Fashion conscious Westerners discovered the freedom and colour of traditional African dress some time ago.?
Fashion conscious Westerners discovered the freedom and colour of traditional African dress some time ago. But Ivory Coast manufacturers have now updated the styles worn in their country for centuries and are poised to break into the British fashion industry.
On Thursday (13 September) a number of Ivory Coast manufacturers presented their collections at London's Hilton Hotel. Haute couture rubbed shoulders with trendy ready-to-wear clothes made in the Ivory Coast.
The show was staged by the Ivorian Centre for Overseas Trade, as part of a drive to promote Ivorian products and services in Britain. In 1972 about 34% of the Ivory Coast' fashion and textile turnover was exported, and the Centre hopes to do even better this year.
Five years ago the fashionable ladies of Adibjan were nearly all wearing European style clothes. Today they are wearing their own unique style which combines the traditional and modern.
Pagne cloth forms the basis of the Ivory Coast fashions. This cotton textile is characterised by bright colours and bold designs and can be made up into trousers, suits, caftans or sophisticated evening dresses.