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The Ultimate Guide to African Fashion

Posted: 30th October 2014 15:50

In the fashion world, big, bold prints and quirky designs is what Africa is all about.  From gingham to leopard print, this continent takes the world by storm with its funky pieces.  Forget monochrome, it’s all about bright, colourful pieces that stand out from the crowd, with everyday staple items being given a twist to make them ‘pop’.  Clothes have a real African vibe to them as traditional fabrics such as cotton and silk are used to create eye catching garments.  African Fashion Week in Nigeria showcases new talents that could be become the next big thing.  Designers like House of Marie, DZYN and Yutee have been featured.   African fashion is making its mark with the likes of Michelle Obama sporting bold prints and Topshop designers putting out African inspired pieces.  Everywhere you look in Fashion at the moment there is African inspiration to be found.  Designers like Kaela Kay have had so much international success that they’ve helped get Africa’s foot in the door and put it in the international fashion spotlight.

Men

When it comes to menswear in Africa, there’s a very laid back vibe to the clothes.  Casual but smart is the way forward, with a combination of shirts and trainers.  From leopard print creepers to abstract print blazers, nothing in men’s African fashion is plain and simple.  Co-ordinates are in.  Matching your trousers with your blazer is what it’s all about in 2014.  Although, be warned, it’s not for the faint hearted.  Hold your head up high and rock those matching prints! Get out your short sleeved polka dot shirt and pair it with some brown trousers for a trendy look.  It’s all about the smart shirt, comfy trousers and hip shoes.  Try adding some converse to your overall look.  You want the look to be simple whilst having a snazzy edge; minimalism but with a colourful print.  Designers such as T.I Nathan Bespoke and JReason have bought out spring/summer 2014 collections that take you for a walk down minimalist-chic lane.  A perfect example is JReason’s striking monochrome geometric print shirt with a bright sapphire blue collar that is paired with black trousers and simple slip on shoes.

Women

Like the menswear, female African fashion is bold and out there.  Simple pieces are taken to the next level.  A lot of yellow is being featured in recent designs as it is in for spring/summer 2014.  The tribal look also appears quite a fair bit within African fashion as it’s a major favourite.  Vibrant, timeless and stunning pieces are seen from designers throughout the industry, with bright colours rocking the catwalk.  Let the lively prints and gorgeous styles capture your heart.  The make-up is pretty intense too, with bright blue cobalt blue eye-shadow and stunning pink lipstick being prominently featured.  Designer Duro Olowu has bought out a spring/summer collection full to the brim with a variety of unusual and wacky prints.  There’s a mix of crocodile print, polka dots, floral, tribal and geometric.  That’s what African fashion is all about for the modern woman, showcasing your individuality.  If you want to wear traditional African fashion but with a modern take, go for long flowing pieces made of authentic African lace, like the pieces in the new ASOS collection.  Voluminous curves and geometrical cuts are the way to go.  Another big African style that is storming the fashion world is the crop top and cut out style clothes.  If it has the sides cut out then you need to add it as an African staple in your wardrobe.