Getty Images

Lupita Nyong'o And Tiffany Haddish Opt For East African-Inspired Style At Oscars

The two called upon normal, fashion-related elements of culture in two African nations, spreading knowledge of rich tradition without saying a word.

The association of Africa with aridness, helplessness, and poverty dates back centuries. It’s an ongoing battle to reestablish the continent as one with its own norms, ideologies, traditions, and of course, fashion.

As do those in other regions, the many nations of Africa have its own stylistic approach to clothing, though inspiration continues to go unnoticed. Elements such as patterns, textures, embroideries, and even accessories have been shipped abroad and replicated to be sold and marketed in a different milieu. African styles continue to be tapped for high fashion, seen in collections belonging to the likes of Yves Saint Laurent and Marc Jacobs. Still, the continent remains "poor, little Africa."

There’s been an especially concentrated emphasis in recent years, with the reintroduction of the dashiki, borrowed mostly regarding patterns, from Africa. Now, beginning with Black Panther, attention to tradition and an elaborate culture is receiving mainstream resurgence.

The film literally uncovered a land of rich tradition. Behind the impoverished and destitute Wakanda known to the rest of the world, there’s a hidden, eco-conscious, culture-rich, resourceful, fashion-forward land, held as exclusive knowledge to its natives. It’s not defined by a history of enslavement and colonization because there is none. The presentation is both theoretical and a physical manifestation of ceaseless defense by Africans everywhere of their multifaceted homes.

The continent, home to 54 countries is still thought indiscernible to many. But there is variety, even within a country, which the film zeroes in on with its tribes. Designed by Ruth Carter, each tribe was actually clad in attire native to different countries and/or territories in Africa. To name a couple, the River Tribe’s outfits were inspired by the Surma of Ethiopia and the Dora Milaje’s outfits were inspired by the Maasai people.

Lupita Nyong’o is known for donning hairstyles that are inherently African. The Academy Award-winning actress of Kenyan descent spoke with Allure early last month about her all-too-familiar struggle with embracing her hair. Like many black women, she went from relaxing her hair to starting over, to attempting to start from scratch, and then again to submitting to its "difficulty."

Nyong’o’s hair journey is similar to and symbolic of a culture where the elevation of Western styles and the shunning of others is normal, though recently there is a noticeable increase in the embrace of curlier hair textures. The actress talks about learning that your hair is to be cared for as an individual entity and not compared to others. In her interview, she states that “it’s like clay in the right hands.” And the availability of hair care knowledge is inarguably more readily available to black women than it’s ever been.

The revival carried itself to the red carpet of the 90th Academy Awards on Sunday (Mar. 4). Tiffany Haddish, who spoke about her father’s Eritrean heritage recently, donned a traditional Eritrean dress called a zuria. The comedic actress told daily talk show host Michael Strahan, “My father is from Eritrea and he passed away last year. He said one day I would end up here and if I ever end up at the Oscars to honor my people, so I’m honoring my fellow Eritreans.” This follows Haddish’s recent trip to Eritrea where she connected with family.

Nyong’o wore a gold, Versace gown, and an equally as stunning hairstyle. The 35-year-old's hair was styled in three, asymmetrical braids, accompanied by accents of golden thread. Simple but elegant, Nyong’o’s hair was styled in an Amasunzu. The style, native to Rwanda, is typically elaborate and worn by unmarried Rwandan men and women. It was traditionally a reflection of social status and elegance. Often shaved into their style, Nyongo’s stylist opted for braids for less permanence.

The two actresses are not the first to make statements with African attire but the Oscars red carpet is a big deal. The two called upon normal, fashion-related elements of culture in two African nations, spreading knowledge of rich tradition without saying a word.

#Eritrea #weready #thelastblackunicorn

A post shared by Tiffany Haddish (@tiffanyhaddish) on

From the Web

More on Vibe

Eric Michael Roy

Snoop Dogg To Appear On ‘Red Table Talk'

On Feb. 26, Facebook Watch’s Red Table Talk will host Snoop Dogg in a conversation that’s sure to make headlines. The “Signs” rapper will join Jada Pinkett-Smith and her mother Adrienne Banfield-Norris and daughter Willow Smith for a conversation surrounding his rant toward CBS This Morning’s Gayle King.

The discussion will tackle “the culture of disrespect between black men and black women,” according to Smith’s Instagram notification. The feature arrives weeks after Snoop Dogg spewed his disdain for King’s early February interview with Lisa Leslie where the journalist asked the former WNBA player for her thoughts on the late Kobe Bryant's 2003 sexual assault case. The moment appeared insensitive to several spectators, leading Snoop to refer to the King as a “funky dog head b**ch."


