Lets Talk Fashion with British Bridal Designer – Kosibah’s Yemi Osunkoya

Even though it was almost 8 years ago, I remember vividly the excitement I felt when I decided to look for my dream wedding dress. The plan was to buy something off the rack, an elegant statement piece, one that people would ooh and aah and one that would take my groom’s breath away upon first sight. However, my dress was designed and made just for me, my first haute couture experience.

Shall we fast-forward 8 years as I walk into Kosibah to meet with the owner Yemi Osunkoya. Yemi is an impressive man, tall and charming yet eloquent in his approach. As he guides me through his journey, his labor of love shines through when he describes to me his journey of how he came to be one of the foremost British black haute couture bridal designers, still standing for 23 years. I ask if there is any significance with the name Kosibah. It turns out to be a derivation of his mother’s name. She was born on a Sunday and named Cosiba; he changed the spelling to make it a little more user friendly yet different and Kosibah was born.

'Odile''Odette'

Image courtesy of Damien Lovegrove                            Image courtesy of Alakija Studios

I wanted to know more about this important designer, so I delved into his background and how he came to be a designer. He explains that the compromise he made with his parents when he told them he wanted to be a designer it would be for that reason he would go to university. “If I could have gone to university to study fashion design in Nigeria, I would have done so, but there wasn’t any university offering fashion design courses at that time. So I decided to study textile design because I thought fashion and textiles go hand in hand and it could always come in useful afterwards. So when I came to England, I didn’t want to go through another 4 years of fashion school; I just wanted to learn how to sew, how to draft a pattern, how to cut fabric and other practical skills relevant to creating clothes because I could already design and was pretty good at sketching out my design ideas.” In London he attended a private fashion school called the Paris Academy School of Fashion. It’s closed now, but there he was taught old-school couture: “where you take 26 very precise body measurements from your client, you then develop a body block, from the body block you make a pattern draft and then you do a fitting on your client with a mockup/prototype of the garment you are making in toile; there’s usually some slight fitting issues that are flagged up at this stage because everyone’s body is different so I don’t deal in dress sizes, I deal in body measurements for each individual.”

'Ekatarina'

Image courtesy of Kosibah

After starting his business in casual wear, he very quickly realized his methods of production were not viable and would be both too expensive and labor intensive. His business organically evolved into bridal and special occasion wear because of the way he wanted to make his dresses. “I can create whatever my client wants. The unifying factor in all my dresses is the figure enhancing aspect of them, so regardless of whether I’m using kente, or I’m using ankara or I’m using lace, or I’m using duchess satin, it’s the same couture process I use but it’s all client led.”

Kosibah Real Bride Hadiza
Image courtesy of  Kosibah

Ladies, finally a designer that cares about women with curves! Yemi goes on to explain, “they obviously come to me because they’ve seen something I’ve done. I sit down with them, I look at them physically to see what would fit because that’s my basic ethos. I ask myself what can I do for this person in front of me to flatter them and make them look their best? Sometimes we minimize certain body areas and sometimes we enhance other body parts.” As a woman with curves, I begin to smile and Yemi smiles back in acknowledgment that I like his style!

Kente-Oke BridesmaidMother of the Bride Lady Boateng and Yemi
Images courtesy of Kosibah

Dressing his bride is a service he offers because after working for months on a dress, he wants to see the dress in the right setting and wants to ensure it looks exactly the way he designed the piece. A client who he met through Instagram flew him to Abuja to the wedding to dress her. Ladies, you can bring the designer to you! Yemi is not only a 21st century designer but he is engaged with social media and recognizes how powerful a marketing tool it is for his product. He understands the power of Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook, “learning the etiquette of the social platforms he uses” he now has clients he would not have met under normal circumstances.

