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Afro Is Punk!

 by Rose Miyonga

Next month, Afropunk is returning to London, off the back of a triumphant debut last year. On the 22nd and 23rd of July, the Printworks will be taken over by an international collection of music-lovers to honour the pure talent of a glistening line-up of UK and US musicians and DJs.

LITTLE SIMS

Little Simz

 

The festival line-up is full of home-grown talent in grime, punk, hip-hop, soul, reggae, roots, soul, pop genres, including Lianne La Havas, Nao, Little Simz, Corinne Bailey Rae, Nadia Rose and Jazzie B, as well as US acts like Willow Smith and The Internet. To be honest, the entire programme is flawless, and it’s really hard to pick highlights. What unites these acts is a commitment to being unapologetically themselves in their creative ventures.

As such, their work intersects with the political, and is punk in its essence.

“We, the people have the will to heal the divisions that threaten to reduce our dreams to ashes. We believe in resurrecting the creative power of our diversity. We open our hearts and minds, and dance to the rhythm of a brand-new future. Together. Brave and compassionate. And beautiful.” — Afropunk ‘We, the people’ statement

Willow Smith thandiekay.com

CBR

  Afropunk first came to my attention many years ago. They used to, and still do, post an ‘Afro of the Day’ picture on their social media pages, and I remember spending hours reading through their backlog of posts, sharing love and stories of empowerment with a global 

Afropunk first came to my attention many years ago. They used to, and still do, post an ‘Afro of the Day’ picture on their social media pages, and I remember spending hours reading through their backlog of posts, sharing love and stories of empowerment with a global community of multi-cultural people enjoying radical self-expression.

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A beacon for misfits and mavericks…. 

Founded in 2003 by Matthew Morgan, the website and community emerged from his ‘Afro-Punk’ documentary, which looked at the lives of black punks in America. As a brown woman who likes rock more than RnB, I was excited to find a community of black people interested in alternative forms of creative expression than those made available to us in mainstream media.

Over the years, Afropunk has become a beacon for misfits and mavericks of all races, genders, colours, creeds and tastes, celebrating diversity and non-conformism in its online publication, and its festivals, now held in Atlanta, Brooklyn, London and Johannesburg, are a glorious extension of this mission.

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Afro Punkers-9And it’s not just music. This year, Printworks will host the Spinthrift Market, showcases and celebrates the best of London’s maker community, inspired by African prints, textiles and art forms.

And, for budding musicians, and those interested in discovering new local talent, the Soundcloud x Battle of the Bands, which will give homegrown artists the chance to perform at Afropunk London aAfro Punkers-18nd be part of a development programme. In this way, Afropunk demonstrates its commitment to nurturing the creative talents of the next generation of artists, providing vital exposure and celebration of innovation in the creative fields.

This idea of giving back to the community is furthered by the fact that Afropunk offers fans the chance to volunteer their time in community service in order to earn their entry to the festival. As such, they seek to create a living movement that extends further than the individual events, enriching lives on a day-to-day level.

Tickets for Afropunk Festival London 2017 are still available here. Hope to see you there!

You can also follow Afropunk on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and I highly recommend that you do, because their pages are full of beautiful, radical and important work.

We will be reporting from the festival, with interviews and much more, so be sure to keep an eye on ThandieKay.com for all the dish on Afropunk Festival London 2017.

Corinne Bailey Rae’s S/S14 edit

Posted by Kay.

I met Corinne last year when we did some make-up films together for becauselondon.com. I also follow her on pinterest and let me tell you this stylish lady knows her refs! So how lucky are we to have a Grammy award-winning songstress to review her favourite shows from each city?

Corrine Fro 2012

Corinne on the Frow at Christian Siriano S/S12

Corinne:

Fashion week is over!

This year I have watched it from Los Angeles where I’m recording my album, but thank goodness for style.com, The Sartorialist and Garance Dore!  Here are my personal favourites from New York, London, Milan and Paris. Enjoy!

London

Ashish

Is it just me or was the Ashish show amazing?!!  If there are two distinct camps in British fashion, one playful, multi-ethnic, attuned to the street and the other serious, english-rose-celebrating, and conservative, then Ashish is definitely in the former.

I loved this show, inspired by ‘the morning’ after dash to the cornershop. The models, in gorgeously disheveled hair and make-up, wore loose dresses, animal print jumpsuits and torn and holly denim, all festooned with sequins.

Even jogging bottoms got a disco touch, while raw and glittering fabrics had Arabic phrases, such as “thanks for coming”,  woven into them. Velvet slippers were bejewelled, socks mismatched and the Coke emblem was everywhere.

Ashish S/S14

Ashish S/S14

Ashish S/S14

Ashish S/S14

 

This post-club tribe wore head dresses and jewellery from an imagined Africa and Persia,

and carried shopping bags with re-takes on classic British establishments: M&S became S&M, Tesco was Disco. Sometimes the morning after can be just as much fun as the night before. Asish’s collection really captured that feeling for me.