View this post on Instagram


@snoopdogg is coming to @redtabletalk Wednesday, February 26th to have an in-depth and insightful conversation about The Culture of Disrespect Between Black Men and Black Women. Join us❣️

A post shared by Jada Pinkett Smith (@jadapinkettsmith) on Feb 21, 2020 at 7:00am PST

Since that moment, Snoop Dogg has apologized to King, taking responsibility for acting “in a derogatory manner based on emotions.” According to the Associated Press, King accepted Snoop’s apology and noted that “as a journalist, it is sometimes challenging to balance doing my job with the emotions and feelings during difficult times”


View this post on Instagram


Had a talk with my momma thank u mamma 💕🌹 2 wrongs don’t make it right time to heal 🙏🏽💙 @gayleking Peace ☮️ n love Praying for u and your family as well as Vanessa and the kids 🙏🏽✨🌹 🕊

A post shared by snoopdogg (@snoopdogg) on Feb 12, 2020 at 1:35pm PST

Snoop Dogg’s episode of Red Table Talk will air on Facebook Watch on Wednesday (Feb. 26) at 9 a.m. PT/12 p.m. ET.

Continue Reading
Scott Gries

Whitney Houston’s Hologram Gears Up For European Tour

Whitney Houston’s hologram is hitting the road for a European tour, eight years after the music legend's death. Earlier in the week, Houston's hologram popped up on the British TV show This Morning to perform “The Greatest Love Of All” and fans are already shuttering at the teaser of what the show will look like.

Video of the performance has been circulating the internet and appears to show a grainy ghost-like holographic droid belting out one of Houston’s best known hits.

Whitney Houston’s Hologram video

— WHITNEY HOUSTON daily (@AllAboutWhitney) February 19, 2020

The production is a collaboration with BASE Hologram and features dance routines from choreographer Fatima Robinson.

Houston’s sister-in-law and former manager, Pat Houston, asserts that the tour will be exactly as the late music legend would have envisioned. “Now is just the right time,” Pat told the Associated Press. “In the spirt of Whitney, I know we’re doing all the right things right now. This is something that she wanted to do. I get very emotional watching this because it is so, so close to what she wanted. The only thing missing is her, physically.”

Fans are less than excited about the jaunt.

I'm not saying the Whitney Houston hologram tour will be a hot mess, but they are suggesting she had as much grace as a malfunctioning The Sims character wafting away a fart on #ThisMorning

— Mr Adam Remain 🇪🇺 (@MrAdamR) February 19, 2020

Whitney Houston hologram on This Morning. Looks nothing like her, and doesn’t look at all real. Just looks like a big TV screen playing a slightly laggy video of a lookalike.

— Charles Thomson (@CEThomson) February 19, 2020

I wish I WOULD see on somebodies snapchat story of them being at a Whitney Houston hologram concert .

— Trevor Norris (@trevor_norris0) February 19, 2020

Houston's digital doppelgänger joins holograms of Tupac Shakur, Eazy-E and Ol' Dirty Bastard. An Amy Winehouse hologram tour was expected to launch last year but never got off the ground.

“An Evening With Whitney Houston: The Whitney Houston Hologram Tour” will include hits like “Saving All My Love For You,” “How Will I Know,” and “I Will Always Love You.”

The tour launches in England on Feb. 25 and runs through April. U.S. dates are expected to be announced at a later date.

Continue Reading
The USC Annenberg School For Communication And Journalism Celebrates Commencement at The Shrine Auditorium on May 11, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)

USC Will Offer Free Tuition For Students From Families Making Under $80,000

USC announced a new effort to make attending the university affordable to students from middle and low-income families. The school will offer free undergrad tuition for families making less than 80,000 a year, USC president Carol L. Folt announced on Thursday (Feb. 20).

Thanks to the new policies, owning a home will not be counted in calculating the student’s tuition needs.

“We’re opening the door to make a USC education possible for talented students from all walks life,” Folt said in a statement. “This significant step we are taking today is by no means the end of our affordability journey. We are committed to increasing USC’s population of innovators, leaders and creators regardless of their financial circumstances. Investing in the talent and diversity of our student body is essential to our education mission.”

The announcement comes as USC remains embroiled in an admissions scandal that became public last year.

As for the new policy, USC will increase undergraduate aid by $30 million annually which will expand financial aid for more than 4,000 students. The new policies will be implemented for incoming students beginning in the fall of 2020 and the spring of 2021.

Continue Reading

Top Stories