[ Ghana Fashion and Design Week | GFDW ]
Oh what a weekend! Taking a break from researching & consulting, I had the opportunity to attend a fashion show courtesy of Afre Anko. Being the opportunist I am, I didn’t hesitate to invite myself to the Ghana Fashion & Design event at the newest hotel in town – Kempinski.
As a warm up at the anticipated event, I also attended a fashion & business advice workshop in one of the conference rooms in the morning. Well, due to Ghana Man Time [GMT – starting later than expected] it started in the afternoon!
Outside the workshop stood entrepreneurs with some of their products showcasing for passer byers. Such displays from bags, sunglasses to the inevitable clothing demonstrated a taste of what was to come on the runway. We [Afre Anko volunteering associates & I] managed to network whilst we dashed in & out of the conference room due to the heavily used air con.
To my surprise, I met & learned that one of my favourite young designers from South Africa [Mzukisi Mbane] was also showcasing on the runway among other designers I had never heard of. It was at this moment I realised that the fashion show in the evening was going to be epic. Again the show started late which did not faze me as I had more time to talk & network with some of the designers, attendees & the like.
Living in Ghana for almost a month, I have realised how important it has been for Ghanaians to value their own products & use traditional means to bring out fresh ideas in clothing. Instead of merely following trends; rather setting the trends is the way forward, since materials are readily available here & mostly shipped off to other countries. The phrase ‘Made in Ghana’ was also echoed throughout the show amongst the Ghanaian designers.
Authenticity & uniqueness is a trend all over the world thus far; relating personality & style, it’s all about expressing who you are. Thus I loved how every single collection told a different story with accompaniment of uplifting & tribal instruments playing in the background. The outfits that graced the runway were beautiful, innovative & surprisingly wearable.
My favourite part of the show was when the designers and all the models came out at the end.
Why? It gave us a chance to congratulate & meet the creators behind the amazing signature designs.
I am so blessed to have met amazing people, exciting new design concepts & look forward to many more shows in Ghana – watch this space!