AFRICAN PRINT IN FASHION
Models wearing the Yanai apparel brand shows off the designs in a curvy, dynamic and colourful way.
African print has always been a hot trend, it just took the world a long time to discover it. Nowadays, one can incorporate the print with Western wear to create the desired look.
African wax print fabrics are made by printing the patterns in wax on the cloth and then dyeing the fabric. The fabric, which is 100% cotton soaks up the dye, excluding the portions where the dye was applied, and the wax is broken off by machine. Patterns are then printed on the fabric again with other colours. The number of times patterns are printed on the fabric again depends on the design. New ideas and more modern techniques of production mean scores of designs are produced every year by makers of these fabrics.
The African print fabrics are mostly found in Core d' Ivoive, Ghana, Senegal and Nigeria, and many Central and Eastern African countries. The fabrics were customised and designed to reflect local African tradition, culture and symbolisms. Many of the designs found on fabrics depict events, proverbs, persons of importance or local flora and fauna.
Textiles were also used as a form of identity with each tribe having their own unique patterns which made it easy to spot outsiders. Many different types of patterns were formed in places that specialized in weaving. Kings would request several types of cloth to show their prestige and importance, and would even compare themselves by how many robes they had and what they were made out of.
Zimbabwean Fashion Stylist Tapiwa Zandile Mudekunye, owner of the Yanai Fashion Line is passionate about creating fashion statements using African print. Yanai is an apparel brand of an upscale Afro fusion clothing line targeted at females with an eclectic and adventurous dress sense.
The key message associated with Yanai is classy, upscale, versatile and affordable clothing.
In most parts of Africa, the print fabric has been regarded as occasion attire for the more mature fashionista but Zandile believes that apparel in African print is suitable for everyday wear and can be worn to social events by every age group. Print apparel can be chic and classy and you can have an outfit for a day at the beach, a cocktail party or even formal wear for work.
Zandile says “Personally, I find that wearing African print adds bounce to my step because print is bold and vibrant. Print apparel not only looks good on someone it makes them feel good too”. Most of the print fabric comes in bold designs, bright colours and dazzling shapes. With technology, the African prints have evolved into more complex patterns, making the print very multifunctional and fashionable.
Zandile also feels that every woman no matter from what background should have a few African print designs in her closet. “There are limitless style possibilities when you design with African print to defy the long standing stereotype that print is not trendy” she explains.
The African print is globally accepted, celebs both in Hollywood and Africa have been seen wearing this fashionable print. The use of the print outside of Africa is on the increase. There is no limit to its usage and design. The trend of using prints is here to stay, as long as the designers adhere to the changing trends and don’t become redundant. So go on ladies, it wouldn’t hurt to have some African print apparel in your wardrobes, and look chic this spring.
Until next week. Stay Fabulous. You can contact Lucretia at firstname.lastname@example.org