Ankara Fashion Trends To Peep This Summer
Ankara fashion is a delicate science. Considering that these prints are so bold and colorful, you may choose to go all out with a head-to-toe Ankara look or cautiously deep your toes in the pool. No matter where you fall on the spectrum of Ankara lovers, here are a couple budding trends that will pique your interests.
1. Embellished Fabrics (a.k.a. Bedazzling)
Bedazzling is cool again. For some quick history, let’s pay due diligence to Jewel By Lisa (by Lisa Folawiyo), a high-end Nigerian fashion brand known for their bedazzled pieces. Lisa Folawiyo started the trend of embellished prints over 10 years ago. Surprisingly, it has taken quite some time for bedazzled styles to trickle down to the masses. This is possibly due to the immense effort required to complete the beading work on print patterns. However, in 2018 it seems that new bedazzling heroes have emerged.
Consumer fashion lines, Agbeke by Halima and BUBU BLAQ have given us a peek at their new embellished styles that may just set the tone for 2018. Agbeke by Halima unveiled a couple dresses with embellished print fabrics. At the core, they are simple dresses, fit for semi-formal events and nights out. BUBU BLAQ on the other hand, has adopted a more casual approach to their style selections – featuring loose-fitting black dresses with embellished Ankara patchwork. These styles will add a little “shimmer” to even the blandest of closets.
2. The Deep-V Wrap
The Deep-V style first caught our eye when @laviye shared an Instagram post of South African music superstar, Lira, wearing a blue Ankara blouse version of the style. Since then, it’s become impossible to unsee. We are calling it the “Deep-V” because it plunges down the neckline, exposing a healthy amount of cleavage. It is also a very flattering style as it exposes the shoulders and singes at the waist for a slimming and feminine look.
We have also seen slight variations of the Deep-V style in the form of dresses. Examples include the Miju wrap dress by @greyvelvetstores and the Lily dress by @amychilaka. The @greyvelvetstores dress is a playful yet sophisticated look for warm weather. While the @amychilaka Lily dress is ideal for those who want a more form-fitting version of the Deep-V dress. This dress also has a couple playful components such as the different flowery print used for the right bodice and the subtle wrap detail, which creates the illusion of a slit.
3. The Bomber Jacket
This is an emerging trend for both men and women’s fashion lines. Typically bomber jackets are made in plain colors to give the wearer a cool-casual look. However, the fusion with Ankara fabric brings a fresh twist to this classic style. Cited for the eye-catching prints, this look is great to add some vibrance to a simple outfit on a chilly day. Brands like @notribeclothing, @elricozarr and @bubu.blaq have unveiled variations of this style and made it available for men and women.
4. The High-Slit Style
It’s time to give your legs some air with the high-slit style. These slits usually appear in loose fitting maxi-skirts and dresses. The slit starts quite high up the legs but don’t fret, this look won’t have all your goodies out in the world. The better designs we have seen also incorporate a wrap overlay for a little coverage and mystery. The high slit skirt style is flattering on most body types, and adds a playful seductive twist to your look. So far, designers who have featured this style include @zabbadesigns and @laviye.
5. Two-piece Styles
This look is a two-piece outfit made with the same fabric. For women, it’s often a blazer matched with pair of trousers or a skirt. For men, it could be a long sleeve Kaftan or shirt paired with trousers. Some will argue that this is not a new trend for menswear but we have included it anyway. It seems the Black Panther movie and more specifically, Angela Basset brought new life to this look when she wore a two-piece style during the movie tour. Recently, we highlighted this retro two-piece style by @bee_wax, which fits perfectly with this trend. The two-piece look requires a little more commitment to Ankara but for the brave ones amongst us, it’s certainly worth sampling. Also, bare in mind that this outfit is a double-win as each piece can be worn separately.
Headwraps are a classic and they are back with a bang. For many women, a headwrap is the one signature piece that can take a look from bland to boss. Pro-tip headwraps have also become a favorite among natural hair sistas looking to find protective styles for kinky-curly-coily hair. Today, one can easily find designers and brands that focus almost entirely on headwraps.
One such brands is UrbanAfrique with their signature collections of headwraps made from fabric such as Ankara, Adiré, Batik and Cotton. Many online stores that carry African brands will usually have a section for headwraps, zuvaa.com is one of such stores. Unlike the other trends we have highlighted, headwraps require a bit more work to tie and to get right. Look out for our future post dedicated entirely to the art of tying various headwrap styles.
We are very excited to find these fashion trends and how they will evolve with time. The trends we have highlighted are effortless and flattering for most body types. We look forward to seeing more people styling them as summer approaches. Tag @theafrocraze or use #afrocraze for an Instagram shout out when you find yourself styling one of these looks!