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Trend Report: Global Spring/Summer 2013 African Fashion Trends.

Written by . Posted in Blog, Buy, Fashion Shows, Features.

Africa – as if you need reminding – is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to fashion, and here at HFA, we’re just as forward-thinking.

With next year’s style firmly in mind (thanks to Africa’s most talented designers), we’ve waded through all things chic to bring you the ‘next’ in-thing for your new season wardrobe…

So goodbye 2012, Merry Christmas and here you have it: our Top 10 Trends of Spring/Summer ’13, straight from the runways of Cape Town, Gaborone, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Lagos and Swahili… a very Happy New Year for your wardrobe, indeed!

1. Colours

There’s a kaleidoscope of shades to be seen in this Spring but so long as you come pink, peach, orange, lemon, white or blue, you’ll have no problems getting in with the ‘in’ crowd. Just see Ruald Rheeder, Stefania Morland or Brigitte Merki for lemon-spiration, or look to Bisma Ahmed – B’zma, Christie Brown or Emmy Collins for ways to wear white.

2. One Shouldered

Asymmetry is a wall flower’s best friend – it can be done dramatically a la Gilded Sands, or slight and subtle like at Hip-Hop. However you divide your style for Spring – to stand out, keep cool, or add some quirk (see Faith Wear) – make sure you put your best arm forward in a one-shouldered dress. It’s the new season way to show skin.

3. Peplums

We saw and we liked them but next season, we’ll love them, so if you haven’t already adopted a peplum – the figure-flattering, flab-forgiving form-phenomenon of 2012 – then let 2013 be your year. They appeared all over African runways (from Mi-Le to Mina Evans and Odio Mimonet and more) and so should be the lynchpin of your new season wardrobe plan. Pop one ‘round your waist and “Poof!” – perfection.

4. Prints

There’s no denying it – women love prints. And when the rest of the world decides not to love them anymore, African women will love them still. So, wear them with pride, ladies – colour-blocked, matched, clashing or solo – and splurge happily, knowing that the prints you’ll buy for Spring/Summer ’13 you’ll love and wear FOREVER. Amen.

5. Ruffles

Sigh. Ruffles – was there ever a more romantic detail? We didn’t think so, with their way with wiggles and whimsicality. But then again, have you seen how seductive they were at Thula Sindi, Mimi Lee London and Stefania Morland? It seems there’s nothing Ruffles can’t sexify! But however you like it (graceful and sweet like Mina Evans, quirky like David Tlale, or tough, like the aforementioned leather-lovers) just make sure to leave others in a ruffle, like yours. It’s the new pretty, for where and however you like it.

6. Sheer

Seriously – there was no escaping the sexy, sheer sections in African collections for Spring/Summer; peek-a-boo panels, leave-little-to-the-imagination-layers and basically ‘boobs-out’ bodices were all the rage, ranging from the elegant to the nude elephant in the room. But wowzers, they were wonderful (especially at Selfi, Bridget Awosika, Tart and Gavin Rajah) so I would work your way into one… If I were you, of course.

7. Shorts

Shorts for work, shorts for fun, shorts for lounging in and shorts for night – the runways at African Fashion Weeks saw shorts for days; an endless parade of the perfect pairs to promenade in next season. Gavin Rajah’s dazzled, Lucky Creations’ were printed and Jewel by Lisa’s came matched up, so the rules are: There are no rules – just get your legs out to be ‘in’ this Spring.

8. Splits

Give Angelina Jolie’s leg a run for its money in a sultry, side-split number, crafted to showcase your pins (or at least, your favourite one) with a flattering thigh-high cut. Whether you side step the lace skirting shown at Alali Boutique, go short like Jewel by Lisa or oriental like Mimi Lee London, swish yourself into a side split and part crowds with your style. And moisturise, please – this is fashion.

9. Sports

Designers at African Fashion Weeks blew the whistle on style-strictness, it seems, with their creative take on evening wear playing games with the expected. Red carpet-worthy evening dress? Yep, throw some elasticated stripes on it (see Matthew Williamson’s sparkly-sporty number). Tea dress? Yes, but with sports stripes down the skirt of course (Tanzania Mtindo House)… Even a traditional shift dress got a referee-style makeover at Rebahia! Our advice? For winning style, play the game – your wardrobe will thank you come Summer.

10. V-Necks

Vying for attention, very flattering and victorious in their efforts were the creations that bore the ‘new’ neckline on runways during African Fashion Weeks. Well, we say ‘new’ but we mean forgotten – it’s been a while since we were desperate to pull our heads through a V-shape. So it’s goodbye, scoop-neck, au revoir, dear polo and tell good ‘ol round-neck “see ya later.” The V-neck is our new wardrobe V.I.P; Very Important Piece for Spring/Summer ’13 – that is according to Alter Ego, Stefania Morland and Emmy Collins, anyway.


Written by Cindy Hudson for

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