Saturday, September 17, 2011
Auntie Flora Would Be Proud
Over the last few weeks, I covered several shows at New York Fashion Week for Bluefly.com where I work. I always have a bit of anxiety over what to wear as the weather for the spring shows is in that split personality phase where it's hot one moment and cold the next. I also know the street style photogs will be out and about; and after getting played on a "like it or hate it" sideshow last season, I wanted to make sure I got caught looking as good as I could. To do that, I broke out the buubuus (embroidered caftans) and ruffle print frocks my mom often has made for us in Ghana. (It's relatively cheap, by US/European standards at least, to get custom-made clothing in Ghana.) And I reprised the batakaris my Mom and I play-fight about, rocking them as mini dresses. The looks were big hits as Glamour, New York Magazine's The Cut blog, Essence, and Vogue Black snapped me and my sister. My mom was so proud -- as I know "Auntie Flora" in my book would be. In Powder Necklace, I wrote Lila's fashionista auntie to wear Azzedine Alaia as stylishly as she would an emerald buubuu made in a small tailor's shop in Nima because part of the way I express my pride in being African is through dress. My last show at NYFW was Arise "Made in Africa". Seven designers presented interesting interpretations of traditional African silhouettes and shapes reflective of o many influences. It's always an incredible feeling to see Africa represented on the runway.