Category: Fashion Created on Saturday, 26 March 2011 12:07
The official Autumn/Winter 2011 Fashion Shows are over. John Galliano got dramatically sacked from The House of Dior for drunken racism, Marc Jacobs stamped oversized Polka Dots over everything from the panty hose, to the accessory and even the two piece skirt suit.
Tuxedo jackets are in and so are vintage blouses with pussy bows. But what really is exciting me this season is African fashions and I don't mean 'African inspired' by Lanvin, Zac Sebastian, or Matthew Williamson. I mean 'African' straight out of the continent! Yep, if you don't know already (although still early days ) African fashion is blowing up in a big way on the world's fashion stage. I no longer spend my last £20 on Dazed and Confused or Vogue Magazines; those funds have now been diverted to Pop Africana and Arise! What's happening in the continent right now is almost too exciting for words and if you love fashion then it's an absolute necessity to have one eye fixed on the Mother Land.
March 10-13 saw Arise Magazine (Africa's first global style and culture magazine) hosting its inaugural Fashion Week in Lagos Nigeria, showcasing 50 designers from all over Africa and including diaspora designers from the United Kingdom & United States. This was a fitting end to the traditional fashion season. Five African designers were selected to showcase their collections during New York 's Fashion Week at the inaugural and annual Arise Magazine Fashion Gala on September 14, 2011, in New York. Arise Magazine Fashion Week (AMFW) is designed to compete with the the official fashion week schedule and Yesooo (African lingo for an excitable Yes!), did a fantastic job!
A key theme of Lagos Fashion Week has been the Ankara Fabric - 100% cotton veritable wax hollandais prints. This colourful print even found itself on bike helmets - makes me want to get my very own electric scooter and fix one of those bad boys on my head! However, the popular use of the Ankara fabric has been somewhat controversial as some argue that the fabric is a poor representation of African textiles/fashion. This is because Ankara is actually a Dutch import - 'Vlisco- Hollandise Wax'. Nevertheless, it is sourced and sold primarily on the continent and has inspired many a collection increasingly making its way into popular trends and the celebrity fashion circle. Guyanese/American designer, Maya Lake of Boxing Kitten (one of my favourite independent fashion labels) uses it too, so I certainly won't knock it.
So here are some facts, links and interesting things to know:
- For the aspiring designer, here is a list of alternative and equally beautiful/luxurious African fabrics Adire, Aso Oke, George and Brocade
- Some designers you should know are: Maki Oh - best emerging fashion designer at AM. Also, Duro Olowu, Deolo Sagoe and Ituen Basi.
- To see a good review of the best of AMFW (plus more) visit One Nigerian Boy Blog and Haute Fashion Africa
- A summary of Global African trends for AW11 can be found at http://www.hautefashionafrica.com/tatafo/global-african-fashion-trends-aw-2011/
Next stop is the South Africa Fashion Week which is scheduled for April 8-10, 2011. It wasn't so long ago that Facehunter paid a visit to Cape Town and if his photos are anything to go by, I must ask the question, "Will Cape Town be the world's next fashion capital"? If nothing else, I think it's certainly in the running!
Vita Wade is a freelance Visual Stylist based in the UK . Her new BLOG is fast becoming the go to site for the latest in Arts, Culture, Fashion and Music in our region & beyond. If you have enjoyed this piece, you will also LIKE her Facebook Page
BLOG : http://www.vita-is.com
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