Africa Fashion Week turned London’s coolest of cool Truman Brewery in Brick Lane into a fashion ode to our continent last weekend. The shows celebrated London’s diverse African heritage through fashion interpreting various ethnic textile traditions into contemporary designs.

Thula Sindi

Proudly representing South Africa is Thula Sindi, who stuck to his familiar feminine styling. With florals, metallics and lace embellishment against ladylike pleats and sheer tulle, Sindi stays current but true to his signature style. There is also a continuation from his last collection at MBFWJ Autumn/Winter 2012/2013 with the use of finely pleated ribbon and structured hips.

Tumisola Ladega

This collection of beautiful monochromatic African prints showed thoughtful design detail and some of the best tailoring at African Fashion Week London. This is really impressive when you find out the designer is only 14 years old! Tumisola Ladega is a Nigerian-born Londoner who has known she wants to be a fashion designer since she was six and says to her ‘fashion is life’.

 CN Designs

What is the most striking about CN Designs use of African prints is that they have done more than just make contemporary garments in traditional fabrics – they have taken the designs and played with the proportions of the graphics. The bright colour palette is also fantastic.

Steve Mandy

Another South African designer present was Steve Mandy, who quit corporate life to become an artist and also uses clothing as his canvas. Durbanite Mandy specialises in painting and for Africa Fashion Week London he even painted a Mandela-themed motif on the looks he sent down the runway, most of which were neutral animal print or bright Ndebele painted looks on the ramp.


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