2012 Africa Fashion Week (New York City)
As you know, I am a print whore and print heavy garments are part of what makes African fashion, “African,” or so I thought. African fashion is so much more than the bold prints that we’ve come to associate with “African-inspired clothing”. Other elements includes the use of color and also construction typically seen in couture designs.
Last week I attended African Fashion Week in New York City to see the presentation of some of these designs up close. Here are some of my favorite looks presented by designers Francis Hendy, Henna Flower, Ill La La Designs, Kibonen | New York and Vanessa Mukasa, who presented on Day 1 and Day 2 of the runway events.
*[For a closer view, click on the individual images below. ]*
It’s not what you expected, right?
If you are looking for additional information and inspiration on African Fashion, I recommend the following: One Nigerian Boy and Skinny Hipster blogs. I also recommend New African Fashion written by Helen Jennings, editor of ARISE Magazine. I leave you with this quote.
Africa is fashion’a new frontier. Having been sidelined by mainstream fashion for over half a century as little more than a source of aesthetic inspiration, the continent’s home-grown industry is now showing the world how African fashion is really done. Today’s generation of talented designers and image-makers are riding the broader wave of interest in Africa’s renaissance and attracting an international clientele by balancing contemporary fashion’s pursuit of the new with an appreciation of the ideals of beauty and adornment that are deeply rooted in Africa’s cultural and social consciousness. This new guard,…is creating the most exciting and original chapter in fashion’s discourse since Japan emerged as a major player in the 80’s and helping to give African style its moment in the sun.” Helen Jennings, author New African Fashion
Images by yours truly and Robert Cooper