African Fashion Show in Hong Kong: All Are Equal; All Are Welcome!

The fact that big name editors, top international bloggers and celebs are so proud of sitting in the front row of the “Big Four” fashion-week shows indicates that the whole idea of fashion, by its nature, is hierarchical, which means only the elite fashion circle is entitled to enjoy the privilege of watching the glamorous world of high-end fashion on stage at a close distance. Exuding the democratic and harmonious spirit of traditional African culture, the African fashion night co-hosted by Amina Lamarre Delafoulhouse, the French-African businesswoman turned amateur fashion designer and the French jewelry designer Virginie Villa was like a breath of fresh air among the status oriented fashion occasions. The event taking place in Amina’s Makumba Africa Lounge, the first authentic African bar in Hong Kong (she has been running Makumba since I first met her a few years ago in Hong Kong) was open to all, regardless of social background or status, title, occupation or age. While waiting for the show to start, the guests could feel free to enjoy moving their hips to the passionate African live music while sipping a drink.

Not a big fan of dancing? The venue was lavishly decorated with brightly colored African handcrafted works. The guests could leisurely browse the beautiful displays of African fabrics, wood and other colorful handmade works and kept themselves in a delightful mood for the show.

More guests flocked to the bar fifteen minutes before the show started. After a short while the music stopped and the MC came onto the stage to announce the start of the show with a speech in praise of the designers’ creativity and the beauty of the models. Wows could be heard as each model came out in her stunning look. The models did not grace a typical runway; they catwalked through the audiences showing warm smiles and friendly gestures and welcoming close-up snapshots by the crowd. The African fashion show was all about everyone, no matter who they are enjoying and participating in a fun and fabulously chic party on an equal basis. So who cares about Anna Wintour?

Amina’s designs exuded eclectic African charm and style. Her traditional African inspired robe and headdresses and vibrantly colored maxi dresses featuring ethnic tribal prints paid tribute to the African cultural heritage.

The collection devoted a great deal of attention to multi-patterned African prints of bright colors such as lime, yellow and orange red and bold designs which reflected passion, enthusiasm and optimism, so intrinsic in African people. The model’s ice blue lips formed an interesting contrast against her kaleidoscope outfit in vivid warm colors.

Amina herself is a dress maniac (so am I). She thoughtfully designed plenty of colorful printed one-piece dresses with different silhouettes and styles perfect for busy metropolitan women who need a convenient wardrobe with various kinds of dresses for all occasions: sexy body hugging mini dresses, flowy dance dresses, adorable mermaid dresses, stylish chic tube dresses and off-shoulder dresses, classic elegant dresses, you name it being showcased in the fashion show, a dress extravaganza, to be precise. Amina fancified her favorite dresses even more with layers of ruffles, frills and ribbons that added a pretty touch of texture. All prints in this collection were exclusively designed, and each piece was sewn with a sewing machine by the designer herself (respect!). If you are thinking of what to wear to make yourself uniquely beautiful and be admired by the crowd like the models were, you have come to the right place – welcome to Amina’s Tailoring!

It is hard to pick just one must have item from the collection as each piece was so well tailored with particular attention given to design, character and quality. But if I could only choose one, I would most definitely go for this open back mermaid dress. With this super cute shoulderless backless dress, the wearer can show off her fun and flirty side. A row of flouncy ruffles across the high waistline with a girlish mermaid hemline and an obi-like ribbon at the back combined youthfulness, liveliness and sexiness as one. The back of the dress adopted the design of backlessness which was the entire point of the outfit. It is too hard to pick just one, can I pick two?

Neon colors are a global fashion hit for this summer. Amina mixed bright colored exotic tribal prints and African tradition with postmodern neon colors, which reflected the designer’s exceptional sensitivity to fashion, and took her collection to the next level by setting the “fluo meets ethnic” trend.

