The Emancipation Support Committee of Trinidad and Tobago (ESCTT) will on July 5 present in celebration of the upcoming Emancipation Day holiday, “Qurux Africa – African Beauty,” which is being advertised as an evening of elegant African fashion at Under the Trees, Hotel Normandie, St Ann’s.
One of the event’s producers Zakiya Uzoma-Wadada said, “Qurux Africa is an opportunity for us to celebrate our African beauty, regality, elegance and fashion.”
Local designers will be presenting their own creations alongside authentic garments from various African countries. The home-grown designers scheduled to participate in the show are Andre Lovelace of The Nubian Experience, Ann Marie Alexis, Christian Boucaud, Deron Attzs, Sean Griffith Perez, and The Cloth. Assefa Martin, Faustina Ansong, Josephine Hayford, Kathleen Derrick and Lecthris Holder-Lewis will be presenting fashion from Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia and Nigeria.
African jewelry, which traditionally represents wealth, prestige and power to the people of Africa will also be included in the show. Jewelry was even used as barter and trade for food and clothing and this dates back to religion, rituals and ceremony but also used for protection and adornment of the body. Today African jewelry has become an art form and a way to express one’s personality and individual expression. Local jewelry designers Modupe Onilu, Johan Mohammed, Ken Cooper, Nzingha Salandy, Akilah Jaramogi and Tusca Martinez will complement the clothing styles with their handmade, authentic African pieces.
African fashion and design is not new. It dates back to the various tribes and the way they identified themselves to each other, as various prints were respective of origin.
Patterns and textures varied based on their surroundings, roles, climate and availability of resources. The well-known Kente cloth was inspired by the movement of a spider spinning its web and hunters decided to duplicate this through the use of fibres from the raffia tree.
African-inspired fashion makes a statement. It is bold and vibrant paying homage to the Continent and its rich culture and people. The prints and patterns have meaningful symbols that tell a story through time with messages of power, honour and philosophy.
The head wraps were worn not just for protection of the hair but to highlight beauty and facial features. African pride and beauty is exalted by the woman donned with a head wrap, one’s gaze is fixed up rather than down.
Michael Christopher, of Fashion Productions Ltd, which is working alongside the ESCTT on this event, says he wanted to celebrate Emancipation by highlighting the beauty of the African continent, the grace of the African woman, the powerful stride of the African man. “The latest trend of wearing African prints only makes it clear that we love the beauty of it all. Now is a great opportunity to create a masterpiece, comprising a collage of styles that represent an element of who we are,” he said.