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We have a brand new selection of Bee Bags in stock, just in time for the summer, lovely weather and sunshine days.

The Bee bag is so called because its great for buzzing around. For shopping, going to the park, books and magazines or to swap your trainers when you get to work (yes, we all do it!). Anything really, you make it what you want it to be. The wide straps make it a comfortable to carry on the shoulder.

Choose between Ankara print or batik versions. Muted or colourful? What’s your flavour?

Green Eleko Adire Bee Bag

Bumble Bee Bag

Orange Batik Tote

Blue Shell Ankara Tote

The iro and buba (pronounced “ee-roe” and “boo-bah”) are the most essential parts of a Yoruba woman’s traditional outfit. I say the iro and buba are essential because they are the skirt and blouse and are the basis for the outfit. The complete outfit in actual fact consists of 5 separate parts. The iro, buba, gele, pele and iborun which can be made in a variety of fabrics from affordable Ankara print, to Aso-oke as well as lace for more special occasions.

Iro– wrapper/ a large piece of fabric worn as a wrap-round skirt Buba– the blouse Gele– the headtie/ head-dress Pele– a shawl that goes round the waist Iborun– shawl/scarf- a protection from the sun

 

Yoruba women dressed in traditional Aso Egbé (ceremonial and society attire) Ìró, Bùbá, and Gèlè. ca. 1968.  Image from  Nigerian Nostalgia Project

Ladies, Ladies, Ladies 1961. Dressed in Aso-Oke Iro and Gele Image from The Nigerian Nostalgia Project-http://nigerianostalgia.tumblr.com/

 

This traditional outfit has been given a contemporary twist and these days, the younger generation often do away with the pele, iborun and gele and make the iro and buba more fitted, more varied and dare I say more stylish. This is embodied in the revival of the retro 60’s/70’s style of iro and buba known as ‘Oleku’. This word basically means ‘too hot’ or ‘to die for’ and identifies the version of the outfit which is a micro mini wrapper and a blouse with cropped sleeves.

 

Oleku outfits by Ituen Basi

Mix and match Ankara Iro and Buba- Image from Sola Dunn blog

Block colour Iro and Buba- image from Jokotade blog,  outfit by House of Neakey

The options are endless and you can make it to suit your own tastes and figure with beaded blouses, cropped wrappers and sleeves, modern-the ubiquitous sarong-style wrapper, using chiffon, silk, satin, linen, in a monochrome look, with block colours, with intricate patterns. Some designers have even come up with all-in-one dresses which when worn, look like the iro and buba combo.

Anything goes! So these are just a few ideas. How do you wear yours? If you are looking for some design inspiration for your next iro and buba outfit  or just want to feast your eyes then check these out:

1. Silk & Chiffon Iro & Buba- www.uk.pinterest.com/HoneydropA/silk-chiffon-iro-buba

2. The Tulip Style- https://uk.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=iro%20and%20buba%20tulip&term_

3. Funky Buba versions: www.uk.pinterest.com/HoneydropA/blouse-substitute-for-buba/

 

Tiffany Amber Silk Lily Twist Dress

 

It is hard to imagine that any girl child that grew up in West Africa in the 70’s and 80’s does not recognise these dolls. I found them fascinating then and even more so now. Made purely out of plastic, the dolls though detailed with facial expressions, hair, clothing and so on were made in one single piece. This of course means that no part of the doll moved; not the hair, not the arms nor the legs!

 

 

I think it required an even greater sense of imagination to play with these dolls. No clothes to change, no hair to brush…. Nevertheless, they were extremely popular to my recollection and I was thrilled to come across the instagram feed for the Clonette Dolls.

The Iconic Clonette ‘’Baby & Auntie DeiDei Dolls originated in Ghana during the colonial era and were the first industrially produced doll in Africa. Inspired by traditional woven dolls usually made from wood, grass and fabric these bright dolls are still being made in Ghana today from recycled plastic. They come in a range of sizes and colours. There are even some limited edition stripey ones and some decorative porcelain ones! Visit their online store www.clonettedolls.com

I am absolutely going to get one…. or two. Love them!

