Is the African diaspora diluting African fashion?

 

African fashion is rising to global acclaim; a form of expression, a mark of heritage, African fashion has contributed in transforming the perception of what was dubbed the ‘dark continent’, ‘hopeless Africa’ by Western media. It wasn’t cool to be African in the UK during the ‘90s, but it sure is now! Back then, nearly everything was up for ridicule, from our names, hair (especially if you had a threaded hair style as a child), features and food. Roll on the 2000s; African diaspora millennials are embracing their culture with zeal, especially when it comes to fashion. Instagram and Pinterest are adorned with African-inspired wax print designs, from clothing brands, bloggers, party nights and weddings.

However, if the diaspora doesn’t celebrate authentic African textile techniques more often, we’re subconsciously complicit in potentially rendering a key part of our heritage obsolete.

african print, ankara

African prints infused with Western style silhouettes are worn with pride by millennials in some of the most cosmopolitan cites in the West – London, Paris, New York etc. In 2005, Taiye Selasi coined the term, ‘Afropolitan’. Subjectively interpreted by many, the Afropolitan is a stylish city dwelling, socially and politically astute person of African descent, with multicultural heritage. The curation of our multicultural heritage gives us a unique and empowering perspective on style and fashion. This cultural hybrid comprising African and European aesthetics has featured in magazines and catwalks around the world.

It’s no secret that Dutch wax prints are the emblem of African Fashion. Africans and the diaspora have fervently championed these prints for decades. This has been to the detriment of authentic African textile techniques. Batik is a process of using wax/dyes to create patterns on fabric. Believed to have originated in Egypt during the 5th century, it was later adopted across Asia, most notably Indonesia. During Dutch colonisation in the 1800s, Indonesians taught the Dutch the Batik process, who then mass produced their own ‘Dutch-wax’ version also known as Ankara.

headwraps, african print

 

After unsuccessful attempts to sell their version back to the Indonesians, they took it to West Africa and the rest is history, as they say. Currently European companies are the main financial beneficiaries of what is commonly referred to as ‘African-prints’.

AU2016-Market-Black-Dolls-Hi-Res-07

Social media is a powerful platform, where we’re able create and tell our own narratives. As consumers, we create the demand that produces the supply of Dutch wax prints. If we want authentic African textile heritage to thrive and Africans to have a greater stake in African Fashion, we should support brands that celebrate this. Rather than always wearing printed imitation versions of Kente cloth (usually printed in China), why not wear the real hand-woven Kente made by artisans in Ghana? Foundations like Nubuke collaborate with diaspora designers making bespoke Kente fabrics. Similarly, why not wear clothes made with the adire cloth, created by Nigerians for centuries or kanga fabrics of Kenya /Tanzania?

sewing machine

The Internet has made African fashion very accessible and the appetite for this has created opportunities for companies in the diaspora. American based ONYCHEKOxosi and UK based Styled by Africa, sell apparel made by artisans in Africa to the diaspora and beyond. Designers are expressing authentic African heritage though their collections. Maxhosa by Laduma celebrates traditional Xhosa symbols and colours, through Knitwear. UK based, AAKS’ handwoven bags, typify weaving techniques used in Ghana and AMWA Designs create their own printed fabrics using Adinkra symbols for their home furnishing ranges.

maxhosa for twtter

The influence of Afropolitans / the diaspora in shaping the African fashion narrative globally is undeniable. When Beyoncé wore an outfit featuring designs by Burundian artist Serge Alain Nitegeka, from the South-African based fashion platform Kisua, the brand was immediately thrust into the spotlight. Through the Internet we have the power to tell our true stories. Whether it’s celebrities or you and I snapping selfies for Instagram and Twitter, we should incorporate traditional African textile techniques within our fashion repertoire, as much as we do Dutch wax prints. Doing so will project an authentic image of African fashion heritage.

There isn’t an African fashion utopia; Dutch wax prints will probably always be the main fabric used in African fashion. However, as African fashion continues to flourish, we should be careful not to inadvertently contribute to its dilution, by mainly championing Dutch wax prints. Our multicultural Afropolitan heritage is valid but should be balanced. This balance is key because we’re representing African fashion in lands from which we don’t originate, but are intrinsically part of us though birth or habitation. Rather than left languishing in the shadows, authentic African fashion textile heritage should get the props it deserves for its artistry, craftsmanship and elegance.

african utopia kente pete woodhead

 

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5 MUST HAVE SHOES IN EVERY MAN’S WARDROBE.

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👉 AYENI VIKTOR.

I have no qualms admitting the fact that I do judge a guy according to his shoes. From school it was drilled into me that your shoes have to be impeccable, clean and comfortable. That it leaves an everlasting impression and shows that you take effort and pride in the way you look. Comfort and style are two of the most IMPORTANT aspects to look for in shoes. I also believe that the wrong pair of shoes can make even the classiest outfit look trashy and the right pair can make the simplest outfits stand out.

