Socialite and self-proclaimed babygirl for life Toke Makinwa flew the Nigerian flag in South Africa when she attended Durban July, head to toe in Mai Atafo.
Toke wore a super-stylish, heavily embellished forest green outfit from celebrated Nigerian designer Mai Atafo for the exclusive South African racing event in Durban where she rubbed shoulder with the creme de la creme of SA society.
Toke paired the chic look with a slick low ponytail and wore it with equally stunning accessories including Christian Dior sunglasses, Christian Dior Lady Dior bag and the heels of the season from emerging shoe designer, Amina Muaddi.
Styled by her longtime stylist Harvella, Toke’s look was from Mai Atafo’s recent AW19 collection which he debuted at Arise Fashion Week. The collection, which was called Feminine AF is “a modern take on power-dressing, a collection for the modern woman who believes anything a man can do a woman can do better and that attitude leaks into every facet of her being including her style. It’s not performative, it’s a lifestyle.”
Micheal’s Blog got the exclusive first look at the collection in the run-up to the show and sat down with Mai Atafo for a talk about the inspiration behind the looks.
Lifestyle Editor Ntianu Obiora writes:
“There is a heavy theme of embellishment throughout the collection which, at first, seems uncharacteristically Mai but to the avid Mai Atafo fan, this has been building up through his last two collections. When Mai plays up the feminine side of his female collections, he plays with embellishments but with this particular collection, he steps it up a notch with a heavy dose of handmade embellishments which also hark back to the bridal couture elements that Mai is so well known for.
Mai Atafo enthusiastically explains a duality that he wanted to maintain throughout the collection with men and women having something different but in some aspects, still very much the same and appealing to both the masculine and feminine side in each of us. ‘’Normally, I start with menswear and complement with womenswear but for this collection, I began with womenswear. With this one, I had a thought in my head about what I wanted the womenswear to look like; I wanted women to wear jackets, pants and suits. For someone who specialises in suits, I’ve never done a collection of women in suits all through. I started thinking of the type of pieces I could make that were feminine, but not overtly so, what kind of palette would I use for women that can be seen as feminine but that guys could still wear. Every piece that you see a lady wear, a guy has a suit in that very same fabric.’’
To properly execute his vision, Mai created two collections in one; menswear and womenswear, each with their own name and identity but mirroring each other in a symbiosis that ties Mai’s over-arching theme together rather nicely. ‘’It’s quite interesting that the womenswear collection is called Feminine AF and the menswear collection is called Beaumond: A Playboy’s Wardrobe. Once we started planning out what we wanted for womenswear, I started looking for things that I had not done before so if you see a certain jacket length, the likelihood is that you will see it only once in a particular style; all the jackets for women are different. All the jackets for the men may be similar in terms of length and cut but we made sure that for the women’s collection, no two were the same.