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African Influences on Western Dress!

Abena! (My African Queen)

African influences on western dress

Seems like the more I research, I find out how African influences tie into things. Well from the African country we get this and this and this
to add up to this. So the question is how does Africa influence
western dress?

Heard of resist dyeing? Resist Dyeing is a series of methods or
devices to protect parts of a cloth while letting others take the dye.
It results in quite spectacular cloths that are very popular in West Africa. Very common methods are tie-dye,sew and dye, and the use of paste resist.

In tie dyeing, intricate patterns are made by tying small areas with cotton or raffia strings or the cloth may be either folded or crumpled before dyeing. Designs may be sewn on the cloth and the stitches later picked out after dyeing to reveal a light or dark pattern.

As far as African American Dress in the 1960s,
THe 1960s was a decade loaded with movements and revolutions:
The Equal Rights Movement, THe Hippie MOvement, The Youth
Movement, The Peacock Fashion Revolution, The Black Power Movement, and the Civil Rights Movement.

All these movements were in response to differentiations in democracy, the US practiced and the unequal treatment for minorities and women.

Fashions were like a mirror image of the social instability of this
decade;hemlines rose and men grew tired of the gray flannel suit.

By 1965, the new look for women was the mini skirt. Men were
typically more fashion forward, trying out different colors,sumptuous fabrics, ruffles, and lace. Many of the contemporary fashions were made from manufactured fibers in knitted fabrics.

On the other hand, denim became a very important symbol of
protest against the establishment. Denim was faded, embroidered,
patched, appliqued, and sequined. Oh and these slogans were worn, "Make Love NOt War", "Peace", "Black Power", "Black is
Beautiful" to get their point across.

In the mid 60s, more of our Black people began to have racial pride and ethnic consciousness. This came from the Civil RIghts Movement of Dr. Martin Luther King.Civil Rights Movement were aggressive expressions of African Americans dissatisfaction with societies practice of discrimination.

The authors Mead and Pederson examined periodicals (Ebony,
Mademoiselle, Time and Life) for evidence of West African textiles used in US apparel.

More examples of West African textiles were found in Ebony
during the 1960s. In 1970s, African textiles transferred into
mainstream American fashions and showed up in Mademoiselle.

African textiles were used in US apparel, appropriate for
US cultural norms and not the same norms of the AFrican culture from which the textiles came from.

African AMericans adopted the dashiki, a loose, tunic style
garment that has motifs on the neck opening and outer borders.
West African textiles were used for US textiles. In the 1960s, the
kente cloth was the ONLY type of African fabric in use.

The caftan designed on the page at the site is by Thea Porter,
an 1960s English designer, inspired very much by northern Africa.

I love African inspired clothes so much I would sport them and take
pictures of them. The styles of AFrican clothing on the site are very delightful and relaxing on the eyes.


4 thoughts on “African Influences on Western Dress!

  1. African clothing is comfortable and fashionable. I love this article! I’m actually working for a company that carries a variety of clothes all imported from Africa. Africa Imports

  2. Oh yes, I definitely agree. African clothing is so creative and original. I will start
    me a collection when I get the opportunity.

  3. Yes African influences are ALL around us! It is sad that the truth is not always know about where these fashions, trends and symbols come from. If you look closely at some modern hair styles and then ck out books featuring traditional African styles you will be pleseantly suprised at how many are very similar. Of course my love is for the Adinkra symbols from the Akan of Ghana……each symbol has meaning and offers food for thought! Thanks for the great article that helps us remember these influences. All the best

  4. THanks so much for your comment. I’m glad to present black in an upbeat manner. I love to
    show the beauty of black people even though it’s apparent.

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