A look back at footage from my catwalk show at the Kulture2Kouture fashion show at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, organised by the Mayors Office to celebrate Black History Month.
After 25 years of running my couture bridal and evening wear brand Kosibah in London, I moved myself and my business to New York in September 2016.
I expected a bit of an adjustment and prepared myself for it, but the reality of the move was more profound than I could have imagined.
I have always believed you should never rest on your laurels or believe you have ‘made it’ because change is constant and you must keep up with it.
What I came to realise it is that despite my flagging up the possibility of my move from London to NY, it didn’t register with a lot of people and so I’ve had to step up my marketing and brand presence strategies to rectify this.
The move is a very positive step for the Kosibah brand because aside from my UK clients (I still retain my London studio and visit every 8 weeks for client consultations and fittings) the Kosibah brand is now easily available to clients all over the US.
I have thoroughly enjoyed exploring the Garment District of NYC and especially love the fact all you needas a designer (fabrics, trimmings, equipment, sample makers etc) can be found within 7th to 9th Avenues and 37th to 40th street.
Here are some beautiful fabrics I’ve come across and look forward to using to create my couture gowns.
l am now planning to visit a few cities in the US to hold one to one Bridal Consultations with potential clients. To get them to see and possibly try on Kosibah Sample couture gowns and then have a gown designed especially for them.
Which city and state do you think I should add to my list? The more the demand the more likely I’ll visit that city.
Hi there, thanks for checking out this blog post. As the end of 2016 draws in, I thought it would be an ideal opportunity to look back at Kosibah Real Brides who got married in a different country from which they usually live.
This is more pertinent to me as a bridal designer who has recently relocated to New York from London after successfully running my business there for 25 years.
It’s a huge leap of faith to have a destination wedding because even if you have the most efficient and well connected wedding planner, you are still physically removed from where your dream day will take place.
I’ve had the great privilege this year to work with some amazing brides to create couture gowns for their destination weddings. I’m pleased that at least getting their couture gown made is one thing they can be part of from start to completion.
Here is the list. Please let me know which is your favourite Kosibah Bride or wedding destination.
1.Kosibah Real Bride Louise. Destination: Cape Town, South Africa.
Louise wore a couture full skirted bridal gown with a beaded, corseted bodice and a tulle skirt bustled behind with multi length layers, stiffed at the hemline with horsehair crinoline.
2. Kosibah Real Bride Funmilayo. Destination: Venice, Italy.
Funmilayo wore a couture fishtail gown. It had a removable chemise with 3/4 length sleeves which she removed for the informal part of the wedding reception.
3. Kosibah Real Bride Amina. Destination: Chateneauf-de-Grass (near Nice), France.
Amina wore a silver gray French Lace and Duchesse Satin couture gown styled to reflect her Nigerian heritage. The corseted gown had a fitted skirt with a detachable tulle overskirt.
4. Kosibah Real Bride Julianna. Destination: Santorini, Greece.
Julianna wore a couture bridal gown featuring an illusion tulle bodice embellished with Lace appliqués and a modified fishtail skirt in soft tulle with a cathedral train.
5. Kosibah Real Bride Layal. Destination: Lake Como, Italy.
Layal wore a couture bridal gown with a fitted beaded Lace bodice with an intergral corset and delicate covered buttons over the dress zipper and dropped shoulder strap sleeves. The fishtail skirt was made up of over 50 meters of Tulle gathered into rose swirls and ruffles on the surface fabric of Duchesse Satin. A matching cathedral veil with hand stitched Lace edging completed the ensemble. Photos by Jide Alakija.
I look forward to reading your comments. Thank you.
In August I had the joyful opportunity to fulfil a promise I made to myself during a visit to my niece shortly after her birth….that God willing, I would create her bridal gown when she got married.
I also got to make dresses for my cousin, the mother of the bride and her older sister.
It was the first time a large group of my family would see one of my creations ‘in real life’ as opposed to photographs, videos or in magazines which made it even more special for me.
The dress, a corseted fishtail chapel train strapless gown with a cathedral length organza overlay,and veil featuring a beaded tulle lace with pearl accents, were further enhanced by 4,000+ Swarovski diamanté crystals added unto their hand cut appliqués in the Kosibah studio.
Swarovski diamanté crystals were also added to her bridal shoes in the Kosibah studio.
Her hair was styled by talented hairstylist (and as it happens, a past Kosibah Real Bride!) Bunmi Nsofor of Avos Hair.
Today’s inspiration board features Kosibah couture gown ‘Imogen’.
The fishtail gown features a pearl and diamanté embellished neckline and waistline. The skirt is sprinkled with hand-cut Swaroski diamanté encrusted Lace appliqués hand sewn into place.
The pearl and diamanté accents are taken as a theme for the cake, shoes and earrings.
Please share your thoughts below.
It is always a great show of confidence in one’s work when as a designer you get to create bridal gowns for more than one member of the same family. It was such a case in today’s Kosibah Real Bride Charlotte as I also got to create her sister’s bridal gown a couple of years later.
Charlotte wanted a fitted fishtail gown with some texture in the fabric. I created a gown featuring an asymmetrical empire-line bodice hand-draped in silk duchesse satin with a Swarovski embellished knot leading to 2 detachable shoulder straps. The corseted lower bodice and fishtail skirt was in textured silk tulle with Swarovski diamante crystals added on in the Kosibah Studio.
I also made the dresses worn by the 2 Bridesmaids (one of whom I later made a wedding gown for), the Mother of the Bride and the Grandmother of the Bride. As I usually do when I can, I arrived in the morning to dress the whole bridal party.
