Woman wearing traditional African prints and Patterns
Designers of all calibers and backgrounds have been finding inspiration in the vibrant and attention grabbing colors of African prints and patterns. From the runways of Paris to Milan designers have been debuting their African inpired designs and in a way making African clothing “cool.” Known brands such as L.A.M.B, Missoni, and Suno have been fully embracing the trend and bringing it to life in their Spring 2011 collection as seen in the latest online issue of Teen Vogue.
“From L.A.M.B. to Missoni, the runway was a delightful smorgasbord of vibrant patterns inspired by everything from African fabrics to American prep staples. Forget everything your mother told you about mixing prints – for this look, the more you pile on the better!”
Everywhere you look this spring it seems like African print or as it is sometimes called “Tribal Prints” can be seen all throughout the runways and shopping locations such as Aldo and H&M. Style.com put together a list of key pieces to own in this trend and where they can be found.
African fashions and designs have always been vivid and inspiring across the continent and with its leap into the mainstream it may bring african designers to the list of mainstream designers.
All rights reserved by Tettey Sensimilli
Picture from Vogue Africa prototype
The words high fashion and Africa are rarely combined. When Conde Nast was offered to create Vogue Africa, along side their many other international affiliations, they kindly passed. Although vogue creating an African magazine would have promoted Africa in a more positive light as well as a more diverse standard of beauty (you can see for yourself here), there are many other African magazines that display high fashion in Africa and promote Africa positively. One of these magazines that you can actually find in the magazine section of Boarders is Arise. This magazine includes vibrant fashions spreads and features on things like street fashions, up and coming African musicians, as well as African super models.
Another African magazine that can be compared to the likes of cosmopolitan (except less sappy) is True Love a canadian based magazine that does interesting features on both African and American celebrities. This magazine isn’t afraid to take on the cultural issues such as polygamy (which is very common all over Africa) that occur throughout the continent. while those two magazines, just mentioned, are physical magazines that you can subscribe to similar to Vogue, one online magazine is a stand out in featuring african fashion alongside intriguing features.
Haute while its working on creating its hard copy magazine is still doing a great job of providing people with an online edition that covers all things African entertainment and fashion related. It even has video for everything from fashion shows, photo shoots, and store events. All these African magazines makes me think Conde Nast may have made a very bad choice by not taking the offer for vogue Africa but knowing that these magazines exist gives me a good feeling, we will be alright without Conde Nast’s help.
Photo by Mario Epanya rights reserved to qiv and flickr
As many may know, Africa is a huge continent. I’m not sure if you’ve ever seen those maps that place other countries inside a continent to show just how big it is (if you haven’t, take a look) but Africa is huge. For such a big continent people sometimes forget about just how much goes on there, and there are a lot of great blogs that touch on different aspects of the continent.
There are interesting environmental blogs such as Urban Sprout, which is a South African; based blog that looks at not only environmental issues in that country but other parts of the world.
Not very many people know that Africa is a huge inspiration in the fashion world. Designers of all calibers have been using African print and design in their clothes. A couple of African fashion blogs do a great job of displaying the changing world of fashion, such as BHF Digital Magazine .
A blog that covers everything Africa from entertainment to news is Myweku. It has a kind of magazine feel to it and questions things that are Africa related.
A great blog for all things African news and politics related is All Voices. It touches upon all the news topics that are covered in the mainstream news as well as others that don’t receive so much coverage.
Want to discover some great African music? African Music Safari gives an extensive list of African from all countries and even discusses the different instruments and aspects of African music.
So if you’re interested in learning more about Africa or just want to catch up on events there, check out this blog along with the great ones listed above.