Dressing for the occasion has assumed dynamic proportions in recent times. Yes, we dress to impress and to suit any occasion, be it determined by the nature of the event, the time of the day (of the event), the location, the prevailing trend, or simply the vibe of the wearer at any given moment. All in all, the style speaks of some version of identity branding.
Here we exude an eclectic sensibility in our personal styling, for we can be impacted by one, some or all of the above indicators to express our sense of style. This cross-fertilization, for the want of a better term, makes us unique and individualistic. Further, because of our festival traditions, we may opt for a cultural stamp to pronounce overtly our personality or more so, our personhood. I relish seeing the proud ethnic influences of our cosmopolitan mosaic. At this time of the year, there is a profusion of Afrocentric silhouettes and pre-eminently Neo African looks. With the upcoming Emancipation celebrations, an Afro Caribbean aesthetic consumes the fashion landscape and boldly claims a liberating fashion-conscious space.
On the other hand, with conscious fashion being the order of the day, we appreciate the imagers/stylists/designers wishing to brand their apparel through the application of indigenous dyes; eco-friendly wears, in terms of human impact on the environment; and sustainable clothing, celebrating social responsibility and ethical practices, simultaneously, representing heritage. Many a local fashion label – Afiya Bishop - Loud by Afiya; Andre Lovelace - The Nubian Experience; Athaliah Samuel - Afrodesiack; Daniel George - Daniel’s Den of Fashion; Darienne Phillips - Euphoric Designs; Deron Attzs - D.A.D.L International; Harvey Robertson - Ethnic Urban; Michaela Garcia - Fancy Fittings and Naballah - Naballah Chi – get an opportunity to expatiate, ‘play deyself’ unapologetically, during this conscious ‘Emancipation’ season.
Qurux Afrika is certainly an initiative which provides an avenue to honour this distinctive style. In fact, the name, Qurux, is a Somalian word heralding the continental dominance in modern fashion inspiration. This year’s showcase will feature the above-mentioned designers this evening at the Central Bank Auditorium from 4pm. We seem to be witnessing a Nubian Renaissance, of sorts, in our style adaptations, not only locally but regionally and internationally.
Qurux Afrika is a capstone project on the national calendar of Pan African FestivalTT Commemorating Emancipation. Zakiya Wadada, executive director of the Emancipation Support Committee of Trinidad and Tobago (ESCTT) expresses, quite enthusiastically, that the objective of this annual activity, in its fifth year, “is to provide national leadership and insight on issues of African culture and worldview,” as part of the overarching strategic programme of the ESCTT.
In addition to the local line up, Ghanaian brands Faustina Ansong - Charisma and Josephine Hayford - Haylooks will be highlighted. This event is one that truly celebrates African heritage through clothing and design. This year, under the patronage of the Minister of Community Development Culture and the Arts, Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, the event celebrates the African spirit, culture and aesthetic as expressed through fashion. With the theme, ‘The Power and Beauty in You!’, the presentation is produced jointly by ESCTT and Fashion Focus.