Donatella Versace once famously said : “For me, Music gives a Voice to Fashion”.
Her quote could not describe better the way I feel about the Fashion world. I get inspired and confident depending on how I dress myself whether I just go to the supermarket or perform on stage.
I admire designers giving their all to create clothes who empower those wearing them.
Last month, the creative director & founder of Fashion Industry Insiders, Edmond Kamara known as Cuts For Him, invited me to perform at his annual event in front of an audience of 160 like-minded fashion & art professionals.
This year’s theme, ‘Fashion as an Art Form”, brought together a panel of three incredible individuals discussing their views on Art, Fashion and Social Media.
From Left to Right :
– Maurice Mullen – Head of Fashion & Luxury Goods, Evening Standard & ‘ES’ mag.
– Mathias Le Fevre – Creative consultant for luxury menswear brands
– Caroline Chinakwe – Creative director, artist and designer
The venue, a beautiful conservatory inside the Millennium Gloucester Hotel in Kensington, looked like a gigantic glass house. The extra touch? The illuminated palm trees!
An exotic location, ideal for Caroline’s Afro Pop Art exhibition
I walked in with my musicians and there was no soundcheck in the schedule. Then, the outfit the main designer prepared did not fit and I was asked to change in a room full of male and female models, designers, photographers, and hotel staff. The me at that time, felt humiliated. I was too young to say no and I felt too afraid to raise my voice. When our time came to go on stage, we realised there was no sound system and no microphones available. The head organiser simply requested me to sing a bit louder.
We felt disrespected as artists and left without performing. And so so years I avoided the hotel, reminder of the incident.
Several times, Edmond chased after me… His efforts and personality took over my fears and he made sure to get me on that stage!
Funny enough, this time around, one of the organisers asked me to change my outfit to something more ‘fabulous’. It came from a good intention as the reason behind was that my outfit did not give my voice justice. I said no!
Well, not directly… Ocasionally, I still feel shy and no representative from my label was there to help in case of a disagreement.
So I walked out of the hotel for two hours, joined another fashion event, tried out some dresses displayed, came back and performed in my initial outfit.
This was my decision. No one should ever tell you to go and change but if they do, you are the one with final choice. You can change, you can compromise or you stick to your true self.
My outfit may have looked plain, BUT it made ME feel comfortable while I was playing guitar & singing.
My face lacked makeup BUT I felt comfortable and I did not feel the need to follow other’s beauty standards. Also, I wanted to give my skin a rest.
My hair should have been let loose or I could have benefit from a blow dry BUT I did not want to worry about some hair or hair pins going into the strings of my guitar while performing live.
Someone asked me in the backstage : “Are you nervous?” I was not, I was excited and ready!
Fashion Industry Insiders, THANK YOU for having me. It was a honour to be your headlining artist!
THANK YOU for giving me the opportunity to share what I do best : MUSIC!
— CIINDERELLA B —