Monday 27th of May 2024

Nairobi, Kenya

KiKi Layne Chose Her Own Jewelry For Coming 2 America, According to Costume Designer Ruth E. Carter

Coming 2 America, the highly anticipated follow-up to the Eddie Murphy-Arsenio Hall classic, opens just like the original. As viewers, we’re immediately transported to the grandiose and opulent Zamunda, a feat achieved thanks largely to the costumes, thoughtfully reimagined by Oscar-winning costume designer Ruth E. Carter.

The cult-favorite film, which broke box office records when it premiered in 1988, is a study in visual splendor when it comes to the wardrobe, from Prince Akeem’s draped furs to Lisa’s pink royal wedding dress, not to mention hilarious as hell  who could forget Murphy’s goofy, Scottish-inspired McDowell’s uniform, complete with a red tartan vest and matching tam-o’-shanter hat?

Fans of the first movie will be pleased to know that many of the outfits, as well as the characters wearing them, make a triumphant return in the sequel, while others are reworked to feel decidedly more modern and African, including the aforementioned McDowell’s looks.

For Carter, crafting the wardrobe of the new Zamunda required making hundreds of costumes, with several options for each principal actor, including exact replicas of memorable looks, like the lady-in-waiting’s shimmery gold dress (spoiler alert: Sheila Johnson is back, and, yes, she’s still barking like a dog and hopping on one leg).

POPSUGAR spoke to Carter, who’s designed costumes for Malcolm X and Black Panther, about what it was like dressing the stars of the exciting new release.

POPSUGAR: How does the style in this film differ from the first?

Ruth E. Carter: The first film had such grandeur  it was shot like a big Hollywood movie. When we came into the palace, we saw the opulent dresses, the tuxedos, the way the men stood with their envelope caps and sashes . . . that is signature Coming to America; I wanted to maintain that.

At the time, we didn’t see much of that from Africa; we weren’t even sure how authentic it was, but we loved it. The lion on the shoulder, Akeem in the Mets jacket  those were iconic images. I went through and picked out the things that I needed to move into the new movie. I even found some dresses from that ballroom scene in a rental house.

And we created our own new-style Zamunda looks, too, because I wanted to replicate the headdresses and big, full dresses, but in a way that was uniquely ours. We made some of the same silhouettes with more modern fabrics and treatments.

PS: So you repeated exact outfits?

RC: Oh yes. We screen-grabbed them so we could copy them exactly. We duplicated all of Murphy’s “I Love NY” buttons and [his] cap in the same way. In the flashback sequence, when Murphy and Hall are in the nightclub, we used stock footage of Arsenio entering the club and re-created his whole outfit. You can’t buy that jacket; that fabric is no longer around. That whole scene was spliced together, but I think it was very successful.

PS: Sheila Johnson’s gold dress was re-created to a tee as well.

RC: We did a ton of work looking at the images of that dress and even commissioned a jeweler who specialized in illusion-style dresses, where you have a lot of sheer spaces and strategically placed beading. We identified the shape of each gem and made a complete replica of what she wore in the first film.

PS: Were Teyana Taylor’s looks meant to be an homage to the lady in waiting?

RC: We made her some cool Shiraki military costumes, but for the big prince number, we created that costume from scratch. I was inspired by Afropunk and steampunk for her bodice, and the boots and cape were designed to be the big reveal.

PS: What were some of your other inspirations for creating the wardrobe?

RC: I was inspired by modern African fashion: the bright, brilliant colors of Ozwald Boateng suits and the Ankara fabrics that are used so prevalently in celebrations. My mood boards featured a lot of modern takes on African style, as well as images of Egyptian royalty. I wanted to bring a lot of gold and opulence into the story, so I gave it permission to be very blingy and showy. I wanted [Zamunda] to be a place you’d want to go and visit and shop and explore, because the people were so vibrant and interesting.

PS: As a Black creator, can you speak to the importance of sourcing Black designers for this particular movie?

RC: Because this was a continuation film as opposed to a remake, I wanted to move it through time by honoring the first movie while giving people another view of Coming to America. I had pieces made by artisans all over the world, from east India to New York. For me, traveling to Maxhosa in South Africa to dress the palace servants was representation that was necessary and beautiful — the prints you see on the staff really colored the palace.

PS: What are the differences, if any, between the fashion of Zamunda vs. Wakanda?

RC: When I did [the costumes for] Wakanda, I was very clear that it was not Coming to America. Wakanda is a world that was built prior to colonization, so I wanted to present a tribal view. Most people don’t know how to get to Wakanda. You can [theoretically] go to Zamunda and have a great time and buy some Ankara and see all of the colors and people and fabrics.

PS: Were there any hidden Easter eggs in the costumes?

RC: Randy Watson’s jumpsuit was based on Elvis, because I knew that Eddie loved Elvis. I showed Eddie a picture of a jumpsuit Elvis wore late in his life, and we patterned the Randy Watson jumpsuit after it.

Written By Claire Stern

Content courtesy of POPSUGAR & Nairobi fashion hub

Top 10 Online Jewellery shops in Kenya

Pieces of jewelry are the costly things to invest your money. So, everyone does proper research before investing money in jewelry,no one wants to waste their money on fake jewelries, Due to trust issues, many of us still buy gold, diamond silver, bronze , copper jewelry offline. We are afraid of investing money online that too without seeing the quality of jewels.

