Evolution of African prints
WITH what seemed like a rebirth, Africa came out guns blazing at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Africa show over the past week.
Africa's biggest four-day showcase took place at Melrose Arch in Johannesburg from last Wednesday until yesterday, hosted by Precious Motsepe's Africa Fashion International.
With more than 40 designers, mostly from around the continent, the highlights was the evolution of African prints.
Each country expressed itself in an elegant and unique way. They were drawn into a sea of handmade, identity-driven material and colours so rich it could have been sucked right out of the earth on to the runway.
Rwandan brand Mille Collines presented Spanish designers Ines Cuatrecasa and Mark Oliver with a collection inspired by a woman embracing change.
"Our collection is a blend of Western culture influenced by global trends and African tradition. It is day and night outfits for a woman who stands out in a world where cultures are brought closer together."
Laurence Chauvin Buthad, designer of Laurence Airline from Ivory Coast, showcased her men's range that successfully proved fashion and ethnic cultures can collaborate.
For the record, Buthad has also worked with Louis Vuitton.
The young, fearless and emotional also took over.
Kibonen - the first designer to create the intricacies and beauty of the Toghu designs, hand-woven detail in Cameroon traditional attire - cried on her runway walk of fame.
"When something you've been dreaming of happens in a way you didn't expect, it is overwhelming," she said.
Motsepe attended the show dressed in one of Kibonen embroidered designs, a moment she deemed special and humbling.
Angolan Projecto Mental by Shunnoz Fiel and Tekasala Ma'at Nzinga got a well-deserved standing ovation from the audience.
Using fashion and art to help reshape Angola's cultural image in the war-torn country, the men's range took colour and print blocking to an interesting level. - firstname.lastname@example.org