Kumasi Fashion Week 16: 1620 plays too safe

One of the biggest trends at the Kumasi Fashion Week 2016 showcase was reworked traditional formal wear. As Afropolitan fashion has grown, so has a return to our once discarded Nwentoma smocks and Kente clothes. Ghanaian fashion designers are trying to make sense of this by updating traditional looks for a modernist 2016. 162o, the Ghanaian fashion label is one of such designers.

1620’s showcase features menswear and womenswear pieces that try to update traditional formal wear. The label tries several techniques to spin the general idea into something fresh; they send kaftans and tunics with asymmetric hems and plunging necklines down the runway, they up the embroidery to near obscene levels, sending dresses almost with bodices almost entirely covered in detailed embroidery. They even borrow elements from the traditional formal wear of other cultures; taking the distinctive silhouette and buttons of Chineses Mandarin tunics and transplanting them on their menswear tunics.

At the end of the day, 1620 doesn’t quite achieve that fresh take they are looking for because they play too safe in their construction. The tunic are still tunics, no matter how heavily they are embellished. And ultimately the label offers nothing that can’t be found on the pages of the traditional style magazines that have become all the rage in recent years.

Photo Credit: Chasquido Studios. 

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If my tailor can do it, why do I have to shell out serious money for a designer tag?

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