Tuesday, 28 July 2009

A/W 09 Trend Report: Legs

The Best leggins [black lace] at Aquascutum

The Tights of the season -at Marc Jacobs

Doo.Ri black lace a must for A/W 09

(A/W 09 is all about Black lace or bold, patterned and popping tights and leggins )

A/W 09 Trend Report: Trousers



Haider Ackermann

(Trousers are given a rock 'n' roll make-over -this season)

A/W 09 Trend Report: The scarf

The 'it' scarf of the season -Marc Jacobs

A must for A/W 09 -Alexander McQueen
(Ladylike -with accents of colour)
(Scarves for A/W 09 are ladylike, made from silk, -with bold patterns)

A/W 09 Trend Report: The Blazer

Emanuel Ungaro


(An essential in any successful wardrobe)

A/W 09 Trend Report: The Jacket


Helmut Lang

(Black and sleek -circa 1986)

A/W 09 Trend Report: The Mac

Basso & Brooke

Karen Walker


(A/W 09 sees the return of the Mac....)

A/W 09 Trend Report: The Coat

Marc Jacobs

(Coats are making very bold statements this season....)

An exclusive interview with Anna Reynolds.....

* Anna Reynolds is fabulous. Her music is hot and she is already big in Europe -and about to Blow-up here. I managed to get an interview with her for my Ghana Rising Blog and she did not disappoint. Enjoy.....................xx

Regular readers of Ghana Rising will be under no illusions about my love for the, 'Life Less Ordinary' [what is the point of anything less than fabulous?]. I truly feel that if you have God in your life then the 'ordinary is not an option' and thus, -gravitate towards the extraordinary, the creative, the beautiful, the talented etc, -and Anna Reynolds is not an ordinary gal or musician. This ubertastic chanteuse is 'blowing -up' big stylee and I am excited for her. Beautiful, talented, down to earth -and a style icon in the making, -Anna Reynolds is going Stellar. Her music is 'hot potatoes', 'relevant' and 'now'. And her, 'Who can I trust' is sizzling hot and 'real'. This catchy, chick flick of a tune is an anthem of our times [because every young lady [and man] has asked themselves this question] -and I love it. In fact its kind of hard to stop playing it. Anna's music is sexy -and even though the majority of her songs are not in English -they all have an electrifying verve about them, -especially, 'Electronic' and 'Cool'. I was lucky enough to catch-up with Anna [via email -during her tour, bless her] and the following is an insight into her world. Enjoy....................xx
GR: Hi Anna, thanks for the interview?
AR: Thank you.

GR: You are touring right now [Hamburg, Berlin, Stockholm etc] how's it going?
AR: It's been a refreshing experience so far. After working on the EP's in the studio and not -having been on the road for quit some time now, it feels really good to finally be playing the songs live in front of an audience. It's also great -finally getting live feedback on the new material.

GR: I can't stop playing, 'Who can I trust' - what's the story behind it?
AR: The story behind "Who can I trust" is about the paranoia and fear of being exploited as an artist. It comes with the territory I guess -once a small buzz starts to exist. In the early stages, you feel kinda woundable around people, sometimes called for, -and sometimes not, but [I] guess it comes with the territory for most upcoming independent artist.

GR: Are your songs - autobiographical?
AR: I draw inspiration from everything around me that evokes an emotion inside. People, movies, music, books - you name it. A big part of my songs are autobiographical. Still, sometimes it's based on situations from the past or future, -the topics are not always about present situations though.

GR: Tell us about your band/ band mates -and how you all met?
AR: Well with my producer, Fabian Schmitt, I've been working for many years now, my drummer, Mathias Uredat, and the other lovely young lady, J.-Ann Wilson, in the band -I met thru fellow musicians.

GR: What inspires you?
AR: Everything around me is inspiring for me. I naturally absorb everything that catches my attention, but mostly music and the vibe of urban scene in cities, especially the cities I live and work in; Berlin, Rotterdam and London.

GR: Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
AR: My mother has always been a great influence in my life. She always let me know as a child that I can achieve anything I want to. And then growing up, -basically everything that provoked my interest. Artists that just do their thing, especially those who write, compose and produce their own material.

GR: Your music has a 'Brit-trippy-hoppy-indie' feel. Are you a fan of British music?
AR: Yeah I guess in a way I am. I do have quit a few British artists on my i-Pod playlist, but basically it's that sound, -that mixture of sounds I love regardless where a band is from.

GR: Do you have any London dates planed?
AR: Sadly not yet, but me and my team are gonna keep at it till we get some real soon. I'm sooo looking forward to finally playing in England.

