For decades now, runway shows in Europe have incorporated African inspiration into their couture designs.
According to author of “New African Fashion”, ever since Algerian-born Yves Saint Laurent presented his African collection in 1967, the textiles, details, landscapes and colours of Africa have been a source of inspiration for international fashion.
Tomorrow May 25, we celebrate Africa Day; the day has historical significance in celebrating unity. From the traditional fabrics, intricate beading and vibrant colours — the diverse cultures across the continent have created a global phenomenon that is obsessed with all things African.
Given this global trend, it is therefore, possible for the bride to celebrate the union between her and her partner taking inspiration from African culture.
In different parts of Africa, brides will have a traditional cultural wedding alongside the white wedding.
In Zimbabwe, there is a growing trend to have a lobola/roora reception. At the centre of a culturally-inspired wedding is the signature dress. However, as this is a new cultural trend, there is no blueprint how traditional ceremonies and wedding gowns should look.
This makes it even more exciting for brides to create a modern traditional dress suitable to be an African wedding gown.
Celebrate your ethnicity and culture in having a gown with accents of culture and heritage aspects for wedding or traditional ceremony. Guidelines on designing your own African modern wedding dress for the African ceremony:
Make sure the design of the African dress complements your wedding dress, in the shape and style of the dress;
Incorporate traditional prints and details from African culture by mixing lace, silk with traditional fabric, African print, shweshwe fabric, tie and dye, or tribal colours for a modern take on the dress;
Get your gown done by a tailor you already know is capable of making quality garments for you; and
Do not leave it to the last minute; make sure you start getting it constructed six months prior to the big day.
Advantages of having a traditional gown are that it can be worn for other events, completely unique and customisable to the bride’s taste.
The dress can be used as a second dress during your big day with an African theme and even for a traditional cultural wedding.
originally published in The Sunday Mail