By Ngozi Ufere
And the Ankara craze continues… Beyonce’s Mrs Carter show world tour was FLAWLESS! I would know this because I had the opportunity to be there live in every city in my mind – okay back to reality – I watched highlights on YouTube (God bless the internet) and I must confess Queen Bey’ never disappoints. She also didn’t disappoint when it came to costumes; in her royal ‘hawt-ness’ she was a sight to behold, but my attention was drawn to her dancers who were adorned in Ankara pieces. It was a one-piece peplum pantsuit inspired by the Dure collection by Ghanaian designer, Christie Brown. How awesome is that!
I must say, Bey’ and her dancers aren’t the only ones doting the Ankara trend, celebrities like Giuliani Rancic, Catt Sandler, Amber Rose, Gwen Stefani, Kim Kardashian, Fergie, to name a few, have been spotted getting their inner African-ness on. Ankara has become every designers muse; fashion designer Reuben Reuel recently gave us a sneak peek into his Ankara inspired 2014 spring collection for his Demestiks New York label: the use of bold prints and vibrant colours gave every outfit in the collection an edgy look. The use of Ankara has however gone beyond the threshold of fabulous outfits; designers have taken it up the notch and are exploring its versatility.
Is there anyone like me who thinks the basic Ankara fabric is too sturdy and rigid for certain styles? Or is it just me? Okay, but I think that certain styles are anti-certain-fabrics, they require soft, flow-y, very feminine fabrics for flexibility and movement. Don’t give up just yet though, there is hope! The good news (if not the best news ever) is that Ankara prints now come in different fabrics; Lace, Silk, Chiffon, Taffeta…!
Thanks to this development, Ankara lovers (including moi) have the opportunity to rock more sophisticated styles while still retaining the prints we’ve come to love. Aside from wearing it to weddings and church events, it can be worn as an evening dress to more formal events; a cocktail dress to a lunch or dinner date; or as a party dress to the club; the possibilities are endless. As beautiful as the Ankara piece is, it is also a tad bit complicated because of how busy the prints are, so care has to be taken while styling it.
Keep every other thing minimal. If it’s a dress, stay away from over the top accessories, if it’s an accessory like a bag or necklace, stick to plain and basic colours for your outfit like black, white, grey or you can opt for a colour that stands out on the print. Never clash prints; it is a big fashion ‘no no’. Except you’re a ‘fashion Einstein’, if you try to match your Ankara with other prints chances are you’re going to get it wrong, so play safe.
I strongly doubt our love for Ankara will fade anytime soon.