Many A-listers and fashion icons have used fashion to speak, particularly about Black empowerment, for many years. Over the years it has introduced us to fresh perspectives through design that enhanced the collective elegance of Black bodies and the diversity of African diasporic cultures through the fashion.
Recently, Danai Gurira an American actress popularly known for her role in Black painter joined the list of A-listers who have given a Nod to Africa’s rich cultural heritage. Wearing a blue-violet Head of State ball gown designed by Nigerian-American designer Taofeek Abijako, Danai carried a traditional African fly whisk for the occasion.
Flywhisks were worn as status symbols and during masquerades throughout most of Africa. Both motions and words were highlighted. Their materials tended to be naturally status-enhancing. This flywhisk, for example, is constructed of lavishly dyed horsehair and was originally possessed by Ethiopian Emperor Theodor (1855-1868). The horse is linked to military achievement, and its worth is proportional to how difficult it is to keep horses in tse tse fly-infested areas.
According to her stylist Thomas Carter Phillips, It was important to her and Head of State designer Taofeek Abijako to highlight the culture of their shared African heritage. It was an immense pleasure to create this look with them.
Taking pride in her natural hair, Danai crowned her afro up-do with a diamond bandeau tiara and accessories from Fred Leighton Jewels and Roger Vivier. Soft brows, luscious lashes, wonderfully polished complexion, and lovely bold lips defined the glam look.