Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Who Wore What: Lukundo Nalungwe in the "winning dress" by Yemi Osunkoya's Kosibah

[MNET Face of Africa winner Lukundo Nalungwe in Kosibah]

If you haven't heard about the Kosibah brand, no offense, but you've probably not been paying attention :-)  Kosibah is the brainchild of Nigerian desinger, Yemi Osunkoya, and the brand specializes in the most elegantly crafted designer wedding gowns and evening dresses. What makes their pieces special? Their "unique use of corsetry and draping [to create] gowns that flatter and enhance every woman's figure no matter her size or shape." And that is by no means an empty boast - you only need to flip through his enviable repertoire of world-class designs to agree. Countless brides have trusted Kosibah to bring their dreams to life and Kosibah continues to remain a firm favorite of brides-to-be.

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 Several well-known Nigerian designers, including Yemi Osunkoya, were picked to showcase their work during the Face of Africa finale. We eagerly followed Yemi's tweets about his adventures leading up to the event. One tweet in particular stood out: "The dress is complete! 4,323 in all!" Now, we knew 4,323 had to refer to embellishments of some sort, but thanks to Yemi's recent facebook photos detailing the design process, we now have some insight.

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As fate would have it, this year's winner Lukundo Nalungwe was the lucky girl who walked down the runway in a Kosibah piece! Now dubbed the "winning dress", Yemi and his team created this absolutely stunning dress from Woodin fabric, satin, and over 4,000 swarovski crystals! Here are some behind-the-scenes photos of how the dress came to life, complete with comments from the designer [the comments in brackets are ours]:

[Click to enlarge]

A) Pieces of cut Woodin fabric about to be embellished with Swarovski crystal stones B) How 4,320 stones were applied one by one to the gown C) The process of draping the skirt. Pinned in place, then stitched down by hand at every point with a pin. D) Doing the upper bodice of the gown on the stand E) The fabric 'petals' of the roses before they are made into proper roses F) Creating the roses.

[Click to enlarge]

G) The roses in various sizes completed H) Stitching the roses into the gown I) Upper bodice of the gown J) Skirt of the gown K) The gown before completion L) The gown after completion

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Lacing up the dress [at the fitting]

Lukundo in her Kosibah gown [at the fitting] - it fit like a glove!

Lukundo about to go on stage [D-day!]:

WOW. What a process and what an outcome! We contacted the designer directly to ask him some pressing questions about how long it took, how much the winning dress is worth, his willingness to recreate it, etc. and here are his responses:

"It took four people (including myself) and 6 solid weeks of hard work to produce the dress. Despite the top bit of the fabric being Woodin, it had 4320 Swarovski diamante stones and including man hours, [the dress] is worth 6,000 GBP (pounds)."

Will he be making any more?

"I think I'll replicate it as a bridal gown and it would be 5,000-8,000 GBP (pounds) depending on the fabric used. The exact dress can't be replicated because the Woodin fabric was a limited edition and about 5 years old."

o o o

There you have it, folks! What an amazing, priceless opportunity to see the winning dress come to life! We're extremely proud of Kosibah's work and are delighted to have Yemi share his gift with us. We'd also like to take this opportunity to thank him very much for letting us "borrow" his photos :-) Please visit  Kosibah here and be sure to join his facebook group - he does a commendable job of keeping his fans up-to-date and is an all-round gracious man! I'm sure many of you would agree.



ijaw girl said...

omg! u guys rock. great post.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic post! Yemi is something special and Lukundo brought his dress to life.