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Question

Dear Biki

I am planning to have a civil wedding in NYC this Fall and would like my African culture to be reflected in my outfit.  However I don’t want to look like my parents, i.e I want to look youthful and stylish.  What do you suggest?

Thank you, Patricia

Answer

Dear Patricia

First of all- congratulations!  And now how to ensure that your African culture can be perceived in your ensemble without looking like you are a few decades late to audition for the Imani Izzi, ‘Barking dog, African princess’ role in ‘Coming To America’.

To suit the formality of the event, I would advise you to wear a fitted Ankara print dress, with a tailored jacket that has a matching block colour tone.  Jewel By Lisa, is a Nigerian label that has put a luxurious spin on Ankara print.  The brand’s modern take has seen it infusing cutting edge shapes, adding complimentary fabrics and embellishment onto the classic print, all of which will ensure that guests don’t confuse you with your mother on your special day-

 

Courtesy of Hauteafrica.comCourtesy of Hauteafrica.com

 A great way to bring out your African heritage in a subtle yet powerful way would be through accessories– for e.g. wearing coral beaded jewellery, an ankara clutch bag or an ankara print fabricator

Ankara print fabricator, courtesy of http://www.myasho.com

 

Courtesy of Akmosaic.blogspot.com

Etsy also do a unique selection of African inspired jewellery

Courtesy of Etsy.com

If you are feeling particularly creative, you could also arrange for a gele to be tied on your head-

Courtesy of Nairaland.com

Urbanknit also have a spectacular wide range of Ankara print clutches

Courtesy of http://www.urbanknit.com

Furthermore, African hairstyles like small braids or intricate cornrows will bring out your ethnicity in a subtle and very attractive way.

To crown your look, I would advise on opaque tights (preferably black) and vertiginous stilettos

Enjoy your very special day! x

 

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