BN Trend Watch: 2010 Africa Fashion Week
Everyone swears against being a “trend follower”, but who are we fooling? We still shop right? and the shops stock the latest trends, so inadvertently, there is no escaping the trends. What differentiates a style savvy damsel from a blind trend follower? The former knows what trend is right for her and makes it wholly hers.
The BN style team has been living vicariously off the intriguing images from Africa Fashion Week, and we have noted the trends and are here to help if you decide to take it from the catwalks smack into the streets. As we speak, some poor unsuspecting tailor is probably painstakingly copying a design for some die hard Diva!
This is an interactive session, Please feel free to contribute!!
Peplum Tops: Peplum tops have been around since the vintage era! It flatters all figures and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Most peplums are snug in the bust area and then flare out from around the midsection, almost Empire styled. It can be teamed with a pencil skirt, skinny jeans, leggings, harem pants, shorts, the list is endless. For the modelesque figures, almost all the mentioned alternatives work. However, for the fuller figured beauties, I would suggest a form fitting bottom, preferably a pencil skirt and feminine heels. This helps to balance out the volume on top.
Thigh High Slits: In my opinion, it should be worn mostly for evening events but “the adventurous” may disagree. Dresses and skirts with thigh high slits are very flattering if you have slender, toned thighs. For the fuller figured, please keep the neckline of the dress or top demure and wear super high heels to stretch out the thighs and help inject some elegance into the ensemble. Thigh high slits are very loud and attention grabbing, keeping the accessories, makeup and hair minimal, will give off a more polished and sophisticated look. Err…. this may not be a wise choice for the workplace.
Printed Pants: This is quite an easy trend to follow. Simply look at the patterns on the pants and pick out a top that is the colour of one of the patterns. It can be teamed with a pretty coloured blouse, a draped blouse, a vest, a body suit with heels or ballet pumps, depending on your mood and body type. Finding the right style of pants for your body type is key.
However, fashion is cyclical and style keeps evolving, may I point out the new love for clashing prints, a patterned top different from that on the print pants can be worn. Patterned tops on patterns pants, suits the slimmer figures more than the bigger beauties. In addition it takes a certain skill to mix the patterns right. However, if you are bigger and insist on wearing the patterned trousers with the patterned blouses, it may be wise to team this with a mono coloured boyfriend cardigan or blazer. This breaks the patterns and gives you a nicer silhouette.
Yellow: We shall not go down the rather tedious route of deciding what skin tone yellow suits or vice versa. Yellow is nice and sunny! It is a bright colour and can help cheer you up if you are having a rotten day. However, as yellow creates a loud statement, I would suggest the bigger bodied beauties to keep the yellow shade on the upper section and wear a darker more muted colour on the bottom. I am all for the neutral shades, so my first choice of colour to team yellow with will be white, gold, cream/tan. However, yellow also goes with the very obvious colours like purple, green and chocolate brown. Yellow and black though quite basic and a sharp contrast, still works! Remember, there are no rules, go with your gut feeling and be completely honest with the image in the mirror!
Statement Necklaces: I knew statement necklaces were here to stay, ever since I bought my chunky and at the time rather garish looking bib necklace from Topshop, 3 summers ago. Statement neck pieces add a bit of glam to an otherwise sedate and boring outfit. Picture a white shirt slightly unbuttoned, jeans, heels and a chunky statement neck piece. I suggest very low-key earrings, lest you look overdone. Statement neck pieces can be worn on bare skin or on fabric. Please wear statement neck pieces against tops/dresses with little or no embellishments. I also feel they look a bit weird perched on tops or dresses with ruffles and all manners of drama around the neckline. To achieve its maximum effect, a statement neck piece should be mostly worn against solid blocks of colour. The statement piece may be lost amidst clashing patterns and colours.
Deep Plunging Necklines: Deep plunging necklines are very bold and sexy. However, before you delve into this trend, you may have to decide on the right sort of undergarment. For the perky bosomed, a bra may be unnecessary. A wide range of options for keeping the bosomed ladies upright without visible underwear lines are available, “research”!! In a perfect world, the plunging necklines will be worn by the non overly busty ladies, but we all know this is not the case. With the right underwear, it can be worn by varying bust sizes. It can be worn with layers of neck pieces .For the flat chested, a deep v neckline would be very flattering whereas for the busty, a looser fit for the top of the garment would work. For an attractive decolletage , a bronzing moisturizer will work wonders and mask unattractive stretch marks. Perhaps a deeply plunged neckline paired with a super short skirt length may be a bit too “Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman”!
Sequins: Sequins are haute this season. It adds the right amount of chutzpah to an outfit! It may be used to embellish a simple fabric or even bought already made in the form of a sequined vest, a blazer, a dress and even pants. For a simple fool proof way to wear sequins, team sequins with a simple non high shine fabric e.g cotton. Remember, the aim here is to complement the outfit, not take away from it!
Lace: I love Lace!!! It is very sexy and adds a hint of intrigue to an outfit. Dresses can be made with various cut out sections where a lace appliqué is inserted for instant glamour. Sheer lace blouses and lace skirts are quite popular at the moment. For the lace blouses, please invest in the right sort of camisole. However, for the night time, you can team a lace blouse with a nice flesh coloured bra or even a bra with the same colour as the lace teamed with bottoms of your choice…Voila!
Full Skirts: Full Skirts have been quietly making a comeback. I started sporting this trend way back when the puffball skirts exploded into the catwalks and high streets. Depending on your figure and proportions, the full skirts can be worn in a variety of lengths and exciting ways. You can team it with a basic snug vest, a mono strapped body suit or top, an off the shoulder top, a basic blouse, a blouse and waist coat, endless possibilities. A slim belt can be worn on the waist to help define your proportions, if you feel drowned by all the volume. The full skirts can be quite a challenge for the petite figures; it may be wise to keep the details around the hem simple to help draw attention to your upper section. They can be teamed with gladiator sandals,and for the petite, heels please!