“The buzz is immense” was the refrain of the event’s official twitter page, and it certainly was, as over 50 designers and probably around 10000 guests and customers descended on Spitalfields for the 2nd annual Africa Fashion Week London.
The exhibition part of the two days fashion event worked very well. There were over 50 stalls of businesses displaying their wares, from the typical wax print dresses to the wax print/kente shoes, bags and earrings, of which I bought a few good pairs, to black hair stalls, black skincare stalls, and of course, African food stalls (from the queues outside those stalls, I bet they chopped the most money).
The series of fashion shows were wonderful in that they showed the variety of clothes, accessories and outfits springing from the African continent. The stereotypical bright colours of West African wax print and East African kitenge were not the predominant material, there were beautifully structured designs, wonderfully elegant dresses and sharply tailored original shirts and mens outfits that I think can rival the big fashion houses today.
Many of the designers were of Nigerian origin (the chief organiser and show organiser being Nigerian and many of the media partners being Nigerian), but there was a mix of designers from all over Africa, I was wowed by a particular fashion house’s designs, and even more so to find to find that they are based in Ethiopia. Ghana was well represented by Kiki Clothing and House of Adjeiwaah, the latter of which opened the show on the 2nd day.
Speaking to Menaye Donkor afterwards on the Saturday, she agreed, and said how much she enjoys representing African fashion and she is proud of how far it is going. She agreed when I referred to her extensive modelling experience in New York, London and Milan and suggested that African fashion is more than ready to take them on.
Menaye further told GhanaCelebrities.Com that she is committed to lending her support to African fashion and is excited to see how it is taking the world by storm
A few minor points of contention-while Spitalfields was great for the exhibition part, I’m not convinced that it worked for the fashion shows-seating was only available for VIP guests (£50 a ticket) and the press stage was tiny-there was about 50 of us crammed on a three platform short stage.
I think for next year, Spitalfields should be kept as the exhibition venue, while the fashion shows be moved to last year’s posh venue Bishopsgate, or a similar hotel type venue.
Check out the videos below to get the feel of how things went!
GhanaCelebrities.Com talks to Menaye Donkor