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African fashion In vogue, as the world discovers the richness Africa’s many fashion capitals offer

African fashion adds edge in London

FASHION With African fashion on the ascent, Bhavana Bhim checks out Africa Fashion Week in London behind-the-scenes
Photographed by Douglas Rimington/Detune Photography





Bhavana Bhim is a writer for Lucire. Douglas Rimington is a London-based photographer who has worked with Lucire since 2004. You can find his website here.


From the multicultural models on the Yeezy catwalk to Africa Fashion Week in London (AFWL), diversity was a huge trend on the international runways this year. AFWL, created by Ronke Ademiluyi, is one of the largest fashion events in Europe featuring African and African-inspired design. The event highlights the fashion industry’s established and emerging African designers from the UK and international scene.

Abbie May, of Addie May LDN, was head of make-up at this year’s event with vividly designed looks. Bright geometric pattern-inspired make-up complemented the textiles and fashions on the runway.

Both male and female models wore a plethora of textiles, decorated in an abstract palette of shapes and patterns. From causal shorts and T-shirts to evening dresses and suits, traditional African design was hybridized into European cuts, giving an innovative edge to the catwalk.

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Blue and white geometric patterns designed by Abbie May adorned the faces of the models. A horizontal double white and blue line below the brow bone, with a triangle drawn in the middle of the lower lip, accentuated the structure of the face. The abstract patterns recalled the traditional tribal paintings that adorn women in African culture. The blue-and-white combination is a simple yet effective make-up look, combining both a traditional and a modern æsthetic. Some of the male models had vertical white stripes drawn under the left eye, with one vertical line drawn under the bottom lip.

Bright blue and green pigments featured on female models for a more modern look. The eye-shadow highlighted the neutral face. Foundation on all the models was applied by Konjac Company vegan and cruelty-free sponges. Burt’s Bees lip products were applied to moisturize the lips. Hair was designed by Allan Henry, referencing the multitude of African hairstyles. From headscarves to tight glamourous buns, the bigger and grander the style, the better. The hair and make-up looks accentuated the effortlessly cool, yet glamorous fashions. •







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