In Color, Chromophobia, and Colonialism: Some Historical Thoughts, Carolyn Purnell outlines how in 18th and 19th Century Europe “bright colors were taken as a sign of degeneracy and inferiority.” For those (presumably very dull looking) Europeans, colour was associated with childishness and a lack of civilization.
Since “all black everything” and “all white” interiors are still taken as the height of sophistication in some circles, the images collected here highlight the fact that looks which manage to make a range of colours, patterns and textures cohere are hard to achieve. They indicate intelligence, taste and intuition.
With the ever-increasing popularity of ankara fabrics, over the past few years we’ve seen an overwhelming amount of interest from the world of mainstream fashion in the stylistic talents that African designers have to offer, a curiosity that was cemented with the publication of Helen Jennings’ book New African Fashion. However, no one captures the diversity and behind-the-scenes culture of African creatives across the globe quite like Oroma Elewa.
As editor-in-chief and creative director of Pop’Africana - the quintessential bible on global African fashion and the culture behind it - Nigerian-born Elewa casts a much needed and refreshing lens on the diversity and complexities of the individuals and talents who, globally, are re-defining and re-shaping the constructs of various African identities.
Fittingly, this highly talented diaspora darling is just as diverse aesthetically as her originally biannual, soon-to-be digital, publication.
Oroma Elewa is not just a stunning personality with a wardrobe to match, but a creative force to be reckoned with.