Kosibah Real Bride TemiKosibah Real Bride Chinyelu I

Images courtesy of Kosibah

I asked Yemi whom would he consider as his ideal client. He explains, “she is a full-figured woman because anybody that is a size 14 or under, people might just assume she’s got great body.” A full-figured woman that wears one of his dresses should expect a significant amount of body sculpting in order to make more of an impact. If you’re not sample sized, it might be more difficult to just get something off the peg which is where getting something bespoke might be your priority. Because of “the quality of the fabric, embellishments that I use in my dresses and the line and the silhouette of the finished gown, I want it to always scream class and grace.” I ask him if he could dress any bride, or create a bespoke dress, who or what would that be? Yemi immediately responds, “if Oprah ever decides that she wants to marry Stedman, she should come and knock on my door, and I will create the most amazing dress for her because she has the perfect figure I’d like to get my hands … ’cause she has an hourglass figure.” I smile and tell him we’ll have to get that message across the pond to Oprah.

Check out Yemi at the following:

http://www.kosibah.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/YemiKosibah
http://www.twitter.com/yemikosibah
http://uk.linkedin.com/in/yemiosunkoya
http://www.yemikosibah.com

 

Michelle Lowe is the travel editor for World Bride Magazine and is based in London, UK.

Commodity Goods: A Fragrance Shopping Experience For The 21st Century

commodity goods fragrance fitting kit review smell 001 REVIEW: Commodity Goods Fragrance Fitting Kit

It is said that smell is the sense most strongly tied to memory, and while humans may forget a date or a name, we never forget a smell. How true have you found this to be in life? For myself, it has proven to be an unwavering fact that my mind cannot forget a smell. From my grandmother’s hugs (a miscellany of Nantucket Briar powder and Elizabeth Taylor’s White Diamonds) to the sweet smell of ripe strawberry patches from my childhood in Germany, everything dear to me is cataloged by smell. Given this information, it would come as no surprise that I am obsessed with fragrance.

I’m not one of your average Macy’s, box-set, run-of-the-mill fragrance shoppers. I tend to gravitate toward more “niche” fragrance experiences like Creed, Annick Goutal, Diptyque, Bond No.9, Jo Malone, and Tom Ford. Be it ostentatious in price, or bargain basement, a unique smell is what I’m looking for. I’d recently run out of my “every day” scent, Dark Amber & Ginger Lily by Jo Malone, and was in the market to try something new. Now, I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have my “every day” fragrances… and then I have my “special occasion” fragrances… and Jo Malone has been my “every day” fragrance house of choice for a while.  On any normal occasion, I’d take a stroll down Bleecker Street to visit Jo Malone and Diptyque, and try out a few samplers. HOWEVER, it is New York City, in the middle of summer, so getting on the disgustingly sticky subway and bumping into sweaty tourists was not even remotely interesting to me. There had to be a better way.

A few days later, while on Instagram, I was noseying around on the #fragrance hashtag and came across a picture of these tiny little cylinders lined-up in a macron box. On first glance, I almost mistook them for chic cigarettes! Further reading led me to the Instagram page of Commodity Goods, where I started on a  journey that has made me re-think the way I shop for fragrance.

commodity goods fragrance fitting kit review smell 002 REVIEW: Commodity Goods Fragrance Fitting Kit
Commodity Goods describes itself as “an online scent tailoring service,” allowing you to create a scent profile on their website, test a sample of the fragrances at home, and then order the full-size versions of the ones you love. How awesome is this? No more walking through a headache-inducing conundrum of fragrance misting, coffee beans, screaming children, and aggressive sales people only to take home a generic-smelling fragrance that 4,567,895 other people also own. No thanks. Commodity Goods was luring me in with their promise of being able to experience a custom shopping experience right from the comfort of my Snuggie, and I took the bait.

