The many variations of African clothing for women which has started influencing the west.
Africa is a vast continent having much diversity. But mostly the diversity can be seen in the dresses that the women of Africa wear and the changing styles and patterns from one region to the other. But what is mostly constant through this change is the vibrancy of colors and patterns of the dresses. They are dyed indigenously using all natural ingredients which gives the fabrics their unique color and vivacity. But in recent times there have been some changes in the way African women dresses. As with everything the world is shrinking more and more and global fashion has started impacting the clothing patterns of the African women. Though the traditional costumes have been mostly carried forward, but here and there, some changes have been noticeable in the way the African clothing for women have undergone subtle changes.
The first western influence was brought about by the Nigerian colonists, and since then there has been slow changes in the way the African women style and fashion their clothing. Over the years the clothing patterns of the African women have undergone modifications and alterations where the influence of Western fashion is evident. Still the garments carry forward the traditional essence of the old ages and the tribal flavor, hence maintaining the distinctiveness of the designs which sets the, apart from the rest of the global fashion scene. African clothing for women varies from region to region and from one tribe to another. Therefore, despite the influences, the special features of women’s clothing are still maintained and is passed on to the future generations. The Middle Eastern culture have influence the styles of the traditional women’s pink thongs which is basically an intrinsic part of Egypt situated in the North eastern part of Africa. Mainly worn in the Gulf States, there is the Jelabiya, which is simply embroidered and which is having quite an influence over the Western designs.
Though, the women in the North West part of Africa have still maintained their antiquity and, have been less influenced by the Western fashion or culture. There is the prominence of the Djellaba in that part, which is somewhat similar to another clothing item known as the grand Bou Bou. There is also the Senegalese Kaftans which is quite somewhat like the modern day kaftans that are worn by the Western women. Therefore it is safe to say that just as the Western world has influenced the African clothing for women, the same is true for African women’s clothing which has influenced the Western fashion scene. There are some other well known patterns which are well known in the other parts of the globe as well. Dashiki is one such clothing item that is vibrantly colored. The dashiki which is more or less popular throughout the continent has an ornate V shaped collar and is accurately tailored. They are usually of vibrant color and their motifs and the neck pattern have been adopted by many Western designers in their collections. It is the Bògòlanfini, In Mali, which is worn more by the women folk. According to the age old traditions, the dressing patterns can differ from one tribe to another, and also depends on the climactic conditions of the region. Therefore the material, colors, motifs, embroideries all vary as per the tribal traditions and the vast continent has many variations which are fascinating and enthralling.
Summary: African clothing for women follow the traditional pattern carried forward through the changing times. As per the climatic conditions and tribal rules the African women dresses change colors, patterns, cut, and material.
Author bio: The author of this article, Leon Grant is a fashion designer and has studied the African clothing for women extensively, researched on the different styles, colors and trends, and have incorporated some of their patterns and embroideries in his latest collection which is finding many admirers.