📉 SO HERE’S MY LIST OF 5 ESSENTIALS OR MUST HAVE SHOES IN EVERY GUYS WARDROBE.

1. BLACK DRESS SHOES:

These are a classic. Simple, Stylish and Comfortable. Can be paired with suits, denims and chinos. Perfect for either a formal or a casual affair. There are few things that don’t team up well with Black. I would suggest, especially if you are looking for just one perfect pair of black DRESS shoes that go with everything, that you pick a pair of dress shoes with matte finish rather than a shiny pair of dress shoes simply because a the former are more easier to pair with any outfit.

You can select from loafers, brogues, oxfords, monk straps,MOCCASINS, derby shoes and so on.

Picture Credit

2. BROWN DRESS SHOES:

These are everything a Black dress shoes are but in Brown. They look rich and compliment most of your outfits very well. I would ask all guys to refrain from buying the same design and pattern of dress shoes in both black and brown. The key is to switch it up and experiment a little. Since you are opting only for one pair of brown dress shoes.  I think you should put some thought in it rather than get the same black dress shoes in brown.

3. BOOTS:

These have an allure and are extremely sexy. They work great with casuals and can be teamed with jeans, cargos and corduroys. You can get ankle length boots, chukkas, Chelsea’s, desert snub nose fry, riding boots, army boots, cowboy boots, motorcycle boots… There are many choices. They have a little heel and hence they will add a few inches to your stature making you look taller. Perfect for the guys conscious about their height and definitely beats the lifts used to make you look taller.

Source

4. LEATHER CASUALS:

These are your go to shoes. Absolutely comfortable and hassle free. The kind that you can wear without socks can team up with pants or shorts and give you the freedom to do what you like without worrying about your shoes and what if about if they get spoiled. They are a versatile piece of footwear. You can pick between lace ups or slip ons. I would suggest driving moccasins or driving mocs ad they are usually referred to.

5. SNEAKERS:

Now point to be noted here is that these are not the sneakers you wear for running or training or to the gym, that are meant for exercising or jogging and always look worn even if you brought it last week and only wear it to the gym. I am talking about a nice and different pair of fashion sneakers that you use not for exercising but when you are stepping out for a day around town. You know for something casual and laid back. The fashion sneakers work well with denims and chinos. You can have fun with these by picking up contrasting and bright colored laces or funky prints.

Picture Credit

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Christian Fashion in the UK breaking grounds!

Christian Fashion in the UK breaking grounds!

Children of the Light Co, by far is the best christian online fashion store with mesmerising illustrative designs that reflect biblical messages for both end user and viewers.

“MADE” T-Shirt by COTL

The mission is to create garments from street wear to smart wear, eye wear, lounge wear and other fashionable goods, suitable for young growing christians around the world whilst adapting their style and designs to the ever growing needs of the young generation. The company innovates its products across all collections to bring fresh, trendy and savvy garments to end users. Each year, they produce new street wear designs with specific themes to promote good morals and values of a christian life. The aim is to engage the younger generation in desiring a relationship with God without comprising the “cool” street looks. Another amazing feature COTL brings to the world, they accumulate 40% of each sale and invest in the community with the aim of bringing about change through strategic projects. These projects could involve church groups, fine artists, illustrators or musicians, the possibilities are endless.

Finally, COTL also takes care of their customers with a wide range of amazing offers, they ship worldwide for FREE. That’s right, free shipping for everyone. Why not take a look in store now and get up to 50% off your first order! https://www.cotl.me/


Women’s “MADE” Longline Hoodie — Navy

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TOP MEN SUITS FASHION TRENDS (VIDEO).

It was an Inspiration, so I decided to share this out.
For all that are inclined in ‘FASHION’.

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6 Rules for a Perfectly Tailored Suit.

Because there are few things worse than a bad one.

Putting on a great suit is transformative. Your shoulders are broadened; your lines, longer and leaner; your waist, that much trimmer. You look great, you feel great. That is, assuming you got the right suit and had it properly tailored. As any man who’s spent an evening in a boxy rental knows, there are very few things as good as a great suit. There are—in the sartorial sense at least—fewer things worse than a bad one. Since even a modestly priced off-the-rack number can look like a million bucks with the right nips and tucks, we’re here to help with six essential rules for getting a perfectly tailored suit.

1. Hem Your Trousers

This is the number one place most guys go wrong when it comes to tailored clothing. Even A-List stars—who should know better—have been known to leave things far too long. Though you don’t necessarily need to embrace the ankle-baring aesthetic espoused by designers like Thom Browne, all that extra length isn’t doing anything but making you look shorter and sloppier. Opt for a very small break (the edge of your pants should just brush the tops of your shoes) for a look that’ll stand the test of time, but still feels modern.

