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Claire’s Life: Trying on Wedding Dresses with Matopeda Atelier, One of Nigeria’s #1 Gown Designers

I went to Lagos, Nigeria for the first time in 2015 and absolutely loved it!

While there, I was showered with gifts and love, and had the pleasure of meeting designer Tope of Matopeda.

That’s not Tope, that’s my friend Kelley. This pic is just to display that we were shopping in Lagos!

At the time, she was making some red carpet gowns, but mainly ready to wear. I’ve worn her brand many times…! So when she told me she was in New York and wanted me to come and try dresses on, I said sure!

This is Tope

Though she hadn’t taken my measurements, I was able to slip on this yellow number. There’s a corset in the back, so literally anyone can step in this stunner and rock it.

I also tried on this dress that features 3D beading and a dramatic train. It was very much giving me Carrie from Sex and the City, so we trooped outside and walked a couple blocks (in the cold) to the New York Public Library to do a recreation of her wedding day with Big!

It’s always fun to play in glamorous gowns and to introduce you guys to new designers!

I know a lot of people assumed I was getting fitted for my wedding day! And while I got a man, our wedding is not going to be for a little while…and when it happens you won’t know lol.

The fitting was simply to show you that you (yes, you!) can get a dress just like this, customized to you, equipped with nude lace that matches your skin tone, for a relatively reasonable price (my Sex and the City dress is $3,500). These gowns are hand beaded and every time I step in one, it’s like it was made just for me.

You will stand out in the crowd and I personally loved that when I went to the 15 percent pledge gala (whose dress code called for Black Tie Black Designer), I wasn’t wearing a dress that anyone else had on. Many people want to support black designers but are frequently looking for red carpet or couture looks. Well, look to Africa. The Continent has so much talent, and there’s so much more to discover.

More on that soon.

Until then, Love & Light!

Images: Salvatore DeMaio

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