African Fashion, Dresses and Fabrics

March 19, 2021

African dresses

It makes me so proud to see the African fashion industry finally blow up internationally. I’ve always had a few pieces in my wardrobe but when I went to Sierra Leone for Christmas in 2019, I pretty much designed an entire collection of African dresses, skirts, and tops. I chose all the fabric and then worked with local tailors to design, cut, and sew them. I’ve already blogged about how I started designing my African outfits , but this latest collection was my favourite experience so far. My cousins and friends would take me to local markets where we’d hunt down beautiful African prints and haggle price buy them. We’d then head to the tailor where I’d show him sketches, photos and my own clothes to copy. Once I got all measured up, the talented tailor and his team got to work and created these beautiful pieces. The result is what you see below. I photographed these in lockdown last year, but I really hope I get to wear them out and about this summer. Would love to know what you think.

Strapless dress with sweetheart neckline

How gorgeous is this butterfly print fabric? For this design, I decided to replicate one of my old dresses (blogged about here ) as I wanted a longer version. Synced in at the waist with a peplum finish, I love how this interpretation turned out. I must admit, not many African dresses traditionally look like this back in salone (Sierra Leone) Many of my aunties would have had stern words with me if I'd worn this visiting any of them.

African dress with fabric detail

The halter neck Peekaboo skater dress

This dress is my favourite from the whole collection. Made from 100% African wax cotton, the purple fabric is covered in big animated like petals… and I’m living for it. I wanted something different so decided to go for a high halter neck cut, with a peekaboo neckline. For the bottom half, I asked for a high waist A Line skater skirt. This is the sort of African dress I would wear to a wedding or formal event with a dressy pair of heels and a clutch bag. 

African Dresses UK

African dresses with African Fabric UK

African Dresses UK

The African Style Prom dress

I’ve already written about this dress in a blog post but wanted to include it in this round up because it’s another one of my favourites. How can you go wrong with an off the shoulder sweetheart neckline with a fish tail finish?  

Green African Dresses UK

Green African Print Dresses UK

Green African Dresses UK

The corset peplum top

I wanted a corset style top because when they fit, they’re really flattering. The corset silhouette accentuates my waistline, while the peplum cut gives it a fun, playful finish. I will always favour the sweetheart neckline as I think it’s the flattering for someone with broad shoulders like me. The thin straps keeps it cute but sexy. 

African Print Top UK

African Print Top UK

The ruched Off the Shoulder skater dress

If I’m honest, this is probably my least favourite dress in the collection. I don’t think the hard wax fabric works with the ruched style as it doesn’t retain the shape and starts looking messy. The bottom half could also be more structured as it doesn't do much for the waist line which can look unflattering. I still wanted to photograph it because I love the fabric and colour and might still wear it out and see what happens. It goes to show that African dresses don’t always work with every vision you have in your head. 

African Dresses UK

Close up of African Dresses UK

The African print skirt

Again, another one I’ve blogged about separately here. I’ve probably worn this skater style skirt the most. I love the colour, high waist cut and A line shape. I'm incredibly proud of this collection and if there was a logistic way I could make it into a business venture, I would. Exporting beautiful African styles and prints into the diaspora would be an absolute dream. Maybe one day. 

African Print Skirt UK


African Print Skater Skirt UK
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