Making use of local creatives

More announcements are made as the biggest night in Namibian music draws closer.

30 August 2019 | Art and Entertainment

The Namibian Annual Music Awards (NAMAs) are the country's biggest local music event, honouring artistic excellence. On the side lines, the musical extravaganza has evolved into a celebration of fashion and all things beautiful. Namibians continue to go all out in a bid to turn heads while strutting their stuff on the NAMAs blue carpet.

This year, the NAMA organisers have assembled some of the best young talents in the country to transform the event's presenters into blue carpet royalty.

Armed with just their makeup brushes and sewing machines, these designers and makeup artists will play fairy godmother(s) behind the scenes - each offering a unique touch.

One such designer is Melisa Poulton, the brains and creativity behind House of Poulton. The 30-year-old Poulton hails from Windhoek and specialises in all aspects of fashion and design; from evening wear, bridal, sportswear, and African attire. House of Poulton already has two of Namibia's biggest stars as its brand ambassadors - songbirds Lize Ehlers and Oteya. Poulton has also dressed a number of presenters and performers for the NAMAs over the last five years.

She describes her signature style as unique with a bold and strong touch. “My designs are inspired by freedom, strength and independence,” said Poulton.

Joining Poulton in the transformation room is hair stylist Emma Shilongo. She describes herself as an efficient and organised salon owner with over 10 years' experience in the beauty industry. A graduate of the prestigious School of Cooperative Technical Education in New York, she says her goal is to help clients improve their personal appearance and self-confidence. As a professional hairdresser, Shilongo has a fine eye for anticipating her clients' needs, and thus is sharp at developing solutions and recommendations.

“I am fully licensed and equipped to design and implement a look that is customised for you. I am a hairdresser who does not stop with adequate, but rather I make it my goal to ensure that you are thrilled with your look. I am proficient in any number of styles, whether you desire your hair down, half up, or an up-do looking elegant, couture, or simply chic,” said Shilongo.

Also contributing towards creating the perfect look is top-grade Brazilian hair supplier, Getruda Malawi. She is the founder and owner of G M Fashion Namibia. This will be the second year Malawi is sponsoring hair for the NAMAs presenters.

No look is complete without daring nails, and ensuring that happens, the NAMA organisers have roped in Samuel Shimhanda. Known as Fantastic Sam, the nail technician is the founder of Fantastic Samuel Nails Perfection Salon.

Shimhanda has been in the industry for more than six years, and says that he is motivated by the idea of seeing everyone who sits in his chair leaving happy. Constantly abreast with what's happening on the beauty front, he always offers new trends and is often very experimental, with a bag full of creativity.

Also joining the NAMAs 2019 glam squad is Lumière – The Style Avenue. Lumière is the brain child of Vistorina Ilonga and means light in French. Ilonga says she started fashion as a hobby powered by a deep love for exquisite style and personal care. This led her to register and formalise the business in 2009 and officially establish the Lumière brand in 2014. Lumière started by retailing and marketing on social media and providing a pop-up shop concept.

Another creative joining the team is fashion designer Nicoleen Menjono. Menjono burst onto the fashion scene when she exhibited her work at Young Designers Fashion Show.

Adding a touch of experience to the mix, is veteran designer Dawn. The Mariental born fashion designer, whose real name is Donald Diergaardt, is a self-taught local fashion designer, who says he takes passion in making high-end clothing for ladies of all shapes and sizes. Founder of the brand, THE BREAK OF DAWN, Dawn has dressed former Miss Namibia contestants and winners. His list of high-profile clients include former Miss Universe Michelle McLean-Bailey.

The glam squad wouldn't be up and running without one of Namibia's most sought-after young fashion designers, Simeone Johannes. He founded synEDGY in February 2018. SynEDGY draws inspiration from sources outside the realm of fashion, particularly music, film, visual and performing arts as well as street wear.

Among those ensuring that the presenters' hair matches their look is hairstylist Merino Kandjii. A creative in her own right, Kandjii has a good eye for fashion, style and colour. “I pursued my career in hairdressing after cutting my friend's hair at school. I now have over 15 years' experience. I'm a real people's person and enjoy talking to my customers,” he explains.

And then, there is award-winning makeup artist, Hannah Nangula-Kolokwe. Nangula-Kolokwe has been breaking barriers; taking the local fashion industry by storm and establishing herself as a real trailblazer with her self-titled makeup range. With over nine years' experience, the makeup artist sets the benchmark for excellence in makeup. Dubbed 'queen of the brush', she is the founder of Hannah Nangula Cosmetics.

Completing the incredible NAMAs glam squad is Suoma Ndapandula Katshuna. She is a wife, mother and a certified makeup artist from Shadonai Beauty School and went on to advance with celebrity makeup artist Beez Glam in South Africa. She joined the makeup industry about two years ago and has since worked on various productions such as Miss Namibia 2017, the Windhoek Fashion Week 2017 as well as a number of NBC TV productions.

This year's Namibian Annual Music Awards will be held at The Dome in Swakopmund on Saturday, 7 September.

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