By Damali and Nii B. Andrews.
Last week, a seasoned media professional from Ghana sent us an image of an African print one shoulder, calf length dress with a retail tag of £1,165!
Yes indeed, one thousand one hundred and sixty five pounds sterling.
In 2012, Vogue had shown a Burberry Trench coat in African print for £1, 900.
Well, that is what has happened to the affordable African print dresses that our mothers and sisters used to wear with sangfroid.
The prints are now on the runways of Europe and the US, and going for shishi prices.
African print designs for updated cosmopolitan clothing styles have remained cyclical (going at least as far back as YSL).
A significant reason being that the African middle class have to date never really massively bought into it stylistically….ditto for contemporary African art (CAA).
After a private showing of curated African designs in our atelier, a Ghanaian client stated, “well, I am going to London; let me see what’s available over there, before I make up my mind on any of your clothes”.
What did LeBron say after his house was trashed? We feel his pain!
The efforts of Ghanaian designers to utilize African prints for modern international styles, predate our own efforts which we initiated in the early 70s. There had been prior efforts by fashion designers and stylists such as Chez Julie and Ashia Fabrics.
So, let us tell you about our artisanal slubby linen hoodie with hand finished details from our atelier – exactly what you need at this time of the year in the northern hemisphere.
It is meant to perform the same functions, within a gentleman’s wardrobe, as a Friday Polo – long sleeved, worn with chinos or dress pants and perhaps even under a casual jacket.
The texture of the linen contrasts nicely against cotton; linen is a summer/warm weather go to for its dégagé and ability to keep the wearer from overheating.
And if you need to protect yourself from the elements, or simply to look intimidating, the hood is available to go over your head.
How far down it goes over your brow is a personal choice. But be careful, especially if you are…..aah, never mind.
The hand done details are in the ten or eleven decorative embroidered front buttons that arise from the two closely placed vertical frontal embroidered lines.
The rim of the hood is also nicely hand embroidered together with the single buttons on either sleeve with their hand made button holes.
This hoodie, has as its antecedent – the iconic Moroccan Djellaba; it is a nod to tradition in an evolving modernity.
So, it can be worn by any gender: it can also be layered over a round necked T-shirt.
It is preferable to wear it with a fair amount of drape; wearing it tight (“piase”) is not a good look.
Possible colors in the rotation are navy, cream, olive, maroon and a classic Berber version of ochre and black vertical stripes.
Now let us wait patiently and see when it appears on the posh runways and at what price.
A popular high street retailer has white cotton ones available but of considerably lesser quality workmanship and detailing.
It is instructive to acquaint yourself with that particular product and its price.
Classic Berber stripes.
Ours are a reflection of updated high quality traditional design and craftsmanship.
They are available to you if you contact us here; the price is also available on request.