6 April 2012

African Prints | A Different Context or A Different Definition?

The recent collections of brands like Stella Jean and L.A.M.B have gathered popularity in Western fashion industries with the current trend of incorporating African prints. It may seem odd to the individual accustomed to African prints in the African fashion markets, that these prints are used and marketed in an European setting. Furthermore, the representation of "tribalism" in current fashion trends is controversial and has sparked some controversy on how inaccurate and inappropriate it may be.

To some, the classification of African prints encompasses all prints currently used in the African fashion markets, which include foreign batik prints and locally made prints. To others, this classification may only refer to prints made in African countries that more accurately reflect their various cultures. Batik fabrics may have originated in Indonesia, however the range of prints used in the African fashion markets is even noticeably wider and even further evolved today. As a result, one's conclusion on the cultural significance and implications of this trend may depend on how one perceives the cultural ownership of what we call African prints.

You might also like:
Slate |  The Story Behind "Tribal" Prints for a historical background.

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