Sun Oct 23 05:17:32 CAT 2016

... but Lebo was way over the top

By unknown | Oct 26, 2006 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Amanda Ngudle

Amanda Ngudle

In the race of glam and fame no one knew the effect of image better than the late media darling, Lebo Mathosa.

Known as the music scene's queen of garb and frolic, Mathosa unleashed one visage after the other, without ever coming second.

When she released an album, she would couple that with a provocative look to win new admirers and critics. Madiba was said to have once been so appalled with her Boom Shaka's performance that he asked Tokyo Sexwale if they could leave the function right away.

She might have been naive back then, but fact was that she embodied a panorama with her look and music. Even the themes of her albums were the dexterity of the artist on a mission.

"Although she was complex in her thinking, and sometimes made it difficult for a stylist to be on par with her mission, the results were always phenomenal," said her stylist Iko Mashiloane.

Dreams, her first album, was a spiritual shake-up that confirmed that underneath the red hair existed an understanding of life. The fashion was a cross between cowboy and sultry styles.

"There was also a fusion of Asian chic and when she combined the themes there was something of an X-rated phenomenon. She expressed herself better in her garb," said Mashiloane.

Her release Drama Queen also had many looks.

"Every album gave insight into her wardrobe. My understanding of the look during Drama Queen was she wanted a Beyoncé-touched bombshell look even though she insisted the theme was Tina Turner of the 21st century."

Many people failed to come up with names for her eclectic looks but Lebo never knew what she wanted to accomplish.

"It was a daunting task going shopping with her. She believed in her own eye and would make the final decision. She would go through ten items before taking one. The same pace and attention to detail would be done in the shop next door.

"I always prepared myself for a whole day out shopping whenever I went shopping with her. And we would come back with lots of clothes that we did not need. And she was the darling of the shop assistants," said Mashiloane.

Her album Lioness exposed her bisexuality. The look said it all - there were animal prints, fur, sometimes the gladiator look, but the blonde hair stayed forever.

"She was a style icon, blazing even her own trail," said fashion designer Tami Sojini.

"That woman wanted to celebrate her life every day and her clothes reflected that. She would come to me and ask for a linen suit and that night on television, I would see her having coordinated it with swim wear and All Star takkies.

She also knew where to buy stuff. I know that being the business generator that she was, she made sure to empower everyone who could make her clothes, but she was clever in that she knew everyone's speciality without asking.

She bought her line suites from me, cocktail dresses, leather clads and everything else from people who specialised in different items."

In the end, Lebo had a room full of clothes, packed like a shop.

"And she knew how to take care of clothes. She even kept her dancer's outfits, citing damage as the reason for keeping them herself," said Koyo of Threesome.


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