A few days later, I received my package of fragrances… 10 for men, 10 for women. Now, I know you’re asking me why I ordered the women’s kit, and my answer is simple: Smell is neuter.  I don’t assign a gender to smells… never have. I truly believe that one should wear whatever makes one feel confident and at peace, but enough of my personal politics. I opened my kits and got down to the business of smelling! Now, with each “set” of fragrances comes a scorecard of sorts. As you smell, you use the hearts next to each fragrance to indicate how much you love it. Each day I wore two fragrances… one from the men’s collection in the morning, and one from the women’s collection in the evening… that way I could truly experience how they reacted with my body chemistry.

commodity goods fragrance fitting kit review smell 003 REVIEW: Commodity Goods Fragrance Fitting Kit

As to be expected, some of the fragrances I really loved, and others I was indifferent to… but none of them were bad, which is impressive when you have a collection of 20 different fragrances! Getting to sample unique smells like “cloth” and “wool” and “mimosa” was stimulating and challenged my notions of what I thought these things could smell like. For instance, book smells EXACTLY like a book… but shouldn’t books smell musky and  dank? How were they able to perfectly capture the smell of a book, yet make it attractive to our nose? I don’t know, but it is freaking genius.

commodity goods fragrance fitting kit review smell 004 REVIEW: Commodity Goods Fragrance Fitting Kit

After experiencing all 20 fragrances, the highlights for me were:

MEN’S
[ ] Cane
[ ] Whisky
[ ] Gin

WOMEN’S
[ ] Paper
[ ] Mimosa
[ ] Dew

In fact, I found myself mixing them! The combination of Cane + Whisky is very dark and sensual and masculine. I felt like Joe Manganiello chopping down a tree or something when I mixed those two together. Something about them really compliments each other. Same for Paper + Mimosa; they come together for such a fresh smell that made me feel like a groomed gentleman of cultured tastes.

Everything about my Commodity Goods scent tailoring experience was exceptional… from the design of the website, to the amount in the sample tubes, to the quality of the fragrances. Nothing was short of exceeding my expectations. I think that their collaborating with a French fragrance house that has been developing scents for 160 years shows in the product that arrives at your door. In trying to find an “every day” scent, I have managed to stumble upon a revolutionary idea that suits the lifestyles and the tastes of this generation. Commodity Goods has made my “every day” a special day.

 

PRICING:

[1] Men’s or Women’s 10-fragrance “Fitting Kit” = $9.00 USD*
(*the $9.00 is reimbursed to you if you spend $50+ within 30 days, making the kit FREE if you place an order.)

[2] 10ml roller = $24.00 USD for the 1st bottle, then $12.00 for each additional bottle.

[3] 100ml bottle = $108.00 USD

Visit Commodity Goods [HERE]
Follow them on Instagram [HERE]
Become their fan on Facebook [HERE]
Pin them on Pinterest [HERE]
Tweet them on Twitter [HERE]

Victor Amos
Editor At Large

*This article was originally published on ProBeautyBlog.com, and is hosted here with the author’s permission.

Grooming the Groom for the Big Day

There are few days in the average man’s life where he will be photographed by more cameras than a Kardashian leaving a posh hotel: your wedding day is one of those days. Too many times, I’ve seen a groom get an immaculate haircut, looking amazing from the scalp up, yet completely neglect the rest of his face. I’m talking dark circles around the eye, untrimmed nose and brow hair, redness and pimples, jagged nails—the works! Fellas, listen, your wedding pictures are FOREVER. It would be in your best interest to look like a perfectly coiffed gentleman for these pictures that will hover on your coffee table for the rest of your life. Lucky for you, I have assembled a list of 4 items that you can use to prepare for the big day, helping you sort out the little details that are often overlooked by the groom.

[1] Exfoliating

article_foreo

I cannot begin to tell you how important maintaining your skin is. It is the largest organ on your body, and it is not shy about telling on you! A great way to improve the texture and complexion of your skin is by exfoliating. I recommend the Foreo LUNA for Men. The LUNA for Men is a facial cleansing device that sends sonic pulsations through its silicone tips, pulling up dirt and softening the skin. This device is essential for all the shavers out there, as it helps prevent ingrown hairs and razor burn. The best part is that it requires essentially no maintenance, as one charge gives you 450 cycle of use, and the silicone head never needs replacing!

