On February 27, 2022 I had the chance of main a workshop on “The Artwork of African Trend and Model” in collaboration with Neilson Park Inventive Centre. This interactive presentation touched upon a wide selection of matters together with; an outline of African textiles and materials, temporary historical past of African prints in trend, modern-day African cultural influences, prints and patterns, African trend manufacturers in Canada, and lastly a inventive styling challenge adopted by partaking dialogue.
In abstract, in the course of the African trend workshop, we took have a look at varied African textiles and materials. Now, there are numerous of them so we didn’t do an expose of all however we did spotlight and talk about a couple of ones that have been worthy of observe akin to Kuba material, Aso-Oke and Kente Material to call a couple of. In our dialogue of a the choose materials, we thought-about their historical past and evolution however extra particularly, we mentioned Dutch wax prints or “African prints” as they’re now popularly generally known as and referred to as everywhere in the world.
Subsequent, we understood how African cultures and methods of dressing have influenced the worldwide trend business whereas inspiring the work of assorted luxurious and model title designers. As soon as we had gotten a agency grasp of some materials and textiles, that are all so vibrant then we mentioned the colors and analyzed the color spectrum briefly. In fact, we additionally researched the place to purchase African clothes and everybody was launched to some African trend manufacturers in Canada.
Africa will not be a monolith
There have been many key learnings on this African trend workshop and I’ll point out an important one – Africa will not be a monolith and African trend is sort of troublesome to outline. Although the time period “African trend” will get used lots, it is vital for us to acknowledge that methods of dressing in Africa usually differs from one nation to a different in line with area, language, and tradition. There are 54 completely different international locations on the continent, every with their very own set of cultures, languages and types of dressing. Be aware that whereas every area in Africa has its distinct trend, typically there are specific similarities e.g. West Africa as a complete is understood for its vibrant materials and material however inside every nation, the materials go by completely different names and are created from varied expert methods.
African trend is gorgeous and could be exhausting to outline
Whereas engaged on this African trend workshop, I concluded that as a result of there have been are so many alternative materials, making it exhausting to maintain up with all of them, the time period “African trend” was created to generalize and lump every thing into one. Utilizing the time period is now the norm and to be fairly trustworthy, there in all probability isn’t a greater different for the time being however that makes it far more essential to make distinctions and to be as descriptive as attainable, attributing every material to a areas and in addition realizing its historical past. Possibly it’s only a matter of semantics however however, it’s nonetheless essential to speak about African trend and be particular the place attainable by making distinctions for every nation inside the entire.
Though “African prints” don’t originate from the continent, they’re impressed by the tradition and creativity of Africa
Additionally, most of what’s referred to as “African prints” right now as we all know them right now really began out as Batik and so they have a really complicated historical past. When you think about this, then you definately notice that almost all of those common prints didn’t originate from Africa. Their historical past might be traced again to Indonesia, to an artwork type referred to as Batik – an Indonesian strategy of a wax-resist dyeing methodology that’s utilized to the entire material to create prints and patterns. A Dutch entrepreneur capitalized on this chance, industrialized this material making course of and launched their variations of material to the African continent, the place it was embraced.
African prints in trend and clashing colors are for everybody!
We will all embrace sporting African prints with its lengthy and complicated historical past that weaves by means of varied cultures and eras. The vibrancy of the material and its wealthy colors compel us to understand its uniqueness and adown ourselves with it. Many are afraid of cultural appropriation however actually, all of it begins with training and consciousness. Know the historical past, make knowledgeable selections, put on the print trend and educate others – it will silence the skeptics. Right now, it’s no lengthy unusual to see the style-conscious mixing prints and colors of their clothes as a mirrored image of their vibrant character.
Effectively, the African trend workshop included far more. So, in case you are keen and prepared to get your fingers on a duplicate of the slides from this presentation, click on right here.