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    Modern African Style

    Dashiki Style

    Dashiki Style

    WHAT EXACTLY IS A DASHIKI?

    Dashikis have become quite popular lately, but what exactly is a dashiki? In short, a dashiki is a colorful loose fitting pull over V-neck shirt. Dashikis were originally worn by men mainly in West Africa as an informal garment, but they are pretty much worn by men, women, and kids today. A traditional dashiki is often embroidered; however, the everyday dashiki shirts are often made of light weight cotton, making them a perfect choice to wear in the summer to keep cool. Formal dashikis are sometimes made from silk with elaborate decorative embroidery around the neck and selves.

     

    HISTORY OF THE DASHIKI

     It may appear as though the dashiki is a new trend but it has been around for many years. The dashiki is one of the most recognized types of African clothing. The dashiki received its name from the Hausa word “dan ciki”, which means shirt. Originating in West Africa, the dashiki is now popular with the African diaspora and others around the globe. The dashiki became widely popular and symbolic of the African American struggle in 1960’s American. The dashiki was first manufactured in the U.S. during this time in Harlem. During this time frame, the dashiki also gained popularity by being featured in popular television shows and movies such as Soul Train.

     

    Photo Cred: The champion newspaper

    DASHIKI IN MODERN TIMES

    Dashikis have again regained popularity during current times. Many black celebrities have been seen rocking dashikis, such as Beyoncé, Rihanna, and much more. The dashiki shirt has been remixed to include many other things such as dashiki dresses, dashiki home décor, dashiki accessories, along with dashiki shoes. The dashiki will be around for many more decades to come, as it has transformed into a garment that not only represents Africa and African American pride but as a garment that is universally fashion forward.

    Photo cred: Etsy 

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Exactly What is Ankara?

    Exactly What is Ankara?

    What is Ankara?

    When many hear the word ankara, the country Turkey may come to mind since Ankara is the capital of Turkey. However, ankara is also the general term used for African fabrics. There are many terms or names used to describe African fabrics such as African wax prints, Dutch wax, batik and the list goes on. The general theme of all African prints is vibrant cotton fabrics with tribal patterns.

    History

    Ankara fabric was originally influenced by the Indonesian way of dyeing clothing called Batik, hence the reason why some may refer to it as such. However, ankara fabrics are made through the Dutch wax method. This method began in 1800 Indonesia under Dutch colonization. Many in Indonesia did not take to this kind of dyeing method, but it gained traction in Africa. The Dutch wax method spread quickly and became the standard in African clothing.

     

    Types of African Patterns

    Ankara patterns are normally for formal African attire, however, it can be worn for informal events. One of the more popular patterns that most people are familiar with is the kente patterns. Kente pattern dates over 370 years, with its origin from the Asanti people of Ghana. Many ankara patterns include many vibrant tribal geometric designs.

    Kente 

    Popular Ankara Prints

    Uses

    Of course, we know that ankara fabric is used for formal wear, such as weddings and other formal events. 

    However, the list of things you can make out of African fabric is endless, Shower curtains, pillows, jewelry, shoes, swimwear, etc. I'm sure you get the point by now that African fabric is very versatile. 

     

     

     Kente shoes

    African Prints In Fashion

    African Prints In Fashion


    Photo Credit: Instagram

    The art of African fashion has always had a place in the international fashion world. African prints and patterns weren't always as commonly seen in fashion as they are today. Today, you see African print everywhere. African proud people are happy to wear African prints in fashion. It starts back to understanding and really knowing traditional African fashion first.

     

    Photo Credit: Pinterest

    Traditional African prints are gorgeous and extremely elegant. There's always a bold color and textile design. The craftsmanship and detailing is like nothing else. Kente and Java fabrics, along with Kuba cloth, are all traditionally used fabrics for designing quality African fashion. African women always have a confident presence about them. Most of it has to do with pride in who they are and what they're wearing. More modern styles of African prints have been added to the traditional styles as well.

     

    Photo Credit: Layout

    Batik & tie dyes aren't used as often in modern styles. Cotton and other fabric blends have been used to create the fashion, we see so many young African people wearing today. Men are also sharing the evolution of African prints in fashion. Dapper suits and outfits are being recreated using African fashion as the inspiration. Men’s fashion has been in a stage of innovativeness for quite some time now. Men are being presented with just as many fashion choices as women.

    Photo Credit: Bloglovin

    Although traditional fabrics aren't used as often, the beauty of African prints still lies within the detailing. There's always great elements of color, not to mention the beautiful modern prints used to create these designs. Each article of clothing is complete with an extraordinarily beautiful print and pattern. African clothing is truly an art.

    Photo Credit: Pinterest

    In modern African culture different fabrics may be used, because getting traditional cloth isn't easy, and can be very expensive. However, this does not take away from the support of the younger African men, and women. The cultural center of modern day African fashion has to do more with people being proud of who they are and wanting to represent that. Besides, African prints are so dope and stylish. They make you look and feel like royalty, so who wouldn't want to wear them?