Designers celebrate vibrant Ankara fabric at London's African Fashion Week

Wed Aug 12, 2015 9:55am EDT
 
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By Ngozi Kemjika

LONDON (Reuters) - Designers from around the world played with the vibrant hues and striking patterns of the African wax print fabric known as Ankara on the runways of London's African Fashion Week last weekend.

Taiwanese designer Amy Chien Ku, of Aimeeku, featured fuchsia and lilac Ankara motifs with colorful tweed for a romantic, floral look.

"I like to combine floral and lace details because as an Asian our style tends to be sweet and cute," she said about her collection. "I love blending these romantic elements with African style."

Aimeeku's bandeau skater dresses and short A-line hemmed skirts were a favorite at the two-day London Olympia showcase. "African style is going to be a huge trend not just for Africans but for everybody," Ku said.

African motifs are increasingly cropping up in the international fashion industry. London designer Erdem Moralioglu's spring/summer show was heavily influenced by Katharine Hepburn in "The African Queen" and African references were interwoven throughout his collection.

Also taking part in the fashion week were Tarryn Shepherd, creative director of Rooi Rok Bokkie, and Shauna Neill, owner of accessories brand Blossom Handmade.

The pair played 1950s South African song "Pata Pata" as models danced on the runway wearing silk geometrical print jumpsuits matched with emerald beads and semi-precious stones.

The annual event has showcased more than 300 designers since its debut in 2011.

(Editing by Michael Roddy and Raissa Kasolowsky)