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Thursday, September 6, 2018

African Fashion Week Toronto

african fashion week toronto 2018
I had the privilege of starting Fashion Month off by attending African Fashion Week Toronto. This was a gorgeous collection of student designers, high fashion, and bridal designers brought together in Canada from a mutual muse of African style. I appreciated the diversity of body types on these runways and how this event celebrates diversity with a focused fashion market.

The NYKWALE label was one of the student designers who debuted on this runway. Designer Eugenie Amegah-Wovoe had incredibly vibrant colors and textures collaged into patterns that hinted at traditional African garb, but with a thoroughly modern look. I liked how flattering they were to all body shapes. She mixed print, fringe, patent leather, embroidery to create a sexy collection soon to be a hit with for her fans.
afwt nykwale

Phresh Empire was another student designer winner. He used traditional African fabrics in modern streetwear inspired silhouettes for men and sweet dress silhouettes for women. I loved the styling of the hair, which were works of art unto themselves, created by Sandy W.
phresh empire fashion show

Andrea's Dresses designer Andrea Smart got the fashion bug as young as age 12 in her home country of Trinidad and Tobago. She works African colors and patterns into a diverse collection that ranges from casual items like t-shirt dresses to full formal gowns. She used brightly colored African motifs in strategic ways to flatter the body. A body conscious gown with contrast color and pattern for slimming elongated effect. Patterns that are printed in curves then draped to accentuate the actual body curves. Using color to highlight specific parts of the body, then using black as contrast and minimize.
andreas dresses afwt

The Zalahari collection was an accessible menswear collection doing modern twists on African motifs. High tech digital prints used bright backgrounds, and African animals in a repeat pattern in a style designer Ezomoh David calls "Afro-contemporary." These fabrics were worked into well-tailored jackets, shirts, and updated Dashikis. I loved how the male models all had the perfect suave attitude as they strutted down the runway in this collection.
african menswear zalahari
So there you have it, a few of my favorite collections from African Fashion Week Toronto. A vibrant showcase of designer talent with a cultural muse from the other side of the world. I can only see this event growing in attendance and customers once word gets out. Torontonians and fashion fans are missing out.
Photos by Mariana Leung and David Leung

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