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Sidewalk Style: Adaptable Africa
In today’s Sidewalk Style, we stop a fashion writer whose sense of fashion is heavily influenced by her Liberian heritage. By Rachel Cothran
Comments () | Published January 15, 2009

Pictured at the Gallery at Flashpoint with Cory Oberndorfer’s
mural Wonder. 

Kou Moore, fashion writer, 28
Web site: peppersoup.info - coming soon (an Africa-centered fashion blog)

What she’s wearing:
The dress is the refashioned top half of her mother’s boubou bought in Monrovia, Liberia; her coat is by View and from Nordstrom.com, the belt is her mother’s, her tights are Wolford’s satin opaque 50, her shoes are Christian Louboutin’s red suede Orlan, and her bag is Louis Vuitton’s 2005 Murakami cherry pochette.

Tell me about your style.
“I enjoy mixing flattering colors, patterns, and proportions that nod at my Liberian heritage without being obvious or over the top. I’m all about accessories—coats, belts, purses, and shoes in particular.”

What designers do you love, and where are you willing to drop your cash?

“I like Korto Momolu, Christian Louboutin, Lara Akinsaya’s L-Shandi line, Diane von Furstenburg, Biribelle, Nanette Lepore, and Marc Jacobs. I shop at Caramel, Cusp, African fabric and thrift stores, Nordstrom, Lettie Gooch, Zawadi, Saks 5th Avenue, and Louis Vuitton.”

It’s officially freezing, so let’s think about spring. What do you have your eye on?
“I want jewelry by Artistic Aya, Via Spiga’s Fiora Animal Print Trench, and all the Stephen Sprouse, African clothes, and Louboutins I can get.”

What fascinates you about style in Africa? What are the trends there, and who’s making headlines?
“Trends in Africa differ by locale. What’s continental is love of color, personalization, and affordability. Generally, people are fairly conservative; they eschew overly revealing clothes and enjoy wearing fabrics that are beautiful and breathable: george fabric, kuba cloth, batik, linen. I write about African style because it’s universal, influential (Balenciaga, Junya Watanabe, Oscar de la Renta, and Matthew Williamson have all done riffs on African style. Yves St Laurent, who was from Algeria, was the the most important contributor to modern fashion), and adaptable. Also, it’s an undercovered subject that I have a good deal of knowledge about. I have my eye on designers Alphadi, Korto Momolu, Siatta Kennedy, and Yemi Osunkoya and actresses Genevieve Nnaji and Aissa Maiga. There is also a vibrant contemporary-art scene, which influences and thrills me.”

Rachel says:
Clothes are so much more fun to wear when they are personal in some way. How cool is it that Kou modernized and updated her mother’s dress? Both the sleeve’s shape and detailing dress things up, and does the print remind anyone else of the lovely Thakoon for Target line?

Weigh in on Kou's style!

Earlier:
Sidewalk Style: Hitting All the Right Notes 
Sidewalk Style: The Thrifty Traveler 
All Sidewalk Styles

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Posted at 11:07 AM/ET, 01/15/2009 RSS | Print | Permalink | Comments () | Washingtonian.com Blogs