Milan

Prada

I woke up in great excitement one morning a few weeks ago, knowing the Prada show had happened and I could take it in over breakfast.
I love Miuccia Prada‘s work . It is so creative and whimsical.

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Prada S/S14

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Prada S/S14

Hers is clothing as an expression of self; clothes to be bold and free in.

I’ve read a lot about 90s minimalism this season so it was a thrill to see bright colours, faux fur, illustration, jewel encrusted dresses, maximalism, in short, from Prada. She is such a master of colour, shades interplay in such unexpected ways. Bright orange sequinned collars compliment moss green skirts with yellow and black between them. Teal peeks out from behind a racing green coat, with shoes in red and white of course. It all works so perfectly.

I loved the interplay of textures between the various fabrics.

I enjoyed  the uniform/sport reference in those long tube socks as well as the new and ‘non-hippy’ take on the feather head dress.

For more Mrs Prada love see my “crazy 4 miuccia” board on pinterest

New York

Marc by Marc Jacobs

I discovered Marc Jacobs‘ clothes when I first started spending time in New York, around when my debut album came out. These clothes seemed, and still seem to me, to be full of youthful energy. I love his great prints and interesting use of colour. His pieces are so wearable, and there is always something I covet on first sight.

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Marc by Marc Jacobs S/S14

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Marc by Marc Jacobs S/S14

This is such a remarkable time for fashion with so much to draw on.

A challenge for many designers, or artists in general, must perhaps be to reference the past while making work that feels distinctly of this moment. This Marc Jacobs’ collection succeeded in doing, that for me. The clothes themselves were of this moment, especially in the cut, but it was also the 90s looking back at the 70’s looking back at the 20’s. I saw a 70’s cheerleader in the red and rose-gold shorts, jackets and dresses, but the slightly loose cut made it feel fresh. There was a hint of 1920’s circus in the silky black and ivory closing pieces, whose silver stars made me think of Peirrot. The classic white vest (very 90’s) appeared as the backdrop to several looks, but with a long gold pendant necklace over the top (very now). And wait, I missed the 50s, the powder blue suit with black lapels,  but in billowy silk, lighter and with more movement than a classic teddy boy look. To me, Marc Jacobs has a way of putting distinct twist on things which makes his work so particular to him. Always fresh and fun.
Now I am dreaming about the sparkly jumpsuits for stage.

Paris

Louis Vuitton & miu miu

I mean it’s Paris, how can there be one winner? There were so many beautiful shows, I managed to narrow it down to two favourites for you.

Marc Jacobs’ final show for Louis Vuitton was stunning.  A symphony in black, so much lace, leather and so many intricate details. It was opened by Edie Campbell, like a Shakespearean nymph pulling back the curtain, in black feather head dress, tiny black thong and the Steve Spruce for L.V logo painted on naked skin.

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Edie Campbell Louis Vuitton S/S14

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Louis Vuitton S/S14

There was attention drawn to the midriff with many pieces cropped at the bottom of the ribcage and some gorgeous dresses at the opening with crisscrossed cut out fabric which exposed the sensual waist. This black was sophisticated, gothic and punk with hint of denim underneath here and there.

By contrast the miu miu show was naive, colourful and girlish.

Brightly coloured tights (or long socks?) in many shades,  wrinkled  at the ankle like a school girl’s or a busy librarian’s . The shoes were like scaled up dolly shoes, with an ankle strap. Gorgeous furry sixties coats where shown with with pink tights and teal shoes, or red tights and white shoes. Suits with contrasting panels had large round buttons, and there were bold prints featuring cat’s faces, gold fish, and large 20s stylised illustrations of flowers and women’s faces.  Suede coats and fringed dresses reminded me of a picture book 70’s version of The West.
I tried not to be predictable and pick the two Mrs Prada shows,  I really did.  But I loved this collection from a personal point of view . I want these clothes in my life. I’m imagining myself swanning around in them…

*disclaimer. I am not a fashion journalist. I make up songs and sing them. As such I apologise if some of this doesn’t make sense to you. At my first fashion show I had no idea how to talk about the collections, they wanted an overview (“so much movement, and lightness “), I thought I had to memorise each look and say what I ‘liked’ about it.  I distinctly remember the bemused look on one journalist’s face as I recounted, ‘generation -game style’,  all the looks I’d seen… in order.
Oh well, you live and learn.

 

Thank you for being our very first ‘fashion editor’ Corinne, beautifully done!

See the ‘Silent Movie Star’ Make-Up video Kay & Corinne did here

Corinne is currently in Los Angeles finishing her 3rd studio album which will be out next year on Virgin Records.

Follow Corinne on twitter

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