This blog is very focused on street style. Almost everyday I trawl and see images that inspire me. It’s not difficult to get a sense of my personal style whilst perusing here…cute prints, skirts, dresses, lots of denim, quirky shoes/accessories etc etc. Often you will also find the same kind of photograph, cute girl, big city landscape, same street style photographer..Shuman, Garance, McPherson, Villiger etc etc.
So my point? This morning I discovered, with a little help from my assistant, these colourful, funky, seriously cool photographs by the award-winning street style photographer Chris Saunders. Oh my little eyes immediately creased with happiness! They were selected for The Guardian UK site by style writer Helen Jennings from her new book, New African Fashion. As my assistant so profoundly points out, the style seems to emerge from the environment and roots as opposed to a Western formation of one’s style. We look to and are often influenced by the Media, international designers and celebrities. African style still features elements from the foreigners that settled in the country, from the billowy shapes adapted from 18th century Islamic influence to the bowler hats and walking sticks of the 19th century British. Jennings book showcases the wonderfully raw & organic style of African fashion and traces its interesting evolution. It is a landscape that has intrigued a bevy of international designers who have drawn inspiration from the continent for their own collections. Most notably Yves Saint Laurent (a descendent and resident) who looked to the colours and textures of Africa for his designs. Jennings book details how Laurent and others (such as Marc Jacobs, Issey Miyake, Alexander McQueen) have all used African elements to create collections with this unique aesthetic. Do yourself a favour and check it out!
More images here.
Buy book here.