Fashion Trends Inspired By Africa


By Katekani Shivambu

The trends and style of over centuries have evolved but in a sense has also stayed the same, the transition of fashion has always been inspired by either the style of yesteryears or has been a repetition of culture. Many of the fashion trends are inspired by the traditional culture wear of African tribes. This can be easily identified in the 2019 fashion trends catalogue, the use of colour and patterns has significantly reflected the heart of African culture, from textures to the design and style of the different runway pieces. 
 
As we go deeper into the 2018-2019 accessories trend in modern fashion,  tassels and feathers have taken the fashion scene to a level of artistry that is significant.  However, this is no new thing for the Ethiopian Bena &  Kenyan Samburu tribes, as they have always accessorised with tassel and feather. The inclusion of tassels and feathers in fashion as accessory or embellishment can be said to have originated from these indigenous tribes. The spring 2019’s runway has expressed this African art wear in a design style that can be viewed as vogue, this is due to the practicality and styling of the different items.

Kenyan Samburu tribe


Ethiopian Bena tribe


Furthermore, autumn-winter 2019 has included a style that is bold and fashionably patterned. The use of geometric shapes in AW 2019 is in essence taken from African art, seen in the bold pattern kitenge wraps of Zanzibar in 1900. The bold prints and
embellishments often were a vision of recognised images such as plant (like the cashew nut-the paisley shape and associated which was associated with wealth) or graphic geometrical shapes making for extremely striking apparel. As seen in AW 2019 fashion trend, the bold prints and geometric patterns are a picture of couture.

 
Kitenge wraps of Zanzibar in 1900


The evolution of fashion is a constant one, but the essence of the details and pieces found in fashion are derived from ancestral art and culture, influencing designs, styles and structure of modern fashion to date. 
 
 - JP
 

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