African-inspired fabric has been in the market for so many years but judging from different magazines and fashion blogs, never has it been so present and used in so many different ways as is being done in contemporary fashion. From ‘Ankara’ prints in Nigeria, wax, super wax, java, ‘Dutch wax’ in Ghana, ‘Kanga prints’ in Tanzania and to other East African countries, Ikat, Batik, mud cloth and so on, this is a colourful fabric with a lot of – for lack of a better word – “tribal” or “ethnic” patterns printed on it.
Thanks to modern twists and styles, there is a wide range of uses for this fabric ranging from brides’ and bridesmaids’ dresses, ball gowns, casuals to other kinds of formal wear. The sweet thing is creative designers are now playing with African print for other fashion accessories like, bags, earrings, bangles, shoes and many more, taking the fashion to another level.
No longer reserved for that quirky shirt your pan-Africanist uncle used to don years ago, African print is the new chic. Everybody, including celebrities in and outside Africa, is tuning into the look now. Dutch fashion house Vlisco is a master in the trade. Check out some of their trendy designs for those who want to rock or experiment with African print.
You don’t have to be a celebrity or have wads of cash to create that wow effect either. Maischna reader, Grace from Tanzania shows you what you can do with a little creativity and a trusted tailor – be it elegant with coat, casual chic summer dress or evening dress.