GR: Are you a Ghanaian born in Germany or a German of Ghanaian origin?
AR: I am born in Ghana, raised in the Netherlands and am now currently living in Berlin and Rotterdam. Actually, I also shared an apartment in London at Haverstock Hill for a while, -where I also picked up some great music, -each time I stayed there.

GR: I love your style -it's fierce. How would you describe your look?
AR: OH I actually wouldn't describe it. I usually just throw on something. I love vintage stuff and I'm happy about the upcoming 80's 90's revival, but [I] guess in a way alot of the things I wear are ANNA-ALPHA-BETIC stuff from my clothing label designed and styled by myself. Also, I wear my sister designs PRICCI by Priscilla Reynolds available: www.fashion-fuse.com

GR: Do you have a stylist?
AR: For many years my mother and my sister designed and picked the coolest looks for me, but the last years I've strongly developed my own personal sense of style, which I love most, -so at the moment I am my own personal stylist. Which is very practical.

GR: Who is your style icon?
AR: Well I really love many different styles and have grown in and out of many looks growing up. Costumes from movies like Xanadu inspired me. I generally draw from trends that reflect urban and pop culture. I like eccentric individuals who've got there own swag/look like; Chaka Khan, Grace Jones, The Artist Formerly Known As Prince, Sheila E, Michael Jackson, David Bowie or Madonna and the list goes on & on to -Kate Moss, Karen O, Santigold, MIA, Lilli Allen, Kylie Minogue and sooo many more.

GR: Name your favorite designer(s)?
AR: My mother and sister Eliza & Priscilla Reynolds [also that's a bit bias]. They know my shape best and have designed stuff that fits me perfectly. Otherwise I look out for young upcoming designers, because they tend to represent stuff that reflect the present. At the moment Jeremy Scott, Christian Joy, Zakee Shariff, Stussy, FRUITION LV, PRICCI and of course ANNA-ALHA-BETIC are some of my favorites.

GR: You look good girl. Share your beauty secrets with us?
AR: For my face I use products from the local pharmacy like Effaclar and any kinda day cream, make up Black Opal or Mac. I'm not really a brand kinda girl, if I use a product and it works, -I stick with it for a while till I try something else. I do my own hair and I really don't have any other beauty secrets except that I smile and laugh alot -that's good I hear :-)

GR: Anna is it difficult to look after yourself -on the road?
AR: No not really, but I also have a great team including my band and we're all easygoing people so I'm chilled till it's show time.

GR: On to more serious stuff, -what are your hopes and dreams for Ghana?
GR: My hopes for Ghana, is to lead Africa towards becoming more focused on growing it's economy by trading more, -as the world globalizes. I want to see Ghana play a big active role in bringing more business to Africa.

GR: Thanks for the interview Anna, you are fabulous. ....... God Bless you -always............x

For more information about Anna Reynolds visit:
www.anna-reynolds.com and

Objects of Desire: Sudoku Sandals by Chinese Laundry

$69.99 from www.heels.com (www.chineselaundry.com)

p.s I can't find a stockist for Chinese Laundry shoes in London -and I find this very strange. If you know of any let me know!! Thanks Paulina x

Music: VV Brown sings 'Use Somebody' by Kings of Leon

VV's rendition of, 'Use Somebody' by Kings of Leon is sooooooooo hot!!!

Sunday, 26 July 2009

The Spirit: Beauty for Ashes - I am back oOO

The Real Me. I am as free as a bird flying high in the sky.....I am back ooOOO

The real me -right now (with just my blue eyeliner -and errm brushed eyebrows)

Me now (one of the better picture that my son took -yes he is very good)

Me now (made-up at night)

Me B 4 (I was made up by my friend Gifty -way too much make-up)

'The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion -- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.' Isaiah 61:1-3

I remember being 21, and walking into church [in a big baggy knitted jumper dress, black leggins and ultra high platform black boots, with big buckle details -very Rodarte S/S 09] -many, many moons ago. I also remember walking out of the church -a very different person. I also remember asking Father God -that even though I am now a christian -if he could allow me to always know about /be about/ -fashion -and he definitely answered that prayer. In fact, he went further -and turned me into a forecaster [and has enabled me - to predict -the next couple of seasons -in advance] -amen. And thus begun my spiritual life. There was signs and wonders, visions, real love and much more. Then the big lessons started. I remember walking into church and being told that 'Mama Stella' had shared her vision concerning me and I was not there. She told me much later -and it was a revelation. She talked about how God had told her I was going to go through 'hell' ('hell is my interpretation for what she said) and then everything was going to be alright -amen. I also had a very spiritual dream -where the symbol of marriage was used -to demonstrate what was about to take place in my life and it was shocking. First I was shown a wedding -which went very badly, -and then through shock I woke up [for real] -and got angry. I demanded that as a child of God, -I was worth more than that -and strangely feel back asleep. And I dreamt about a wedding again -and this time it was perfect [and I really mean perfect]. So this dream passed -and life went on its merry way [the usual trails and tribulations, the fun and the craziness etc] -then I meet a Ghanaian man [he was born in Ghana -and I was born here -and the differences was huge. And that's all I am going to say on that subject -you can read into it whatever you want -it was hell.] and we rushed into things and I got pregnant. Well, if the Devil had being sleeping, -he arose and turned my life upside down.

