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Belle Niba’s report on the fuss, fun and finery of the Spring 2010 Arise Promise of Africa Collective

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is a thrill and pure heaven for every and any fashionista but it’s not all glitz and glamour. Days of entertaining disorderly queues to proudly get a seat assignment can wear down even the most resilient fashion lover. Still, the highs outweigh the lows, so I’ll be back next season. Here’s my recap of the Promise of Africa Fashion Collective which was the focus of my journey to Bryant Park. Four designers excited our senses with color, texture, fringes and flair. We saw the good, the better, and the swag.

The Tifany Amber collection screamed spring with the vibrant kaleidoscopes of artist . Abstract digital prints, an interpretation of an urban Lagos scene painted by the artist, sat alongside fine Chantilly lace and glamorous metallic weaves taking a cue from Diana Ross in the 1974 Motown hit. Mahogany with voluminous skirts and billowing sleeves; a collection for city nights or luxury resort living and I could hardly resist. My favorites were many but I particularly loved the aquamarine chantilly lace overlay shift dress.

South Afica’s also caught my attention with the short black fringed skirt with fringed black pleated top. Karolin who modeled the dress rocked it too. Black seemed to dominate his collection and I found that a little odd for Spring when vibrant colors seemed to rule but every girl needs a little black outfit and David Tlale added some flair to the lot. His inspiration was Africa’s diverse cultural heritage – from the San to the Ndebele tribes; attempting to capture Africa’s artistic wealth.

captured the vibrancy of his home town, Madagascar. We experienced his inspiration from the bustling sensuous markets, jacarandas in full bloom, the deep blue of the Indian Ocean and the gradations of red laterite at the island’s centre. My favorites were the red silk ribbon stitched on leopard tulle halter neck long bias dress and the dark aubergine and silver tie-died silk chiffon trimmed long halter neck dress with pleated front.

brought us prints laden with hand-embellishments that transcend global fashions. New York women will fit right in with this collection; the snippy shorts, slim leg pants, mini cocktail frocks and leather-mix biker jackets in a cacophony of color off-set with batik-inspired silk prints. She left an indelible mark on her Ankara designs and I could see a good number of her pieces in my closet; the multi-colored circle print beaded long dress, the red and mustard swirl print cocktail dress with crystal and glass beaded detail, the leather cut out mini dress and the list goes on.

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Overall it was a great show and our senses were excited with color, texture and creativity. I could hardly resist the urge of getting my hands on some of the pieces for shoots and my wardrobe; falling prey to the beauty that had just unfolded like a kid in the candy store. After asking of Tifany Amber about some of her pieces she regrettably informed me that her clothes are currently not distributed in the US just yet; something she hopes to change sometime soon. That is an unfortunate predicament for some of these Africa based designers who get loads of exposure from fashion week but are unable to fully explore the potential and opportunities that result from the exposure.

I did have a major disappointment though. I noticed that despite all the hype last year about getting runway models to gain weight or using healthier models on the runway, a good number of the girls I saw at the runway were not only really skinny but looked quite hungry with bones sticking out. I could not fathom why the designers made such picks because they only took away from some of the beautiful outfits. One case in point was the model who walked for Jewel By Lisa to showcase the multi-colored circle print beaded long dress. I believe her name is Iris. Seeing her bones stick out was awful. I was seriously concerned.

A model was reported to have actually passed out at Jeffrey Chow’s first collection for the Poleci presentation the next day with producers having to put cold Coca-Cola cans on her head and feed her fruit to bring her back. Hopefully next year, the designers will set an example with the girls they select to showcase their beautiful clothes.

Collection Gallery

[slickr-flickr search=”sets” set=”72157622457069814″ items=”60″ type=”gallery” flickr_link=”on”]

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Judith Foyabo

    September 26, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    Nice article, Amabel. You say it as it is…the bones and skin were really extreme but the style was refreshing. I will be looking forward to the next one, thanks.

  2. Kelen Ndzelen

    December 31, 2009 at 4:39 am

    Hi Amabel,

    you are my star! i just started this in Cameroon, and will be working around central Africa, please if you get a minute, check out my blog, i just started though. I will be happy to share some content with you from this end of the globe. As for the skinny model point, i wonder if this is true, but some designer told me, if u don’t use the skinny’s u divalue your product… this didn’t sit well with me at all, especially given i am on the big side, and very into my look. I am not sudgesting models any where close to my size though…

    That said, i love the presentations.

  3. makar technique insurance

    September 23, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    Ollie, yea right!

