The latest edition of Cameroon Fashion Design offered a journey through Africa's sartorial history. Stops during this exploration of ancestral creations included one in Mali to see its Bogolan fabric, in Côte d'Ivoire for the Kita and in Cameroon to discover the Ndop and the rare Odom fabric.
The creations of fashion designers were showcased on and backstage.
From scantily clad models to models rocking extraordinary hairstyles and giving off royalty vibes, each designer returned to their roots to find inspiration.
The latest edition of Cameroon Fashion Design offered a journey through Africa's sartorial history. Stops during this exploration of ancestral creations included one in Mali to see its bogolan fabric, in Côte d'Ivoire for the Kita and in Cameroon to discover the Ndop and a highly sought-after wood fabric known as Obom.
Among the high-profile guest was First Lady Chantal Biya. The show celebrated the creative genius of a continent with singular techniques, highlighting the exuberant or eco-friendly attributes of some outfits.
The mission was set by the event's promoter.
A rich and inspiring continent
"Africa is overflowing with riches and has noble materials," Sophie Darel said.
"Over the years, we've come to realize that Westerners are appropriating these materials and promoting them. So we decided to go back our roots, to get inspiration [from what’s within us] and show that Africa does have something to offer."
Another exhibition took place, this time at Epee Motto's. The man is an Obom fanatic. Together with a partner, they studied the rare fabric during almost 5 years.
Their aim was to make the traditional material which is extracted from a tree, fashionable again. It was once worn at special occasions only.
"One of the objectives is to popularize the use of Obom, but it is above a quest for identity. Long before cotton was as widely used as it is, the peoples from [Cameroon's] Center-Southeast would wear in Obom,"
The cheapest piece of Obom costs 11,000 cfa Francs...a hefty sum for the average Cameroonian. Until it becomes affordable, Obom is gaining awards.