It is not difficult to see why the fashion world at large is obsessed with Africa; rich fabrics in exquisite colours and unique appearances have gotten some of the biggest names in fashion putting their spin on African fabrics to create luxurious, stunning pieces that ooze with the beauty and vibrance inherent to the continent.
Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli of Maison Valentino paid testament to the brilliance of African fabrics with their Spring/Summer 2016 collection. The great skill of the house's ateliers, combined with gorgeous African fabrics created effortless elegance showcased on runways but also in the 'Addict to Africa' fashion shoot at the Amboseli National Park in Kenya with models Alice Metza, Cameron Traiber, Greta Varlese, Kirin Dejonckheere and Tami Williams adorned in gorgeous kikuyu textiles in earthy tones accessorised with bone necklaces, feathers and fringes that captured the essence of African wilds.
The Maison's aim was to 'take the viewer on a journey' through the African landscape, with a collection described as “primitive, tribal, spiritual, yet regal”, this was indeed a “journey to the beginning of time and the essential of primitive nature.” Our view; it was ethnic heaven!
Valentino aside, 2016 has seen more African fabrics do fashion with the traditional Kenyan Kitenge or Khanga cloth, embraced by the fashion industry with celebrities Rihanna and Beyoncé wearing these fabrics to award shows, on tour and at interview appearances. The overall impact is sensational to say the least.
Believe it or not, it does not stop there; Rwandan Luxury fashion brand, Millie Collines further reinforces the versatility of African clothing in their 2016 Spring/Summer collection. The campaign focused on elegant designs created for the extremely classy modern day African woman, the continent is so rife with.
Style speaks volumes and Africa fabrics add the much required accent to its voice. Be it the traditional bright and colourful fabrics or the quiet but flirtatious cooler pieces, it remains true that fashion in Africa continues to be different, diverse and alive.