Charlotte, the daughter of Lord Boateng, a peer of the realm, had the privilege of getting married in the beautiful St Margaret’s Church, Westminster Abbey with her reception taking place across Parliament Square at One Great George Street , a magnificent Grade II listed, four-domed, Edwardian building .
Charlotte removed her silk tulle cathedral veil after the wedding service and just before cutting the cake with her new husband, removed the detachable shoulder straps which created a more informal look to her dress.
Enjoy the images, especially the interiors of both St Margaret’s Church and One Great George Street.
The red zibeline and organza couture gown created for our client Sunny Nersian for the party to celebrate her engagement to her fiancé Danny Andre was featured recently in OK! Magazine.
The gown that featured over 1440 hand affixed Swarovski diamanté crystal had a form fitting bodice and textured fishtail skirt.
Here are some images of the dress being created in the Kosibah studio and tear sheets from the magazine.
I’ve been reviewing all the videos I’ve posted in the YemiKosibah YouTube channel and I was quite surprised by how many there were, and I’ve decided to begin posting them here on my blog.
This video was shot in October 2008 at a fashion show called Kulture2Couture, held at the Victoria & Albert Museum’s Raphael Room, and organised by the Mayor’s Office as part of Black History month, K2C as it was fondly known went on for 3 years until it was discontinued when Boris Johnson became the new mayor of London.
I showed a combination of bridal, evening and formal day wear and though the footage is from 2008, the dresses don’t look too dated (I hope!!).
The video also has some testimonial messages at the end.
Please let me know what you think.
I share with you today’s Kosibah real bride Anu’s wedding with very fond memories. Her wedding was one of those rare ones that allowed me to fully display exactly what Kosibah can do for a wedding party. I dressed Anu and her 6 bridesmaids not only for the wedding, but also for the evening party afterwards where they changed into Afro-Centric eveningwear.
The wedding was held at the magnificent St Marylebone Parish Church , Marylebone Road near Regent’s Park where the couple were able to take some wonderful photographs after the service, and the Reception took place at the London Hilton on Park Lane .
Anu wore a fitted empire-line fishtail gown, with an integral corset laced up underneath the zipper featuring decorative covered buttons. The bodice was ruched in ivory organza and the skirt was in ivory silk duchesse satin with a champagne tulle beaded Lace overlay. The removable cap-sleeved chemise top was in the Lace left sheer.A cathedral tulle veil edged in the same lace completed the ensemble.
As Anu wanted to celebrate her future husbands Ghanaian heritage, I suggested we used a fabric called Kente-Oke as well as duchesse satin for the bridesmaids dresses. Anu’s husband’s tuxedo jacket was made with Kente-Oke as well.
For the evening party, Anu changed into a fitted sheath gown in salmon Silk charmeuse and beaded lace and her bridesmaids in knee-length fitted dresses in Woodin fabric.
A short video clip of the wedding beautifully captured by Joseph Young can be viewed here
Please leave a comment after viewing the photos below. I’d love to know what you think.
Today’s Kosibah Real Bride is Bukky.
Bukky had searched quite extensively for her bridal gown but couldn’t find anything that met all her requirements of fit her perfectly without requiring adjustments. Having a bespoke bridal gown made was the obvious choice and fortunately, she chose Kosibah.
I came up with a design that suited her figure and her height. She wore a 2 piece ensemble comprising of a corseted amended A-Line gown in ivory silk zibeline. The bodice of the gown featured bespoke embroidery and asymmetrical ruching that accentuated the cinched in waist.
A cap sleeved chemise top in silk organza featuring a line of tiny Swarovski diamante crystals along the neckline and edges of the sleeves was worn beneath the gown to meet the requirements of Bukky’s church for her shoulders to be covered during the wedding ceremony, and removed before Bukky made her entrance into the Reception venue for a less formal look.
The cathedral tulle veil also featured matching bespoke embroidery along the edges and was designed to be worn both as a conventional veil that covered the face, and as a mantilla style veil.
The wedding took place in Lagos and the photographs are by international wedding photographer Atunbi.
Sorry for lapsing so early into my new regime of regular posts here on the YemiKosibah blog. Today’s Inspiration Board features kosibah couture bridal gown ‘Irina’.
The antique white silk duchesse strapless gown has a fitted, draped bodice cinched into a tiny waist ,achieved by the internal corset, and falls into a soft A-line skirt with hand stitched Lace appliqués.. The back features covered buttons fastened with rouloux loops. The removable long sleeves chemise in silk organza also features covered buttons.
The simplicity of this gown enables you to indulge in extravagant accessories. The iconic red soled fully crystallized Christian Louboutin shoes are a perfect example.
Image by Damien Lovegrove
Today’s Inspiration Board features Kosibah gown ‘Alexandria’. The corseted fit and flare gown in antique white silk organza over duchesse satin, with Swarovski diamanté crystal embellished lace appliqués on the empire bodice, the asymmetrical shoulder straps and down the seams along with scallop lace edging around the skirt hem.
The lace theme can be carried on with the wedding cake and shoes, and the crystals with the jewelled heirloom bouquet.
Would you carry themes from your dress unto other elements of your wedding?
Dress Image by Damien Lovegrove
Today’s Kosibah Real Bride is Amina. She wore an empire-line corseted dress in champagne duchesse satin, with a champagne silk organza overlay featuring old gold Lace appliques embellished with Swarovski diamante crystals. Amina opted to wear her hair in loose curls tumbling over her right shoulder. On her head Amina wore a champagne tulle cathedral train with hand stitched Lace edging to match her gown as well as a bespoke jeweled headpiece by Kyles Collection. The wedding service took place at the beautiful St Peter’s Church and the reception at the English Heritage former stately home Kenwood House.