Due to popular demand, My Ghana Roots decided to re-visit the topic of African Inspired fashion. If you haven’t already, check out our previous posts; ‘Kente Cloth Explained’ & ‘African Inspired Fashion: Spring/Summer 2013‘.

My Ghana Roots caught up with Emma Slade Edmondson from Backofthewardrobe.com and Photographer to Nuraan Ackers to get some tips on how to mix and style African prints with modern fashion. Emma’s tips demonstrate just how wearable traditional African prints really can be.

Check out the images of Emma’s innovative styling session captured by photographer Nuraan Ackers at Open The Gate Handmade African Market in Spitalfields:

tumblr_inline_msa8e4aFBB1qz4rgpMixing prints – it’s a bit like painting a picture. If you’re using different patterns beside one another try to stick to a similar colour palette, families of colour, or tones to tie the outfit together and avoid ‘aggressive’ colour clashes.

tumblr_inline_msa7q68WOi1qz4rgpHere I’ve used contrasting colours and both prints are loud but there are elements of the detail on both the top and skirt that are not dissimilar in pattern. This creates something visually exciting but holds the look together. The tight fit pencil skirt keeps the look modern.

myghanaroots_africanprintUse a thick belt with a contrasting pattern to draw the eye into a small waist and break up the dress.
Use multiple shades of the same colour layered on top of one another to create the illusion of texture.




myghanaroots_africanprint1.Start with your largest bangle

2. Add a statement bangle – think about mixing textures

3. Finish with one or two big bangles that will hold the previous in place and balance the bangle tower.


myghanaroots_africanprintIf you’re not quite bold enough to mix prints use statement accessories on block colour. Try experimenting with a few in one look.


Get The Look 

Clutch bags – Tapiwa Dingwiza Bags

Shoes – Ayikai Couture

Cuff and matching perspex choker – Ayikai Couture

Cross and Jewel Ring – Nssa Nefateri – Designed by Jehalani Asantewa – Philip

Blue, Cream and Orange Halterneck top – By Revision designs

Puff ball Earings – QueenCaz

Pencil Skirt – Colour Therapy

Corset – Colour Therapy

Jump Suit – Uhzuri Designs

Bangles – Empress

Ring (seen in Hooded look) -Triballery

Red stone choker (seen in jumpsuit look) – Devash

Green and yellow cap sleeve dress – Gitas Portal

Green material belt – Gitas Portal

Reversible Hoods – Open the Gate Market’s own

final_tumblr_headerFor those who have traditional African wear that is gathering dust in their wardrobe, why not get in touch with Emma at Backofthewardrobe.com who can help you transform them into brand new outfits.
Emma is the Director of Back of the Wardrobe – a unique styling enterprise that teaches people how to utilise their existing wardrobe to create new outfits. She teaches usable styling techniques and thoughtful fashion ideas whilst advocating the ethical and environmental benefits of clothing reuse.

Those with an appreciation for beautiful photography will want to see more of Nuraan’s portfolio and can do so by visiting her site here.

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