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The best looks from African Fashion Week Vancouver.
Over the weekend—among Vancouver’s flurry of parties, protests and celebratory potlucks—a number of African designers, performers, models and fashion enthusiasts, gathered at the BMO Theatre to celebrate another edition of African Fashion Week Vancouver.
The evening was a mix of award ceremonies and live musical performances, but of course, the highlight of the festivities was the fashion show.
Launched in 2018 by Yao Zeus Agoeyovo, the African Fashion and Arts Movement Vancouver is centered on spotlighting African designers and artists on the Canadian West Coast. This fifth edition proved to be an exhibition of some of Vancouver’s most visionary and colourful designs.
The designers that graced the runway unveiled statement-making designs that not only represent Africa’s current era of fashion, but showcase their ambitious drive to break down the barriers of fashion.
Out of the eight designers that walked the runway, these are the stars who should stay on Vancouverites’ radar.
Drawing heavy inspiration from Nigeria’s current style boom, TounOD Studio’s new collection fuses traditional Yoruba aso-oke materials and colorful adire patterns with chic modern styles. The collection is spring/summer ready, awash in shades of bright greens and oranges. These vibrant pieces vary in functionality, with light-cotton, free-flowing bubu dresses fit for brunch and champagne aso-oke corset dresses that have you dinner-ready.
Charles Anthony’s collection is an alluring blend of African and Western fashion. One end of the collection is made up of boxy plaid blazers that tap into classic, British-inspired styles, and another end of the collection is made up of full Nigerian traditional pieces. Although some of the pieces seem polarizing, the refashioned office garbs and dominance of plaid for them give a semblance of Kenneth Ize’s Nigerian plaid aso-oke spring 2022 designs.
The standout pieces of Vickendel Styles’ latest collection are its dazzling evening wear. The line primarily consists of ankara: silk-and-cotton fused apparel that creates a perfect congruity of two worlds. The display of the full-length green sequin dress left the audience in a daze, not just because of its lustrous colour, but for the sequence of bows that layer the back of the dress. The collection incorporates bold hues like yellow and orange, with complementary muted browns.Ideal for men looking to subtly tap into traditional African designs.
V12 Fashion’s latest collection caters to Vancouver’s sunny days ahead. With its bright and bold yellows, blues, reds, greens and oranges, the collection is set to deliver pure summertime bliss. Long, flowy dresses with mix-match ankara designs are fit for a day at the Museum of Vancouver or a walk through Stanley Park, while champagne two-pieces befit a fancy dinner at Five Sails.