GloriaWavamunno is an artistic director to #Gloria Wavamunno, a ready to wear womens label based in Uganda. She was about 5 years old when she used to wonder around in...
My urge to explore Lilian Mbabazi’s fashion style started when I closely watched her music video “Simple Girl”. So over the last few weeks, I’ve been learning more and more about Lilian, her art, her music and her fashion sensibilities. So I successfully managed to get an #interview with her.
Currently, Lilian is having her debut solo concert “Lilian Mbabazi: Up Close & Personal” on August 21 2015 at Serena hotel.
Lilian Mbabazi is a female Ugandan singer widely known for her great songs like Simple Girl, Memories, Vitamin, Danger, Dagala and many more. She used to be in a girl group called Blu*3 and then went solo about 4 years ago. She is now very popular for her amazing live performances with her band The Sundowners. (Biography)
”People are always judging by your appearance, how you look or what you wear. So I would say yes, presentation does matter.”
Q. Lilian, there’s depth to your songs and you have a great fashion style! How would you describe your style in a nutshell?
Really? Thanks! I wear what I like, what makes me feel comfortable. That’s the most important thing for me and hopefully it comes across as elegance with a twist.
Q. Amazing! So what do you have to say about the relationship between music and fashion? Does presentation matter?
I think as a female artist it’s difficult to separate the two sometimes. People are always judging by your appearance, how you look or what you wear. So I would say yes, presentation does matter but it’s not everything. At the end of the day it’s important to me that my music stands out most.
Q. You’ve worn a lot of African print outfits in your videos, including the floral green African blazer from “Memories”. Do you have a favourite?
I love clothes that celebrate my Ugandan and African heritage. I wouldn’t say I have a favourite. I just know what I like when I see it. I have help too thank goodness from a couple of great stylists like Ngyenzi aka Nunu (the co-owner of BOLD, Acacia Mall) and Mona (of Mona Faces)
Q. Now let’s talk about your upcoming debut concert “Lilian Mbabazi: Up Close and Personal”. What is it all about and what do you plan to wear?
Well it’s my first solo concert, at the Kampala Serena Hotel on 21 August 2015, were my fans and audience will really get to see me through my music and what I’m all about hence the “Up Close & Personal” part. I’ll also be releasing my debut album which is self-titled. In terms of what I plan to wear you’ll just have to wait and see. It’s a surprise.
Q. Well, I have always followed your band “Sundowners”, do you all put on the same outfits or do you wear anything close to each other’s style?
No not at all. I’m really the only one who has to “dress up”. The Sundowners get away with wearing shirts and jeans. Unless we have a wedding or a corporate event so the guys have to usually wear matching smart outfits like black trousers and button down shirts with dress shoes or something like that.
Q. Often, people unintentionally end up with something of a “uniform” in their closet, a staple look that they depend on. Do you have an outfit from your wardrobe that is like this, something essentially “Lilian Mbabazi”?
I’m a big fan of blazers and leather jackets as well as skinny jeans/trousers. I wear those a lot so you might say those are my “uniform”.
Q. As far as designers, do you prefer established labels or up comers?
I love what’s happening in Uganda and East Africa in terms of the fashion scene.
Q. Who are some of your favourite designers?
Gloria Wavamunno, Kwesh, Kunda, Sylvia Owori and Stella Attal
Q. What style trait do you feel like is most attractive to people? In other words, if you were looking to attract attention from your fans, what element of your personal style would you seek to highlight?
My music is definitely what I would like to be the main attraction for my fans. In terms of highlighting my personal style I like to be colourful, elegant and comfortable. I’m not really the type to dress over sexy or flaunt my assets.
Q. Any particular fashion trend you’re excited about this month?
I don’t know if it’s a fashion trend but I’m really into my African head wraps and throwback 1950s/1960s sunglasses.
Q. What are your top five fashion or beauty essentials?
Lip gloss, Foundation, Concealer, Sunglasses and perfume
Q. What’s the best piece of style advice anyone’s ever given you?
“If you don’t love it the minute you try it on then you weren’t meant to wear it”
Q. Nice one! Are there any style blogs or publications that you read for inspiration?
Not really. But I will flip through a magazine every now and again. But generally I’m a bit too busy between the music and being a mother.
Q. I’m interested to hear what your answer to this last question is. Who is your style icon and what do you love about their signature fashion look?