The neon colored dresses surprisingly and stunningly went well with the vintage style metal and leather jewelry by the French jewelry designer Virginie Villa for Miss Bella. Miss Bella’s signature feminine butterfly motif and classic fretwork design helped tone down the edginess of these electric colors: electric blue, neon green and neon orange.

If you happen to be in town, drop by Minimi and get your favorite little treasures by Miss Bella. You don’t want to wait till your next trip to France? No problem. Let’s now explore the treasures together, ta-da!


Shop address: 31 Galerie Bordelaise
33000 Bordeaux, France

Me and Amina Lamarre Delafoulhouse, the French-African businesswoman turned amateur fashion designer

Me and the French jewelry designer Virginie Villa for Miss Bella

29 Responses to African Fashion Show in Hong Kong: All Are Equal; All Are Welcome!

    • Thank you, Dana. I tried to focus on the democratic spirit of the show where everyone could enjoy no matter who they are. So who cares about Anna Wintour anyway lolXDD 😛

  1. WOW Wonderfull i luv it …. i can only imagine how the show was
    thanx 4 lettin’ me know about it i luv it
    it’s awesome

    • Thanks Mackey 🙂 Like I said it’s just like a party where everybody could enjoy. I tried to bring out the equality issue in the fashion industry. We don’t need to be another Anna Wintour or Anna Dello Russo to experience the glamour of fashion, right?

    • Thanks very much for your support, Vienna 🙂
      What appeals to me most about the show was the democratic and harmonious spirit of traditional African culture.

  2. Great post V, this looked like a fun evening of shopping and partying and I love all the trad prints…you are right about the “exclusive club” that happens at the big 4…there is so very much more out there, as far as fab fashion goes…what I love about the internet it’s easier to see MUCH MUCH MORE without all the over generated hype!

    • You’re soooo right, Louise. I can’t stand the politics of snobbishness. I decide not to be distracted by accepting others’ definitions of success.

  3. Wow, great post Gwen, it must have been a really awesome experience to see the designs up close like that, love that openness. I hadn’t realized she had sewn the designs herself, that’s wonderful, she’s very skilled. I hope she’ll be holding more fashion shows at Makumba. If she does, maybe she could advertise by making videos of the show and post them on YouTube? It’s a great way to spread awareness for her work.

    • Thanks Aisha. You have made a very valid comment. I shall forward it to the designers so they can consider to post up the entire show on YouTube next time. It’ll surely make the event even more impactful. I just came back from Ukraine yesterday. Pls stay tuned for the upcoming post event articles on Ukraine International Fashion Days 2012. Thanks very much for your continuous support. Love from La Mode by GV Miao xoxo

  4. How wonderful sweet:)
    l loved all the dresses, very unique!!!
    and just one thing, Anna Wintour would love this
    sense she loved Prada S/S 2011. Prada had the same colors strong and positive style*
    Great Job!
    Juliana Marques

    • Thanks very much, Juliana. I wonder if Anna Wintour would somehow get a chance to read my article. I’m just a nobody in fashion lolXDD
      I just came back from Ukraine yesterday. Pls stay tuned for the upcoming post event articles on Ukraine International Fashion Days 2012. Love xoxo

  5. Hello…
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    • Are you going to feature me on your TV channel? What shall I do next? Thank you for your interest in my blog post. Please spread the word.

    • Hi Basid, finally I was able to reply to your comment. Thanks very much. Hope you would spread the word for my blog and my fan page. More new posts are coming up soon so please stay tuned. I think the major difference between me and other bloggers is that I tend to write about fashion from a cultural and academic perspective. Your comments are always welcome ^_^

      • you are welcome, thank you for reply! i was thiinking about how to spread it. I ‘ll be right here to waiting for new post! that’s great, every blog should be having habitude apart and had a theme clear and your blog already have it all. Never stop to post and happy blogging!

  6. Really is is very good fashion.
    i feel with last 4 i am in Africa.
    Vicki Victoiro your mode is to much good and the design very good.

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