The 21st century rolled in with rapid changes indeed, from the likes of futuristic decor to that of brazen fashion. A critical look of past recent runway and street styling will prove this point.
Gone are the days of generalization: where a cluster of people are sewn into one look and the only cling to self was the difference in color or length of one’s hem. Alas, here we are in a new world though not entirely rid of the stories that we continue to seek guidance from, it is time our original creations stood firm and took center stage. A critical look at past runway and street styling will also prove this point.
It is the age of self-actualization that breeds liberation, empathy, and minimalism all proven from the points of fashion designers, stylists, and fashion enthusiasts through all walks of life.
The most exciting aspect of fashion is the story it continually tells. Today the stories that are being told across the globe are that of a certain liberation when it comes to styling. From Africa to Asia through Europe and America we see the vibrant hues and charisma this certain liberation has brought us. The story unfolding here is that the days of generalization in style and fashion is over: the only generalization thriving through this era of independence is the “generalization of common courses” whereby individuals are tethered to one another only to set common goals or come together to end stories of prejudice and discrimination, in particular, the Black Lives Matter movement, MeToo movement and the discrimination against TransLives among many others.
The MeToo movement brought together not only the stories of sexually harassed women across the globe but also the poignant power fashion and color have and the faded allure of generalization.
This was felt at the 2018 Golden Globes where bespoken black couture gowns of every style took center stage and told the world: ENOUGH! Fashion is endless and keeps reporting great stories, the current reporting is the liberation currently found in all aspects, from sweaty runway shows to the steaming styles on the street. One will see the stories being told individually and the allure that stems from it, that’s if one is reading the room or their street corners.
“Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way to live” — GIANNI VERSACE.
In current Africa the aura of liberation is equally felt but dabbles more in minimalism: an equal beauty swept in by the new age. Due to the hot climate minimalism has taken a great force in the diaspora. Known for our wide array of glamour and color depicted in our tradition and through our ancestry, it was quite a revelation when minimalism took a staggering force in the fashion industry.
Rendered one of the best in recent trends across the globe, the African diaspora sought great strength from the idea of less is more and grew rapidly from that. It was an opportunity that was seized by most in the fashion industry to create a new African story just slightly different from the splendor depicted throughout history. The diaspora, especially Ghana, has seen the rise of minimalist style depicted on and off the runway, with various fashion studios depicting the strength of Ghana in bold blues, oranges, and beige.
In building the new African identity it should be noted that the influence of its colorful past is not entirely neglected. The rise of African designers in the international sphere is an immaculate representation of the culture, recent years have seen the top international fashion designers work together with African designers and local artists, from the likes of H&M with the South African designer Mantsho and a recent collaboration between Kim Jones of Dior and Ghanaian artist Amoako Boafo. Through these tantamount collaborations, the African stories are reshaped and told, solidifying the stories of the new Africa and African.
Among these collaborations, we also see African European and American based designers taking center stage at numerous fashion shows presenting their creations and stories in new forms, Kenneth Ize of Nigeria recently presented a viral collection of genuine simplicity that boasted surreal colors and also showed a new take on minimalism, that boasted of a talent meant to stay. Despite all the nuances shown across all fashion boards and departments, the collective zeal of empathy shown on the environment by all fashion enthusiasts as well as fashion designers and accessory manufacturers proves that fashion in our new age is nothing but ethical.
Written by CHARLES KWESI NIMAKO JUNIOR / edited by Arakunrin Lekan