From Red Carpets to Runways: Africa’s Most Mesmerising Fashion Moments of 2023

Posted on December 12, 2023

Iconic doesn’t fully encapsulate the red-carpet moments we’ve experienced in 2023. While the first half of the year brought memorable fashion moments, such as Chika Ike’s appearance at the Cannes Film Festival and the African premiere dresses for ‘Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story,’ the second half delivered even more. It treated us to some of the most unforgettable outfits ever to grace the carpets, spanning fashion events to film festivals.

In no particular order, we’ve curated a list of the ten most talked-about red-carpet moments of 2023, from Cannes to the Oscars, the Met Gala to the VMAs.

  1. Queen Charlotte African Premiere

Nigerian entertainers and South Africa’s top personalities graced Cape Town for the premiere of Netflix’s “Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story,” and it was a fashion enthusiast’s dream. From Priscilla Ojo’s Victorian-themed dress designed by Xtrabrides Lagos to Mercy Eke and Lillian Afegbai’s corseted dresses designed by newly emerged designer Kud Collections, Nigerian stars and the design teams simply understood the assignment.

  1. Miss Universe 2023 Costume

From the moment Mitchel Ihueze landed at EL Salvador for the Miss Universe 2023 competition, she servied looks while spotlighting various Nigerian designers with a mix of luxury items. For the final costume look, she took it above and beyond in a costume that was an ‘amalgamation of core elements from 3 notable queens who have had a significant influence on Nigerian industry.’ She combined the Queen Moremi staff with Queen Idia’s mask, a mask that caused controversy during Rema’s sold-out 02 Arena concert, and a headpiece from Amina, Queen of Zazzau.

  1. Ayra Starr at the VMAS

Ayra Starr was at the VMAs to make history, and she had to wear the appropriate outfit to seal the moment. For her first VMAs performance, she wore the archival Thierry Mugler black velvet and petal dress from their Fall 1990 collection. The dress, which was altered by her longtime stylist, Janice, was accessorised with a diamond-studded watch choker from Stolen Arts and the Women’s Piferi Avangarda Crystal Pumps.

  1. Medlin Boss For The ATAFO x The Macallan Showcase

Medlin Boss designs clothes for a living, so it’s not a surprise that her outfit for ATAFO’s spring/summer ‘24 collection was one of the best outfits at the showcase sponsored by The Macallan.

For the showcase, she wore a suit dress from the Medlin Boss Couture Collection, and she paired the outfit with the Self Portrait Silver Curved Micro Bag and the DSRM Crystal Buckle Rhinestone High-Heeled Sandals.

  1. Mercy Eke BBNaija All Stars Entrance

Mercy Eke is the queen of highlights, she knows how to make her presence known especially with her fashion choices, and that’s exactly what she did at the live shows for the BBNaija All Stars premiere. Styled by Makililo Nelson, the reality TV star wore a custom-made festival-inspired dress.

  1. Faith Morey at RHOLagos Exclusive Screening

Faith Morey loves herself a good train moment, and that’s what she channelled at the exclusive launch party of the Real Housewives of Lagos Season 2. In true Eko Royalty regalia, she showed up looking like the Statue of Liberty but in a blue-coloured graded dress designed by Ann Usman. Although her dress was stunning and perfectly fitting, her rosette train stole the show.

  1. Asake Work of Art O2 Concert

Every public appearance is an opportunity for Asake to showcase his unique style. For his sold-out 02 Arena concert in xxx, he took reference from the iconic neo-expressionism artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, known for painting canvases. He wore paint-splattered Armani Jackets, smart sunglasses (classic Wayfarers) and geometric designs by Issey Miyake. His opening performance outfit was a Mowalola piece with an engineered light modified by his design and garment technology lead, Linda Calixie.

  1. Chika Ike at Cannes

Chika Ike was the first Nigerian filmmaker to be invited to the Cannes Film Festival, and she fully represented the industry in style. For the opening night, she wore a metallic green dress designed by Kud Collections, the Nigerian designer behind some of the show-stopping outfits we saw at Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story African premiere, including dresses worn by Mercy Eke and Lilian Afegbai. The overall look was styled by Swanky Jerry.

  1. Tems at the MET Gala and Oscars

Tems has become the queen of the red carpet, and Dunsin Wright, her stylist, deserves accolades for her input in making sure that the Grammy-winning music star makes iconic red carpet appearances. For the 2023 MET Gala referenced his Spring ‘92 Chanel Couture and the the Chanel Haute Couture 1988 collections for her look, a look that showed Dunsin’s range as a stylist and Tems’ ability to pull off any look. For the Oscars, she also went all out as she wore the extravagant Lever Couture gown that led to backlash from attendees and had the whole internet talking. Tems told People “Two years ago, I would’ve said no to this dress, but it’s my first Oscars — I am going to go all out.” All out did she go.

  1. Ini Edo at AMVCAs

Ini Edo was at the AMVCAs to make history after her film ‘Shanty Town,’ earned 11 nominations. So she had to show out and show up. For the red carpet, she wore a custom-made dress from Lakimmy, the couture brand behind Juliet Ibrahim and Chioma Good Hair’s AMVCA9 dresses.

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