Author Archives: Just Jane

About Just Jane

I have worn different pieces, different hair, committed fashion crimes, taken a risk and, fully emerged on the other side. I like to think I'm my own entertainer. Never a dull moment with myself!

Swag Worthy Couples

They embody the notion of private jet-setters and the concept of black SUV presidential escorts. Everywhere they go, these couples demand attention without quite saying it. They turn heads and make lists of “most-powerful” duos. So here they are. We are not Ahemmm favouring Bee and Jay-Z but just saying…they look great in synch! 

Beyonce and Jay-Z have a lunch date out at French eatery Pastis in NYC

IN SoHO

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith Watch Their Son Play Football

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama disembark the board the Air Force One

Serena Williams and Common out shopping in New York City

Pleasure Ellis Sounds Beautifully Like Michael Jackson

Pleasure Ellis the Entertainer.

Seriously, his voice is lyrically soul like syrup mixed with a unique edge that I can’t quite describe.  His sound is amazingly honest and lacks the pretentious churn that is often baked into newer, emerging, artists.  His story?

Pleasure Ellis was not discovered on the streets.  He was not discovered in a talent show.  Pleasure Ellis was discovered through a phone call.  He made that phone call. The receiver of his phone call? MC Hammer.   That’s right, he contacted MC and informed him of his ability to sing at MC Hammer’s private residence.   Read all about it here.

THIEF IN THE NITE Video:

I sat there thinking:  Yes he has hints of MJ in him.  Yes he is a talented reminder of the power of influence and appreciation.  And yes,  I will put this song on spin.  A comfortable sense thinking MJ is   “gone but NEVER forgotten”.  It’s a beautiful fusion of sound and memories.

Beauty in Black Shades

Like Brown Sugar you are so fine. Suited with amours of Grace.

Brown Sugar you are love, strenght, courage and beauty.

A ripple in the ocean.

A diamond yet to be found.

Ataui Deng

Lola Falana

Obama and Michelle's Wedding.

Badu

Random beauty

Djebril Didier Zonga

Random Beauty

Adeola Ariyo

Daniel Lazaro

Ngo Okafor

Shakra Ledard

Megan Good

Modu Seye- Senegal

Kelenna Azubuike

Sonja Wanda

Lauryn Hill

Fayruz Abdiaman

Random Beauty Credit to The Trapezium

Random Beauty.

Salieu Jalloh

Ataui Deng

Cherif Ndiaye

Dorothy Dandridge with Harry Belafonte.

Mali beauty

Miriam Chemmoss

This photo strikes me as sad and beautiful at the same time.

Very Nubain-esque

Friday Feature: Dash Empire

The first time I spoke with Joel Dash, he was swamped with the happenings of fashion week.  We finally got to catch up with him again.  He is the guru behind Dash Empire and I will have you know that he can describe Prada shoes to the point of mouthwatering edibleness.   It is true to say that Joel Dash is a  ‘Style & Image Consultant’ (with vast experience in the fashion world to back him up).  I like the level of knowledge Joel Dash brings to the fashion world.  Dash is a master at mixing pieces, like a fitted blazer, with more playful elements.  Check out Joel Dash lending his edge at who is wearing what and the world of fashion & Style. Find him here.

How would you describe your style?

I don’t really have a definitive style as of yet. I think because I’m inspired by so many other people, lifestyles, cultures etc.   I allow myself to continuously be transformed into a mood or time rather than just a definitive style. It’s kind of weird to explain. I love to play dress up, not in a “lady gaga-esque” way but in an everyday kind of couture, yet simple, way.  But, I keep adding my touch of fun and I’m always keeping it chic!

What other fashion blogs would you recommend?

Honestly I hardly read any other blogs as I don’t have the time but I Loveee Jack & Jil so I hop onto that site anytime I get the chance.

Fashion tip for the season?

I always give the same tip: CONFIDENCE! Most pieces never really go out of style therefore you can wear them over and over however you need confidence to make ANY outfit work. NO CLOGS or KITTENS HEELS EVER! The two things I hate most in the world!

Who or what has been your greatest fashion influence?

Probably, I would say myself to be honest. I like to make myself happy 1st, looking and feeling good is the best way.

If you owned a shop, what would it be called?

The Dash Empire

Who are your favorite emerging designers and what is it that you love about them?

I love Ashish, great quality, the fit is exquisite and honestly it’s about enjoying fashion right now. I love accessories too.

What item of clothing (if any) do you wish that more of us wore?

I like that people are individuals so nothing.

What items do you consider a fashion crime?

Kitten heels and clogs.. Revolting!

Favorite quote:

Fashion is not something that only exists in dresses.

Fashion is in the sky,

in the street,

fashion has to do with ideas,

the way we live,

what is happening.”

A phrase you use far too often in the fashion world….

“Mucho love” and “that dress is giving me life/carbs right now” lol

In moments of weakness you…

Eat chocolate & lots of candy then top it off with a little shopping 😦

What’s the most exciting show you’ve attended?

