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Prêt-À-Poundo: Tea Time With Mimi Plange


*Designer Mimi Plange with one of her creations (Charnier Corney Photography)

It is flowery... it is springlike...

Mimi Plange has often been seen in the media for her talent; an introduction to her work is hardly necessary.

*Childeye Photography

The name of her private viewing was entitled "Tea With Mother" and was described as a romantic celebration of ageless beauty. Inspired by the tea ceremony and decoration prints seen on tea sets, she invited us to discover her glamorous and sophisticated S/S 2013 collection while we drank tea with "Le Palais des Thés" and celebrated the Victorian Era.

*Aaron Wojack Photography

Indeed, it is undeniable to compare the blossoming of a jasmine flower (part of her inspiration) and the beautiful work of fine art of Plange. This collection shows us her sophistication, meticulousness, and creativity. It has a delicate touch and encourages you to watch all details closely. Her showroom is a garden of beauty, with squared flower bouquets suspended over static mannequins and vintage floral wallpaper decorating the walls - time seemed to stop while in the gallery.

* Childeye Photography

Plange has collaborated with Manolo Blahnik, on their Autumn Winter 2012 collection and more recently for Spring 2013. Manolo Blahnik shoes were found in this Victorian outpost, perfectly fitting the pastel mint and pink designs. Long stemmed tulip-shaped skirts, high-waisted pants closely fitting over the hip with a wasp-waist cut, silk blouses, and leather dresses were part of the collection; all featured gorgeous trapunto embroideries, decorations and matching floral embroideries.

*Childeye Photography

The garments cover most of the body but draw attention to its shape and emphasize the elegance of the female form. The Ghanaian-born designer said, "I was seduced by the photography of Tim Walker and Cecil Beaton and the ideas of pure femininity." Plange is an African designer who sees a woman as a flower, conscious of the beauty of her body.

*Aaron Wojack Photography

Today, Plange's work - let's not forget she dressed the first lady, Michelle Obama - is clearly extoling the virtues of a woman's body. While she celebrates the elegance of the female figure, she is also showing by her artistry that she doesn't only belong to Africa, she is an African designer in a contemporary world.

 

 

 

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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