With the release of the Black Panther their has undoubtedly been a revival of traditional African attire thorough the individual expression of moviegoers. While the perspectives and tones of the movie are debatable- the costumes and their afrofuturistic appeal is a topic that everyone has been able to agree on. The costuming headed up by Ruth E. Carter was simply amazing and added to the overall vibrancy of the film.
My mini movie getaway inspired me to share with you all a post from Atlanta Fashion and Design Week 2017. This annual event hosted by Phillipa Knowles, celebrates local and international designers of African fashion and art and was definitely one to remember. Knowles started the event 5 years ago out of her passion for fashion and has continued annually showcasing the rich culture of African fashion and lifestyle.
The fashion show was held at the beautiful Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia in Atlanta and the space was immaculately organized for showcasing. As a model in the event me and my fellow skyscrapers go to walk to the latest Afrobeat tunes as attendees watched and sipped on curated cocktails. The show was full of beautiful Ankara designs, street wear, unique accessories and handbags, formal wear, traditional furniture and paper art.
The show brought out AF&D lovers and style gurus from all over the country. In addition, students from the Atlanta Art Institute School of Fashion Design program participated in the show by designing contest pieces that were voted on by attendees. Makeup and hair were provided by students from Paul Mitchell The School- Atlanta.
All of the professional designers were part of the African diaspora and represented African expatriate or first generation populations. This created diversity in perspective and when speaking to the talent is was obvious that each designer's definition of fashion was unique to their individual experience, culture and desired appeal.
As a first generation Nigerian,this was an event that was very special to me. I felt it was very important for me to participate in this event to immerse myself in my culture. I don't get to travel home to Nigeria as often as I'd like but its been great having such a deep community right her in my own city. It is through events such as this that myself and others like me are able to stay connected to our other home and dialogue.
A few of my favorite designers were:
Lastina Mawollie Ngateh of Mason Mawollie
Maison de Mawollie is custom design brand and clothing inspired by a mix of cultural diversity and modernism and the freedom to wear and experience uniqueness.
They specializes in ready-to-wear clothing and accessories, as well as custom made designs for individuals and events. To check more of their work click here or check them out on instagram at @maisonde_mawollie
Mohamed Diomande of African Renaissance Lives
Mohamed shared that this line was created to "both fill the void of foreign african kids, away from home attending school and the ever popular need for understated African awesomeness" AFR is an acronym put together after realizing that African culture was currently in the mist of a renaissance. However, strange as it may be, the glad tidings of this renaissance for the most part took place in foreign countries, at schools and college campuses. Afr was built to feed the overwhelming need for wear that reflected this movement! To check out their line click here
Bola Pace of Pretty Paper Blossoms
Bolanle Pace is an artist, fashion lover, wife, and stay-at-home Mommy who has built an amazing business based off of her love for making paper flowers. She is truly an amazing creator and has shared her works all over Atlanta. Bola constructed a beautiful flower wall for the event as well as custom dress. Pictured here are attendees
standing in front of her creation.
Chichi Nwankwo Ezeike of Jide Gear
Jide Gear offers fashion accessories products including handbags, necklaces, earrings, bangles. Their products are handmade by artisans in Nigeria and distributed worldwide. The amazing accessories were showcased by models at the show and were strong in presentation and impact. To shop Jide Gear for your next accessory from the motherland click here or check them out on social media.
I was able to sit down and speak with some the amazing designers. Check out the official recap video below!
Thank you guys for checking this post out! Hopefully you all were inspired by the amazing and multifaceted nature and appeal of African and African inspired fashion and design elements.