Photo credit Adele Dejak

A perfect look remains incomplete for a woman without the right kind of jewelry. Jewelry shopping remains indispensable and irresistible when a woman is out shopping for an occasion,but with jewellery being readily available online, who really wants to wait for an occasion?

Here is a list of online Jewellery store to checkout while shopping:

1. Adele Dejak

Adele Dejak the brand is home to luxurious African inspired jewelry handcrafted in the heart of Kenya. Everything comes from materials that different African tribes would use to make their ornaments and trinkets. they have contemporary, artistic and wearable bags, necklaces, earrings, rings and bracelets not forgetting some exclusive home decor items.

2. Ami Doshi Shah

Ami Doshi Shah is a jeweller and applied artist based in Nairobi, Kenya. Trained at the Birmingham School of Jewellery, she has been the recipient of the prestigious goldsmiths award for best apprentice designer UK & The African designers for tomorrow award.

3. Kipato Unbranded

Kipato Unbranded is a social enterprise that collaborates with local artists, promoting their talents and skills and giving them access to markets. Kipato Unbranded is about beauty and unique designs. they create jewelry that is inspired by everyday people and for everyday people. their pieces are made from local materials that include brass, recycled bone, and beads.

Kipato Unbranded was founded in 2015 as a social enterprise that creates unique jewellery designs and collaborates with local artists, thereby promoting their skills and talents as well as enabling them access premium local and international markets.

4. Zanta Adeyde

Zanta Adeyde is a brand that specializes in African inspired accessories made of beads ,leather,bones ,horns and brass it mainly we have a range of products which include pure beaded Zanta Adeyde leather handbags statement jewelry and everyday accessories that fits in to the current global fashion front but with the classy and unique African touch.

5. Shop Soko

Shop  soko make modern artisan jewelry made for people, by people,their jewelry combines a strong, yet minimalist aesthetic that hints at the natural, modern and historical landscape of Kenya. Each piece is handcrafted by our artisans using heritage techniques.

shop soko they at  adapt tech for good,unlike large centralized factory production, we use technology to empower human capital and artisan entrepreneurship, not displace it. their mobile-powered “virtual factory” directly connects Kenyan artisans to the global marketplace, a scalable production solution with greater positive benefit to people and their communities.

6. Kapoeta by Ambica

Kapoeta by ambica is a luxury collection of handmade feather & silver jewellery and beaded linen boho-chic apparel. As an african eco-fashion brand, kapoeta by ambica supports ethical and sustainable sourcing, production and design.

Each piece beautifully combines edgy, elegant and extravagant.

7. Kazuri

Kazuri, which means “small and beautiful” in Swahili, began in 1975 as a tiny workshop experimenting in hand crafted ceramic beads,Its founder started with two single motherhood women and soon discovered that there were many others in the villages around Nairobi, most of who were disadvantaged and were in great need of regular employment.

Today Kazuri has grown tremendously and now has a large workforce of over 340 women skilled in the crafting of ceramic beads, strung into beautifully and artistically jewelry, the flair has taken them to a different dimension of making their own unique range of pottery which reflects the culture and wildlife of Kenya. Each piece, like our beads, is handmade and hand painted in rich colors.

8. Zaveris

Zaveris offers a wide range of services including: engraving, jewellery polishing, repairs, valuations for insurance purposes, re-stringing of pearls and a bespoke design service where we can discuss how to bring your creative mind to a reality.

They are an Independent family run jewellery business established in Kenya since 1994. Coming from a background of jewellers from the last three generations we have a wealth of knowledge in this business.

Zaveris specialize in all types of jewellery, which includes wedding bands and engagement rings in yellow and white Gold and bridal jewellery. We pride ourselves for using the latest technology combined with the best of traditional craftsmanship to offer you an extensive collection of gold Jewellery, precious and semi-precious stone Jewellery, Pearl Jewellery and Silver Jewellery of the highest quality and unique design.

9. Little Jewellers

little jewellers are dealers of 925 Sterling Silver Jewellery thier products include wedding rings,engagement rings, anklets, bracelets, chains, earrings, pendants, necklaces and birthstone  rings. We are a family owned business offering exquisite yet affordable jewellery to the individual or in bulk to our wholesale clients.

They exclusivity in dealing only with silver jewellery that makes them the ideal company to enter into business with because  they offer you a wide array and diversity of merchandise. This directly impacts the prices of our product making them most favorable to thier customer thus satisfying their needs.

10. Onyx Jewellers

Since its inception in 1974, the Onyx Jewellers in Nairobi, Kenya has earned the reputation as one of East Africa’s most prominent retailers of jewellery and wholesalers of the finest quality gemstones, Spanning two generations and built on trust and integrity, The Onyx boasts a product range of jewellery that is as diverse as its client base.

As a licensed mineral dealer The Onyx is also renowned for being one of the region’s leading stockists of Tanzanites, Tsavorites, Diamonds, Precious and Semi-precious Coloured Gemstones.

Offering a bespoke design and manufacturing service, The Onyx Jewellers is renowned for its dedication to creating exquisite and delicately designed pieces of jewellery that would suit any occasion and regularly commission important pieces of fine jewellery that today serve as a continued testament to the company’s commitment to aesthetic designs, expert craftsmanship and attention to detail.

La Haute Collection

We did random search for most popular online Jewellery store in Kenya list may vary from online ranking 

Content courtesy of Nairobi fashion hub Digital Team