Posted on 26 October 2011.
This past weekend I attended Africa Fashion Week and was really impressed with the level of fashion in Africa. Soucha, Thula Sindi, Jacob Kimmie, David Tlale, Madam Wokie, Laquan Smith, Tabo Bacar, Lola Faturoti and Bunmi Koko were some of the designers that showcased their collections to a packed Sandton Convention Centre. Tribal print, animal print, chiffon, colour blocking, lace and the Arabic-Persian-Egyptian look dominated the runway.
Cairo-based fashion designer Soucha’s collection was Egyptian-inspired. The collection was made up of slouchy pants, swimwear pieces, lace, head gear and shawls. He went bold on colour using, greens, yellows and reds. Local designer Thula Sindi got a standing ovation for his collection that consisted of lace, print and chiffon. The outfits were elegant and looked very comfortable to wear.
New York based designer Laquan Smith who is known for his glamorous futuristic designs did not disappoint, if anything he lived up to his title. His range included skirts, dresses, trousers and tops. There were lace pieces as well, ideal for a night out or red carpet event.
Bunmi Koko’s garments oozed texture and comfort. The collection had evening wear, formal wear and a few gowns perfect for a red carpet event. She completed some of the looks with jewellery: neck pieces and bangles.
The big winners were announced at the highly anticipated Africa Fashion Awards, which concluded the runway show at Africa Fashion Week. Jewel by Lisa won the Designer of the Year –Africa award while celebrated British-born fashion designer & film-maker, Ozwald Boateng was announced Designer of the Year – International in these.
Nigerian designer, Maki Oh, won the Emerging Designer of the Year – Africa award, while New York-based, Ghanain-born Mimi Plange won Emerging Designer of the Year – International. Accessories Designer of the Year went to Sudanese-born Maya Antoun.
Part of the Africa Fashion Week,nomination criteria in the Africa Fashion Awards include designers’ work representing the strong emergence of a global African aesthetic along with potential global reach.
Created by Lisa Folawiyo in 2005, Jewel By Lisa has become famous for perfecting the art of using Nigerian Ankara fabric embellished with sequins, crystals and beads into a coveted on trend label.
The youngest and first black tailor to open a shop on London’s Saville Row, Ozwald Boateng, meanwhile, has reinterpreted the British art of bespoke tailoring with traditional craftsmanship and innovation along with his iconic, contemporary twist, vibrant colours and refined fabrics.
New York-born model, businesswomen and fashion pioneer Bethann Hardison was awarded with the Outstanding Contribution to African Fashion accolade while Model of the Year went to Kenyan supermodel Ajuma Nasanyana.
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– All designer pics by Simon Deiner