If you’re fed up with reaching for the same floral pieces spring after spring, consider a notable alternative of modern prints as a fun and fresh way to inject a little brightness into your wardrobe—bringing instant color and awe-inspiring appeal into a stagnant collection. The sun is shining, nature is blooming, and vibrant, bold hues and patterns dominate the sartorial streets: SS’22 fashion trends have landed. If you’re fed up with reaching for the same old florals spring after spring, consider a notable alternative of modern prints as a fun way to inject a little freshness into your wardrobe. So time to pack away the heavy jackets and fold up those knits—the clothing that will carry you through the spring 2022 has a positive, eccentric quality, employing clashing prints and idiosyncratic patterns for a revitalized outlook on getting dressed. The designers we love certainly make a case for trying something lively and novel; think Studio 189’s mixed prints, monochromatic co-ords from KikoRomeo, and even Niuku’s sophisticated rendering of the classic slip dress complete with jaunty asymmetrical hem. Discover the five in vogue print and pattern types that are set to become your year-round MVPs.
Swirling, psychedelic prints from Andrea Iyamah, textural stripes from Studio 189, and 80s-inspired graphic prints at Kahindo make for a vibrant and happy spring wardrobe—and who doesn’t need a little levity at the moment? This season, we’re embracing prints that embody joy and the spirit of maximalism as we begin the preamble towards summer and get the party started a little early. Doreen Mashika’s Bahari Dress is an eclectic show-stopper with clashing prints in green, white, and brown with feather motifs that symbolize freedom. With its blouson sleeves and asymmetrical hemline, a nod to the return of Y2K silhouettes, this dress is unabashedly feminine. Make the look work for you by establishing balance by paring down the accessories and letting the dress take center stage. Then, Kahindo dials up the drama with their high-octane prints, the perfect way to spruce up a neutral wardrobe. Crafted from ultra-soft Japanese silk-like fabric, the print of the Dipo Bomber Jacket was developed exclusively with Nigerian artist Dipo Doherty. At the same time, the entire collection was inspired by Kahindo’s Congolese heritage and the country’s inherent vitality.
Often synonymous with heritage style, checks have re-emerged as a spring style staple in distinctly playful iterations that speak to the upbeat quality of the season. Take, for example, IAMISIGO's embrace of ‘more is more’ with their Patchwork Shirt that features extra-large, two-tone color blocking that will have you beach ready. This fresh approach to checks has characterized the work of many regional designers, in particular sister-duo Gozel Green, for whom checks form a significant part of their recent collection. Take their Arty Girl Patchwork Denim Jacket, a brazen, bold, and color-blocked cropped jacket crafted from a contrasting crepe denim mix—the combination of textures brings an artistic flair to the classic tailoring and form of the staple bomber. Similarly, their Jazzy Girl Patchwork Skirt from the same collection strikes the perfect balance between formal and informal dressing as the high-waisted pencil skirt gives way to an elasticized hem, speaking to the collection’s versatility and leading the pack when it comes to pieces that inform the perfect desk-to-dinner wardrobe. Often one to blur the gender lines, Orange Culture’s unisex Wrap Shirt plays with proportion as the relaxed silhouette, and adjustable fastenings allow you to customize the fit depending on your mood. Crafted in lightweight cotton, this two-tone statement piece can be worn on its own or styled with its matching pants. If you want to raise the style stakes, pair it with clashing prints for a look that’s at once unexpected and intriguing. Finally, for fans of the matching set, Mauritanian designer Niuku’s Siganar Suit, crafted by local artisans using upcycled fabrics and traditional indigenous printing methods, will serve you well for business and pleasure.
There’s a solid new contender for the spot of the ultimate springtime print, and while dainty florals and botanical prints are synonymous with fresh season dressing, dots are proving to be a worthy successor. Gozel Green dials up the cool factor with their aptly named Cool Girl Set in artisanally crafted denim. The 3-piece co-ord features a relaxed top adorned with hand-painted brushstrokes in irregular smatterings of dots for an alternative approach to formal wear, complete with raw-edge hems. The Retro Girl Denim Dress celebrates individuality and self-expression, and features the same print splashed across a more voluminous silhouette. The hand-painted dots are unevenly decorated across the structured denim for a decidedly feminine yet downright eccentric, quintessentially modern edge. Finally, Studio 189’s Mandarin Dress champions West Africa textiles, paying homage to its rich history with hand-batiked, mixed dotted prints. The piece intersects traditional and contemporary elegance with its tapered waist and a-line flair.
We’ve seen hand-dyeing grace everyday wardrobe items as contemporary African designers turn to age-old techniques for their collections. Traditional dyes have now reentered the market in more sophisticated and future-forward iterations. Designers like Niuku, KikoRomeo, and Pepper Row have embraced the handcrafted print in vibrant and neutral colors, each applying their own unique take on textile treatment as dyed pieces become an essential part of the spring uniform. Kenyan label KikoRomeo gives us monochromatic, hand-dyed goodness in the form of their Kua Top and Dar Skirt co-ord, a flirty, airy linen combination featuring symbols derived from jewelry and forms of adornment and traditional Swahili architecture. Niuku takes a decidedly cosmopolitan path with their Seleti Slip Dress in regal teal. Crafted from pure cotton, the asymmetrical piece is hand-painted by female artisans who employ traditional Mauritanian printing techniques to create the delicate pattern. Pepper Row’s Nata Draped Skirt Set is a color explosion showcasing tie-dye indigo Adire prints coupled with hand-painted Batik motifs for a powerful mixed-media ensemble bound to turn heads. Opting for neutral tones, Hamaji’s peplum top, made with natural fabrics and dyes, uses processes that benefit local communities by providing access to fair-paying jobs while preserving traditional artisanal techniques, a testament to the profound impact these methods have on their respective communities. All feel in sync with the season’s carefree and laid-back attitude. Hand dyeing not only celebrates color and the pleasures they bring but also lends a whimsical touch to a springtime wardrobe essential.
Nothing transcends seasons more effortlessly than the trusty stripe. From the classic Breton to more creative iterations, it’s a pattern that simply won’t relent, adding some vitality to casual ensembles and a spirited edge to more formal renderings. For example, Studio 189’s Green Double-Breasted Blazer, a made-to-order wonder from the Ghanaian brand, reworks classic tailoring through an ultra-modern lens for something altogether more electrifying and special. The blazer and its matching pant, Andy, are a feat of indigenous craftsmanship, taking a painstaking 2 weeks to finish. Wondering how to wear it? Tailoring breezes back this spring with a refreshing lack of formality with this suit. Now, a striped suit is just as weekend-worthy, taking it from boardroom to brunch with some clever styling tricks. If full-on stripes might be a little OTT for your pared-down tastes, dip your toe into the trend with some standout accessories. Shekudo’s Kakawa Heel is a deconstructed approach to the classic mule crafted from Aso-Oke in a symphony of greens, yellows, and reds. An ode, once more, to the meticulous production process, each handmade shoe takes 10-15 days to complete. Perhaps, you would prefer a bag. In that case, AAKS's Hana Bag is a cross-body style woven from raffia and colored with natural vegetable dye with lively contrasting fringing details for the perfect addition brimming with optimism.
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