Thursday, February 2, 2012

Tribal, an Ism

Just AS NIGHT Follows Day do the Spring trends come trailblazing along the Beaten Fashion PATh.  The African Diaspora of trends, if you will, is no new surprise, but this season I’ve seen a maturity in the collections.  It’s as if little Peggy Sue grew out of her gracelessness and is now ‘the lady of the night,’ (if that makes any sense at all). 

The tribal motif theme is not a recent phenomenon, little Peggy Sue started in the 20’s at the height of the Harlem Renaissance.  Designers during that time were inspired by Egyptian culture and the blazing colors and geometric prints of the motherland.  During the 20’s there was a liberation as well as a rebellion associated with the La Garconne look of that time.  The women were fierce little jungle cats, and the arts of that era made it all the more appealing to appear as rogue as possible. 

Nowadays the resort and spring collections are fueled by that same tribal fire.  Come the New Year the elite are resorting, and its women want to feel the transition, its freedom and the escapism in their clothes, so designers build collections inspired by the places unknown.  While on earth, most of society is eagerly awaiting spring in the midst of winter, and when it comes they want that same taste, so undeniably designers prepare a line to appease them too...

Then you have the varying tribal themes: you have ‘the safari’ woman over at Donna Karen and Michael Kors, ‘the traditional’ with Ankara and Kente fabrics at Burberry Prorsum and Tom Ford and so on.  As much as I admire this Afro resurgence in fashion, it’s becoming an ism! This is a real culture being represented on these models, my culture to be exact, and these designers are completely disregarding the fact that I still want to show my face in these streets sporting traditional Ankara.  The nerve of them, they’re not even taking my feelings into consideration at all, but it’s cool, I’ll still rock the hell out of my Ankara!

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