Archive | August, 2011

Speaking of Weddings…

23 Aug

Tonya's Secondary Bridesmaid Dress

Speaking of Weddings… have you ever seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding? Well they have nothing on a big fat African wedding. In various African cultures weddings are a huge deal and families usually want to include as many people in the celebration as possible. This concept lends itself to a category of  extended wedding members which goes beyond bridesmaids and grooms man all the way to secondary bridesmaids secondary groomsman, friends of the mother of the bride, and on and on and on. To be honest, in an African wedding anyone can have a title, as long as you’re wearing the right clothes. Each one of these groups has its own African fabric, with its own print and colors to denote what group they belong to.

I often get requests to make dresses for “secondary bridesmaids”. While it may sound like this is the default for all the poor girls who didn’t make it to the official bridesmaid category, but thats not true. Secondary Bridesmaids are usually made up of college friends, childhood friends, cousins, and other important ladies in the bride’s life and they have their perks too. Instead of wearing the same dress as the next girl, Secondary Bridesmaids wear the same fabric but get complete control over their design. The dress I made for Tonya was a collaboration between she and I and with the opportunity to have complete control over the look, we decided on something that showed off her tiny frame. This one shoulder dress was perfect for her! The oversized deep purple ruffle neckline featured a peek-a-boo print underneath and the look was completed with a self-tie belt. Tonya definitely gave the other girls a run for their money with this dress!

Front

Back

Side

Details

Feeling It

22 Aug

Lacing up the Future Mrs. Coleman

Last month I was a bridesmaid in the wedding of one of my best friends. Jennifer and I have shared  so many milestones together; pledging our sorority, graduating college, but marriage was one she was doing without me. Of my friends Jennifer was the first to get married but something about the whole weekend seemed unreal. I thought I would feel some sort of pressure as a single girl to hurry up and find my knight in shining armor, but to be honest I didn’t. During the bachelorette party popping bottles…I didnt feel a thing. At the rehearsal (even after I was paired up with a super tall sexy specimen of a groomsman)…I felt nothing. Even the morning of the ceremony, while getting my hair coiffed into a romantic updo…I felt nothing. During the limo ride to the venue I felt like there was something wrong with me. Maybe I did feel some pressure and it was manifesting itself as ambivalence or maybe being 25 (even if only for 6 weeks) granted me with a new level of maturity. Whatever it was I kept waiting for something…

Getting dressed in the bridal suite of the venue I still kept waiting for it, whatever “it” was, until my friend emerged in her off white bridal gown with a pintucked sweetheart bodice and a ruffled fit and flare skirt. Now I’ve seen the dress before, but something about her actually being in the dress made a world of difference. Finally I felt it…I felt the hopes and dreams of a woman becoming a wife; a woman who was becoming a half to a whole. What I felt was happiness for her and hopefulness right along with her. Isn’t it amazing how an article of clothing can do that? And when she gave me the honor of lacing up her bodice, I felt it even more so.

The beautiful bride and I

Its Time to SHOP!

1 Aug

Summer 2011 Capsule Collection

The moment we have all been waiting for has arrived! you can now officially shop my Summer 2011 Capsule Collection! The collection was inspired by my recent trip to Ghana, my family, and my international heritage. This seven piece collection is to-the-point and represents my point of view as a designer. As my first “for-sale” offering, I am very excited and very humbled. Since we are at the beginning stages there may be a few kinks to work out, if you notice any, don’t be frustrated, just click the “CONTACT” link and let us know; we will take care of it as soon as possible.

You can get to the site one of two ways…

1. You can log onto the site directly at http://nicholealabi.bigcartel.com

2. You can go to the top right hand corner of the blog homepage and click “SHOP” and be directed to the site

I hope you enjoy and I welcome your feedback….Its time to SHOP!