Foreo LUNA for Men
www.Foreo.com
$199.00 USD

 

[2] Hydrating

article_hydraboost

Ask any beauty-obsessed woman that you know and she will tell you that serums are the secret to life. Serums are perfect for grooms who are looking for a low-maintenance, yet effective, way of getting antioxidants and moisture in one fell swoop! A great option is the M-61 Hydraboost Hydrating Vitamin B5 Peptide Serum. The Hydraboost serum contains Vitamin B5, which acts as a humectant, drawing moisture from the atmosphere into the skin. The serum also contains tamarind, which helps to firm the skin, and aloe & centella asiatics which calm irritations (it’s perfect for applying after a shave!). Best of all, the serum is oil-free, which makes it perfect for those of you who are prone to breakouts, or who have oily skin.

M-61 Hydraboost Hydrating Vitamin B5 Peptide Serum
www.m61labs.com
$78.00 USD

 

[3] Shaving

article_gillette

Getting a close shave is harder than one may think. We are constantly having to try new devices that promise to give us faces as smooth as a baby’s backside, but few seem to deliver. “Enter stage left”: Gillette Fusion ProGlide with Flexball Technology. The Flexball Technology is new to Gillette’s razor design and is a feature I have been waiting for my entire life! Because of the special pivot-and-swivel design of the cartridge head, the razor is able to glide both vertically AND horizontally across the contours of your face. This provides a smooth and close shave that I have not been able to get from any other drugstore razor ever in life.

Gillette Fusion ProGlide Razor with Flexball Technology
www.Gillette.com
$13.00 USD

 

(4) Concealing

article_nars

I’m sorry to kill your fantasy that all men are perfect, but we aren’t. Every single man that you see on TV, from ESPN to Food Network has on a full face of makeup! Surprising, huh? Well, it’s true. Those boyish-Clooney-esq complexions are easy for you to achieve if you have an open mind. The use of a little concealer, in moderation, can give you a cleaner and more polished look for your wedding photographs. My favorite concealer for men is the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. The NARS concealer is perfect for men because it doesn’t require multiple steps. For most concealer, you have to use a brush, apply the concealer, blend it out, then set with powder. This NARS one takes out all of those steps. You simply swipe it where needed, tap it with your ring finger a few times to blend it, then you’re DONE! The concealer formula does not need to be powdered, and it stays in place all day! The best part is that it comes in 10 shades, so, literally, EVERY man is able to find a shade that suits him.

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer
www.NARSCosmetics.com
$29.00 USD

Blonde Bobshell: Eve’s Most Memorable Looks

evesoniabannerWho’s that girl? Eve’s that girl! She never fails us with her bold hairstyles. Whether she’s wearing long tresses with spicy highlights topped off with a blunt fringe or turning heads with her flamboyant blonde bob, Eve’s hairstyles are as versatile as her rhymes. Eve and her blonde bob looks are definitely a winner in my book! She wears this classic style so effortlessly always giving us sassy and chic. Let’s explore how to achieve her looks!

eve_banner_straight

STRAIGHT & SLEEK:

To create a super straight finish, use a hot flat-iron to touch up any sections that require a smoother texture. Finish with a light weight oil for the ultimate shine. Apply a dime size to the palms of your hands, emulsify and lightly brush across the surface of your hair. Always remember a little product goes a long way!

FHI Heat Platform Flat Iron

Sachajuan Intensive Hair Oil

Oribe Gold Lust Nourishing Hair Oil

Alterna Bamboo Smooth Kendi Treatment Oil

eve_banner_tousled

TOUSLED & FREE:

The tousled effect can be achieved by using a curling iron, 1’’ or higher, wrap 1-inch sections of hair from mid-shafts to ends only (leave the roots straight). Curl random sections of hair in different directions to create a more haphazard, rough texture. Gently touse your hair with your hands to break up the curls. Complete the look by misting a light finishing hair spray.