Kerry Washington is definitely a major style icon. I love her look both in real life and on her show “Scandal”. It’s sexy, classy, practical, elegant, mature, refined and sometimes edgy as well. But I also love the way her clothes exude a confidence and a certain power and yet she still retains her feminine touch.
You can keep up with Lilian by liking her Facebook page.
Interview with Celebrity Fashion Stylist - Solomon Tazibone
- May 27, 2015
[pullquote]Try developing a signature style. Let your personality above everything else guide you because trends come and go keeping up may be more costly than having a distinct style sense that does not necessarily conform to what’s in. [/pullquote]
Solomon Tazibone’s insight his life as a personal/celebrity/editorial fashion stylist who has worked with a couple of big names on the local scene in Uganda. He heads the African Woman fashion department as a fashion editor. He is also a panelist, on the NTV-Uganda style project, a weekly beauty and fashion show hosted by Sylvia Owori. Solomon currently operates in Uganda, Africa.
Q. Describe your ‘I made it moment’.
I should say I have had a couple of progressive ‘I made it’ moments. First was working with Sylvia Owori and being creatively involved with the brand, then came my appointment as fashion editor for African Woman Magazine. I was thrilled at being on the panel of a TV fashion show and share with other fashion individuals like Sylvia Owori, Kleith Kyatuhaire & Linda Butare. My styling gig started off slowly but has grown with each client.
Q. For how long have you been in the fashion industry?
Roughly three and a half years. Started off as a fashion intern and have never looked back since then.
Q. As a fashion stylist, what are you required to do for your clients?
I select clothing and put together looks for music videos, print or television advertising campaigns, personal events (ie proms, weddings, graduations etc), published editorial features, concert performances, and any public appearances. My clientele includes everyone from a celebrity to an everyday person.
For starters, I need to know my clients personality, what they are comfortable with and not. This helps guide me in making appropriate wardrobe choices.
Q. Your personal style is amazing, what’s your secret?
Thank you. I love to experiment with different themes and ideas. I let my personality guide me in as far as style choices. I do not really conform. I think trends are a good thing because fashion evolves through trends, but I only use them to inspire what I wear. My style sense is preppy and eclectic in equal proportions.
Q. What inspires you?
Mood mainly. I dress according to how I feel.
Q. What items do you have to splurge on?
Am a shoeholic. I would buy a pair without even thinking twice. I spend on everything. It comes with my job(s). TV is the most demanding of them all.I love shopping, its therapeutical!
Q. Where/what are your favourite places to shop?
Anywhere from Mr. Price, thrift stores, yard sales to downtown.
Q. Do you have any style tips specifically for the youth?
Hygiene and grooming go hand in hand with style. Poor hygiene denotes a negligent personality.
Try developing a signature style. Let your personality above everything else guide you because trends come and go keeping up may be more costly than having a distinct style sense that does not necessarily conform to what’s in.
Being fashion forward doesn’t have to be taxing to your finances. There are many stores with affordable pieces. You would rather have a variety of wardrobe pieces for the price of one expensive designer piece.
Q. Does it cost a lot of money to have a stylist at hand? What is the price range like?
Like any service, professional styling comes at a cost. But it all depends on the amount of work done and prices different players in the field charge. There’s no general price structure. It’s worth investing in because one’s image is ones selling point.
Q. What are the building blocks of a complete wardrobe?
For the Corporate individual; Maintain 50% work staple pieces, 30% dressy items and 20% casual basics.
For the ‘out and about’ individual; Maintain 30% work staple pieces, 40% dressy pieces and 30% casual basics.
Own atleast 6 pairs of shoes; one pair of sneakers, one pair of sandals, two pairs of dress shoes and two fancy pairs is a good place to start.
Invest in as many accessories as you can; different bags, jewelry, belts, scarves, neckties, hats etc. You would be surprised how many ways you would pull off one piece by just switching accessories.
Q. Do you consider yourself a trend setter?
Yes. Many people keep asking about the clothes I wear, where I shop and even my haircut. Again, it comes with what I do.
Q. Who qualifies as a true fashion icon?
To me, a fashion Icon is an individual famed for not only being fashion savvy, but for also influencing or inspiring the industry. It goes beyond flaunting the most avant-garde or “fresh-off-the-runway looks. A fashion icon should be able to embody the aspirations of the masses through fashion.
Q. Whose closet would you most raid?
Pharrell Williams definitely. Kanye west has a good eye but am not into how he puts some of his looks together.
