Style

'My Dark Twisted Fantasy' Lookbook By Nigerian Stylist Richard Akuson

Nigerian stylist Richard Akuson unveiled his 2015 lookbook, entitled 'My Dark Twisted Fantasy'.

Emerging Nigerian stylist Richard Akuson recently unveiled a 2015 portfolio lookbook featuring his own perception of the trendy woman. His My Dark Twisted Fantasy photo series portrays a strong, bold and nonchalant feminine character  (it also takes its title from Kanye West's 2010 opus). Akuson's girl is very much laid-back, she's a fashionista despite her will. She knows how to effortlessly pair stylish garments to put together a look in any environment. She's trendsetter no matter what her intentions might be. Akuson explained his ideas about the lookbook, stating:


"I imagine that women in the near future will be highly evolved, as such care more about the art in fashion than the beauty of it. This look book explores the wardrobe of this evolved woman, the intricacies of her complex and audacious style. Such a woman sees her self as more of an editorial tear-sheet than a woman, thus, deviating from convention in her quest for broader self expression. Naturally, I figure that this woman in her elaborate style wears her hair big, with little to abstract makeup; subtle blue brows, earth tone eye shadow, mascara and burgundy lip colour in this case. She’s strongly characterised by her extravagant use of jewellery, and in this case, rusty tribal jewellery. To her, more is actually more. This is an attempt to juxtapose my imaginations to the real life Italian style icon Anna Dello Russo and the Lagos game-changer Nkiru Anumudu, whose style have successfully made the unimaginable fashionable. Though hard to explain, their larger-than-life style partly forms a vivid representation of what I imagine the next generation woman to look like." 

Scroll through our gallery to view the photographs and if you want to talk about it, tweet @okayafrica with #richardakuson.

Music
Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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