The greatest outcomes in fashion often occur with help and inspiration from different cultures around the world. If you're looking for a little inspiration, theres no better place than the The International African Arts Festival. The festival began in began in 1971 as the African Street Carnival, and has blossomed into a plethora of vibrant culture, tasty foods, and spirited fashion taking place in Brooklyn.
If you pay attention to fashion, then you're well aware of the influence African culture and dress is having on the spring/summer 2014 runways for both men and women. Fashion houses like Givenchy and Vivienne Westwood have created collections highlighting key trends with African twists. Detailing like tribal inspired prints, and draped drop-crotch pants from the men's collection at Vivienne or Givenchy's multi-colored graphic print separates featuring black and white tribal portraits are taking center stage. (see slideshow)
The runway, however, isn't the only place designers have been inspired by African tradition. The festival features an abundance of local designers like Yumnah Hnajah
and Jessica J. White
is a New York based jewelry designer who describes her customer as "confident and fearlessly stylish"
. Her latest collection,"La Reine,"
meaning queen, includes everything from earrings and necklaces to bracelets and rings. The collection is a mixture of bright exuberant colors, stylish shapes and patterns, and brilliant touches of tribal detailing. Jessica J White
is another Brooklyn based designer whose collection features original prints that have been hand designed and screen printed with eco inks. Subtle in its tone, her collection is an example of soft touch fabrics paired with abstract and classic African style prints with simple but modern silhouettes. Though they dazzle, jewelry and apparel aren't the only bit of fashion spectacle you'll find at the IAA Festival. Footwear and other accessories are also in high demand. Ras Trevor,
of "Rasta Craft,"
makes art utilizing only the best materials, designing and manufacturing beautifully sculpted men's sandals ready to rival the hottest styles being worn on the runway to date from top designers like Phillip Lim
and Astrid Anderson
. Be it fashion or culture, the IAA Festival celebrates great influence and continued growth of the African culture and its effect on modern society and the fashion world.