Archives for posts with tag: African Fashion

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As has been well documented, I love Maki Oh. I cannot think of a single designer on the continent, or indeed globally whose work better embodies my love of shape, textiles and understated style.

Often in African fashion we see the use of beautiful ankara and kitenge fabrics, which although have long been identified as being African, in fact hail from Europe (Vlisco Dutch Wax being a well known example) and are produced more often than not these days, in countries such as China & India.

From the label’s conception, Maki Oh has made a point of using fabrics indigenous to Africa, such as adire, aso-oke, akwa ocha, oja, etc. The Nigeria based label’s new ready-to-wear collection is no exception, using beautiful quality fabrics, traditionally & skilfully handprinted to further explore cultural appropriation – in this case, the concept of mermaids. Their incorporation into some Nigerian & Diaspora belief systems (an example being the widely venerated Mami Wata) is explored through colour, texture, silhouettes and the collection’s film above.

Reading further into the symbolism of the collection, Nigerian Visual Curator, Yagazie Emezi writes,

This total adoption of foreign ideas inspires the silhouettes, prints and embellishments in the AW15/16 collection, which is packed with hidden meanings in the same vein as traditional Nigerian attire. A traditional adire print ‘Omi’, (water) covers a dress with a fish-like fin, mirrored-fishes swim across dense cotton trousers, an iridescent fin flows down the sleeve of a silk blouse, a floral Guipure lace skirt which symbolizes her beauty, is backed with a mirrored glitter cotton canvas and a silk crepe dress is flanked by ekpaku ubok (an Ibibio arm band used during a traditional fertility dance).

It is therefore clear to see that Maki Oh should be celebrated as more than just the label that dressed Michelle Obama, as that it has the substance to bring Nigerian fashion and textiles to the forefront, with the potential to broaden the horizons for African fashion as a whole.

Source: Yagazie Emezi.

To see my 2012 post, An Ode to Maki Oh, click here.


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Source: Nina Manandhar.


Skirt & blouse by Nigerian fashion house, Rukky Simone.


Self designed jumpsuit made from ankara fabric, bought at Balogun Market, Lagos, Nigeria.


Bag by Nigerian designer, Zashadu. Dress fabric bought at Balogun Market, Lagos, Nigeria.


Head wrap of ankara fabric bought in Lagos.


Wrapper & top by Nigerian designer, Itunu.


Shorts by Nigerian label, Jewel by Lisa.


Dress by Stella Jean & head wrap of ankara bought at Nsukka Market.


Bag by Nigerian designer, Obsidian and trousers are self designed & made in Lagos.

Throughout the month of March, Vogue UK is featuring Nigerian feminist, novelist and short story writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s fantastic sense of style on their website’s ‘Today I’m Wearing’ column. Pleasingly, her wardrobe hosts a plethora of Nigerian fashion, as shown above, to compliment the global brands she also wears! The focus on Adichie is set to continue for the rest of March, so to keep with this fashionist’s sense of style, click here!

Source: Vogue UK.


My favourites out of Nigerian-born, London-based designer, Duro Olowu‘s AW15 collection, recently showcased at London Fashion Week. I love the colours, the movement, the shapes, even the styling! Olowu never disappoints – edgy yet refined, as always!

Designers (top to bottom) – NN Vintage, Khosi Nkosi, Leigh Schubert, Marianne Fassler, Selfi, David Tlale, Grapevine, Suzaan Heyns, Arnold Phasha, Siviwe James.

Source – African Fashion International.

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