designs etc, etc), really play about with fabrics and textures -maybe commissioning one of Ghana’s textile mills to create bespoke wax print cloths just for her, -honestly, … the possibilities are endless -and I truly believe Shika Geo-Glavee….can do it -because she’s uber talented… Really…, if this lovely dress is anything to go by, then Shika Geo-Glavee has what it takes to be the best fashion designer to ever come of out of Ghana…

For more info about The SHIK Collection visit:

5) Hot Contemporary gems by Emefa Jewellery, Ghana….
 Emefa Jewellery’s much coveted Horn with Sterling silver Cuff…. Its hot.

Horn with Sterling silver Cuff -sexy….

If like me, you thought hot, fashion forward jewellery made from real silver and gold was non-existent in the-land-of-gold, Ghana -then we were both wrong (its soo good to be wrong on this occasion)….

Emefa Jewellery based in Accra, Ghana has been offering Ghana’s style elite the best in lush, contemporary, on-trend, relevant jewellery for years and their pieces above -are just the tip of the iceberg…

Ghana Rising is crazy about the youthful, fresh must-have gems at Emefa Jewellery (honestly, I was only going to write about this business -in my magazine -but I just had to share -as I love their style, verve and business so much) -and feel that unlike many of the businesses I write about on La Blog, -that they have managed to capture the true zeitgeist of the here and now, -yep; its all about luxury baby….

For more information about Emefa Jewellery visit their website at:

6) Franca Sozzani, Roberto Cavalli and team Italian Vogue’s much heralded visit to Ghana…

What can I say? I still can’t believe this monumental fabulous fashion moment happened in Ghana!!!

To those who don’t do fashion -you’ll probably be thinking so what? But to wee fashion mortals like me, La Sozzani and Co’s visit to the Accra Metropolis -was like a fairy fashion godmother giving her Blessing to Cinderella-Ghana, and telling her that she will go to the ball, and we [Ghanaians] literally went and continue to go to the ball. This trip also helped to put La Ghana on the fashion map, and to that, -Ghana Rising is truly grateful…

Also, since her stint in the Accra Metropolis [I love saying the Accra Metropolis -don’t you --laughter], Franca Sozzani, Italian Vogue’s editor has continued to celebrate Ghanaian [and other African] fashionistas, -championing their various talents on her much-read Vogue Black… Thus, Ghana Rising is sooo pleased that Franca Sozzani has now been given a U.N Goodwill Ambassador role for her indispensable role in the promotion of African fashion and talent in a professional and sustainable way in her
Fashion 4 Development initiative….

Bravo La Sozzani and Italian Vogue… Bravoooooooo 

7) The Susu Serwaa Wooden Bag by Ajepomaa Design Gallery

I have an antique Italian wooden clutch bag made from, I‘m guessing maple (the patina is sort of pointing me in that direction), and the amount of requests I’ve had from collectors to buy said clutch is unbelievable -and I’m guessing that one day -soon, the Susu Serwaa Wooden Bag by Ajepomaa Design Gallery -will be just as coveted.

Part of Ajepomaa Design Gallery's *Fearless Evolution Collection* -the Susu Serwaa Wooden Bag doesn’t scream sleek luxury on first sight, -but as the fashion world starts to embrace 'luxe sustainability', -said bag’s eco-fabulousness and credentials, -and its innovative verve (can you think of anyone else doing wooden bags in Ghana) -makes Ms Mensah’s wooden bag a winner…

Ajepomaa Design Gallery -

8)  Kofi Ansah S/S 2009 Collection changes the face of African fashion…


House Of Dereon’s S/S 12

Solange Knowles


African Inspired catwalk creations…

Beautiful, elegant, cohesive, well designed and executed couture pieces made with quality luxurious African fabrics, -Kofi Ansah’s S/S 2009 Collection debuted during 'Rome Fashion Week' Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2009 shows in Rome on 2nd February 2009, -and changed the face of African fashion forever.....

A continent full of seamstresses, African fashion was a local affair, lacking international appeal and finesse…. Thus, the only face of *acceptable* mainstream African style before this ground breaking luxe Africa-interpreted-by-an-African-designer collection was publicized and celebrated, -was YSL’s safari collection, an elegant take on *Africana* by a European based fashion designer…...

Kofi Ansah, an African based designer’s international success and exposure has inspired Africans and beyond and helped to shape what the west now sees as African fashion; -think the way the African print turban by Kofi Ansah above has been executed, and the way it continues to influenced black couture -today!!

Remember uber fashion stylist June Ambrose's collection of turbans last year, -or the way the likes of Solange Knowles and Amber-Rose, -two of my favourite fashionistas are wearing African inspired turbans? Note, this look didn’t happen in mainstream fashion until after said collection was unveiled in 2009...

Think also of the various collections since -including the House Of Dereon’s S/S 12 collection also above, -have been inspired [consciously or unconsciously] by said collection… Plus, after three years, said collection is still beautiful, relevant and now -and continues to inspire African fashion designers around the globe to ‘do-it-big-and do-it-well’ ….and for that, -we’re truly grateful..

You can find out more about this pioneer and buy some of his latest collection via:

9) The Beaded Maxi Dress by Duaba Serwa

When my niece was little, all glamorous long, twirly, swishy maxi dresses were fairy princess dresses, thus, demanded a lovely dance-y, pose-y, twirly catwalk like dance and this iconic red beaded maxi dress by Duaba Serwa in my head makes me want to do the same. -It makes me want to go to the ball and dance.

An instant catwalk favourite; just look at the second photo [above] and take a closer look at the excellent craftsmanship and all the work that’s gone into this gown.. Look at the fine beading, the elegant boning of the bustier top and the wonderful way the nipped-in-at-the-waist has been sewn, -its soooo seamless… -and went stellar after Dr. Precious Moloi-Motsepe, CEO of Africa Fashion International choose to wear it at said event in 2011.

I still love this show stopping va-va-voom dress, so beloved by Ghanaian fashionistas, -it still makes me dream…

10) Manolo Blahnik For Mimi Plange S/S 2012 Shoe Collection…..

What can I say? Our Mimi is now officially one of the biggest, most feted fashion players on the planet!!! And she has the likes of shoe guru du jour, Manolo Blahnik collaborating with her -fabulous…. What’s not to love???


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