Back at the end of October we were treated to more than just Halloween; Fashion Week Africa was held in Johannesburg, with no shortage of fresh perspectives, exciting new talent, and bright, colourful clothing. The show culminated in the prestigious annual African Fashion Awards,
and clearly demonstrates the important place Africa has come to hold in the fashion industry.
The stunning show provided everything we have come to expect and love from African designers; bold prints, and striking silhouettes. Familiar face Marianne Fassler was present, with her Spring/Summer 2015 collection, which featured patchwork-like aspects, and a distinctly floral vibe. The new range also had a strong emphasis on embroidery and lace, and included a generous amount of animal print and camouflage designs. With her usual flamboyant style, Fassler’s pieces were all about symmetrical graphics and mismatched prints. Accessories for next season included statement tote bags – also boasting fine and daring prints – and equally large, chunky neckpieces. It was perhaps no surprise then that Fassler won Designer of the Year. New designers from all over the continent were also present, and likewise celebrated in the awards.
African Fashion: Paving the Future
It seems that this year the fashion industry is particularly inclined to celebrate Africa, with high praise coming from all quarters – and it isn’t just the fashion that has been garnering attention. With the rise in popularity of Fashion Week Africa, models of African descent have been given a chance to showcase the stunning beauty and diversity of the African continent in the colour and form of not only the clothes, but themselves.
Earlier this year in London, a city accustomed to all manner of fashion shows, African Fashion Week welcomed over 30,000 visitors. This is a dramatic increase in numbers since the show’s inception in 2011, and only serves to further demonstrate the significance Africa has come to play in world-wide fashion concerns. With another African Fashion extravaganza scheduled for March 2015, it is certainly a very pleasant change to have the focus so firmly on African heritage and design for once, rather than on western culture, which can often neglect the fashions, and models, of other areas of the world.