T3 Bodywaver

L’Oréal Elnett Hair Spray

Aveda Air Control Hairspray

Fekkai Sheer Hold Hair Spray

eve_banner_volume

BODY & VOLUME:

Body and volume can be achieved with product and heat. Separate your hair into 2″ sections and spray roots with a volumizer. Blow dry with a medium to large round brush starting near the back of the head using half-inch pieces and working around to the front on either side. To create extra volume, hold brush in the hair near the scalp until the hair cools (about five seconds), then move the brush down and through to the ends of the hair for a smooth finish.

Harry Josh Pro Dryer 2000

Ibiza B4 Round Brush

Aveda Volumizing Tonic

Ojon Volume Advance Thickening Spray

 

Sonia Castleberry: Beauty Editor | Hairstylist

http://www.soniacastleberry.com | http://www.bridesbysoniacastleberry.com

Top TSA-Friendly Hair Products that will help you arrive to your honeymoon destination tress free

No matter where your honeymoon or summer plans may take you, travel can wreak havoc on your regular hair regimen. My mother always said big things come in small packages. That would definitely apply to all the portable mini hair products brands are offering to all you travel beauties out there. Even with the current carry on restrictions, you can stock up on the latest and greatest without hindering your hair routine or adding extra weight to your luggage. Check out some of my favorite travel-friendly buys below.

 COAST TO COAST CURLS Don’t worry about your luscious locks going lifeless while on vacation! Ouidad’s Love Your Curls Kit provides everything you need with the Clear & Gentle Shampoo, Balancing Rinse Conditioner, Climate Control Gel, Botanical Boost Spray Conditioner, and Deep Treatment Conditioner. they are perfect for carry  on luggage and weekend rendezvous. $37 ouidad.com

Kit

 

BLOW DRY ON THE GO This kit makes packing easier than ever before, with 100% air compliant, space- savers. Whether your look is beach waves or city straight, the blowpro JetBlow KitTM has you covered with Beach Blow Texturizing Mist, Blow Up Thickening Mist, and Heat Is On Protective Daily Primer. Glam on-the-go has never been easier. $18; at blowpro.com

JetBlow Mini Kit

BIG HAIR EVERYWHERE Unbelievable volume, firm holding, fast drying and ultra shining. The Big Sexy Hair Spray and Play Volumizing Hairspray will keep you looking cool, even at your hottest. $6 ulta.com Big_SprayPlay_MINI

NO WATER NECESSARY Ditch the water and say goodbye to oil and buildup with blowpro Faux Dry. This residue free transclucent dry shampoo lifts hair, gives a just washed look, and provides manageability to re-style. $20; at blowpro.com

Faux Dry

DON’T FADE AWAY Protect and clean all at once while traveling in style with Oribe’s Beautiful Color Travel Set. Made specifically for color-treated hair. This kit includes 6 elegant shampoo and conditioner packets and 1 shampoo and masque for a little extra love and care. $19.50 oribe.com and Bergdorf Goodman beautiful-color-travel-set-box-large

 

Beauty Contributor and Expert: Sonia Castleberry

http://www.bridesbysoniacastleberry.com |www.soniacastleberry.com

 

5 Products To Help You Achieve Flawless Foundation

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5 Products To Help You Achieve Flawless Foundation
by Victor Amos

As a professional makeup artist, the number one question I get asked by models and clients is, “How do I achieve flawless-looking foundation?” Many of them are surprised to find out that achieving flawless foundation relies heavily on the way you prepare the skin for the foundation, and less about the foundation itself. Just like a house, makeup must set atop a base if it is to last and sit properly. Let’s look at some products that will help you achieve that flawless look!

 

 

[1] CLEANSER

I always start my makeup applications by wetting and cleansing the skin. It is important that you always start off your makeup routine with clean skin. Not only does cleansing the skin remove dirt and excess oils, it also moistens the skin, which helps it better absorb the products that will be applied next.

MY RECOMMENDATION: Bioderma Crealine ($23.00 USD / 250 ml)

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[2] MOISTURIZER

Almost nothing is more important than your moisturizer! It is essential to making sure that your skin stays nourished, hydrated and supple throughout the day. Dry skin can lead to flaking, “cakey” foundation, and even worse… premature aging! You don’t have to spend a ton of money, but make sure that your moisturizer meets your skin needs. If you are oily, pick a moisturizer that is oil-free. If you are dry, pick a moisturizer that is thick and creamy. And no matter which skin-type you have, make sure your moisturizer contains SPF!

