During the summer months, the words 'less is more’ have never rung more true as temperatures soar and we shed the layers in favor of single-item outfits. So now’s the time to bring out our prized floaty summer pieces and finally get dressed up again for alfresco dinners and long walks in the park. The seasonal change gives the perfect excuse for a wardrobe refresh, and what better place to start than with a new dress? Industrie Africa has selected the best of the best, no matter your style. Below, we’ve chosen the most versatile handcrafted pieces to invest in, not just for the season but all year-round, thanks to clever styling and creative layering. From clean lines and neutral color for the resolute minimalist or vibrant hues and higher hemlines for those who want something a little more daring, it’s time to shift your focus to a summer dress.
A simple neutral dress might not seem particularly exciting. Still, the ideal piece can answer all your summer style problems, as these clean-lined dresses bid for summer dress supremacy compared to more ornate styles. The Xena Maxi Dress from Andrea Iyamah will undoubtedly have you feeling as powerful as the name suggests. The feminine, floor-sweeping maxi features a plunging neckline and strategically placed cut-outs for a game of peek-a-boo for a look that’s at once elegant and playful. The adjustable drawstrings allow you to customize the fit according to your mood and add an evergreen element to a dress that can be worn differently. A show-stopper in itself, the dress needs minimal accessorizing, but should you wish to finish it off with a glint, choose from our yellow gold pieces to complement its deep brown hue. Simple is by no means boring, as proven by IAMISIGO’s Loop-Weave Side-Slit Dress, a lesson in handwoven mastery that completely transforms the quintessential column dress into something more interesting. Sewn from a distinct cotton and hemp blend, the dress is a lesson in style and sustainability. The intricate weaving processes take a team of artisans an entire day to complete, and each dress takes up to 3 weeks to make, exemplifying the brand’s commitment to slow fashion and preserving traditional cloth-making techniques for the modern consumer. Finally, a little slice of luxury comes from Pepper Row’s Igho Dress made from a silk and cotton blend. Crafted from Aso-Oke fabric and embellished with colorful Krobo beads, this mid-length piece, trimmed with playful fringe, showcases Nigeria’s rich heritage of artisanal prowess.
Nothing says Summer like an electrifying hue. Up the ante with our selection of neon wonders bound to turn heads as you stroll through town. Touted as one of the key SS‘22 trends, neon will certainly light a fire under your seasonal style with a welcome injection of color. IAMISIGO’s Drawstring Dress offers refreshing ease with its loose-fitting silhouette. Crafted from soft cotton in a hot pink hue, it’s a slip-on style that aces effortlessly cool sunshine style. Throw it over a bikini for a day frolicking by the sea, then throw on a pair of heels and grab a clutch for an evening of cocktails and dancing in the city. Pulling from this season’s yellow trend, we’ve also selected the versatile Zonna Dress from sustainable Nigerian brand Emmy Kasbit that’s infused with history. Made from traditional Akwete, the unique piece is a high-necked piece adorned with on-trend fringe and motifs influenced by the Nigerian civil war. Team with crisp white trainers for comfort or a pair of strappy flats for a more rustic flair. Finally, the Viviers Poolside Slip Dress is a perfectly constructed wonder that flatters all body types. Made using deadstock fabrics and recycled vintage clothing, which speak to the brand’s conscious values, this slip dress features a 90s inspired square neckline and is double-layered for ultimate comfort and coverage. The delicate spaghetti straps and carefully placed darts are the subtle details that take it from a good dress to a great one, perfect for warm evenings and open-air dinners. Perhaps, pair it with an oversized white shirt, a bucket hat, and a pair of sandals for a suitable daytime look.
Perhaps you prefer your separates to be anything but straightforward. In that case, discover our printed pieces. Ethereal printed maxi and mini dresses make summer dressing a breeze. These flouncy lightweight frocks float beautifully upon every step, thanks to their generous cuts. Doreen Mashika incorporates the palette and prints of her native Zanzibar into the Nia Dress, a revamped offering for the SS’22 season in a new apple green colorway. Handcrafted using the Kanga fabrics proudly produced by Tanzania's Swahili community, the Nia Dress features a relaxed silhouette, a flattering V-neck, and a playful asymmetrical hem. For a subtly sexy summer dress, consider one with a waist cut-out or a low back, like this gown from Taibo Bacar that proves that a simple sundress is one of the most versatile pieces of the season. Airy and light, the Bond Dress will be the hero piece in your summer wardrobe. Andrea Iyamah’s Neema Robe is a ruffled number, has a flattering, adjustable drawstring neckline, and is adorned with a painterly leaf print inspired by the eucalyptus trees native to Australia. We can imagine wearing this floating beauty with a cocktail in hand, soaking up the last rays of the evening sun. Keep your cool all season long with its lightweight fabric and figure-skimming fit.
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