I love opening magazines and looking online for styles that l can send to my seamstress in Ghana to make into Ntoma (Twi word for African printed cloth) or Kente dresses, skirts and trousers etc.
My Seamstress made a simple Ntoma skirt with a peplum like end inspired by the Balmain Skirts in its Spring Summer 2014 collection. I paired it with a red lace top.
African prints has indeed inspired Western Fashion and the fashion industry. It can be said it became ‘mainstream’ between 2009 and 2010. It is not uncommon to find African like prints in the high street as well on the catwalk. Fashion Brands like Matthew Williamson, Etro, Roberto Cavalli, Givenchy (and many more) have all had ‘exotic’ collections pop up now again. Celebrities like Solange Knowles, Michelle Obama, Gwen Stefani and Rihanna have embraced Ankara prints and styles. Seeing the influence that African fashion has had on the fashion industry as a whole and the strong desire for it (which has increased over the years), it is safe to say Ankara, Ntoma and Kente is here to stay.
African designers like Christie Brown, Duro Olowu, Lisa Folawiyo (Jewel by Lisa), Ituen Basi, Deola Sagoe transformed what was considered a local trend into a global trend, where everyone wants a bit of African prints. These designers reinvented traditional Ankara and Ntoma styles, for the modern woman and man.
Franca Sozzani (Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Italia) believes that the Africa has the potential to develop into something like the brand and stamp, Made in Italy (See blog post Place to Visit- Victoria & Albert Museum’s ‘Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014’). I agree! I truly believe that ‘Made in Africa’ has great craftsmanship and can be seen as a sign of style across the world.
I think I’ll write a detailed blog post on the development of Made in Africa and the Rise of African Fashion soon.
In the meantime, here are some more pictures of my outfit
What was I wearing?
Red Lace Top- Marks & Spencer
Ntoma Skirt-Made by my seamstress in Ghana
Black bag- Marks & Spencer