For several seasons back-to-back, some interpretation of some part Africa or other has made it on the global stage. This season, three designers have stood out in our minds so far, each for different reasons.
SASS AND BIDE (UPDATED)
Mudcloth (by way of Mali) doesn't get anywhere near enough its fair share of the spotlight. We love the very modern mix and match of a variety of traditional mudcloth prints in Sass and Bide's F/W '11 collection, the introduction of new geometric shapes, and the contrasting highlighter brights.
THAKOON (LITERAL AND RE-INTERPRETED)
Fashion has been obsessed with Kenya and the Maasai for as long as we can remember, and we love Thakoon's fresh take on the subject. It's a very literal appropriation, but while the Maasai tend to wear their distinct plaid print draped, Thakoon's pieces are bold and structured:
Thakoon also touched on batik print by way of Indonesia and parts of Africa. We didn't find these pieces particularly refreshing or new, but the print will feature on Thakoon's purses and shoes this fall, so all's not lost.
The global/worldly print with very African and Indonesian roots (see Prada Resort 2010):
Finally, Edun went against the grain of the obvious use of typically African print and was instead inspired by Kenyan landscapes, houses and wallpaper for its own unique silk prints. While Edun received flack last year for shifting the bulk of its production from Africa to Asia, we love this homage to the continent that inspired it all.
Which of the interpretations are you most excited about?