Are African Prints Taking Over? Best Designers with New Designs
African prints are often the most stunning pieces on the runway, displaying rich color and vibrant tight patterns or geometric shapes that symbolize the continent's unique culture, heritage, and one-of-a-kind textile artistry. These head-turning prints are fashion forward for fall and heading into spring/summer 2018. Here’s a look at the latest in African print and design.
Special Cotton and Technique
The origin of African prints becomes complicated when tracing their tangled roots. African prints are also called "African wax prints", "Ankara prints", and "Dutch wax prints" and are created with a process that includes wax-resistant dyeing (batik) fabric. The origin is not exclusively African. Dutch wax prints began as mass-produced imitations of Indonesian batik fabric. Today, many materials can be printed with these designs, but the most rich, and varied will be done in these special techniques.
Stella McCartney Under Fire
This famous designer was recently in the hot seat after presenting a lovely palette of African prints for her SS 2018 Paris show. A couple of fashion writers took Stella McCartney to task for including only one African model on the runway. The five models who walked wearing the African prints were white, and one was Asian.
Four More Labels to Watch
Dolce & Gabbana, Etro, and Erdem are all playing around with Dutch wax prints for autumn, but there are also four new labels to watch.
Kiki Clothing is based at Ghana's Acra Mall, and known globally for ready-to-wear African print styles has long been in the game.
Dent de Man fashion has become popular at hip stores like Barneys New York.
Zuvaa is an online marketplace featuring dozens of African designers who create extraordinary Dutch wax print clothing.
Zuri is based in Malibu and represents California designers Sandra Zhao and Ashleigh Miller. The pair has been nailing the look through shift dresses they've designed with a pop-art version of these traditional prints.
The Tribal Tresses Trend Is On
Hair is expressing a warrior-tribal mood, so plaiting is a major trend, and models were wearing braids high on the head in rows. Dreadlocks in high ponytails are also on-trend and styles that celebrate one's natural texture. Now ethnic hair has time to shine in more styles than ever, and beauty and ethnic hair products are getting on board. For example, Rihanna's new venture into the world of makeup has been winning rave reviews for women who want a perfectly matched foundation. There are 40 shades for light, medium, tan and deep skin tones. Fenty Beauty is fresh and sexy.
These are all welcome additions to fashion's modern landscape. Designers have embraced the classic features of African prints and added a fresh perspective with exciting, expressive collections.