Reminisce of the extraordinary; Fashion has transcended from the ordinary flow of fabric into the world of ultimate re-definition. We explore the thoughts of unusual forms that breed revolutionary creations in garment artistry...
Fashion revolution...Reina de las Fabricas
Wednesday, 17 August 2016
upon a time, my father came back from the village bearing gifts of African prints
I termed Pattern Abominations. Not only did they look like what old people wore,
they had the dullest colours the colour wheel could produce- talk about a deliberate
threat to my youthfulness…lol. I eventually tailored the dress in the most age appropriate
style I could fine. In my opinion, it still did nothing to uplift the
ancient-ness of the fabric. So, that was a good 9 years ago, what has change
between then and now? Is it me or are these once thought dull fabrics now becoming
the most sort after pieces for making revolutionary fashion statements both in
Africa and beyond her boards?
Nigeria, we have the weirdest names for some African prints; most famous, ‘Back of Fish’,
Jumping Horse’, ‘Scattered keys’, ‘Moon and Star’, ‘Oga Madam’, ‘Star’, ‘ABC’, ‘One
thousand Blocks’, ‘Television’, ‘Palm kernel’, to name a few. My mother and
99.9% of the women I knew as a child and till date have this emblems of
motherhood (or so I thought they were) I had a love-hate affair with the back
of fish and Jumping Horse material, but now, my mind is literary bursting with
what I could do with this once thought old print-the endless possibilities.
(from let) Jumping Horse, One thousand Blocks, Star
These materials and more not
necessarily named have so much potential in the hands of the right fairy godmother or father. Creativity now
goes beyond what the material is suited for to how the patterns can be
manipulate to suite the style (even if it means cut out).
Ankara print has gained so much revolutionary fame, a far cry from the stereotypical Iro and Buba (Traditional wrapper and Blouse) and safe skirt and blouse. Ankara
prints are so divers they are incorporated in virtually every and any style of
fashion from couture to sports wears, swim wear, casuals, corporate for both genders.
Though the concept of an Ankara wedding dress is still an unsettled trend,
some brides have dared to take the controversial concept to the aisle. Its emergence as Africa’s next corporate sweetheart is no new take as the renaissance of the
fabric has fitted unapologetically with the office appropriate silhouettes.
Couple and her Bridesmaids in Ankara inspired outfits
Penciled skirts, jackets, gowns, pants and trousers in the African print makes the
fabric earn more prestige than once allotted to it. I remember when my dad, again gave
me 6 yards of the spectacular fabric and put it plain that I would need tailor something that was more traditional rather than the sheer Mutilation we put out in the
name of fashion. His use of the mutilation in a fabric related speech was both hilarious
and interesting. But then I would rather say it is a Beautiful mutilation (if
The perfectly tailored Jacket...#eyecandy
...and it gets even more interesting...
is no surprise that designers both local and international are exploring the strength
and diversity of the African prints. Christe Brow, Stella Jean, Rose Palhares
among a whole sea of designers play creatively with the Ankara fabric to
fit into the fast revolving fashion industry. Whether it’s in matching prints or mix and match, cuts outs or patterns and plain mix, the Ankara prints is indubitably