The Fashion Thirst team's second experience of African Fashion Week London was on the 8/9th August.
We have vowed to frequent many more, not just in London but in the Motherland herself (Lagos/Abuja and Cape Town watch this space !). Fully recovered from the Expendables III Premiere red carpet event on 4th August (Monday pm) we mustered up enough energy to head down to Kensington Olympia's West Hall to watch this intriguing display of cultural fusion. Western cuts with ethnic prints and patterns make clothes far more interesting, eye-catching, rich, diverse and intriguing. They almost transport you to the market places of Accra or the large malls of Nairobi. The history, heritage and craftsmanship and stories behind the blend of colours, ethereal patterns and intricate prints woven in or tie-dyed out made this fourth edition of African Fashion Week London worth attending. Talented African designers from all over Europe, the US and Africa highlighted rich, cultural heritage and vivid creations.
Boutique Mahali's collection really brightened up the catwalk with Kenyan inspired designs. Their structured soft garments were cut with amalgamated femininity, pleats, panels and prominence. www.boutiquemahali.com
Eldimaa's range was particularly exciting. This UK-based label infuses African prints and contemporary Brit-styled cuts with vibrant, high quality tailoring. www.eldimaafashion.com
My personal favourite was Njema Helena's collection impeccable tailoring, crisp cuts and great creative vision. Although we have 2 x photographers on our team I ended up taking at least 50 x pictures with my Samsung of her designs out of sheer excitement ! I've already emailed her about potential outlets in Brazil where Afro-Brazilian identity and expression in fashion is growing at a phenomenal pace.www.njemahelena.com
Other designers who received the most cheers, roars and rounds of applause were the wonderful Erwin Michalec, Huda Dagnew, Monis Fashion House, G321 and Akuasei. Enjoy the images folks. Africa is Rising.
Written By Monica Cummings, Chief Editor.
Photographer Anthony Campbell