I remember after some time away from church, -going back to a service when I was about seven months pregnant. I had left Star magazine -and was nesting [buying stuff and making things ready for my son -yes, I wanted and knew I was having a boy]. As the praise and worship started; -a brother approached me, -and ask if he could have a quiet word, -and we made to the back of the church. He apologized for interrupting my dancing, and went on to explain what God had revealed to him. You see, his wife was also pregnant -and he kept seeing a vision of a pregnant woman crying, seeing this woman suffer, seeing this woman troubled by her child, afraid and all alone. He thought it was his wife but God kept on saying no. God also told him to pray for this woman, -and promised that he was going to deliver this woman, -and that even though things were going to be tough for her at first, -that he would turn things around, -and that her life -would never be the same again -Amen.Well as you can image -I took this on board -we prayed and I went about my business............................................

Fast forward 5 years -and every fear, want, sadness, etc etc -has befallen me. And thus, I have decided to accept -and live in the 'TRUTH'. But my TRUTH had not included -how I looked. I had kind of errm ...stopped looking at myself in the mirror [if you know what I mean]. The last five years -had been so difficult that -for someone who truly loves, beauty, fashion etc -I had only allowed myself a quick glance in the mirror before popping out [and going about my business]. But that changed a couple of months ago. My handsome and beloved son [soon to be five] took some photographs of me [it was late, I was at home, in my nightdress etc -with only my ubiquitous blue eyeliner and my hair was doing its thing -as it does at home] and it sent me into a tailspin -making me loose my balance. I could not recognise the person in the photograph. She seemed fatter, more tired, not as attractive as I was -and therefore couldn't be me, -but there was more!! This person also looked older -and on closer inspection had a bigger nose, -what the hell was going on? I knew it was time to face the truth.

The truth was simple, -I, Paulina Opoku-Gyimah am -no longer 25 years of age and it shows, -and the realisation of the vast difference between myself and the young gals down the road -is pretty shocking. When did it happen? How did age/ time -creep up on me -like this? Also, I had a big birthday looming -and thus, the photographs and my fast approaching [big] birthday -compounded ...erm -a feeling of loss [or whatever]. Someone once told me that red eyes are a sign of maturity [basically an older person] -and guess what? My eyes are red.!! Turning 30 something on the 29th June -means I have finally 'entered' into the 'truth' -physically, -and even though it's not as I would have wished, -I NOW accept -Amen. And as I sit here at my lovely antique desk, in my small sitting room, in my bijou flat -typing, -I have tears rolling down my face. I feel sooo naked -but I am not going to hide anymore -Amen. And I actually feel free -Amen

The truth is -as prophesied way back, -the journey I have been on since the birth of my son -has not been an easy one, -and it now it shows on my face. I became everything -I feared; 'fat, *black [I love my black skin folks], poor [broke but not down -Amen], single-mother living in a Housing Association flat. But I also believe that this was done, so that Father God -could show me; -that by his grace I could be all the aforementioned -and still live and survive -and not die. That we have to overcome obstacles to be great, to learn compassion etc. Well folks, I have made it BACK in one piece [by Gods grace] -and I no longer have those fears. I am also no longer going to, 'rail against God' -or feel SHAME, sadness, and desperation because I am not where I want to be. So I still dislike/hate poverty - my poverty, the limitations that it ensues, but my focus has now changed, folks. I have spent the last five years running; -trying to kick down doors, yearning etc, and praying also, -that if father God wasn't going to give me my hearts desire -than could he allow me to wake up -with a new desire. A desire to work in a supermarket -say, or as a clerk or whatever. Or that I would wake up -wanting the norm, -or the easy or the mediocre or whatever ,-but it was a waste of TIME. And with hindsight , -I wished I had slept and chilled out more -because I now know that for some of us, -NOTHING will happen -unless God wills it, and that there are many lessons to be learnt -before he will give us our hearts desire.

