Take me back to the seventies when music was cool, the air was clean, less was more and looking effortlessly stylish was as simple as riding a bike.The hippy days when the body was free, and the Afro’s were big, are back in town, with an Ankara twist.
This season we saw the rejuvenation of the seventies hit the SS’11 catwalk. Designers such as Roberto Cavalli, Gucci and Blumarine showcased fringing, using lace and chiffon for a laid back look. While Stella McCartney and D&G traded the traditional hipster denim for bold prints on shirt dresses, accessorized with headbands and over-sized sunshades.
Each season designers transform and modernize a trend from a past fashionable decade whether it’s the rock n roll 60s, Edgy 90s or in this case the ‘hippy’ 70s. This season the seventies ‘throwback’ comes with a funky hint of Africa, enough to make any African fabulously proud. Fashion designer, Gwen Stefani made waves for this trend, with her entire L.A.M.B collection dedicated to Ankara and other African fabrics. Outfits were made in baggy hipster trousers, and mini-dresses, demonstrating the singer’s chic, and edgy signature style. Versace also followed suit, playing with African prints on bodycon dresses, using the fringing technique for a laid back festival feel.
Nigerian designers such as, Ituen Basi, Jewel by Lisa, Deola Sagoe and other African designers like Thula Sindi (SA) who have been become house hold names within the African fashion industry, have long since been playing and giving recognition to the Nigerian staple print. These designers do not play it safe with their Ankara prints, incorporating modern designs they make Ankara, fun, stylish and wearable.
Take me back to days were natural locks beat Brazilian weaves, being black was beautiful, glamour was an option, and freedom was powerful. The wave of afro-centric, neo soul movement sprang along in the late 1990s early 2000s, bringing life to Erykah Badu, Floetry, and Lauryn Hill. Like any genre of music, the sound produced the style. Inspired by their heritage, partakers of the movement wore their natural hair, free flowing maxi gowns made with African prints and an attitude that screamed ‘peace, love, power and soul.
Today, celebrities such as Solange Knowles, Nneka, and Shingai Shoniwa keep this trend alive, playing with cool Ankara prints in modern designs.
Let’s go back to the days were smiles were priceless, and confidence was stylish.