African Art Re-Imagined

There’s a hot new designer in Italy that’s changing the world of African style. Her name is Stella Jean and she’s a half Italian, half Haitian former model who’s managed to merge her two cultures with a namesake line. Using her “Wax and Stripes” philosophy, Stella creates clothing with traditional bold prints (“wax”) and sharp tailoring from her Italian roots (which she refers to as the “stripes”). Her unique body of work has even garnered the attention of Giorgio Armani, who lent Stella his space to showcase her Spring 2014 collection- a first for the legendary designer.

The allure of Stella Jean lies in the new conversation it’s created for what African fashion can be. The introduction of tailoring and standout silhouettes is extremely refreshing, bringing in new customers who may never have thought of rocking African prints. A tea length A-line frock is a hit at an art gallery opening, while a printed trench and striped skirt is the perfect casual-cool ensemble. Since it’s debut, Stella Jean has been flying off the shelves.

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Like a wardrobe, African influences can add intrigue to your home decor.  If you’re feeling crafty, try painting a chair in an all-over arrow head print. Adding large bowls and water jugs are quick ways to create a rural vibe. Keep walls a neutral tone like beige or deep caramel, to allow bold prints to pop. Artwork is a popular way of adding an African touch. Choose one with wildlife that will light up an entire room. Of course, rugs are always a great place to show your creativity. Drape an animal skinned one over a large placement rug, like below. Or go for my favorite, this vintage one from Morocco.

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By Joy Adaeze of JoyLovesFashion

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