West African fabric often brings to mind bold patterns set in a riot of colour – statement fabrics that go against the grain of corporate-wear, clashing oranges and blues, pinks and reds, to create a rich visual feast.
While the style-conscious can’t go wrong with a boldly coloured print, trendsetters in styling African fabrics are heading towards a monochrome palette that showcases the wealth of patterns available – creating outfits that eschew contrasting colours in favour of clashing patterns. A monochrome colour scheme is the point where traditional fabrics meet a twentieth-century aesthetic, and so by pitching an earthy greyscale vine pattern against a modernist style that borrows from both the art nouveau and psychedelic movements, wearers can toy with conventions and bring a new playfulness to these fabrics, while asserting their own global sense of style.
Monochrome Can Still Be Colourful!
Responding to this adventurous new angle, African fabric aficionados are embracing a wide range of fabrics that may be restrictive in their colour scheme, but boast textures and patterns that are guaranteed to excite. Using everything from shoes and bags, to wax prints and head gear, these forward thinking individuals are mastering that striking monochrome look from tip to toe, benefiting from a richly international range of products.
Within a black and white palette, a lightly textured grey brocade will bring a refined, classic elegance to your look, or as an alternative, a white fabric embellished with subtle detailing and beads will encourage others to look twice. Through a restricted colour scheme, you can really draw the focus onto how you incorporate different materials and textures into your look – try a rhinestone-encrusted heel to add a touch of glamour to your outfit, and it’s guaranteed to truly make a statement against more restrained soft cotton brocades, and smooth wax fabrics.
Break out of black and white for just a second to top off your fashion statement with a metallic headtie. A splash of silver will complete a monochrome aesthetic – as well as doing wonders to set off darker skin tones, or blue and green eyes.