Q. Fashion always excludes curvy women. What’s your philosophy on style and size?
It takes all sorts to make a world. Fashion designers should have that in mind.
Q. What advice would you offer to someone considering being a fashion stylist? Does it take a lot of time and money to start?
Do a lot of research to perfect your craft. Challenge yourself, make connections and most of all be patient. Focus on exposure first then the dimes will eventually roll in.
Like any other craft, time is of the essence. You do not need millions in capital. Start off with basics, tools and accumulate as many pieces as you continue.
Q. Who are some of your clients?
I have worked with Juliana Kanyomozi for an Oriflame makeup line shoot, Irene Ntale for an editorial shoot, Fille, Young Zee and Chozen for videoshoots, Sheila Gashumba, a couple of models for look book shoots and dressed cross section of clients for events.
Q. What else would you like people to know about your job/career?
People should enlist stylists. Being able to put together particular looks does not make you a stylist; taste and creativity are innate.
Q. How can someone find you if they need your services?
They can call/Whatsapp on +256706106953 or get in touch with me on social media;
Facebook: Tazibone Solomon(page&profile)
Interview with Freelance Makeup Artist- Omotolani Shokeye
- April 10, 2015
Meet Omotolani Shokeye, a Nigeria born freelance makeup artist based in London, United Kingdom.
[pullquote] I always remind myself to never stop aiming for more success, to strive for better, to learn from all experiences and always remember why I started.[/pullquote]
Omotolani Shokeye’s insight into what inspires her, what she loves most about being a makeup artist and inspirational words to all aspiring makeup artists. She is a Nigeria born Freelance makeup artist based in London (UK)
Q. How long have you been doing makeup professionally and how did you get started?
I have been working as a professional makeup artist for three years. I have always taken an interest in how I and others around me look. Before I started professionally, I had done makeup on my siblings and friends for special occasions.
Enhancing beauty is what gives me joy. Compliments received through family and friends I had applied make up on made me make the decision to become a professional. I had no other option than to make a living in what makes me and those around me happy.
Q. What do you love most about doing makeup?
I love every stage in the process of makeup application. What really gets me emotional is the priceless smile on my client faces after looking in the mirror, and the warm, tight hugs that express more than words can.
Q. What sets you apart from other makeup artists?
Although I respect every makeup artist doing this professionally and otherwise, I do not compare my work with anyone else’s. We all bring a piece of ourselves, our experiences and our creativity to our work and this is what makes all makeup artists unique.
Q. Where do you primarily work, and how far will you travel?
I am currently based in London and cover there primarily however, I am available to travel all round Europe and Africa, even the world, if my clients are willing to pay for travel expenses.
Q. Do you do a trial run or consultation?
Yes, I do. It’s preferred as it helps me get to know my client better, see what works on different skin types and experiment with colours, textures, outfits and lighting.
Q. What is the most important beauty advice that you can give to women?
I’d advice a woman to believe in her inner beauty. You can only feel beautiful outside if you believe you are on the inside.
Q. Can you cover tattoos, tan lines, acne, birthmarks, etc.?
Yes. That comes as a part of my job. I often come across clients that need their tattoos, acne etc covered.
Q. Why did you choose this profession?
As mentioned before, enhancing beauty gives me joy. I chose this profession because I am passionate about it. If you choose to do what you love professionally, all challenges become adventurous.
Q. Today’s woman is busier than ever. What is the easiest/quickest way to turn a day’s work look into something that works for night out?
Changing a lipstick colour can change the whole look of a woman. Applying natural looking makeup (with no eye lash extensions) during the day then changing it with a hot colour lipstick and eyelash extensions for night out can make a massive difference.
Q. What three makeup items should no woman leave home without?
A- Lipstick, B- Mascara, C- Compact bronzer
Q. What has been the biggest challenge of your career?
Time management. Working with highly reputable clients that have just few minutes to get ready for their big day can be quite challenging but I am always ready to overcome the challenges.
Q. Any word to aspiring artists out there?
I have few words I tell myself first. If aspiring artists find it useful then I’m glad to have helped.
I am on a journey and I am nowhere near where I want to be. I always remind myself to never stop aiming for more success, to strive for better, to learn from all experiences and always remember why I started. I must keep working hard to improve. And enjoy every second of what I do. A second wasted is a second lost and I have too much to achieve to waste any second!
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