African style came to sunny London town last week (I said, last week!), as Africa Fashion Week London came to town. And this year it brought some of the warmest and most striking vibrant patterns and hues we can look forward to this S/S16.
A plethora of talented, unique designers from around the world showcased their latest African inspired offerings and it was clear that African materials, especially Ankara, will never go out of fashion.
Taiwanese designer Amy Chien Ku, of Aimeeku, showcased fuchsia and lilac Ankara motifs with colorful tweed for a romantic, floral look from their S/S 2016 collection, “Blossom”. Amy told Reuters;
“I like to combine floral and lace details because as an Asian our style tends to be sweet and cute,” she said about her collection. “I love blending these romantic elements with African style.”
AIMEEKU is a newly established African inspired clothing brand based in Taiwan, a new tribe of fashion designed with lots of wax prints, colourful tweed, coloured denim, picturesque patterns and more.
Her bandeau skater dresses and short A-line hemmed skirts were a favourite at the two-day London Olympia showcase. “African style is going to be a huge trend not just for Africans but for everybody,” Amy said.
London designer Erdem Moralioglu showcased his S/S16 collection which was heavily influenced by Katharine Hepburn in “The African Queen” and African references were interwoven throughout his collection.
Both Tarryn Shepherd, creative director of Rooi Rok Bokkie, and Shauna Neill, owner of accessories brand Blossom Handmade played the 1950s South African song “Pata Pata” for their collection as models danced on the runway wearing silk geometrical print jumpsuits with matching emerald beads and semi-precious stones.
African Fashion Week has been running since 2011 and gets bigger and better with every year. Created by Ronke Ademiluyi, AFWL is now considered to be Europe’s largest catwalk event of African and African-inspired design.
Each year, AFWL hosts four catwalk events and contributes to many other African-inspired events for 3rd parties such as The Mayor of London’s Black History Month celebrations and the annual Africa Centre Summer Festival.