If you are follower of African fashion, style and beauty, then you are probably familiar with the images of Paris-based photographer Mario Epanya. The Mario Epanya who divided online opinion with his super-stylish series of fictional Vogue Africa covers, a concept that was turned down by Condé Nast giving rise to the debate of whether or not Africa needed Vogue. Fast forward seven years and the Cameroonian-born photographer is once again setting the digital world alight this time with his debut book BEAUTIFUL: Portraits of Black Beauty. And what a treat it is.
Looking to be inspired by some modern Afro style goodness to set the tone for the new year ahead? Then Moyi magazine is just the thing. The winter issue is out now and I am loving the cover which features South African actress Nomzamo Mbatha wearing a dress by fashion designer Joel Jansen Van Vuuren in the sophisticated surrounds of Saxon Hotel.
Fashion Illustration is a creative discipline that in recent years has captured the imagination of fashion lovers everywhere, and is by no means a recent phenomenon. The discipline has a rich history of documenting fashion, style and cultural trends long before the advent of cameras and photography led to its decline. Rising and falling in popularity over the decades but never quite reaching the dizzy heights of the past, in recent years Fashion Illustration has witnessed a renaissance on the back of the growing share culture that has been fostered by social media. This has allowed for an abundance of creative expression and discovering of exciting talent from around the globe, from countries where Fashion Illustration is a recognised discipline to others where illustrators have only become aware of the discipline through often accidental discovery online. The latter is the experience of many African Fashion Illustrators on a continent where Fashion Illustration is relatively new when it comes to career choices. In recognition of the continent’s emerging new generation of fashion illustrators who are laying the foundations for this industry to grow and develop is my new book, Fashion Illustration Africa published by African art book publishers, Shoko Press.
Africa Rising is a new book edited by publishers Gestalten and South African based design platform, Design Indaba, which spotlights African design, fashion, photography, architecture, and lifestyle. Africa Rising was launched in September 2016 in London as part of a programme of events for the inaugural London Design Bienniale at Somerset House.
African Catwalk is a new book by award-winning photographer Per-Anders Pettersson, that takes the viewer on a journey behind the scenes of Africa’s flourishing fashion industry. African Catwalk brings together images shot in 16 countries over a 7 year period, and captures a side to the fashion industry rarely seen by the audience. From the birds-eye view of models parading down a sleek catwalk under the glare of bright lights to the unguarded moments of models waiting their turn African Catwalk documents the details that are making the Africa’s diverse fashion industry one of the most exciting around.
Whilst passing through Waterstones Piccadilly, my eye was drawn to a colourful book display positioned in front of the elevators. Stopping to get a better a look I was introduced to The Groundnut Cookbook, exploring modern African food. The Groundnut Cookbook was written by Duval Timothy, Jacob Fodio Todd and Folayemi Brown three friends who run a bi-monthly London supper club called The Groundnut, hence the name of the book.
Contemporary Design Africa will be launched at a special event at The Jungle in Johannesburg, South starting this Thursday. If you happen to be in Johannesburg between the 9th -25th July, pop along to the concept store, where in addition to celebrating the book, The Jungle will also be showcasing and selling the work of select designers featured within the book’s pages. A great opportunity to see some of the designs first hand.
[Image featured, Chair by Nulangee Design courtesy David Crookes for Design Network Africa]