By Daisy Nandeche Okoti
Published November 1, 2011
The first day opened with a lot of energy and it marked the finals of the student designers’ competition. The students from various universities and colleges in Kenya appeared to have put lots of effort in their work and all their end products were African attires worth writing home about.
Many members of the audience at the show that was held at Alliance Francaise were wowed throughout the show that was punctuated with generous claps and cheers from time to time.
The second day could not be compared to the first day because things were done differently. The attention of the audience was caught mainly because of the Africanness in the designs and the fabrics used.
One of the main reasons the African Fashion Fair is held is to celebrate the best of African fashion; true to the aim of the event, African fashion was not only celebrated but also honoured during the three-day event. It was such a fulfilling feeling to note that there are still Africans out there who are still in touch with Africa, and especially in this age when most people are struggling to ape everything ‘Western’. The main challenge for designers at the moment is to be creative and imaginative in order to survive in the ever changing field of fashion and beauty pageantry. But we are not worried because if the strength they demonstrated during the African Fashion Fair is anything to go by, then there is no cause for alarm.
Meanwhile, OGOVA ONDEGO reports, the 4th Swahili Fashion Week ‘a platform for fashion and accessory designers from Kiswahili-speaking countries to showcase their talent, market their creativity and network with clientele and the international fashion industry’ shall take place in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, November 10-12, 2011.Founder and director of the event, fashion designer Mustafa Hassanali, says the 2011 edition shall bring together 50 designers to mark 50 years of Tanzania’s 50 years of political independence.
Four Kenyan Designers–Patricia Lulu Mbela of Poisa, Rachel Mutindi of KI2 Collection, Vera vee Ochia from Malindi and Sonu Sharma of Just Like That–have been invited to showcase at this event.
In Kenyan nominees fromÂ Kenya for the Best East African Designer are Wambui Njogu of MOO COW, Anne Mcreath of KIKO ROMEO, Patricia Mbela of POISA and John Kaveke.
Releasing the calendar of events in Dar, Hassanali says the 4th Swahili Fashion Week shall feature a ‘shopping festival’ “The Swahili Fashion Week Shopping Festival” at The National Museum between 11:00 am and 11:00 pm daily.
Among the areas to be emphasised in the Swahili Fashion Week Shopping Festival, Hassanali says, will be Swahili cuisine, Swahili beauty and adornment, Swahili music and performance, Swahili fashion, Swahili textiles and weaving, and Swahili arts and crafts.