Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Bead Stylist: Spring Fashions African Style

What don't you want from this Out of Africa collection featured in The New York Times.

The shoes are truly the show stopper sans the pricing of up to $3,000

Out of Africa shoes leading the style

Or is it the head dresshead dress#2  head dress#3 

Fashions are conceptualized not from an ethnic perspective, but from the rich geometric shapes, and burst of muted colors out of Africa.

Here are some highlights form the main article which details the mix of inspiration for accessories, shoes, handbags and of course the role colors plays;

Fabric was the story at many shows, starting with the animal prints revisited — but in bright hues

The most dramatic example of tribal fabrics was offered by the Japanese designer Junya Watanabe. He came up with bold prints in an African palette of big-sky blue, burnt orange, earth brown and leaf green. Those fabrics were made into pretty summer dresses, while heads wrapped with bunches of wildflowers sweetened the mix.

...colonial world has also been mined for inspiration. The heat-and-dust colors of stone gray and sand beige, with a hint of military khaki, produced another African scenario. For Hermès, that meant re-creating the effect of desert sands on the surface of rippling suede dresses. For Ralph Lauren, the colonial looks fell somewhere between India and Africa, with low-crotch pants — those sarouel and jodhpur styles that are so à la mode this summer.

Necklaces with a faintly tribal feel look great when in graphic shapes. Bangles are everywhere, from wide cuffs to narrow bracelets, mostly in inventive modern materials to emulate the ivory and horn of now-endangered species.

Bags have just a hint of the wild in their serpent skins or with other natural materials like galuchat (a type of fish skin) or stout saddle leather. For the smaller clutches, a few beads threaded on a cord are sufficient to pass the message — without resorting to the heavy embellishments that are going out of fashion.

But it is the shoes that are leading the forward march of African style...the demand is all the more piquant because no pair of these shoes is alike, enforcing a desire for the unique, handcrafted object in which Africa itself excels.

Link to article

Here's the link to the complete slide show - please note, that some of the slide shows titles are out of order.

Out of Africa Fashion Slide Show from The New York Times

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