Inspired by clothes of the African Territory, modern fashion successfully borrows their outfits as ideas for textiles and accessorizes. Nowadays, celebrities like Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Gwen Stefani, Rihanna, Britney Spears, Madonna, Miley Cyrus, Cheryl Cole, and even PippaMiddleton are frequently using this kind of trend in their everyday image. Therefore, for each of us particularly, animal prints became a huge part of fashion.
In 1967, Yves Saint Laurent approached this tendency with outfits based on African custom attire. He demonstrated dresses, tops, skirts, blouses, accessories, and bags with catchy wild animal prints. Thus, he immediately introduced new collections with ethnic, very specific, and very bold trends for several seasons. With Louis Vuitton 2012 collection, signs and hints of the New African Era were observed with a new power and findings, and now we have a new chance to admire African Fashion. Stylists have been attempting to convince us that African motifs are on trend for years, along with wild animal prints, furs, and bright warm tones in clothes and accessories. The 2014 Fall-Winter collections as well as Spring-Summer collections look like ads for the special edition of the National Geographic magazine. Asia, Africa, and South America represents a source of origin for complex patterns and drawings, animal prints, bright ornaments in accessories, everyday clothes, and even evening outfits. The african prints may be combined with classic, chic or other forms clothing (sometimes even athletic outfits).
There are many benefits and advantages in this trend, but the best thing would be it’s ethnic effect. The elements and silhouettes always remain modern, very accessible, and are show stoppers. There’s no need to be a person with an exotic taste or even have an African cultural knowledge to promote this trend. Leather, wool, silk or linen are the best natural materials for clothes, shoes, bags and other accessories. Be careful with make-up and don’t turn it into a “war paint.”
Now let’s check out some of modern revelations for coming seasons. Mona Kowalska was feeling a bit playful with her collection creating a risky journey collection with oversized tunics and playful prints. Julie Nicaisse Jewellery presents a whole collection of rings, bracelets, earrings with a “wild subtext“. And also I propose a little blitz for our subject!!
Where it began?
After Europeans came home from colonizing countries of Africa and Asia, they brought with them skins of the wild animals like: lions, leopards, tigers, jaguars, panthers, snakes, etc. Their original patterns were reproduced on textile fabrics, and soon were marked on clothes and accessories.
Two centuries later, superstars like Lauren Bacall and Marilyn Monroe promoted these prints for their magnetism and chic.
Why it keeps coming back?
Because they’re simply seasonless! You can wear them almost with any item of clothing and they really add edge to your wardrobe.
Best size for skirts/dresses etc. with these prints: You are able to wear with mini-skirts, midi dresses; doesn‘t matter actually.
Best colors: bright yellow, brown, beige, black, orange, red, purple, green, pale pink, and swamp.
Best materials: cotton, silk, knits, wool, and leather.
Best accessories: leather hand bags, woven bags, woven sandals, and shoes with t-strap heels.
3 Important Rules for African Prints:
1. Don’t forget a neutral tone for your saucy look. This will be a perfect contrast for your African prints.
2. Play with accessories. Just be attentive on how you are working with the accessories. A few neutral will do for a dress or a costume if it contains African Prints. Vice-versa – if you have a neutral dress – “revitalize” it with wild accessories.
3. Don’t Mix Prints. You should not mix the leopard and crocodile prints. Hope I don’t need to explain why it will look a little strange.
Waka-waka, time for Africa… Are you ready? You should not worry about something, when you have so many designers, brands and trends declaring Africa as one of the season’s hits!