March 11, 2011 – Who ever said an elaborate zebra print on a green piece of clothing is only suitable as a curtain or cushion cover?
As Wambui, a designer in her 20s can attest, it is no longer the domain of the ‘dancers’ in Florida Madhouse or hotels – the notorious African zebra print can be used on the catwalk too.
Enter Malindi. I joined a sea of Italians over the weekend as they celebrated women in a glamorous fashion jamboree, where Wambui’s Utamaduni designs stood out boldly.
Models strutted all over the T-shaped catwalk – emerging from behind a shiny gold haze to an elevated podium in the open air – and not even once were they ruffled by the soft coastal breeze.
Dinner tables stretched towards the flashy stage, as a first class dinner efficiently switched courses before the first class guests.
It cost Sh4,400 to be a part of the celebration, in honour of International Women’s Day and in particular, the much feted athlete Tegla Lorupe. The venue, Casino Malindi was packed to capacity.
Wambui told Capital Lifestyle that she was happy as a woman designer to be part of the festivities, and to be able to celebrate her work in the fashion industry, which offers employment to hundreds of women in the country.
Designer Rina Attias of Maridadi Fashions said as women, it was important to start focussing on practical and comfortable fashion.
“Whatever designs I come up with, I always think of comfort. People are interested in fashion that they can wear easily and in many different styles.”
Kenyan fashion superstar designer John Kaveke was not to be left out. Displaying some of his latest pieces; you could feel the love coming from the bits of kitenge lacing the cocky looking cotton jackets, shirts and trousers.
Model Dan was proud to celebrate women, whom he swore played an integral part in everyone’s life.
The fashion bonanza was organised by Daniella Celini, Marketing Manager of Casino Malindi, who gathered designs from Adele Dejak, Man Shop, Vee Fashion House, Rialto, the talented Black Bird Designs, and Rosa Creations.
“I’m a runner myself and Lorupe is an inspiration to so many female athletes. We have been holding this fashion show to celebrate women for the past 3 years now. Tegla seemed liked a perfect person to fete. It’s a pity she could not join us because she had to go to travel to Poland. She was with us in spirit.”
Among the key sponsors for the event were cosmetic products manufaturer Oriflame, and hotels Soko Soko, Malindi Key, Tamani Jua, Kilili Baharini, Driftwood and Tropical Plan hotel.
(Video footage provided by Katrin Ender).