Burberry `Prorsum fall 2010 womenswear! Epic-tastic (Epic & Fantastic) is the word that comes to mind.

In a nutshell, your philosophy is?

Life is for living so why not just live!

Feature: N’Damus by Nneka Onyenakala

N'DAMUS Designer

What attracted me to N’Damus was their sense of confidence and the way they represent their brand.  KUA was a great connection in introducing me to N’Damus’ fashion worthy bags.   With slogans like “”If the sky is the limit, N’Damus has reached the ozone layer…” I was instantly hooked. Nneka Onyenakala is the style guru behind this line.   She’s reaching the heights and has been recognized by MTV, worn by Supermodel Ajuma Nasenyana as well as Hollywood’s Nia Long and, The Noisettes Shingai Shoniwa.  Tis true for N’Damus to proclaim: “To make you look ‘flyer’ than a 747 in the stratosphere”.  The N’Damus line is filled with accessories from handmade clutches, totes wristbands  to belts: Find N’Damus Designs here.

First of: Can we get some background info from you.

I was born in London however am of Nigerian heritage. Generally I am inspired by strength exhibited by people who, despite experiencing the many challenges which life brings, continue fighting in the most positive and uplifting spirit. If you tell me I can’t do something, you’ve only just inspired me to do it.

Tell us a little about N’Damus Designs (who is the founder, How did it start, what it means:

Nneka Onyenakala is the founder and designer behind the N’Damus brand. Nneka started making bags for herself back in 2007/2008 initially because she was frustrated with not being able to find bags to match her abundant, rainbow-like shoe collection.  The word ‘damus’ in Latin means: We are giving/we give. “My father has brought me up to use the talents given to you by God even if you may not initially see its beauty or use. God has given me many talents and now Nneka (‘N’) is giving back some of what she was given”.

Noisettes lead singer Shingai Shoniwa wears Chocolate Abstract Rose Corset Belt.

Loving that popping red.

What inspires your designs?

The design inspiration of my bags comes from looking at how the abstract can also be beautifully striking. My designs encompass abstract shapes, and folds, with splashes of color in natural fabrics.  Namely, I use leather to create stylish, abstract designs and unique pieces for all who want to add the definitive edge to complete their outfit.

I generally draw internal inspiration initially…I make what I feel. I also draw inspiration from things we view on a daily basis but don’t actually see.  Living in such a busy city, such as London, the obvious is sometimes missed; in order to be seen, something big or bold must happen. I believe in making bold, creative, statements.

Who are your favorite emerging designers and what is it that you love about them?
I fully support Kua Designs www.kuadesigns.com. I had he pleasure of meeting her in Ghana this year. Her designs are chic, earthy and cultural. We both make clutch bags but what I love about the designer is Ruby is she is not competitive but rather very supportive.

Geometric Designs (http://www.geometricdesigns.co.uk/) is another truly phenomenal emerging designer. The designs use traditional African wax, and prints, but in a truly universal way.  What I really love about the designer is her tailoring services.   I’ve had a few things made from her using not African prints but: silk, cotton and linen. She really is one to watch out for.

Where can people buy your items?

Website: www.ndamus.com

Gisella Boutique, London

Little Black Dress Boutique, Arezzo, Italy (from May 2010)

I also have a bespoke service (customization).  I have made countless bags for women who may have a pink and blue dress, for example, but need the matching bag.  All people need to do is send us an email (info@ndamus.com) with their requests and have a unique bag tailored for their unique needs.

What is your best attribute?

That’s a difficult question to answer but here goes: I don’t take crap from ANYBODY! I realize it may seem radical but at the same time, I am not afraid to take on board positive and constructive feedback. That’s an essential part of growing. My friends would probably say my attributes are: humor, tenacity & unwavering determination to succeed & having a steel spine.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

There are quite a few things that spring to mind with this question. I guess the advice used depends on what’s happening. I’d say some of the following:

“Know your worth.”

“Eradicate things which do not serve you”.

“If you really want to do something you’ll find a reason to and if not, you’ll find an excuse NOT to.”

Can you tell I am surrounded by the wise?!

Excluding yours, what company or brand do you admire the most?
I actually don’t really have a brand or company that I admire ‘the most’. All companies are made up of people so I guess you could say what I tend to ‘admire’ are qualities exhibited and exuded by people. I admire any quality which is wholly positive to admire; in my eyes, it means you exhibit something that I too would like to positively emulate and even learn from.

Favorite lyrics from a song?

That’s a tough one since I am such a jazz lover. I would have to say ‘Brother’ by the Brand New Heavies.

“There’s no need to feel you’re on your own

Just let your intuition guide you through

Take one step toward what you believe

Don’t be afraid to make your move…”

I think this is a beautiful song. The lyrics are uplifting in a very matter of fact way. Very soul-soothing J
Word you live by?

“If you think you can or you can’t, you are probably right.”