2. Make Sure the Shoulders Fit

The shoulders of your suit jacket should feel like they’re hugging your own. If they’re noticeably tight, the jacket is too small. And if the shoulder seams are sagging past the natural line of your body, like they do for all too many workaday types, it’s too big. The shoulders are the one place that even expert tailors are hesitant to mess with: It’s difficult, expensive, and can ruin your suit. Nearly everything else can be altered, but if the shoulders aren’t spot on, it’s time to return it to the rack.

3. Hem Your Sleeves

Slightly less pervasive than the problem of pooling trousers—but no less pernicious—is that of over-long sleeves. Your jacket sleeve should end a quarter-inch to a half-inch before your shirt sleeve does. All the better to show a sliver of cuff. If your jacket sleeve is hitting your knuckles, it’s way too long. This is an easy and cheap fix if the buttons on the cuffs aren’t functional; your tailor will simply trim from the cuff up and then move them. If the cuffs feature working buttons, it’s a bit more labor-intensive and pricey. The sleeve has to be taken up from the shoulder. Still, better than the knuckle-grazing alternative.

4. Watch for Collar Gap

You might not be able to see it, but everyone around you will. The collar of your suit jacket, if not properly fitted to your neck, will sit away from your shirt collar, leaving a gap. This can happen for any number of reasons, and if it’s not too severe, a tailor can usually fix it. But anything more than a small gap can be a problem. Watch out when you’re buying, and unless you’ve got a particularly skilled tailor that you trust completely, steer clear.

5. Take in the Waist of Your Jacket

Many suit jackets are made with a “democratic” cut, which is a nice way of saying they’re designed to accommodate men of a certain girth around the midsection. If you aren’t one of these men, it also means that your jacket will look boxy until you have your tailor take it in at the waist. Don’t get too aggressive about it, though. Remember, you still need to be able to move in the thing. Aim for being able to comfortably fit a closed fist between your jacket and shirt when the top button is closed.

6. Slim the Sleeves and Taper the Trousers

A lot of guys have tuned into the idea that going narrower on the pants is a great way to elongate the lines of a suit and create a tailored silhouette. Take a page from their book and taper your own trousers. One thing you might not have thought of is doing the same for the sleeves of the jacket. It’s a little more complicated because your tailor will have to deal with the lining, but it’ll make for a much more polished look in the long run. So, you know, worth it.

 

3 Places In The World That I Want To Visit.

3 Places In The World That I Want To Visit

Traveling has been on my mind for months. Being able to change locations and live somewhere else around the world is life changing. People that travel often have a lot to say about it, traveling is one of the best feelings. Now that there  is social media people are able to see travelers from around the world show their experiences to millions of people. Most people spend half of their life traveling and working at the same time, being able to do this in this day of age is amazing and I feel that more people should start traveling more frequently. A few months ago I started considering traveling soon. I have been in California my whole life and the only place that I have been out of state is Las Vegas, but I live in Southern California so going to Las Vegas and back isn’t quite the adventure that I’m looking for.

Places That I Want To Visit 

Tokyo, Japan


Japan has been on my list for a while, actually ever since I was a kid I had always wanted to visit Japan. The culture is amazing to me and I’d love to be a tourist one day in Tokyo, I had many friends that have been there and they always tell me that it’s one of the greatest experiences they had.

Paris, France 


Paris is every travelers desination, I would love to visit soon and even live there for a few months. I learned the French language so I would be able to communicate with people there.

London, United Kingdom 


Growing up, I watched a lot of tv shows based in London which made me fall in love with the UK. Traveling around the UK has always been a place that I knew for sure that I would love to visit in the near future.

Visiting other countries around the world is something that I really have a desire to do. Many of my friends and family have traveled, I don’t think that it would be long until I will be able to start traveling and really getting a chance to see and experience the world and learn new things!
Have you ever wanted to travel is traveling? 

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Thanks for reading!

Meet H&M’s Design Award Winner.

 

CENTRAL SAINT MARTINS graduate Richard Quinn was awarded with the annual H&M Design Award in London yesterday, granting him €50,000, a year’s mentorship, and the chance to develop pieces from his winning collection to be sold in the high-street store.

Richard Quinn
Richard Quinn jury 
“We all fell in love with Richard. He has a clear vision for his brand, and a real wow factor in his collections. Richard is deeply creative, with a very holistic view of the environment, and he’s a worthy winner of the H&M Design Award 2017,” said Ann-Sofie Johansson, H&M’s creative advisor.

