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Friday 15 August 2014

Africa Fashion Week London

The first thing I noticed about Africa Fashion Week London was how well-dressed everyone was. There was some seriously cool street style going on - some of which got captured by Company Magazine which you can check out here to see what I mean.
 Now in it's 4th year, Africa Fashion Week is a celebration of designers from and inspired by the African continent. 
This year it was held at it's biggest venue yet, at Olympia in West London. It consisted of several catwalk shows over two days...
...and a marketplace filled with African fashion, accessories, food and books.
I'm a big fan of bold, colourful fashion and have long admired the African women I see on the streets of London wearing traditional dress; much of which is homemade, using the most incredible fabrics, so I couldn't wait to take my 'Frow seat' at this year's event to see work from emerging and new designers who specialise in African fashion.
Prints were everywhere, in every colour scheme imaginable and used for every kind of garment going.
But the biggest surprise of the segment I watched was that this actually was fashion for everyone, not just slim models. Dearcurves showcased a range for larger women and was met with huge cheers and smiles. Their oufits were flattering and interesting which was great to see.
Thora Jewels
I also liked the statement pieces shown off in this jewellery segment.
Mia Nisbet
This collection interested me because it took African print and used it to give outfits 'accents' rather than use solid patterns.
Alabi Couture
My favourite designer however was Alabi Couture, outfits were very glamorous and consisted of great shapes and fits for men and women. There were eight catwalk shows altogether though sadly I could only attend one of them.
One of the most popular stalls at the marketplace was this headwrap stand, which I stood and admired...not sure if I could recreate one myself though.
I also LOVED all the accessories: there were shoes, handbags and endless jewellery pieces made from African print fabric which gave me lots of ideas for customising.
Such a brilliant way to make use of small fabric scraps - I immediately fell in love with the fabric collars (£20) by Akwabi Designs, handmade by this lovely designer. Her rolled version that she's wearing was proving very popular too. 

I'm now feeling super inspired to use the African fabric my friend Bosun brought me a few months back from his visit to Nigeria. It's currently in my 'to sew' pile but I've now got a few ideas for how to make best use of it which definately involves making a garment and matching accessories.

Find out more about Africa Fashion Week London at: www.africafashionweeklondon.com

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