Africa Fashion Week London
September sees the industry celebrate fashion all over the world and once again this year, London has provided a globally recognized platform for African designers to showcase their creativity and fashion excellence.
An event created in 2011 by Ronke Ademiluyi, Africa Fashion Week hosts the largest amount of designers of African inspired and African design on a catwalk anywhere in Europe.
The two-day yearly event, falling between Friday 9th September and Saturday 10th, features a catwalk and a exhibition. The fashion industry has long taken design inspiration from the entire continent of Africa and it’s plethora of colours, patterns and textures, all of which work beautifully translated to a catwalk, and so celebrating the work of African designers here in the UK is essential in increasing the visibility and awareness of their designers.
Designers gather in Central London for the event as it goes from strength to strength and finishing the event saw Mustafa Hassanali showcased his collection. Hassanali has a history almost as rich and captivating as the continent itself. A medical doctor by trade, he began designing in 1999 and received national acclaim when one of his creations was worn by Hoyce Temu (Miss Tanzania 1999) since then Hassanali is credited with being one of the driving forces behind creating the Tanzanian fashion industry.
With fans including Naomi Campbell, the work of the designer is appreciated by several high profile members of the industry.
Globally representing Tanzania as a Cultural Ambassador, Hassanali has exhibited his designs to 31 cities and 21 countries, bringing Tanzania to the forefront of the international fashion stage and certainly elevating Tanzania’s fashion industry to be something that is celebrated and renowned by London major fashion journalists and influencers.
Representing Northern Mozambique, JAUA honors the members of the tribe in which the designer gains most of her inspiration, and also where the designers paternal Grandmother was born. Women in her community played a central role and took care of the people and the land. The strength, authority and respect commanded by the women in this setting is a trait that the JAUA brand aims to communicate sartorially.
The brand encourages women to recognize their value, grandeur and beauty and the belief that each woman has a beautiful and unique body shape is one that flows right through the veins of the brand, with clothes that strive to flaunt the strengths of the body and balance the silhouette.
Stripes, minimalist lines, black and white and an abundant range of textures and materials are all incorporated to JAUA’s 2016 collection.
Laura Jane Fashions
Multi -functional garments may be seem like a thing of the future, but garments that empower the wearer are at the heart of Laura Jane Fashions.
Hailing from the Caribbean and Zimbabwe, the brand asks “What if one garment could form an entire wardrobe?”, from this, an entire collection was born and shapes what the brand means to its audience today.
Unique construction methods and an amalgamation of print and texture produce movement and form in every garment. The designers use non-traditional methods of pattern cutting, and it shows in every piece of the collection.
With the use of both British and African influences, the designers create something that they believe to be truly individual.
As mentioned above, Africa and it’s exotic nature, it’s rich wildlife and astounding array of different customs, cultures, and traditions have provided the industry, artists and designers alike with an abundance of inspiration over the years, and it feels only right that this is celebrated in the way that Africa Fashion Week London does. What is also interesting about the event is that the shows are ticketed, meaning that any member of the public can gain entry, this gives the event an air of being far less elitist than regular London Fashion Week and the accessibility keeps artistry and fashion community spirit at the heart of it.