The inaugural Arise Africa Fashion Week was held last week (June 12-19 2009) in Johannesburg, South Africa. The event showcased the most talented African designers and models and was the first of what will become an annual event. I loved the images I came across on the web of this fashion week, as it is really quite unique and original compared to other more established events. The designers make use of amazing colors and themes to create fashion that is both fresh and passionate. The African aesthetic is very much on display with the merging of traditional style with more contemporary trends. Enjoy!
Bold prints and patterns were the order of the week. The style was contemporary fashion with an African twist — unusual fabrics, bead-work and colors created a unique and inspiring atmosphere! Summer dresses in bright fabrics and prints and unusual cuts were also evident at the show. Said the organizer, Dr. Precious Moloi Motsepe: “We have a unique African signature and authentic design. The whole look is not African as in ethnic but African contemporary.”
“It’s quite remarkable to see Africa putting such a thing together,” says Ghanaian Shirley Selase who now models in New York. And indeed the show was definitely remarkable with wonderful staging and design. Bold accessories such as large headpieces, umbrellas and necklaces lent the final finishing touch to outfits. Feathers and flowers were another key component of the outfits. Plaids, bold oranges and reds merged with floral patterns to create a unique African aesthetic.
Whites, browns and yellows were seen in unusual pairings such as a ruffled prim and proper shirt and cropped pants, or a lace evening gown. Draped dresses in pure white lent an aura of sophistication to the collections. Animal prints in light colors provided an unusual twist to traditionally styled outfits.
Feathered one shoulder evening dresses in summer’s hot colors (lavender and purple) were another highlight of the event. Feathers, prints and solids were mixed in startling ways for lovely effect. Flowing fairy-tale like dresses were also seen in the evening gown collections. The little black dress also made an appearance in a one-sleeved style. Gorgeous!
Images from: 1 2
fashion trends thoughts
“The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain!” - so sang Eliza Doolittle at the Royal Ascot race where she was taken on her first “society” outing. Ever since watching My Fair Lady as a child, I’ve been fascinated with a mainstay of the British social calendar — the annual Royal Ascot meeting in Berkshire, England. (And no, I’m not obsessed with that movie, it just happens to be one of my childhood favorites).
While the show is patently a horse-race meeting, as importantly (or maybe more importantly) it is also something of a fashion show and a meeting of the creme-de-la-creme of British society. Queen Elizabeth II is an annual visitor of the event, and pulls up each day in a traditional horse-drawn carriage. This event has been held annually since 1711 and is a tradition of royalty and a huge social event for the who’s who of British society.
This year’s event just finished on Saturday and as usual it was an exciting display of fashion. There is a strict dress code — top hats for men and elaborate, unusual hats for women. The end result is somewhat of a paradox of traditional lords-and-ladies British royalty (which seems unchanged in many ways for hundreds of years) and the more modern day interpretations of a traditional culture. It is a melting pot of traditional and modern with a mind-boggling array of hats on display: pink hats, purple hats, fascinators, crochet hats, fruity hats, feathery hats, ice cream hats, floral hats, horsey hats. Basically anything your mind can conjure up and then proceed to embellish for 365 days (or longer) is the perfect hat for Royal Ascot!
I would love to someday visit this event and, of course, be dressed to the nines just the way of the British royalty! Behold these deliciously, gorgeously inspiring (some slightly mad) hatters below..
fashion people trends thoughts
I’ve always had this fascination with Iceland. It seems to me that it would be an absolutely amazing place to visit someday and thus it remains near the top of my ever-growing places to visit list. This island-nation is only populated in a small amount of its land area on the coasts. A lot of the land is ever-changing and growing with numerous geothermal hot-spots and volcanoes. It seems to me to be a really lovely country — a kind of fantasy on earth. It kind of resembles what I would think Middle Earth would look like (more than New Zealand!)
While researching online today I came across some really lovely Icelandic fashions from the label Spaksmannspjarir - meaning Wise Men’s Clothing. The beauty of the surroundings together with the romantically inspired outfits really made me want to visit the country more than ever!
fashion style thoughts