Ankara fabric has come a long way. It use to be that piece of three yards material that my mum gave to us as cover clothes growing up. It was what wives and mothers wore at home to do chores and what eastern Nigerian mothers called wrappers; worn with a lace blouse. Then the Yorubas wore it as a collective material for group of friends, or family members of the celebrant to a party.
It wasn’t until the new millenium did the true beauty of ankara began to take preeminence in dressing up among the youths. Before now, We would prefer to wear foreign designs to events rather than Ankara. If you are not buying the ‘Aso-ebi’ for the events, then you shouldnt be wearing one.
All that is history now. The rise of the fashion industry has seen to the identification of Ankara as a continental image of beauty, pride and creativity. Many Nigerian designers fuse ankara with satin, chiffon, taffeta, lace, and even go as far as bejewelling it. Thanks to designers like Jewel by Lisa, Ituen Basi, owning an ankara design became chic, stylish and original. Say good buy to plain old drappy ankara made for mummy and her friends,
scream ‘Its a lie’ to the mega revamped vavavoom ankara of the twenty first century. Ready to take on the world.
It became fashionable to wear ankara to parties, and even more so, ladies began to recreate western designs with the ankara fabric, and bang, the rave was on from Lagos to Monrovia, Tunis to Capetown. With its steady climb in the continent, it was only a matter of time before the world came calling. Then came the designs of L.A.M.B, Box Kitten, and latest of them all, Burberry.
L.A.M.B displayed ankara designs in its spring 2011 collections. Boxing Kitten is an American self thought designer who has being able to fuse the Ankara with the African-American historical identity. Her designs tell a story; this I love. She is behind the Ankara designs worn by Beyonce, Solange, Alicia and Fergie.
The Brits also welcomed Ankara into their fashion scene. Burberry recently featured ankara fabric in its Prorsum Spring/Summer 2012 Pre Colletion.
Ankara is now used to create fashion pieces and accessories. It seems this pretty fabric is hear to stay for a very long time not just as a trend, but as precious pieces that speaks personalty and style for whomever is bold enough to take it on.