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From the Catwalk to the Sidewalk

28 Oct

Naomi at a Homecoming Event

Naomi is a client of mine who was also in Ghana this summer where she got this amazing pink and gold African wax print. She had a limited amount, and of course she couldn’t go back any time soon to get more, so she asked me to turn it into something memorable. I created this boat neck peplum dress for her. The dress featured a turned up sleeve and a super low back. What made the dress even more memorable was seeing her in it this past weekend at a homecoming event. God I love Homecoming…

Check out more detailed pics of the dress below and Naomi and I celebrating our alma mater…

Front

Sleeve Detail

Back

Naomi and I

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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!

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Back

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Details

Vroom Vroom

29 Mar

Madison's Bday

Our calendar year tells us that the new year kicks off on January 1st but I never get that new year feeling until the spring. Actually, most of our ancestors (and some cultures today) believe that the vernal equinox is the start of the new year. The vernal equinox, or the first day of spring, signifies a time of renewal and the beginning of the agricultural season for some, so for me it seems like a very suitable time for beginning another year.

Think about it: flowers are in bloom, the birds are chirping, and its time to wear bright colors! I try to keep it as funky fresh as possible in the winter months but nothing says spring like the first touch of neon. When my friend Madison hit me up to make an outfit for her 24th birthday, which just so happened to coincide with the first day of spring, I knew we had to go full throttle!

As my first custom spring look of the season, I created a neon pink power ranger meets biker girl look for Madi. The jumpsuit, with leatherette sleeve to accent the black metal ankle zippers, appears to have triangle side cut-outs when viewed from the front. But from the back, you can see that the bodice is cropped and accented with a black metal zipper. The high-waisted fit is the perfect complement for the harem pants.

Madison’s birthday outfit was a great way for me to kick off the spring season with speed… and I’m just getting started up (vroom vroom)!

Front

Sleeve detail

Side

Ankle zipper detail

Emerald City

7 Mar

Natasha

Everyday another one of my friends turns 25… and everyday I am brought closer and closer to my quarter century on this earth. Five years ago I saw myself in a very different place when approaching 25. I saw myself as a fashion magazine editor in New York City planning my wedding. Today, with only 2 months to go, I’m  a decent law student, budding designer, and single. Dont get me wrong… I’m not complaining… I’m just saying. My yellow brick road has taken me on a different path and everyday I am excited by its twists and turns.

Last weekend we celebrated my friend Natasha’s 25th birthday. We took the city by storm with a party bus full of good-looking guys and girls and plenty of champagne. I designed this emerald dress for Natasha to commemorate the fete. The emerald-green stretch taffeta material with black velvet scratch marks was fashioned into a plunging v-neck with ruffle neckline. The double layer ruffle, which boasts a layer of black velvet, continues on to the back of the dress where a geometric cut-out mocks the plunging-v in the front.

The sleeveless mini-dress was perfect for Natasha’s petite frame and perfect for her birthday. As we took on the city in celebration I could only reflect on my journey to my emerald city, and all that is in store on this journey.

Natasha Back

Front

Ruffle Detail

Back

TwentyFLY & Fabulous

20 Dec

 

Patricia

My friend Patricia was planning her 25th birthday and I had to practically beg her to make her birthday dress. Yes…I said beg! As a young designer, with custom work being the primary outlet to showcase my work, it is important that I make clothing for women who will represent my brand wonderfully. In finding these women, it takes a lot of work to instill in them a confidence in my abilities. Patricia is a tough cookie and convincing her was no easy feat.

A girl’s 25th birthday is a pretty big deal. A celebration of a quarter of a century on this earth is no small thing, and a woman worth her salt would want nothing less than to look her best. Patricia is definitely worth her salt. In her last year of law school, Patricia is engaged to her college sweetheart, and has a bright future ahead. I wanted to make sure I created a look for her that represented the her fabulous life.

I created this midnight blue body con mini-dress with a grey geometric design on the front and  lower back cut-out. As I worked on the dress I could only think of my 25th birthday, which is less than six months away. As I approach this quarter century of mine I think about my future career prospects, whether they be legal or fashion, and the prospects of romance on the horizon. As I approach 25…I hope mine is just as fly and fabulous!

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A Break in Tradition

29 Nov

Javai Birthday Dress

Every girl has her birthday tradition. For my friend Javai, since she turned 21, her birthday has included getting a new dress from BCBG and partying VIP style at a hot DC nightclub. Since the tradition began I have been a witness and a to the festivities. This year Javai wanted to put a spin on things and she asked me to make her birthday dress. I was honored and I decided to make her a dress worthy of her special day.

I made her a navy body conscious dress with a unique twist on the one-shoulder twist. The dress featured lilac diagonal panels highlighting her curves and one lilac asymmetrical strap. The dress was perfect for a night out with the girls and Javai was pleased to break her birthday tradition just to have a Nichole Alabi custom creation.

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Sweatshirt Swag

9 Nov

I kicked off Homecoming weekend by rocking some alumni gear. Though I wanted to represent for alma mater, I’m not quite the t-shirt and jeans or sweats and sneakers type of girl (i”m not sure if you noticed). So I went to the Howard University Bookstore in search of something I could spice up. I didn’t want to dome something janky like cutting of the neckline and wearing it off the shoulder. No, that way too sophomoric (not to mention I did that as a sophomore in college). I wanted to do something more tailored that showed off my skills. So I took an oversized unisex sweatshirt and made it into a more narrow fitting pucker-sleeved sweatshirt.

Heres how I did it (and how you can too!)…

STEP 1: Get a sweatshirt that is at least one size larger than you would normally get. If  you get one too big it may disrupt the design on the front.

STEP 2: Cut off the sleeves. When cutting at the shoulder, cut a little higher up so your new sleeves will be able to fit naturally on your shoulder.

STEP 3: Put on the sweatshirt inside out and pin the sides so that it fits closer to the body. Dont forget to pin the arm holes as well so that the arm hole is smaller and closer in size to your natural armhole.

STEP 4: Sew along the guide you’ve created with your pins. Cut off the excess.

STEP 5: Cut the sleeves diagonally at the armhole. This will (1) make the arm hole wider and (2) shorten the sleeve so it is now a 3/4 sleeve.

STEP 6:  Take the sleeves and machine baste two rows (one at 5/8 and other at 3/8)  the length of the armhole

STEP 7: Pull the loose string on the 5/8 baste, scrunching as you go along, to create the puckered look.

STEP 8: With the sweatshirt still inside out, match the sleeves right-side-out, with the sweatshirt armholes. Adjust you srunches, and pin. Make sure the armhole of the sweatshirt and the armhole of the sleeves are equal.

STEP 9: Sew around the armhole

STEP 10: Turn it inside out, wear, and enjoy!

I paired mine with a knit skirt, knee-high socks, and high heeled hiking boots and wore it to HOWARDWOOD; a panel discussion featuring actors, producers, entertainment lawyers, an other Hollywood powers players who were also Howard alum. What a fitting occasion to wear my new outfit!

Click here for more information on HOWARDWOOD