MY RECOMMENDATION: Olay Regenerist UV Defense ($28.00 USD / 50 ml)

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[3] EYE CREAM

A lot of women forget this step, but eye cream is very important! How many of you have problems with concealer getting “cakey” and seeping into the fine lines under your eyes? That problem occurs because the under-eye is dehydrated. The skin under your eye is very thin and dehydrates easily. If you want smooth, crease-free concealer, then you need to make sure that your under eye is properly moisturized, otherwise the moisture in your concealer will absorb, leaving behind a cakey, flakey mess.

MY RECOMMENDATION: Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream ($49.00 USD / 15 ml)

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[4] PRIMER

Primer is another step that is grossly underestimated. If you live in a humid climate or have oily skin, a good primer will help with the longevity of your makeup application. I recommend a silicone-based primer, as it will blur fine lines, and fill-in large pores that are common around the nose and on the cheeks. So not only will you have long-lasting makeup, you will also have buttery-smooth skin.

MY RECOMMENDATION: Whip Hand Cosmetics Set The Stage Primer ($39.00 USD / 1 oz)

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[5] FIXING/SETTING SPRAY

Now, this is a finishing step. Once you have finished your makeup application, you want take take off that “dusty” look that happens after you have applied your setting powder. A good way to bring the natural radiance and glow back to the skin is with a fixing spray. There are many formulas available on the market that will do different things. I tend to gravitate to the fixing sprays that re-hydrate the face with water and minerals. You can use this mist to freshen-up your makeup throughout the day as well.

MY RECOMMENDATION: Caudalie Beauty Elixir ($18.00 USD / 1 oz.)

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Queen of the Palace – A real fairy tale come true at The Palazzo Manganani Feroni

A PALACE ENTRANCE BEATRICE LR1 Billiard Room breakfast ENTRANCE HALL GALLERY HALL3 Roof-top-terrace

Feeling like a queen will be second nature when you stay at the Palazzo Maganani Feroni Hotel in Florence.

This former palace, owned by two families and most recently the Giannotti family for over 250 years, is an authentic Renaissance Palace from the 1500’s, which was completely restored in 2002.

As you enter the magnificent lobby, you are greeted by the sound of delectable jazz music and you can feel that love is in the air. This luxury property offers 24-hour service and all amenities and services that the luxury traveler of today requires.

The Palazzo Maganani Feroni is located in the heart of historic Florence and all major attractions, restaurants and shops are in close proximity.

What makes Palazzo Magnani Feroni special, apart from being the Condé Nast Johansens Award Winner 2013 and the Condé Nast Johansens Award Finalist 2014, are the 12 stunning suites on 3 floors of which some of them face onto a common gallery. The architecture is superb; original frescoes, cross-vaulted ceilings, a beautiful inside courtyard and a rooftop terrace, which overlooks the beautiful city of Florence and the nearby hills. Each suite has its own personalised name and you can even choose your preferred soap for the duration of your stay. The rooms all carry Bulgari amenities – what’s not to love!

On the second floor left wing where the majestic Salon sits, you can enjoy a white glove service romantic candle lit breakfast and even a mimosa or bucks fizz along side your macchiato, cappuccino or coffee/tea of choice. Close by is a billiard room – if that is your choice of relaxation. Situated on the ground floor is the hotel bar that opens at 6pm every evening and in the summer time it moves to the rooftop terrace which is especially breathtaking at dusk.

This exceptional hotel will sweep you away with their discreet and professional staff along with their attention to detail. Create your own fairy tale at this romantic venue – it’s not to be missed! To schedule an appointment to plan your wedding, or book a room for your stay at this great location, contact Antonella Fabiano, sales@florencepalace.it and use the code WorldBrideML to get the best rate.