(12 Aug 2017) YOUNG DESIGNERS BRING AFRICAN-INSPIRED COLOR AND ETHICAL FASHION TO LONDON
African designers from Ghana, Togo, Kenya, South Africa, Congo, Tanzania, Mozambique, Senegal, Uganda, Nigeria and others are in London this weekend for a stunning showcase of their creations.
Africa Fashion Week London features two days of runway shows and exhibitions from new and emerging designers who are inspired by the rich culture of Africa and incorporate this heritage into their designs.
Europe's largest African-inspired fashion event debuted in 2011, and in its seventh year, is taking place at Freemasons' Hall in London, bringing together fashionistas and industry professionals.
Designer Leona Green showed a stylish womenswear collection with just one color in the palette: gray. It featured clever re-use of materials.
"With my line, I really wanted to show that gray isn't boring, but it can be exciting and fun, as well as ethical fashion and sustainable fashion," said Green.
"It's made from upcycled fabrics and I also use salvaged materials that would otherwise be discarded as waste. And what I do is, I salvage denim from charity shops, second-hand shops, and then I patchwork it into interesting patterns and this collection is based on Kente cloth (a type of silk and cotton fabric) from Ghana. So I've patchworked it into Kente, and the line is completely gray, so I just used shades of gray."
Green's gray designs were paired with simple but striking make-up and hair design.
Abbie May Hopkins styled the make-up for Africa Fashion Week London. "Today I kind of wanted to get across a lot of color, so with the eyes, every single model is having, like different colors. So we've got blue, yellow, orange, pink and green on the models, which I've kind of allocated them a different color so that when they come on the runway, it's just going to be pops of color."
Event organizer Anna Marie Benedict says the location for Africa Fashion Week London - the Freemasons' Hall in Covent Garden - provided a perfect showcase for the shows.
"The artists... seem to be happy and it's a really warm atmosphere and I think everyone looks great, and we're in such a beautiful surrounding that it makes the fashions look - they're really popping, you know, so it's really good."
The Grand Hall at the Freemasons' was transformed into an exhibition of African fashion, allowing visitors to purchase stunning pieces and unique creations from handpicked designers and brands.
Africa Fashion Week London continues today (12 AUG. 2017) with shows from Soboye, Mary Martin London and Caesar Couture.
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