Nia Long for N'Damus

Once upon a Sexy Afternoon….

I love when I find a great editorial that grasps a certain mood and then has the power to display that mood on print! This one captured a serene afternoon. A lazy Saturday afternoon perhaps?

Captured on a sexy afternoon by photographer Thierry Le Gouès s  the theme of Soy Cuba tells a pictorial story of a young couple’s day together.   Portrayed  by the beautiful Januaria Mora and handsome Richel Larosa…Both played it to a T.    Love it.

Friday Feature: Orleans Designs

Hazel Aggrey of Orleans Designs

I first heard about Orleans Designs when I interviewed Ruby of KUA Designs.  I decided that I should check it out. It was an instant WOW.  I like to describe Hazel Aggrey as a lady who has coined Afro couture meeting with a more contemporary vibe. The results, a versatile line that is awfully attractive and made to capture the iris and pull it right in.  Her designs were truly meant for the light. When I saw the way these clothes flow, with silk and movement, I knew that anyone who could wear these garments would instantly feel beautiful. We instantly connected.  You can also find her on Facebook here.

First of: Can we get some background info from you.

I was born in Germany but then moved to Nigeria at a very young age, where I spent 17 years of my life. I have very fond memories growing up as a child in Lagos.

I am of mixed heritage – my mother is German and my father was Nigerian.  Growing up in Nigeria, I naturally developed a close bond to African culture.  In addition, having traveled around the world (to Latin America, Asia, the Caribbean and many more countries), it led me to combine both my African roots with the rich cultural encounters I came across in my travels. This combination, of both cultures, has formed the basis for my collection.

Tell us a little about Orleans Designs

Hazel Aggrey-Orleans is the creative force behind Orleans Designs.  Orleans Designs is a new woman’s wear and accessory label.  It draws inspiration from colorful memories growing up as a child in the culturally dynamic city of Lagos (Nigeria).  Also, this line is inspired by my Germanic roots. West African prints and symbols form the basis of the luxurious silk patterns; silk overcomes that restriction that is often carried via traditional cottons. {Using her mixed heritage, Hazel has cleverly combined her two worlds into her work}. The results produce more contemporary features in the garments. Orleans Designs prides themselves not only on their one of a kind beautiful prints but, also, in the skilled and exquisite craftsmanship that goes into each garment.

Autumn/Winter


What inspires your designs?

My inspirations are: my kids, my mixed cultural backgrounds, and lastly but very importantly, my simple love for color; color inspirations are most heightened during the grey wintery months when everyone around you is dressed in black, grey or navy blue. I like nothing more than to make a stunning entrance and it is my mission to bring out the colorful goddess in every woman.

Traditional West African Ankara prints are always on stiffer cottons. I have decided to contemporize them and play around with soft, flowy, silk fabrics. For me, it gives it that extra luxurious feel and there is nothing wrong with modernizing our African prints and fabrics.

Who are your favorite emerging designers and what is it that you love about them?

I love Eva Sonaike’s cushions. I really like the way she has coupled the use of African fabrics with leather and velvet. The finishing, of her products, is immaculate. I can’t wait to see the fuller range of products she will soon be offering. www.evasonaike.com

I first read about Kua Designs in Canoe Magazine and thought, wow, her bags are stunning. Since then I have been seeing a lot of her publicity. It always helps when the designer herself is just as lovely as the bags themselves. www.kuadesigns.com

In terms of clothes designers, I am a fan of anyone who is innovative, has a story to tell behind their designs and doesn’t take themselves too serious. I also love designers who use a lot of color as I am not a ‘black’ chic.

Where can people buy your items?

Currently our Spring/Summer COCO collection can be bought online at www.orleansdesigns.com

What is your best attribute?

I would say patience and perseverance. I am a very committed person – once I promise to do something I always do it even if it means bending over backwards.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?
‘You do not need to see the whole staircase – just take one step at a time’.

I always set myself high goals, never knowing how on earth I will achieve them but everything always falls into place in the end, so I try not to worry too much.

Excluding yours, what company or brand do you admire the most?
I admire a lot of brands but I always like a brand with a story. I appreciate it more, if I know how it all started.   With the company, Wellicious, it all started with a lady drawing up sketches on her kitchen floor and staying up long hours to pull it all together. She made a lot of mistakes but learned from them and is now taking the world by storm with her beautiful yoga clothing. www.wellicious.com

Favorite lyrics from a song?
I guess one that comes to mind is Mariah Carey’s old-time favorite – Hero.

Dreams are hard to follow

But don’t let anyone tear them away

Hold on

There will be tomorrow

In time, you find the way

Word you live by?

It’s not the person with the great idea who succeeds but the one who follows it through. I don’t talk much. I save that energy for getting things done. Nothing in life is easy but it depends on how eager you are to succeed. I am very keen and I’m not going anywhere till I have achieved my goal of being a recognizable brand worldwide for beautiful prints.

Spring/Summer