Friday, November 20, 2009
Inspiration: Marian Kihogo
Marian Kihogo-photo courtesy of Rob Truijen
Hello, all my Loverlees! This week for my Inspiration, I am honored to feature my stylish blog buddy and sister-friend, the infamous Marian Kihogo. She is the ultimate uber stylist, writer, and all around fashion icon. There is no way that I could deny the fact that she has been a huge inspiration to me as far as the direction my fashion blog is taking. She is beautiful, daring, smart, brilliant, and, well...you get the picture. Here is a mini interview with my girl. Hope you enjoy!
FA'SHOE'NISTA: Just in case there are some folks who may not know, from where do you hail?
MK: I grew up in the UK but I am originally from Ghana, West Africa.
FA'SHOE'NISTA: You are what we in fashion blog land consider to be the epitome of style, grace, and poise. Fashion is truly a calling for you. When did you first notice the itch for all things stylish?
MK: Thank you for that amazing compliment!
Wow I wish I could say there was a specific moment when it began but there was no ‘aha’ moment.
My Mother is a fine artist and her mother before her, so I was always surrounded with great design, Art, and a thirst for the creative.
As far back as I can remember, I was painting, re-purposing garments, writing and simply creating in various forms…
During my childhood my younger sister (poor girl!) was my ‘in house’ model if you like :o) I was always using her as my mannequin, sewing pieces and styling her in my make believe themed fashion shows, etc. Lol!
In junior high school, I then styled a friend’s mother informally. She was hosting a business dinner, had bought a terrific dress, but the only problem was it was not terrific on her. It did nothing for her proportions and figure. I was round my friends house hanging out, witnessed her mother melt down in the ‘not so right dress for her,’ and customized the piece right there and then for her with an hour to go till the guests arrived.
The customized piece and accessories I pulled from her amazing wardrobe were a hit, and more importantly my friend’s mother exuded a confidence that made her the belle of the ball. She passed my name to all her contacts, the rest as they say is history ;o).
At that time I didn’t realize that it was styling I was in effect doing but I did know that I had to do this for life. I have felt this way about fashion writing too. While styling and writing is when I am at my happiest, it has always just made sense. It’s the piece to my puzzle.
FA'SHOE'NISTA:Your fashion savvy is evident in the pictures you post of your various looks. Your style is eclectic and always fresh. How much are you influenced by the people you work with? Who influences you the most?
MK: My style is a product of who I am and my experiences to date.
In terms of my clients, each is completely unique in their tastes. I find the process of styling them all inspiring.
I am mostly inspired by people (clients and non clients) who are unapologetic in their personal style, whatever it may be.
FA'SHOE'NISTA: You often work with the beautiful and talented actress and model, Tolula Adeyemi. I love seeing pictures of the two of you together at various functions. You always manage to look fabulous. I know you've styled her for various photo shoots and the red carpet. When did you two first meet?
MK: At work. We met at a feature Dirrty Glam magazine shoot (I work as the magazine’s UK Correspondent)as shot by award winning photographer, David Yeo and styled by myself.
The magazine was shooting her that day for its ‘Closet Confidential’ feature, it’s a piece that gives readers a glimpse into the amazing wardrobes of style icons and muses.
FA'SHOE'NISTA: How involved is she in the styling process? Do you two bounce ideas off of each other?
MK: Oh 100%!! Anyone who knows Tolula knows that she puts 200% into everything she does. She is highly creative, has an innate sense of true style, and is not afraid of the highly conceptual.
We do bounce ideas off each other a lot during the styling process as we have the same vision, are like minded style wise, and have a great rapport.
She is incredibly easy to style as I know what she likes. I always have her input and she is a pleasure to work with, and is an incredible canvas. Oh, and literally everything works on her!
FA'SHOE'NISTA: What is considered a great day for you?
MK: One which is productive! I am a bit of workaholic so I like to be busy! Oh, if I leave a client happy, that is always wonderful too.
FA'SHOE'NISTA: What's a lousy day for you?
MK: Ah that is a hard one, as even the most challenging are always fun!
FA'SHOE'NISTA: What is your favorite color?
MK: Not a fair question! There are too many to choose from. (laughing) Can I be cheeky and pretty please choose two?
Firstly, Purple. There is something about it that is simultaneously elegant, royal and rebellious (dependent on texture, cut and styling) all in one go.
Black for its dynamism, I have a manic love and hate affair with this color. I either completely ignore it or go for heady overdoses of the color!
FA'SHOE'NISTA: What is your definition of style?
MK: It is a true reflection of one’s personality through their garments, accessories and attitude.
It is that which shines through an outfit be it a thousand dollar designer dress or a thrifted ensemble that cost only a few bucks.
FA'SHOE'NISTA: Thanks so much, love you sweetie!
Photo courtesy of Marian Kihogo
MARIAN IN THE FIELD
Photo courtesy of Marian Kihogo
and Prendas Publicas
Marian and Tolula
Photos courtesy of Marian Kihogo and Wayne of StreetStyle Aesthetic
For more on this fashion muse, check out her blog.