Being of African origin, I fully appreciate and love African prints: the colours, the shapes, and the patterns in all their glory.
DRESS: Etsy (gitasportal2011) | SHOES: Nelly.com | BAG: Zara | BELT: ASOS | EARRINGS: New Look | NECKLACE: Me & Zena
I think what used to put me off wearing traditional African clothing was the tailoring. The grown-ups always managed to find the most unskilled tailor to make our traditional attire. I used to hate the fit because it was never quite right: either the shoulders were too broad so one side of the top would slant; or the skirt would be too loose so you'd have to use extra string and some safety pins to hold it in place, but that would only create an odd kink or random bulges at each side. Nonetheless, we made it work.
I follow Shadders for African inspired style ideas and to keep up-to-date with the latest in African fashion. I adore Sika Designs, and would purchase 80% of their dresses if money was no object - and if most of the pieces weren't out of stock (not that their popularity surprises me)!
It's great to see that high street stores such as Topshop and Urban Outfitters are working with African designers and stocking some of their ranges.
I wore this dress last night when I went out for 'bon voyage and good luck' drinks with a few colleagues (one of them is moving back to the States with his family) and received quite a few complements.
If you're really into your African prints (and all things African), Osasu Events is hosting Le Marché Africain at Brick Lane on 29th-30th June 2013. Here you'll be able to browse and shop for "African infused products" such as clothing, ornaments and various works of art. I'll be popping along on one of those days. You can find more information on the Osasu Events Facebook page.
Have you worn African prints lately?