DYNAMIC AFRICA

African-based news, lifestyle & popular culture platform that brings you stories and information concerning Africa and the African diaspora. Set up in 2010, Dynamic Africa is a rich content-driven creative space with a Pan-African outlook established as an expressive platform for African experiences, African culture and African stories.


Dynamic Africa is a diverse multimedia platform, which curates global ideas, memes, attitudes and other phenomena that shape popular culture, with both a local and global African perspective.




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Posts tagged "style"

Revisiting the “African-Urban-Man” Style: Sapeurs by Amira Ali.

“White people invented the clothes, but we make an art of it”, a phrase commonly used and referred to the Sapeurs, Congo-Brazzaville’s self-confessed modern day dandies. The phrase coined by Sapeur godfather Papa Wemba.

Sapeurs, French slang for “dressing with class” take their name from the acronym SAPE, for Société des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Élégantes. Gentlemen’s club for the dapper, it’s a sartorial subculture consciously emulating its colonizer, layered with ambience and new expressions. The Sapes profess “La Sape” is an “art for ‘real’ gentlemen”. Living by an agreed aesthetical rule, their savior faire and modish use of the body and expensive dress with meticulously matched colors is a radical yet subtle form of protest, which in recent years has received international attention. Seemingly, the symbol of the Sapeur par excellence receives more notice on its aesthetics and less on meaning.

 In this extravagance buzz, the Sape’s fashion statement and bold flair is producing a post-modern phenomenon of the “African-urban-man” style and elegance. Sapologists, “gentlemen who live by a creed with a strict code of honor and morality”, are said to contest circumstances poised through the beautification effect of chic dressing. A belief that “it’s not the cost of the suit that counts, it’s the worth of the man inside it.” A performance and embodiment of sophistication, Sapeurs are prototypes of vibrant icons consciously portraying the embracing of a subcultural lifestyle.

Fascinated by this culture, the western world, beyond its ahistorical representation of Africa, has taken on the Sape as its new ‘western’ media phenomenon. In 2011, though an oddly placed feature the Sapeurs stole the spotlight in Solange Knowles’ “Losing You” video, shot in South Africa. But discovered long before Solange’s video, they have been introduced to the world colorfully as a ‘society of tastemakers and fashionably elegant’ stylistic inspiration to photographers.

The latest is the Guinness advertisement campaign; a break from the prototypical brand marketer’s portrayal of Africa, its approach takes on the exposé of the urban-debonair-man. A post-modern embodiment of style and sophistication, and a commitment to the “Society of Elegant Persons of the Congo” (La Sape), yet again, they add style, charm and vividness to a campaign that would otherwise be ordinary. These gentlemen referred to by Stephen O’Kelly, Guinness’ marketing director for Western Europe, as a “truly inspiring and unique group of men” are the featured ‘stars’ of Guinness’ recent advertising campaign, “Made of More”.  

A fashionable depiction, the Guinness ad artistically captures the extravagance of the everyday working Sapeurs as they transform from their day job to a cigar wielding, European-three-piece suit, silk socks, and fedora wearing men. Aesthically well crafted, a fine image is displayed of the urban-elegant expensive-looking of gentlemen. Yet, on the far side of this captivating documentation and splendid dress there is another side to the story of the Sapeurs living in Bakongo. These men are described as not being economically wealthy, and in fact some are said to rent items of clothing in the name of ‘ambianceur’ and fashion ‘worshipping’ or even take small fee(s) in exchange for a photographer’s glory –a snapshot of their dapper image. So, besides the undoubtedly rich spirit it may be a wonder, “what of what of the image we see of the Sapeurs is ‘true to life’?” A contrast of their ‘real-life’ far removed from our sight, the world is nonetheless left to experience the Sapeurs through the lens of photographers and cinematographers who bring out their mode par excellence alive. And perhaps, such depictions can be representational of the (re) construction attached to African cultural movements that permeates the western mainstream landscape. 

 All photos by Ruddy Roye :: a Brooklyn (New York) based photographer specializing in editorial and environmental portraits, and photojournalism. You can find more of his work here

Fuzzy coats, loose bottoms, button up shirts and tartan prints are must-haves for autumn in this Fader Fall 2014 fashion editorial.

Styling Mobolaji Dawodu.
Styling Assistance
Elsa Lam, Anh Mai, Megan Soria.
Make-Up
Allie Smith using Nars.
Photography assistance
Chris Grosser.

