According to whom? Time and again,Â every stylish woman reads or hears the above statement and thereafter begins to gather dresses, accessories, skirts… anything worn in the dictated colour. She usually would have gained only minimal mileage out of these items before she reads another ‘colour prediction’ and has to start the cycle all over again!
Where to buy these new hues? How to wear them? And then, what does she do with the previous ones? Hello, women of style; pause to really ask your fashionable selves whose commands you’re billowing about for? Let’s face it, these colour statements are from climes and weathers utterly different from ours in Africa, and while, yes, we proudly are citizens of the world, let’s stop to ask how practical these are for reality? Let’s take a few and see:
These pale shades are usually ‘predicted’ for Spring time, when the stark coldness of winter has lessened and sleeping nature reawakens with flowers starting to bloom and trees’ leaves re-emerging again. Pastels and flowery designs on clothes depict these natural events and are worn in their shades of nudes, pale pinks, lilac, baby blue, peach…
Fast forward to Lagos, Ibadan, Port-Harcourt, Benin, Abuja, KanoÂ all our cities here in Nigeria and across Africa: this season is the end of our Dry Season and the start of the Rainy Season, characterised by intense heat (such as we have been experiencing lately), humidity, dust, some smattering of rain and even more dust. And even more heat. Pastels, fashionistas? Er… No.
Have you ever worn pale pink or lilac on a seriously dusty day? Odds, if you do, are that there’s a strong cover of brown (dust!) all over your pastel confection two hours after being outside in the African harmattan. Nudes are even worse in this weather of ours. You simply don’t know how maps of dusty brown appear all over them, converting the colour from the originally intended to plain dirty looking!
What really works in this weather for every style maven whose reality is the streets or buildings of African cities? Chocolate browns, navy blue, orange, bright shades of our favourite colours and ubiquitous black!
Style’Scape’s prediction for this season? Chocolate and orange!
BRIGHTS AND FLOURESCENTS
These are usually reserved for Summer time: Lime and lemons, torquoise blue and green, fuschia pink, yellow and all over white. These colours, again, epitomise the weather in Europe and the West at this time. The grand -and always welcomeÂ appearance of the sun precedes and causes burst of colour every where: trees are in full bloom, the most exotic fruits are in season, flowers of the brightest colours that Nature has to offer are everywhere. The gaiety of Summer’s activities and the uplifting effects of the sun are reflected in the brightest colours that appear in the shops at this time.
Now zoom same season into the Lagos atmosphere and environment. This is smack in our Rainy season. Ever worn lemon green and got caught in the rain? You’re more likely to be left with streaks of green all over your body as bright colours also – yep- tend to run when in contact with water. Even the lightest drizzle can leave torquoise blue puddles forming around you when you wear that colour in it. Caution, fashionistas. Our summer time colours should be deeper shades of all these colours so they look great but also hold fast and true in attendant weather!
Joyfully reserved for Autumn and Winter, again, these colours of berry reds, deep purples, green and chocolate showcase the typical Western landscape at these times. The cold strips the trees of their leaves after turning them rust reds, burnt orange and brown (depending on the species) and Nature’s shades, at this time, are akin to tones of naturally occurring jewels.
Style’Scape loves these colours and actually feels that these also work with our own African weather at this time. The depth of the colours connotes a connection with our own harmattan and can practically be worn at this time of haze and dust.
We can clearly see that fashion dictates for our environment should be made by none other but us. Our African fabrics are made to weather our weather and that is why ankara, aso-oke and kente should be used even more by our designers! We need no one to predict our fashion colours for us and no one actually can but only those who experience life here. This is a fact, lovely ladies and men, so we should make that a reality from today.
Style’Scape believes our chosen colours for this season should be worn and enjoyedÂ practicallyÂ by all. Did I hear a resounding ‘YES!’?