Spanish and Parisian fashions were on free-flowing display last Thursday night at Fairmont Norfolk Hotel where Angie Meseguer had brought her latest batch of lovely Europeans garments at the suggestion of the show’s curator, Lisa Christophersen.
Lisa had also invited jewellers Joo and Co. to bring their latest lines of precious and semi-precious gemstone jewellery to also exhibit while Angie was doing last-minute rehearsals with her 14 international and local models.
The fashions of Kashe by Angie easily compliment the jewellery of Joo & Co. although Angie’s models did not wear Joo’s precious gemstones, most of which are set in diamonds and white gold. Instead, Joo’s marketing director Nida Joo allowed Lisa to wear a full set of deep blue Tanzanite jewellery for a photo-shoot.
Conducting the shoot out in Norfolk’s quiet outdoor garden cafe, Lisa wore lovely teardrop-shaped earrings with a matching necklace, bracelet and ring, which (apart from the bracelet) were all set in white gold with diamonds surrounding each purple-toned blue stone.
“Tanzanite and Tsavorite are our most popular gemstones right now,” says Nida. “People especially like Tanzanite since it comes in so many different colours,” she adds. Those two together with Morganite are considered ‘rare’ gemstones. But then, Joo’s also has other precious gemstones like diamonds, emeralds, rubies and sapphires as well as amethyst, citrine and tourmaline.
Currently, Nida says Joo’s biggest business is in engagement rings, many of which are made to order, designed either by the buyer or by Joo’s founder-managing director, Faisal Joo. After that, the item is created either in Italy, Thailand or the US and then sent back to Kenya.
And while most of Joo’s business is in gemstones mined in East Africa, mainly in Tanzania, Angie’s fashions are strictly from European fashion houses. “I love living in Kenya; I have lived here 20 years. But I also love connecting Kenya with my homeland, Spain through fashion,” says Angie who adds that at least 80 per cent of her designs are from Barcelona because she loves Spanish fashion. “The rest are from Paris,” she adds.
Kashe, she says, doesn’t specialise in any one kind of garment. “We have casual wear as well as cocktail and evening wear,” she says, adding that “all women are special so we cater for all sizes, from skinny to plus sizes. We say our clothes are for ‘real women’.”
Angie backed up that claim by including both stick skinny and pleasantly plump (size plus) women models in her first Norfolk fashion show. The clothes had been cut so well that even the plus size models looked beautiful as they sashayed down the improvised catwalk that Angie had made, using red carpeting she had brought from one of her four shops in Nairobi, one at Junction, others at Yaya Centre, Sarit Centre and Village Market.
Angie says she has noted that some foreigners like to adapt to Kenya by integrating their concepts of fashion with African themes. “But I cannot do that since I love my European fashions too much,” she says. “I love bringing a Spanish, French and even Italian notion of fashion to Kenyans which I have seen how much they love it.”
Having featured 37 garments in her premiere Norfolk show, all were warmly received. But undoubtedly, the fashion that received overwhelming appreciation was the wedding gown worn by the Vietnamese model, Victoria Powers Tran.
The lacy snow-white gown was a show-stealer as soon as Victoria stepped out on the catwalk. It was so well received that Angie had to bring her back for an extra walk-round the Norfolk lobby, bar and garden since the guest wouldn’t have been satisfied if the show had been closed without their opportunity to again get a good look at the lovely gown and model of them all.