Did you know that every outfit has its origin traced to a certain culture or community?We all have different thoughts about how fashion meets culture.Some of us stick to the belief that culture and fashion are very far apart..that one is about looks and the other is about living.I respect such views but all of us ought to have divergent views.
Our clothes are woven into our history and heritage..People will only adopt to a trend in clothing only if it is in accordance to the culture of the given realm.As culture changes fashion also changes…..some researchers have come up with the notion that culture and civilization is one and the same thing..that there is no direct boundary between them.That as time goes by different trends are adopted.This made me think of fashion as being playful and tries to create a balance between what is traditional and modern.That transition is just spectacular!!!!
Fashion designers have resorted to incorporating ethnic motifs in their latest collections……they get most of there inspiration from varying cultures.Some trends are rooted from our own African culture and have been globally recognized.
1.The splendid Maasai attire.
Despite western civilization that has spread across many tribes in Kenya,the maasai have stuck to their tradition.The different colors of maasai garments and jewelery are important as they reflect several aspects of their culture.We are all roused by the beautiful bright colors and hand beaded jewelery….many people visit the popular maasai market and end up purchasing different accessories ranging from anklets,neck-wear,bangles,head-wear and many more.Another piece of the maasai attire which has really proven to be up to date is the maasai shuka. Many Kenyan/African clothing labels have taken inspiration from the patterns of the shuka cloth to produce clothes and accessories in vibrant tribal prints.The Kenyan Maasai shuka found itself on the limelight when the world’s greatest designer Louis Vuitton used this design to be presented during the spring summer 2012 news fashion collection show in Paris. That was just phenomenal!
Symmetrical patterns and designs of some maasai pieces have become worldwide inspirations,mostly to symbolize the strength and power of women(the shield cloth design).Another trendy piece from the maasai is the tribal wooven bag commonly known as the Kiondo. Though its origin is from different ethnic groups in Kenya,the maasai play a role in completing its design….the art of mixing and matching colors and patterns making it have a versatile nature.It could be coupled with any outfit.Brings a summer vibe as well as potraying a vintage touch to an outfit.
Aside from clothing,another trend inspired by this specific culture is body piercing.Though its not only in this culture but it has been of influence too.Piercing trends are getting cooler by the minute and people…both men and women tend to go for as many piercings are possible. Lil nas X and his cute little piercings is a proof.I am not really a fanatic to such a trend tbh i think just one or two is just okay…..but as i said earlier,everyone has his/her perspective to everything and we should respect it!
2.African Ankara outfit.
Evident from various fashion shows,red carpet events and even famously known people from Africa and beyond,the Ankara outfit is a big trend with many designers getting awards.It intimates the uniqueness of the African prints,colors and patterns(did you also know that many of these patterns hold cultural significance from different cultures?)Prints,pattern,color…these are some of the things which pops up to our heads when we think of African Fashion.We see the inspiration of the Ankara cloth everywhere.They are mostly worn at weddings to identify friends of the bride and groom,at birthdays to also identify friends and family.Insecure’s lead actress Issa Rae rocks the Ankara outfit a couple of times…..many other black phenomenal women like Mitchell Obama,Beyonce,Amber Rose,just to mention a few don this new look with African pride.These pieces of clothing shows its unique artistic form made from fabrics and complex designs.Its an impossibly elegant piece with just the perfect combination of culture and fashion!
3.The Indian saree/sharee
Its traces its genesis from the Indian subcontinent.Its a versatile garment;one size fits all and has a sustainable life cycle.The saree outfit has led to the understanding of the fluid nature of fashion identities in this modernized era,simultaneously retaining the heritage and cultural values through tradition.The color of a sari was traditionally important back in the days….as a white saree would be worn by a Hindu widow,red saree during marriages and black saree to represent a state of sadness.Currently,the saree fashion has become more inclusive…no longer tied to the Indian subcontinent,,where designers come up with fashionable saree to suit everyone;the party wear saree,black cocktail saree,bridal saree etc.
The secret to glamming up a saree outfit is just by mastering the art of wearing it.Due to the many drapes and folds in a saree,it could be bit of a challenge to many but it consequently works wonders to attenuate womanly beauty.Several red carpet events all over the world has seen people rocking the saree outfit.
I leave you with an anonymous saree quote:Everyone drapes a saree slightly differently and everyone’s body looks different in it but women in sarees are like snowflakes unique yet beautiful in their own way.