I was given the honors to provide fashion commentaries of the second round session of the FACE List award ceremony on July 26, 2014 at the New York University Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. I guess I did something right the first time around, lol.
Face2Face Africa’s FACE List award ceremony, which takes place in New York City, honors the fascinating Africans committed to excellence. Pioneers in business, fashion and entertainment such as Dr. Oheneba-Adjei, orthopedic surgeon and philanthropist, Femi Kuti, Afro-beat musician, Alek Wek, fashion icon, Masai Ujiri, general manager of the Toronto Raptors and Bethlehem Alemu, an entrepreneur were celebrated this summer.
The theme this summer is ‘simple’, used not by me but the fashionistas on the red carpet. Tell me if you agree. I’m going to start with the co-founder of Face2Face, Sandra Appiah only because she changed into three different outfits that night. My favorite dress was the one she wore on the red carpet. “Simple, I like to go with a simple look” is how Appiah described her first look. The bodice has a funky triangle shape at the waist with orange and yellow African patterns. The round skirt was like ‘creamy layers of net.’ “Anything but simple”, I replied. Sandra’s version of a distinct mushroom haircut combined with her sassy bodice and net effect gives her what I would call “The Sassy African Chick” look.
MaameYaa Boafo, the lead actress that plays Nana Yaa in An African City, the hit web show said she wanted a clean look. It was a classy straight-fitted white dress with interesting opened shapes that gave us a peek of her back. Straight plus fitted always equals to sexy and classy look for a black tie affair. It wasn’t an Afrocentric look but MaameYaa’s African roots oozed out of her funky natural curls and her pretty cocoa skin……Yeah baby, That’s always in Style!
Nana Mensah, co-star in An African City, described her dress style as Bohemian Chic. Finally someone was on point with their description. It was a long sleeve over the knees dress in shades of faded brown and pink with a belt.
Ahhhh! Rafiya, the renowned Congolese Musician went with the long flowing look for her fantastic performance. A silhouette that Africans love, lol. She wore a black dress accented with a yellow sash and flowers across her chest. Rafiya looked like an “African princess.”
Samini, the renowned Ghanaian musician, had on a jacket with very interesting colorful African-influenced patterns for his lively performance. As he sang the song, Samini also demonstrated Beng Beng Beng as a tribute to Femi Kuti. Let’s just say his energetic jacket was not the only element that heightened the audiences’ excitement.
Masai Ujiri, general manager of Toronto Raptors wore a safe neutral grey suit with an adventurous pink and white striped tie. The look still falls under classic.
Alek Wek fashion icon caught herself wanting to wear something special and simple. The dress was simply white that is true…no patterns. No colors…but did you check out the design details? The dress had a mermaid silhouette with a slight tail in the back. The short sleeves had a very attractive futuristic shape. The dress was simply unique.
How did Femi Kuti Afro-beat musician describe his style that night? “This is how I dress everyday”. I laughed (you would want the interviewee to elaborate). He had on an African patterned version of a Dashiki with matching pants. All I could say is “you look like a king!”
My style that night, because it changes every day, I would describe as the intersection where African princess meets Victoria’s Secret, and then fell on a pink bird. I wore a long ntumba.ntumba design (www.ntumbantumbadesign.com) hot purple dress with a string in the chest area reminiscent of medieval nightgowns. It had a black net trimming covering the string’s passage through the chest area. The straps were a clashing black and white African print. The handbag was pink and sequined with pink feathers, hence the pink bird description…hahaha. The women looked absolutely elegant in their prints. The men were looking culturally sexy in their African-print jackets.
Attendee Yvonne Thomas went over the top in her ntumba.ntumba design dress. It had African print straps in a shade of orange combined with the blue dress itself that was accented with orange pleats and ribbon in the chest area.
About Ntumba Mukendi
Congolese born Ntumba Mukendi is a fashion designer (www.ntumbantumbadesign.com), fashion commentator, creator and contributor of the Sahara Reporter Fashion Blog and founder of the fashion-based organization ntumba.ntumba apparel (www.ntumbantumba.org) which promotes gender-empowerment.