And so you find me -in a place of real acceptance, folks. I accept that my face shows that I left home at the age of 18 -and never went back. That I come from a broken -fragmented home. That I had to look after myself. That I made some mistakes. That I am somewhat estranged from members of my own family. That I overcame rejection, and journeyed to hell and back. It shows the hurt -and many nights of crying, the loneliness of motherhood, -and having to fight for every little thing that I have. My face also shows that I have had to deal with jealousy [real jealousy. The kind that comes to take from you [that even the little that you have -is coveted]. Yes, my face shows; the exhaustion, the shock, me killing myself to be happy for my son (even though I was sick with postnatal depression), trying to do it all by myself, juggling my baby alone, cleaning, writing to make money, starting a business, fighting to give my precious son the best, -running/kicking [on the empty -until I dropped] all of this and more is there.

But I am a winner and a survivor -by Gods grace, -and this is also there -for all to see. My beautiful face also reveals God's love for me. That I am loved by my son and -that I love me. That a have a few but very good friends -Amen. It also shows a sillier me from the past. The 'life-and-soul-the-party'. That, -at the age of 21, God came into my life. That at the age of 25 -I was having a fabulous time whizzing back and forth between Zurich, Switzerland and London. That I partied with A-Lister's, done NYC, Holland, Spain (several times -and mostly with a bunch of friends -fabulous), the Canary Islands, Tenerife, Belgium, France -and slept in a car [over night] in Paris with my mate Anna-Marie [on a journey that saw us drive from London to Spain -via France -and it was fabulous]. That we walked in a field of Sunflowers and it was beautiful. That I have meet some incredible people. That at the ripe old age of 32 -I had my beautiful son -Alexander Jojo [and fell madly in love for the very first time]. And that for the first time in my life, -I wanted to be the very best - I could be. Also, -it shows that I started a model agency -single handed. That I juggle my baby's needs, -whilst looking for funding to start my own magazine -and my need to win. But mostly -that at the age of just over 35 -I have finally learnt to love myself [inside and very slowly working on the outside] -and it shows, -and I accept -Amen

I, Paulina Nana Aba Opoku-Gyimah have 'OVERCOME' and I am a WINNER -Amen. And I believe that as things get easier, and my son becomes more independent, and my wishes start to comes through [it has already started happening] -I will start to sleep and rest more -and thus, will start to look and feel more rested. I also accept the many lessons God has taught me. And even though they were painful and I felt abandoned by Father God at times, -I now accept his teachings/chastening/ corrections etc. I am also very aware of the bigger picture -folks, -and though it is not always clear -I thank God that his plans and thoughts for me are:

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

I also believe that TODAY is the end of this chapter [for my son and I -amen. And that we are now - under; sweet, merciful, gracious favour -amen.

'My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him. For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore, we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; and make straight paths for your feet, lest might that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord"

So, I would like to wish myself a happy belated Birthday -and clap for myself as -I tell me just how fabulous I am. Yes I am fabulous. I am a child of God. I am a mother, a provider, and a friend. I am a woman -and not child of 18 or 21 or 27. I have suffered and overcome and I am a survivor. I'm ready for the next 70 plus years. And I am going to live them up, eat them up, fab it up -with zeal and wisdom and power. I am also going to take it easy -on myself, -because I love me and I am proud of me and I am BEAUTIFUL [not just on the inside but on the outside] -and I am worth it -Amen. I am a compassionate, loving, happy, chic, neat, sleek woman; -and I thank God for his grace, and know that my son and I -have a great future ahead of us......Watch this space...........................xx

Friday, 24 July 2009

My kind of people: Jourdan Dunn

Sususu Gossip about our Jourdan is whirling in the 'land of Blog' -and it's left me feeling, erm......kind of ...like....- I felt; -when the [very] young Jamelia got pregnant at the [very] beginning of her sing career!! Our Jourdan [the only black British model who is really working] -is rumoured to be pregnant -and I am exhausted, -she is only 19. Anyway, God Bless her and her baby [-if its true] and hopefully, she will bounce right back, -and return to the catwalk]. I will keep you posted. (Credit: Jourdan Dunn on Thakoon [Fall 2009] Ready-to-Wear Runway)

Object of Desire: Vivienne Westwood's Rhodium Silver Earrings

£62.00 www.farfetch.com

Hair: More of my favourite Afro-Divas.....

Icon -Marsha Hunt

Icon -Pam Grier

[The beautiful] Kewe Mar

Kamla Millwood

La Campbell

Clara Lawson

Me -Paulina Opoku-Gyimah

Simone Moreno

Lauryn Hill

Chanel Iman

Vivian Amundsen


Cris Vianna




Yvonne Nelson

Thursday, 23 July 2009

A/W 09 Trend Report: Puss in Boots


Emilio Pucci

Haider Ackemann



Louis Vuitton

Vivienne Westwood Red Label



Hussein Chalayan


Jean Paul Gaultier

Gareth Pugh