Nairobi Blue

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Learn how to recreate Lupita Nyong'o’s iconic Oscar night beauty and hair style in this episode of Get The Look >> 

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Totally neglected to post these photos from our trip to Kenya back in January (whoops). 

Good news: we are opening a temporary exhibition from that expedition in late August, and will be (hopefully! fingers crossed!) hosting a meetup and discussion to talk about our experience sometime in early September! More deets to come. There will be lots of bats. 

Photos from Nairobi National Park: 

  •  Blue wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus
  •  Impala, matching up (Aepyceros melampus), interrupted by a nosy warthog (Phacochoerus africanus). 
  • African sacred ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus) photobombing the lesser flamingo (Phoenicopterus minor)
  • Black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) - an unusual group of four, breathtaking.
  • Impala (Aepyceros melampus
  • Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer), past and present
  • White rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) 
Lupita BEEN Beautiful

by: Yaba Blay

Last night as I watched Lupita Nyong’o approach the red carpet, her mother, father, and brother in tow, I was enchanted into silence. There she stood - skin black like ours, hair tightly coiled like ours, wearing a headband on her flat top in a ‘Nairobi blue’ gown. In that moment I saw a new image of a princess (however problematic that imagery is in and of itself). Later, I watched through tearful eyes, as that princess’ fairytale, and ours, came true. WE won.

Lupita Nyong’o by Gyimah Gariba

Much conversation today about Lupita’s win, what it means, and what it should mean. Does “Hollywood” finally see us? Will Lupita’s success open the mainstream gates for dark-skinned Black women everywhere? Has the game changed? Interesting and valid questions. My questions, however, continue to be turned inwards, towards the WE who won. Do WE finally see us?

As I wrote when I launched Pretty. Period.

I see Lupita every day. I see her as often on the streets of Philadelphia as I do on the streets of Accra. I see her in my classroom. I see her at the corner store. I see her at the mall. I see her everywhere.

And so do you. Only you don’t know it. If it took the media’s fixation on Lupita’s Otherness to introduce you to the beauty of dark skin, then you don’t know what you’re seeing when you look at dark-skinned women. Or maybe you don’t even see us.

This is a photo of Lupita before she was ours…

Photo courtesy of Orijin Culture

Just as stunning then as she is now. If she weren’t the Lupita handed to you by the mainstream, would you still have recognized her for the stunner that she is? 

My point is this - we don’t need Hollywood to tell us we’re beautiful. We just need to tell ourselves we’re beautiful. 

Lupita is beautiful. Lupita BEEN beautiful. And so have we. So, please, next time you see “Lupita,” be sure to remind her that she is pretty. Period.

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What does “best dressed” mean? For us, it translates into two words: showstopping radiance. Here are our best dressed ladies on the 2014 Oscars Red Carpet.

1. Let’s talk about Lupita Nyong'o, who has been consistently at the top of her red carpet game throughout this awards season. Lupita looked like a dream in her custom Nairobi blue Prada gown.

2. 7 months pregnant Olivia Wilde was radiant in custom Valentino, accessorizing with some major teardrop earrings.

3. Cate Blanchett is by no means a red carpet newcomer, and she showed her enduring style in sequined Armani Privé.

4. Capes of all kinds have been popular during awards season, and we loved Kate Hudson’s mini version on her Atelier Versace gown.

5. Sandra Bullock proved that sometimes, classic simplicity is the way to go in a midnight blue Alexander McQueen number.

6. What can we say? Angelina Jolie always manages to take our breath away, this time in Elie Saab haute couture.