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Fashion with va va vroom!

BIKER CHICKS: Jasmine and Kanya King

I WAS lucky enough to attend a very lush soirée recently. The event was organised to celebrate the arrival of Dolce & Gabbana at Net-a-Porter and took place at an office in Westfield shopping centre.

When I received the invitation, I thought, ‘a party in an office in Westfield? How un-sexy!’ How wrong could I have been?

I took my mate, MOBO CEO Kanya King with me as my guest and we had a quick dinner in the open food court before searching for the ‘office’.

We were directed to the top floor to a pair of sliding glass doors. Once through those doors, there appeared a hidden elevator that transported us to a top floor that the general public would never have seen, where there was a massive expanse of black and white monochrome sexiness.


GIRL POWER: (L-R) Kanya, PR guru Vannessa Amadi, Jasmine and singer Keisha Buchannan

Black plush carpets, white walls, monochrome art-deco furniture, bars where we sipped Martini Gold cocktails, an Italian-themed room with motorbikes where we were encouraged to pose in front of a wind machine fan (and Kanya and I took full advantage of that) – it was all great fun!

A host of guests were in the house, including Queen Latifah, whose entrance caused attendees to look on in awe as she was walked through the crowd.

Meanwhile, Naomi Campbell rocked a forest green leopard print cocktail dress; Nollywood actress Genevieve Nnaji was in the house; ex-Sugababe and current solo star Keisha Buchanan was sassy in a snow leopard mini dress; and Beyoncé’s sister Solange was sporting long, thick, black braids. With so much glamour on show, my head was constantly spinning to take in all the fabulousness!

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HURRAH FOR HIP-HOP


IT'S A RAP: Jasmine and Akala

MY LONDON 360 team went along to Intelligent Movement: A Celebration of Hip Hop at the Southbank Centre last week to catch up with some of the original hip-hop pioneers to assess how the genre continues to influence the community in the capital.

The event was a culmination of DJ'ing, MC'ing, breaking and graffiting, and featured a host of events by some of London's leading hip-hop collectives as well as crowd-pleasing international performers.

Over the four-day event, London 360 heard opinions from the likes of Akala, Kate Tempest, Poetic Pilgrimage, Manny Norte, Charlie Dark, The En4orcers and primary school rap collective Power To The Pupils.

Akala kicked off the proceedings with an animated talk, which examined hip-hop and the traditional art of rapping. His provocative opening debate highlighted hip-hop's cultural roots and questioned many modern-day representations, which contradict its heritage. Notably, he referenced some of the leading urban talents in the UK, including Professor Green and Maverick Sabre, and urged them to be more responsible when representing black people in their art. Suffice to say, what followed was a successful ruffling of feathers, which led to a fiery, passionate exchange by the artists on Twitter!

A great event – we must make this a regular on the annual London calendar!

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LET'S DANCE!

I FINISHED the week by taking a trip to London’s dance epicenter, Sadler’s Wells, which had been taken over by hundreds of young kids for the show Step Into Dance. The Step Live showcase celebrated the achievement of pupils from the Step Into Dance programme, which is a partnership between the Jack Petchey Foundation and the Royal Academy of Dance.

The night featured over 400 dancers from 26 schools, and walking into the venue’s reception, attendees were immediately bombarded by body poppers and breakdancers. Parents watched the talented hip-hop battles in amazement.

Later on stage were contemporary ballet dancers and body poppers in a variety of costumes – an enchanting evening!

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ONE LOVE

MY CURRENT task is to write scripts for the team filming at the reggae festival of the year – the One Love Peace Festival at Wembley Arena on July 31.

As the show’s promoter Omari Ricketts stated: “As we mark the 30th anniversary of the death of reggae icon Bob Marley, the sentiments extolled through his ‘one love’ message are precisely what we want to convey through the One Love Peace Festival. Being mindful of the state of our community as we watch our young people die on our streets, we want to use the powerful medium of music to educate and unite the world.”

See you all down there!

Jasmine Dotiwala is a TV producer, director and broadcast journalist. Email her at jasmine@hiphop.com

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