Saturday, June 7, 2008

rant: ankara. again.

nothing quite like a bit of a rant to usher us all into a new week. and yes, that was sarcasm. OK. so we've seen ankara take off in a staggering way in the last few years. everyone's wearing it with everything, pretty much, and a natural extension of that is that everyone's (and we really do mean everyone) starting a clothing line or scrunchie line or underwear line that incorporates ankara and frilly lace trimmings. it's part creativity, part opportunism, part madness. to top it off, there's very little out there that's inspiring & apparently everyone's (hooray sweeping generalizations) creative gene has suddenly been tickled awake & we're going to see more and more of these copycat clothing lines where the basic ethos is this:


how's that for a mission statement?

anyway, we ranted here about how we're a little sick of how more mainstream names are hopping on the bandwagon and taking advantage of the trend AND charging stupid prices in the name of fashion. no offense intended. stupid was the first word that came to mind. well, here we go again, folks:

and get this! all these dresses were made of fabric sourced DIRECTLY from...wait for it...THE IVORY COAST! GAAAAAAASSSSSPPPPSSSS! how freakin' exotic. let's all breakdance in celebration, shall we?! okay, you can stop now. on to more pressing matters. you see this dress?

it's called the Femi. you know, to add to the ivory coastness of it all.

that's really about as much as we can take. oh, but there's MORE! we did some research and found this:

Kristi Paras, owner of New York vintage boutique Zachary's Smile, sent her team to Africa's Ivory Coast [quite like saying Asia's China. but better.] to gather as much locally-made woodblock print tribal fabric ['tribal' meaning...?] as they could find [oh my, how exhausting] for a series of highly original dresses, on sale at Anthropologie (and her downtown boutique) starting this week. "There is so much variety, so many fabrics, that there is very little chance someone will have the same dress as you," [using originality as a selling point is very...original] Paras says. "So much of what we already sell is one of a kind, so it's pretty cool to see someone like Anthropologie embracing that individuality."

source: elle

oh, so now it's 'highly original' to make/sell $300 tube dresses with pockets (can't forget the pockets!) in 'african fabric'? OH. OKAY. well, if you're a lover of africa and a lover of exotic african print, why not start a fashion label that consists of generic run-of-the-mill dresses (with pockets, for originality), call them exotic names like 'femi' and 'sade', and sell them for $300 each? yes folks, that was an original idea.

*end rant*

okay, folks. we know we're not the only ones who are irritated by how you can see a dress online, copy and paste it into ankara fabric and somehow have an 'original' piece. no one's saying it's not cool that ankara is trendy. long live ankara. and that wasn't sarcasm. what's not cool is how EVERYONE'S building fashion 'empires' around the crazy and obsessive ankarization of everything, charging FAR too much for pieces that take very little thought and/or creativity, and feeding them to everyone else as 'original', innovative, and earth-shattering. what say you?

read makefetchhappen's post on this 'matter' here and feel free to go ahead and rant it out all over our comment box. apologies in advance if you start seeing ankara in your dreams :)

peace and liquorice,



Femi said...

LOL. Not gonna lie -- I quite like some of the dresses for their simplicity. Some people are doing FAR TOO MUCH with ankara so seeing plain, ready-to-wear pieces is a breath of fresh air. Not to disagree with you that they're unoriginal -- I'm very much with you on that note. Essentially, I only like these dresses enough to print pictures of them and take them to my tailor who'll probably charge me a thousand naira (just under $10) for a bloody good imitation. And it's not like there's even that much to imitate.

(And yes, I'm named after the dress)

Anonymous said...

Okay, my name isn't REALLY Femi. LOL.

Oyinkan said...

Hmm...over-saturation!! I also used to be a fan but im getting pretty irritated because it is heading from original to run of the mill. The fun has been sucked out of ankara! There was a time when i could wear my pretty little ankara skirt in London and would get lots of people asking where i found it and i'd smugly say "Oh my tailor in Nigeria made it". Now they probably own 7 versions from topshop and co.

oge said...

hi every one, Just stumbled on this blog and am loving it. and the top shop lot call it 'ethnic'

Boutique Mix Fashion said...

LMAO!!! love your rant guys. I totally agree. It's definitely not unique any longer. As long as you don't rant on me when I debut my fashion line next year :-). At least, mine will be a little more authentic :-)

tiwalade said...

lol..that was a funny rant on ankara..I totally agree that the originality is being sucked out of the fabric and its is now EVERYWHERE! so much for feeling like the only ones who had acess to the cool ankara fabric as oyinkan said earlier

nyways stumbled on ur blog and I'm lovin it..going on to read ur other posts