Earlier this month, I was invited to the Africa On The Catwalk show as part of the Africa Utopia Festival at The Southbank. I've been to the event once before and it was so wonderfully curated, I couldn't wait to see what this year had to offer. I was not disappointed. Curated once again by creative director of Infinite Beauty Factory Ola Shobowale, it was a fantastic showcase of what modern Africa has to offer. Walking the catwalk were Sindiso Khumalo, AAKS, Bestow Elan and SOBOYE with accessories provided by Mifani Shoes, Hassan Hajjaj, Adele Dejak, Sarah Duah and Haus Of Hercules.
First down the runway were Sindiso Khumalo's army of sports luxe clad models. Geometric prints reminiscent of Turkish bath tiles were splashed across the majority of the collection. The oversized bombers were a personally favourite as well as the blown out black velvet mini dress (pictured in header image). On a trend spotting note, I love that majority of skirts and dresses were mid length. Perfect for the upcoming winter season. You can shop some of the pieces from this collection at www.styledbyafrica.com.
One of my inspiring women Akosua Afriyie-Kumi (read her interview here) brought her latest collection from her burgeoning label AAKS. I was already expecting fabulous handbags but I was totally bowled over by her womenswear collection. Beautifully tailored pieces were adorned with gorgeous micro prints. The star look of the collection was the orange mini with the asymmetric hem. I also loved the blue and orange cropped jacket with the matching pencil skirt.
Bestow Elan followed with show stopping architectural pieces. Working with block colours, prints and lace, this is a collection designed for an adventurous wardrobe. I'm a massive fan of the 3/4 sleeved long coat, it would be absolutely perfect for cool autumn nights. The printed maxi with the hip high slits looked stunning on the model. Not sure it would work on my significantly stumpier frame but it's on my wish list. You can shop some of the collection on www.shop.bestowelan.com.
SOBOYE wowed with a printastic collection with serious androgynous vibes. The multi print suits with the oversized blazers were the strongest looks in the collection but I was drawn to the gorgeous arrow print jumpsuit. Such a beautiful cut and print. I also loved the styling on this collection, the Hassan Hajjaj hats and slippers just added a layer of couture to the whole look. You can shop some of the collection at www.soboye.com.
The show was great and I'm already looking forward to the next one. For details on future African fashion shows and events follow me on twitter @amu_dat.