As mentioned, our first weekend of this month was a trip to Africa Fashion Week London. I love London in the first place. It’s probably my second hometown. And most of all, I love the London style. Amsterdam style is nice too. I think Europeans look good in general, due to affordable stores like Zara, H&M, River Island etc. and the inspirations we draw from media today. But London gals and pals give their fashion an extra glance in my opinion. Anyway, the fashion show was held for 3 days. On the second and the third day we were invited to admire the collections from up close, from designers like Tula Sindi, Liiber London, Alabi couture, Eldimaa fashion, Vou brown collective, Fay designs and M shade. Read about our highlights of the full event.
After an exhausting delay, due to Dutch Railway company NS, which suffered unknown problems, I missed the afternoon program of the AFWL, so I was just in time for the evening show. Seriously, the things a lady has to do to look nice to an event. I had to rush big time. Next time, that 45 minute flight from Amsterdam to London will do just fine. Brussels will have to welcome me on another note.
AFWL is said to be the biggest African fashion event outside the African continent. One thing I do know is that African communities are represented in UK on a very large scale, compared to the Netherlands and Belgium for example. New York, which has a large Diaspora also, has an African fashion week. None of us have been to the NYC fashion week to compare, but from what I have seen. I can note that AFWL is perfect for designers to have a big reach to their audience. On Friday there were 2 shows and on Saturday there were 3 shows, each of approximately an hour. It was fab all the way.
The Friday show kicked off with Eldimaa fashion. Elidmaa fashion is both for male and female. The collection that was showcased carries elegance throughout. The main colors used were gold and yellow.
Alabi Coutoure was a blend of tribal print, and lace fabric. The collection carried this Arabic touch and appeared to have more evening wear. Alabi Couture has what I believe a universal look, which will probably be appealing to all African countries and for the young and older generation alike. A very Elegant collection.
Liiber London reminded me of office Lady going fashionable. That lady that loves elegance and sophistication will love this collection. If you’re that corporate lady and you need the elegant and cute outfit for a meeting, that still showcases an art, this is the brand to wear. I can see this collection hanging in stores like Cos stores and Macy’s department. C’est tres chic. The color combination used, like Pink and grey and the use of fabric was just great. Plus I Loove when designers have their signature walk on the runway.
Source: Liiber London
Vou Brown Collective gave me goose bumps! The carried Loads of prints. And the models worked the runway dancing. Those items with the caps and combined with glasses. Finger snap! U really notice a change in the sphere when a designers gets everyone’s camera UP. And you know, an African event is nothing without a good dance. Vou Brown Collective brought this to the runway. Way to go!
Thula Sindi is known for creating female clothing that understands the female body and adds sophisticated styles. We also met him at Black fashion week in Paris. His work makes me think of BCBG Maxmara. This collection he showcased, carried perfect details, patterns, fabric and the black colors..Gosh. That gift wrap paper look is great. That blouse is definitely one I would wear. Thula Sindi obviously knows the female body very well.
Plus the lovely Menaye Donkor Muntari wore Thula Sindi also.
The Friday evening show was probably the fashion show I loved the most. Lovely designs worked the runway. And you could tell the choice of the designers were well thought of by the organization. There’s this thing about working with mainly Ankara fabrics and/or African style. That is that a lot of designs can easily look alike, especially when it’s limited just Ankara fabric. So as a result, as a viewer, you can get tired of constantly looking at prints. But this was not the case. There was a distinct difference between every collection. Even when a designer worked with a simple styling, there was unique detail added to the designs, which made most of the collections unique. None of that I-want-to-be-a-designer-and-I-m-trying-but-not-really-sure-stuff, it was: I-know-what-i-am-here-for-and-you-need-to-buy-this kind of work. Quality!
Source pictures: Africa Fashion Week London website
Here are designers I didn’t have a chance to see, but which I think have a very fab collection.
For more pictures, visit Africafashionweeklondon.com