Johansson was joined on the jury by Imran Amed, editor-in-chief of Business of Fashion, Pernille Teisbaek, founder and creative director of Social Zoo, Zanita Whittington, creative director of Azalle and Zanita Studio, Yasmin Sewell, fashion director of Style.com, Hannah Jinkins, winner of the H&M Design Award 2016 and Margareta van den Bosch, creative advisor to H&M.

The judges were most impressed with 26-year-old Quinn’s fabrics, which he prints himself using ethical processes in his studio in east London, where he plans to open a creative space to become an inspiring centre for other young designers in the capital.

“It means so much to win the H&M Design Award,” said Quinn. “I want to create my own collection, as well as offer my generation a creative hub, supporting real craft in London.”

Quinn beat seven other finalists to the top spot. Constance Blackaller, Yu Li Song, Alex Huang, Amir Marc, Max Luo, YuTyng Chiu and Chen Peng were all highly commended and were each awarded €5,000.

Quinn with the jury
Quinn with the jury

Blue Native mixed with black material.

 

An African Native Wear/ Attire mixed with black materials.

 

Styled & Designed by :- AYENI VIKTOR

Clothing Brand :- AV Fashion Wears &Clothings  #AvfashionWears

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A FAITHFUL STEWARD

FAITHFULNESS is a one of the basic requirement for those who wants to succeed in their dealings with God and man.
To be “Faithful” means to be trustworthy.
For those who desire to be great, relevant, effective, and distinct in life, there is no other way around it.
In Christendom, faithful workers are scarce. And we ought to know that God blesses beyond measure, all those who exihibit, faithfulness in His service.

God is looking for men, women, and likewise children who are ‘faithful’ stewards of all He has committed to their hands.
~You should be faithful in the handling of finances and not allow your heart be consumed by the love of money.
~You also have to be faithful in the way you use your authority.
~You should be faithful on how you manage other people’s time, because time is life.

“Stewardship” is a trust that mustn’t be abused.
Remember, one day, you’ll give account of the lives God has entrusted in your hands.
You have to make up your mind on this. And may God help you. 🙂
#AYENIVIKTOR

Fashion Logos:- Avfashionworld Logos Video.

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Have Hope And Have A Fabulous Weekend

Have hope and have a
fabulous weekend.

Becky Due - Author

Today’s Challenge: Have hope and have a fabulous weekend.

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7 THINGS YOU SHOULD NEVER WEAR TO A WEDDING.

7 Things You Should Never Wear To A Wedding

A little disclaimer before we begin. This beginner’s guide is not for the traditional Indian wedding with the traditional desi attire.

Most people believe that only women turn to bridezillas or zombie vampires as they fuss over every aspect of the wedding especially the way they look, whether it is their own wedding, their best friend’s, office colleague’s, relatives near or distant or they are just a plus one. But this belief does not imply that the men get a get-out-of-jail free card and are let off the hook to DRESS and behave as they please.

Men too require to plan their ensemble depending upon the location, venue, and theme of the wedding and their relationship to the happy couple. Of course the general tone is formal but still it is better to consider all scenarios while preparing.

TO HELP MEN TO MAKE MORE RATIONAL AND WISER DECISIONS WE HAVE COMPILED A LIST OF 7 THINGS YOU SHOULD NOT BE CAUGHT DEAD IN AT A WEDDING.

1. JEANS:

However low key the wedding, even your most expensive, uber cool and super stylish denims won’t make the cut. Not even with a blazer or a sport coat. Go for dress PANTS instead.

2. TUXEDO:

Confused. This is because the Groom and his guys in the wedding party are generallyDRESSED in a Tux. It is like girls can not wear white to the wedding. The bride should be the only one wearing it. Same rules apply here. Go for a formal suit instead. It would be really cool if you can enquire in advance what colors the wedding party is sporting on the wedding day and avoid those too.

3. SHORTS:

Even if it is a breach wedding please avoid wearing shorts. If the weather is too warm or the wedding is at a beach then opt for linen PANTS or light weight chinos.

4. OSTENTATIOUS CLOTHING:

Avoid

  • Band T-shirts
  • HolidaySWEATERS
  • Oversized clothing
  • Loud printed ties
  • Angsty/Slogan/Graphic Grafiti T-shirts
  • Bedazzled anything

5. SWEATPANTS & HOODIES:

Avoid joggers too. I am sure you can stay without them for a day. However athletic or fitness freak you are abstain from flaunting it. Even runaway brides are DRESSED elegantly.

6. AVOID ALL BLACK:

The monochrome look is a classic but all black is best reserved for funerals and other grave occasions. It is a wedding for heaven’s sake, lighten up and add a dash of color to make your monochrome look pop.

7. ATHLETIC SHOES:

A strict No No. Go for DRESS SHOES, brogues, and loafers.