By Yemisi Suleiman
It has been two weeks since the city of London played host to fashionistas, African fashion designers and buyers who flew into the city for Africa Fashion Week London (AFWL) 2017. Supported by Pak’s Hair and Cosmetics, the show which held at the prestigious Freemasons’ Hall had over 5,000 visitors, 42 catwalk designers and 60 exhibitors who came to show London what African fashion is all about.
With at least 15 countries represented on the AFWL catwalk, the new season had lots of glamorous and dramatic pieces needed to update your wardrobe – from exaggerated sleeves and layering to Asian-inspired looks. Here are some trends that caught our eye at the AFWL.
Be brave to show a bit of skin with the amazing off-shoulder silhouette as showcased by Adesegun George and Tubo, with her immaculate women’s wear collection. The shoulder-baring look has officially moved from trend of the moment to wardrobe mainstay.
Marching is over-rated. Mixing prints like Araewa and clashing colours as presented by Luvita Creations is the way to get your flower and print fix this season.
Tomato red was one of the hottest colours on the AFWL runways; every collection had a dash of the colour.
Statement sleeves have been a favourite of the fashion set and party goers this year and it seems the trend will continue to dominate in 2018. Brands like Tubo (shown here), Becca Apparel and Ibrahim Musa all sent dramatic, big and bold sleeves down the runway with some way past the shoulder.
Floor-length skirts and dresses in silk taffeta, tulle, ankara and organza are paired with everything from lace to tub tops. From Mary Martins’ effortless long tulle dresses with dramatic Victorian shapes, Valerie Azinge Atelier’s floor-length dress in silk taffeta and Tubo’s long overflowing red dresses, the AFWL runway provided quite an inspiration for the look.
A range of sheer dresses and separates showed off designers’ penchant for skin-baring details, thanks to the growing sheer trend. While most of us will use a layer underneath when wearing sheer, we do love the allure of the look on the runway as showed by Maufechi, Tubo and Mary Martins.
Designers like Soboye with his OB belt, Palse Homme and Justus’s kimono-style top looked to a bevy of Asian-inspired influences to create the sharp cuts, shapes and luxurious fabrics for their AFWL 2017 collections.
Add some new dimension to your mid-season look as inspired by Bisola Akanni men’s collection which featured textured trousers, jackets, suits, print mixed with wool, bowler hats and rubber boots, while Tubo interpreted the look with the traditional aso-oke tied over a long dress, attached a long cape.
Embellishment by way of ruffles and fringe gave collections by Mary Martin, Talansi and Mon Ami a rich, textured appeal.
Designers like Mary Martins, Abisola and others flooded the runway with an unexpected dose of drama; not a trend we can try but we love the dramatic effect of these collections.
Add a bold printed jacket or blazers to your work wardrobe as displayed by Tobams Colours and Adesegun George.
Japanese-inspired kimonos are still hot on the scene as long kimono jackets from Yemzi and others were spotted.