Style Inspiration: Siki Msuseni Elle SA Style Diary.

Cape Town-based fashion insider Siki Msuseni let’s us into her wardrobe for five days and gives us these five fabulous outfits!

Photos by: Niquita Bento.

(via ELLE SA)

Kanye West keeps it simple, but casual cool, for his cover and editorial feature in the August issue of GQ magazine photographed by Patrick Demarchelier.

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STREETCHIEF Lookbook Pre-Fall 2014: “Area Boys Collection”.

Whilst many of us are familiar with Kente fabric being used in contemporary fashion, no one does it quite like STREETCHIEF. For their latest collection, the menswear fashion brand have once again found ways to incorporate Kente-inspired prints into street wear garments - from button-up shirts to white-rimmed vests.

View their Summer 2013 Lookbook.

Model: Joseph Adamu (thedapperhomme)
Photographer:
William Ukoh (willyverse)

Summer’s in full swing with South Sudanese model Aluad Anei in her latest editorial for S Style magazine’s June 2014 issue, photographed by Rayan Ayahs and styled by Nadia Pizzimenti.

Styled by Mobolaji Dawodu - A Visual Catalog.

There’s a cinematic quality to almost every Mobolaji Dawodu styled and or photographed photo. So many of the images he has styled, photographed - or both - look more like something out of a film still than 2-D fashion magazine pages. This signature of his, that is both visually classic and communicative, is part of what makes Dawodu’s work so intensely captivating. Making use of subjects that always have an air of effortless cool and mystique, Dawodu is able to draw you to his images, through the use of aesthetic qualities, leaving the viewer highly intrigued as to the narrative that inspired it. It’s no surprise that Dawodu’s foray into the world of costume design, with films such as ‘Restless City’ and ‘Mother of George’ under his belt, has been beautifully successful.

Hailed by Complex as one of the most stylish men in media, Dawodu is the style editor-at-large at the Fader but has had his work appear in such publications as Vanity Fair, i-D and Paper, and worked on projects for PUMA, Nike, Kenzo, Converse and Apple. Born in Nigeria to a Nigerian father and American mother, much of his work has been influenced and informed by his bi-coastal background. 

Kesse Donkor for Lazy Oaf.

Up-and-coming British-Ghanaian model Kesse Donkor features in UK designer Gemma Shiel’s independent graphic and illustration label Lazy Oaf’s Summer ‘14 lookbook photographed by Katie Silvester.

TODAY’S STYLE INSPIRATION: Men in print suits.

So I might be just a little bit obsessed. Whilst we all know everyone loves a man in a suit, there’s nothing quite like up-ing the ante a little and getting excited by a man in a suit with fabulous daring prints!

STYLE ICON: Jackie Burger.

She’s the South African creative behind the country’s very own edition of ELLE Magazine so naturally, Jackie Burger is an incredibly stylish woman. Her style is classic, chic, elegant, a mixture of feminine and small doses of masculinity and, most of all, timeless. Never seen without her frost-coloured signature hair, as much as it stands out, Burger never lets anyone part of her aesthetic outdo another. You can’t help but pay attention to every single detail of what she wears.

Jackie Burger is by far one of the most stylish women in South Africa and perhaps the most recognizable fashion face in the business.

Can someone at ELLE SA please get her on instagram?

Model Yaya Deng models for handmade-in-Australia Desert Designs' collection titled 'The Collector's Collection'.

The collection uses the label’s vast archive of vintage fabrics from the 1980s and the Sydney-based label will be offering customers one-off collectable pieces from sustainability-focused collection.

(source: Oyster)

lamusenoire:

Betty Adewole for Matches Fashion.

Photos: Charlotte Wales

Styling: Verity Parker 

(via bigboobsareaburden)

Tunisian model Hanaa Ben Abdesslem sports various fresh-faced minimal make up looks in German Glamour’s June 2014 issue.

Get Funky”: Senegalese-Malian model Nala Diagouraga models dynamic swimwear looks in her spread for ELLE Romania’s June 2014 issue.

Aamito Stacie Lagum photographed by Amy Scheepers for Fashion Friend Magazine (South Africa).

Lagum made history as the first ever winner of the African edition of Top Model, hosted and produced by Nigerian supermodel Oluchi Onweagba.