Tuesday, 3 November 2009

To Ankara or not to ankara...that is the question

I had a rather interesting conversation last night with a ghanaian lady and fellow designer who wants to promote Africa...well to be precise Ghana... through her design business. She has a label that is not 'typically' african i.e wax print, hollandais, woodin, ankara.... her style focuses on techniques used rather than be overally african in outlook. Her clothing is very Margaret Howell-esque clean, understated...reminds me of fashion in Scandinavia which is more about cut rather than print emblazoned and like japanese designers it doesnt shout to you but speaks with grace and a knowing of who it is.

I had a battle with me for a while and something that this lady and I seemed to agree upon. It is a slight annoyance of designers or shops who sell ankara fashion to the european market as a new invention but it is a simple dress just made in fabric that has been known to be 'poor mans' fabric in some African countries but yet these stores and designers will sell it for ridiculous prices. The worse is when they have had it made ni Africa and those in the know KNOW that it was cheap to make as there are tailors who will charge incomparison - small prices for what is more than quadrupled in the shop. And i dont buy into the fact of it being about import charges and costs .... i dont buy it.

There is a company whose regular campaigns i simply adore and wish they showed at the major fashion week. They are a dutch company (now i wont go into the origins of ankara / wax print fabric) and they supply the fabric but also show in a campaign how it can be used

Here is their recent campaign story



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