 

 

 

 

 

I know, I know. I am not even a cat person and  I don’t even watch any of those cat memes that keep doing the rounds on Facebook, Youtube and the rest. Still, I found this t-shirt funny. The wording itself and then the expression on the cat’s face. It’s cute and I certainly would get one.

So if this tickles you, it is created by Print Liberation and can be found here on the Brit + Co website. It is available in Blue or Grey and in a range of sizes for both men and women.

 

I love this tee simply because the bear looks like such a cool dude. Simple! Hipster bear with funky geek glasses, what more could you ask for?

The t-shirt comes from a fellow Etsy seller Crawlspace Studios and is titled Nerdy Grizzle Bear!

Go check it out!

Here is one way to rock the print on print look. Well this look is actually the print on print ON PRINT look if you know what I mean! Its a bold one and not for the faint hearted at all.

The way I look at it is that you can’t go wrong in whatever approach you choose. Simply add layer after layer of print till you are satisfied. This particular version involves a mix of pastel colours and is accessorised with our Golden Cloves Supersnap Clutch. It makes a pretty bold statement so you can keep your other items, like jewellery and shoes, quite simple. Something like a single block colour coat or jacket would easily tie the look together.

What do you think? Would you?

 

 

Came across this great look put together on the blog Economy of Style. Love the idea of creating great outfits for the upcoming Spring and Summer which infuse elements of different cultures hence the idea for the Global Flair collection. The collection includes our Adire Peplum Top and we are very honoured. Woohoo! Visit Economy of Style and show some love!

 

 

Yes, I have booked my ticket to attend the Fashion African Conference which is in exactly two weeks from today. I have never attended before and I am looking forward to hearing the different speakers and discussions.

Organised by the Africa Fashion Guide the event is happening on the 24th of April which is also Fashion Revolution Day. The aim of the gathering is to discuss the future of the African Fashion industry in particular the full supply chain of African Fashion Design, Textiles, and Manufacturing and to communicate this to a larger, global audience through media.

This event is recommended to all fashion designers, retailers, students and any one in the business of fashion.

Check out the talks going on on the day

PANEL 1) – African Revolution – Fashion Made in Africa

PANEL 2) The New African Fashion Market – Designers, Fashion Shows, Media and Retail

PANEL 3A) Africa is Open for Business  – Africa as a Source for New Business

PANEL 3B) Textile Futures – Africa’s Cotton, Leather and Textile Industry Opportunities

PANEL 4A) Source Africa and Navigating Value Chains, Logistics and Red Tape

PANEL 4B) Africa’s Triple Bottom Line – Sustainability, Ethical Credentials and Responsibility in the African Fashion Industry

There is also a selection of great speakers from far and wide. I am particularly looking forward to hearing Arieta Mujay of African Creative Collective, Chris Springs of the British Museum and Hannay Pool of the Guardian and Africa Utopia. I think it is going to be very enriching. Do come and check join the discussion. More information on how to attend can be found below. If you are coming, do leave a comment to say so and hopefully see you there!

MORE INFORMATION:

DATE: Friday 24th April, 2015

TIME: 10AM  to 5PM

VENUE: Rich Mix 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, E1 6LA London

TICKETS:  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/fashion-africa-conference-2015-london-an-african-revolution-tickets-15333903117?ref=estw

PRICE:  £49

CONTACT: events@africafashionguide.com

EVENT WEBSITE: www.fashionafricaconference.com

Sophienstraße WHERE: Berlin COUNTRY: Germany WHEN: March 2015

 

We are having a countdown spring sale starting from today with up to 50% off your entire order.

Just enter SPRINGSALE15 at checkout.

www.urbanknit.com