The white women of South Africa, who have traditionally followed Europe in their dress fashions, are turning towards African tribal dress for sartorial inspiration.
The white women of South Africa, who have traditionally followed Europe in their dress fashions, are turning towards African tribal dress for sartorial inspiration. The colourful dress and beadwork of the Xhosa tribe, for example, can now be seen adorning many a fashionable trend-setter among the rich white suburbs of 'European' South Africa.
The tribal costumes, once despised as dress only for the "lower-class" Africans, come to prominence suddenly this year as a more far-signed fashion designer saw the possibility of incorporating the distinctive styles and colours into a new and particularly distinct trend. Fashion writers picked up the vogue, and 'sold' it to the hitherto Paris and London-oriented fashion scene.
SYNOPSIS: Leading stores and fashion-writers and their magazines have been popularising the tribal dress, which began when a far-sighted clothing businessmen saw the potential of the style and opened a small factory to produce the costumes and accessories -- suitably modified for the white fashion scene.
Brightly-coloured African beadwork -- which has its origins, incidentally, in the beads taken to Africa by white missionaries and traders -- is based on the tradition of the Xhosa tribe for fringing all tribal dress with colourful necklaces. The reason for the new trend, according to the experts is the beginnings of European liberalism creeping into white-ruled Africa -- at least on the fashion scene, if nowhere else.