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Fashion

The Looks That Afronized The Black Panther Hollywood Movie Premiere

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Lupita Nyong’o

Hollywood was Afronized last night at the Black Panther Movie Premiere. Now let’s be honest, we were a little disappointed when some of the Actors showed up in their typical Western gear. I know we should not take these things personal but we did. They could have Afronized even a little bit you know. Take Jamie Foxx for example, he wore a Wakanda T-Shirt, we think that counts … ok it is not perfect but at least he tried.

All was not lost of course. Our disappointment was all but forgotten when we saw the damsels of the evening. Lupita Nyong’o and Angela Bassett set the tone and just had us gushing at how they maintained a very contemporary Afronista vibe. The men did not disappoint either. So we have compiled our favorite Afronized looks from the Purple Carpet.

Black Panther Purple Carpet

Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER
Forest Whitaker as Zuri, Daniel Kaluuya as W’Kabi, Michael B. Jordan as Erik Killmonger, Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther/T’Challa, Angela Bassett as Ramonda, Danai Gurira as Okoye, and Letitia Wright as Shuri photographed exclusively for Entertainment Weekly by Kwaku Alston on March 18, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Kwaku Alston � 2017 MVLFFLLC. TM & � 2017 Marvel. All Rights Reserved.

 

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23 Times Berla Mundi’s Afronista Style Got Our Thumbs Up

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When it comes to African clothing, Berla Mundi’s Afronista Style is right there at the forefront leading the pack. The beautiful award-winning Ghanaian television personality is bold with her fashion choices and we are simply delighted every chance we get to spot her in a cool outfit.

Berla Mundi’s African Style

African Style#1

A blue strapless African print dress with removable puff sleeves.

African Style#2

This lovely off shoulder dress screams Afronista.

African Style#3

This look large collar African print coat over a basic jean and tshirt outfit dresses it up and says effortless chic.

African Style#4

We are crushing on this red bubble sleeve African print top and blue pants. Lovely combination.

African Style#5

Talk about elegance in print. The symmetry and fit of this simple yet elegant dress had us doing the double thumbs up.

African Style#6

A simple rompa with fun sleeves, who wouldn’t want one after seeing Berla in them?

African Style#7

The prints on this Peplum jacket complement her ripped jeans quite beautifully.

 

African Style#8

what we liked about this wasn’t just the sleeveless top which is quite flattering. We really liked the african print detail on the yellow skirt.

African Style#9

If this isn’t glam then we don’t know what is. She paired the beautiful off shoulder bubble sleeve top with a fitted skirt quite beautifully.

African Style#10

The print, the sleeves, the simplicity, in short everything about this dress is just Afronista lovely.

African Style#11

Leave it to Berla to show some leg in a peplum dress and look flawless while doing so.

African Style#12

We love the creativity that goes with combining fabrics this way. A little lace here, a little wax there, some bold colors here and there and somehow they mesh together to make the perfect red carpet outfit.

African Style#13

What good is and Afronista if you don’t slap on some artistic pieces now and then? We love the floral detail on this dress and who better to pull it off than Ghana’s Afronista Princess?

African Style#14

Berla went subtle with her Afronista vibe on this dress. A little touch of zebra and she still conveyed Afronista without going overboard.

African Style#15

Ahhh the split just gives this two piece the right touch of lovely.

African Style#16

Another creative vibe in a dress. The color, the style all mesh together beautifully.

African Style#17

We want to raid Berla’s closet. We just love her African pieces especially ones like this that say contemporary African fashion.

African Style#18

Talk about subtle sexy-ness and mature elegance. This dress and all its detail is undeniably one of the best pieces we have seen on Berla.

African Style#19

Even when she is keeping it simple, she still manages to pick the pieces that work well. We love the sleeves which work well with the dress in an unsuspecting way.

African Style#20

A peplum wrap jacket is a closet staple for all Afronistas and Berla is no exception.

African Style#21

We love the simplicity and playfulness of this dress.

African Style#22

This look says, “I love Afronista Style” and we all give it a double thumbs up.

African Style#23

Color block skirt with a little bit of midriff showing. Leave it to Berla to show off some skin tastefully.

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25 Fashion Fabulous African Style Outfits for Work

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Who says bold African prints can’t hold their own in a corporate environment? Definitely not us. Below are 25 African Styles with vibrant African prints that will fit any corporate environment.

25 Fabulous African Style Work Outfits

Look #1

Living My Bliss Blogger

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Style Pantry Editor

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Look #25

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