ME and Ophelia

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The 'Obama Effect' has hit New York Fashion Week, resulting in a style and cultural explosion as colourful and diverse as Africa itself.

Obama fashion

Photo: African Fashion Collective 2009 Photo: GETTY

'Obama Effect' hits New York Fashion
By Hilary Alexander, Fashion Director
Last Updated: 6:10PM GMT 14 Feb 2009
The event's tented village in mid-town Bryant Park was the setting for the first African Fashion Collective, 2009, starring the singer, Grace Jones, and featuring the collections of four designers,: Xuly Bet from Mali; Nkhensani Nkosi who designs Stoned Cherrie, the South African label; and Fati Asibelua of Momo, and Tiffany Amber, both from Nigeria.

The show opened with the voice of Jones intoning 'Man-Eating Machine', as a giant, black and white video of the singer – digitally-distorted and manipulated in the manner of 'The Terminator' – unfolded on a screen at the back of the stage.
The designs were modelled by a United Nations roll-call of girls from more than a dozen countries, including Ethiopia, Namibia, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Russia, China and the Netherlands, along with Tyson Beckford, the most celebrated black American male model, and the black catwalk superstars, Alek Wek, from Sudan, and Chanel Iman.

Xuly Bet showed contemporary sportswear in denim and corduroy and T-shirt dresses printed with President Obama's face.
Tiffany Amber's collection featured silk shantung and traditional 'Ankara' fabrics, with intricate shell and bead embroidery.
Alek Wek closed Nkosi's Stoned Cherrie collection in a shadow-dyed, burnt orange-to-earth toned, silk chiffon gown with an elaborate, jewelled collar. Zebra, leopard, giraffe and snake patterns, printed on hand-woven taffeta, cashmere and metallic silk, in shades of pewter and gold, were the feature of Asibelua's Momo collection.

The African Fashion Collective was jointly sponsored by ThisDay, one of Africa's largest daily news outlets, and Arise, the glossy style magazine devoted to African global achievement. It was timed to mark the election of Barack Obama as President, and First Lady, Michelle Obama's championing of young, culturally diverse designers.

Although Michelle Obama has not attended any shows, her fashion spirit was evident in the collection shown earlier by one of her favourites, Jason Wu, 26, the Taiwan-born designer who created her inaugurall ballgown and the dress she wears on the cover of American Vogue's March issue.
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Photo from Soldier of Africa's blog post Get a grip

Obama religion

'The Optimist' & 'Obama Presidency'
Courtesy of Boston Globe

Obama cartoon
# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 2/14/2009
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