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Riot of styles & colours at Africa Fashion Week
05
Aug '13
Africa Fashion Week (AFW in NY), produced by Adirée, took place on Thursday July 18th, Friday July 19th and Saturday July 20th, 2013 in the Broad Street Ballroom  located in New York City’s  financial district at 41 Broad Street. 

At the commencement of the event on the first day, Thursday, July 18th 2013, Ghanaian designer Sarfo of Styles had his models walk down the runway with elaborate West African head wraps (called geles).

Models walked down the runway wearing a custom made head piece by opening designer Sarfo of Styles, the second designer Bill Witherspoon, Harlem based but globally-minded and inspired designer, also a four time veteran of Africa Fashion week, prepared his male collection for the runway.

His designs featured colored infused knits and fall/winter pieces for males. The models were adorned with eccentric gold hair-extensions and gold/royal purple cosmetics that highlighted their masculine features- particularly their jawlines.

Following Bill Witherspoon were designs by Khadija Moroccan Caftan NY, Sara Karay, Eaden Myles; showcasing his male collection, featuring fitted blazers and impeccably tailored cropped pants. The designer presented clean cut and high quality designs of clothing with his own original twist of color and Africa-inspired prints.

Thursday’s closing yet inspired showing had pieces from Kenya’s Liz Ogumbo. Cascades of saris, tulle & Leso with embroidery detail, along with intricate beading accented by the bling factor through the placement of gold and silver sequin, a variety of beaded/sequined-encrusted Bodices, bejeweled beading delicately draping over peep-holes, a few curved graphic hem-lines and some fun A-lines all make this collection one worth looking forward to.

Drawing inspiration from as diverse as wise Swahili sayings on the Leso (traditional East African garment) to Bollywood inspired garments coming together in signature pieces, the uniqueness of the SFGK By Liz Ogumbo was evident through each recycled sari that comes in different colors/textures/types e.g. chiffon, Kanchivaram, Benares.

July 19th, Friday’s showcase began with a blend of activism and fashion. It began with Jamaican-born and U.S.-based designer, Mikaila Brown's revolutionary-chic line, Aliakim, which is turning women's wear on its head. Since a percentage of her proceeds are donated to SOS Village, a non-profit in Southern Sudan that works to support child soldiers affected by war, Kim uses her design prowess to raise awareness of global issues afflicting African children.

Ms. Ray Couture by Anthonia Raymond is the mastermind behind the unique concept of interweaving both the European and the African culture together. The Showcase of her “All –White” collection, deservedly received a rousing welcome applause.

Khadija, the Moroccan designer, showed the Islamic fashion perspective, without restrictions. Kaftans with colors and intricate designs cascaded down the runway, highlighting the conservative yet sophisticated trends from the growing popularity of the modest Islamic fashion sensibilities.The Islamic fashion industry is experiencing a boom and Muslim designers are finally starting to get their fair share of recognition in recent years.


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