The latest trend to hit the style world is that of African fashion.  Sapna Sarfare finds more of this trend which relates to the culture 

Think Africa and you think safaris, wildlife, tribal culture, Sahara and motherboard for human growth. African fashion is intrinsically linked to tribal prints and quite fascinating. Fashion world these days is going crazy on the trend of African inspired fashion. It is the lasted fashion trend to hit the runway. The thing is this trend can be a tricky one as it relates to something more primitive or tribal. It is converted into something sophisticated for the runway. So asking for more dope on it would be a perfect option.

Where from?
Designer Ridhima Bhasin feels this trend has been an ongoing craze. “The recent popularity with African tribal prints and vivid graphics – all from African textile, an integral part of the African culture, which includes colourful and creative patterns, are being widely embraced in fashion more and more.

African textiles are a major form of expression that Africans use to define themselves. African inspired fashion designs continue to drive a wave of influence by becoming must-have wardrobe for many.”Sandeep Gonsalves, co-founder at SS HOMME, too considers the trend’s deep rootedness in the continent’ diverse folklore.  “The African inspired fashion trend has become wildly popular amongst people across the globe because of its androgynous nature and breathable fabrics that work best for summers or tropical getaways.”

Altuzarra Resort collection
Altuzarra Resort collection

What goes in to it?
Just calling something a trend is not enough. You need to explain of what goes into it. Sandeep discloses, “The contrived silhouettes and intrinsic geometric prints apparent in this trend are reminiscent of African art and architecture. Even the accessories covered in the African trend have cultural bonds and are skilfully handcrafted. African inspired fashion evinces a broad spectrum of vibrant colours in visually dynamic prints. Batiked fabrics, animal prints, leather, fringes, and handmade jewellery are typically incorporated in the African fashion trend.

”Ridhima further explains what consists of this fashion. “Wearing these African fashions show a sense of assertiveness because of its bold patterns. It’s a fashion statement appeasing to the eye because of the flattering designs. From this trend, a lot of the pieces show an asymmetrical design with one pattern on one side and a different patter on another. I really love this concept of mixed and multicultural fashion because it does promote a unity of ethnic backgrounds and tolerance for other cultures.”Sandeep talks of seeing Hollywood celebrities like Beyonce and Chris Brown, in his words, rocking the African inspired trend. “Bollywood celebs like Ranveer Singh and Irrfan Khan have also been seen sporting modernized renditions of this wild trend. Designers like Louis Vuitton, Jean Paul Gaultier and Ralph Lauren have also displayed their love for the trend through their collections.”

African print for men
African print for men

The latest to follow
The best part is to know what the wear from any appealing trend. Ridhima suggests, “With all of the wonderful bits and pieces, ethnic- tribal fashion is one that will be very difficult to get tired of. So if you like vibrant wear that’s full of bold attitude and colourful graphics then ethnic fashion is definitely something you should look into this spring/summer.”Sandeep thinks this fashion trend consists of bold prints and mesmerizing colour combinations. “Leaning onto the trends androgynous characteristics, both men and women can opt for graphic kurtis with geometric prints and tribal embroidery patterns that will make for an eccentric casual or semi-formal ensemble. Formal attires can also use a dash of African creativity.

Men can experiment with suits, shirts, bandgalas and bandhis in non-conforming geometric prints for a formal occasion. SS HOMME offers a range of bespoke suits and ethnic garments with ingenious geometric prints and mutinous displacement techniques for men that make for elite Africanized ensembles. Women can opt for sharply constructed blazers or dress coats with graphic prints and vibrant colours to add an edge to a formal ensemble.”

Accessories are a great way to let your attire look better than the best. Sandeep tells men to go for accessories like paisley printed ties and animal sculpted or bejewelled lapel pins to a bespoke suit to get that royal African appeal. “Women can up their style quotient by incorporating tribal jewellery or handcrafted accessories.”

From the Ralph Lauren Summer 2017 collection
From the Ralph Lauren Summer 2017 collection

Ways to follow trend
Of course, you cannot follow any trend blindly. Some instructions need to be kept in mind, if you want to look your best. The same goes for the African inspired fashion trend. Sandeep has already mentioned that African fashion is all about being extremely bold and rather enchanting.

“To pull off this trend one must keep in mind- Less is more. When sporting an African inspired garment, make sure to accessorize around it and treat the garment as the star of the show. On the other hand, you can add African inspiration to any ensemble by simply dawning accessories with African accents. SS HOMME’s SSentric collection offers an array of garments and accessories with dynamic prints and displaced patterns for men that can be worn effortlessly in order to incorporate a modernized African charm.”Ridhima advises, “Wear light layers that evoke functional character and still look fashionable and polished. Safari layers are inspired by Africa, where are high rise temperatures, so practical side is very important. Yet nowadays they are meant for fashion expression and showcasing wild spirit trend.”