Fashion statements at the NAMAs
One of the biggest events on the Namibian calendar went virtual this year, but that didn't stop the presenters from showing up and showing out in the fashion department.
11 September 2020 | Art and Entertainment
The Namibian Annual Music Awards kicked off this year's eight-weekend virtual ceremony series in Windhoek, awarding musicians who have achieved extraordinary career milestones.
For the first two weekends, the production was relatively modest, but simplicity is not necessarily a bad thing.
The stage and lights achieved what they needed to, with artists making smooth transitions between performances.
Some of the most exciting parts of the first weekend were the outfits by the hosts Tanya Daringo, Pombili Shilongo, Paul Da Prince and Adriano Visagie, who were dressed and styled by Ruberto Scholtz, Synedgy, Melisa Poulton, Smart Fashions Namibia and Signature Collections respectively.
For the first night, Daringo wore a stunning jewel-toned emerald dress by Synedgy and entrusted TouchedbySouma with her make-up, while her hair was courtesy of Fluffy.
Daringo told tjil that she has learnt how to trust designers and their creative processes, adding that she wants to look at her body as a canvas for designers to adorn.
“I am going for fun looks. We have eight weeks to play around and so I want it to be fun, and really push the Namibian fashion industry with every look I do,” she said.
“It's a lot of pressure, but I'm super excited and believe fashion designers are doing an amazing job.”
While the atmosphere of the awards show was different from previous years, she commended the organisers and artists who have been giving the production their all.
Creativity at play
Shilongo shared that, as presenters, for the NAMAs, they do not necessarily get to pick what they wear but are more like dolls who the designers examine and see what they will look good in. This, she said, is an approach she is happy with because it lets designers' creativity come to play and you get to see a different side of what Namibian designers are capable of.
“Some of the photos and dresses have made it to international platforms on Instagram and that just shows a high level of recognition for Namibian fashion.”
On the energy and feel being compromised due to it being an online event, Shilongo said she misses seeing Namibians in their best outfits on the blue carpet.
“As a host, I find myself wanting to make use of words that require audience interaction but unfortunately the audience are not present physically.
“I am also not used to watching artists perform for no crowd, but the beauty of this is, in a virtual way, these artists are still performing for people, and they get to engage on social media,” she said, adding that she applauds the organisers and artists for making it an exciting event.
Majestic and royal
Fashion designer Simeone Johannes of Synedgy told tjil that the theme for his first two dresses was royalty, adding that he wanted to make dresses that were majestic and royal-esque, which is why he used velvet for both.
“In terms of silhouette, my work is usually a celebration of women and femininity.”
Johannes added that Covid-19 regulations have amplified his designs, stating that designers get to see their work on screen earlier and thus know what works and doesn't and can then apply those changes for the following weeks.
Poulton also shared his sentiments, saying the show not having a blue carpet hasn't really affected her designs.
“I enjoyed designing for the NAMAs; the creativity was there. I think for us designers, online events work for us and we should take advantage of these online platforms to showcase our work,” she said.
Showcasing his growth
Visagie looked elegant, mature and classy in Smart Fashions Namibia, and said he opted for the look to transition from his Bold collection.
“The Bold collection is quite bold, vivid and loud, however, I wanted to showcase my growth, especially hosting the main stage for the first time and stepping up from hosting the blue carpet last year,” he said.
Dressed by Smart Fashions Namibia and Signature Collection, Paul Da Prince said because there is no blue carpet this year, the public missed out on a lot of fashion statements by artists and attendees.
“The NAMAs has always been a big event where everyone buys an outfit to show up and show out in terms of what they can put together as an outfit.
“With it being online, it has shown that organisers can adapt and still award artists for their hard work,” he said.