African Prints and Inspiration for 2013

I don’t really follow seasonal trends but can’t help being inspired by themes that I see emerging in the fashion industry particularly when it comes to prints. Anyone who reads this blog regularly will know that I love a bold print and some of the most amazing prints that I have spotted recently have come from African designers or those taking inspiration from Africa. Of course the great thing about that is that there are also plenty of fair trade/ ethical options out there.

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Selfridges have been featuring some great African fashion recently with Ndani, the African Fashion Project which ran through December and into January. The collection brings the best of Lagos Fashion Week to London with a selection of handpicked pieces for SS13 from hand-picked from the runway shows of some of Africas best designers including Lisa Folawiyo with her label Jewel By Lisa, Lanre Da Silva Ajayi, Eki Orleans, Odio Mimonet and Tiffany Amber as well as some up and coming and emmerging designers.

Just today I recieved an email from Ethical Fashion Forum telling me about Aimee Kent, a Glasgow based designer specialising in ethical printed textiles. Aimee was born and grew up in Kenya and her work clearly reflects the bold African prints that she was surrounded by for much of her life. Her work has attracted the attention of both international designers and high street fashion chains,  some how I think (and hope!) that we are going to be seeing a lot more of her. Aimee only uses eco fabrics and innovative sustainable production techniques including traditional screenprinting, hand painting, resist techniques and digital textile design.

Aimee Kent - The Top ProjectAfrican inspired PrintsAimee Kent collaboration

Aimee’s latest collection is for The Top Project, a vibrant and forward thinking, sustainable design store created by Designer Nikki Taylor which sells their own range of unique, eye-catching silk tops and covetable, luxurious silk vintage blouses whilst also promoting and selling the work of emerging print designers and illustrators on 100% organic cotton printed T-shirts and sweatshirts.

I also recently discover Umoja, a new ethical label, when I met the lovely founder and designer Victoria at the EFF Source Awards. Her Limited Collections are inspired by her love of Tanzania and she tries to source as many of the fabrics and components from Africa as possible. Her colllections are also made by SOKO,  an excellent organisation providing fair employment to an impoverished community (they also make clothes for Lalesso, ASOS Africa, Suno, Choolips, Modahnik, and Made – some of my favourite brands). This African Printed shirt is top of my wishlist at the moment (Umoja is also really affordable!).

Of course if you want to check out even more amazing African prints Sapelle is the place to go, a fantatic website crammed with African inspired fairly made clothes and accessories. Only today after visiting the website temptation got the better of me and I treated myself to this colourful reversilble top by South African designer Chantel Koning for her label YouMeWe.

ModahnikI have also been admiring this Modahnik dress at Sapelle for some time. It has just been reduced in the sale causing me some pretty severe temptation!

For yet more African inspiration and prints, I would also definitely recommend that you check out the African Fashion Guide.

So, what do you think of African inspired prints, will you be wearing them in 2013.

With warmest wishes

Ceri x

PS – the winners of my ethical outfit competition on have just been announced, you can check them out here and my lastest blog post on ethical menswear.

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