Africa Fashion Exhibition

Victoria and Albert Museum: London. Opening 2nd July 2022.

The irresistible creativity, ingenuity and unstoppable global impact of contemporary African fashions are celebrated in an extensive display of garments, textiles, personal testimonies, photographs, sketches, film and catwalk footage in this exhibition. Many of the garments on show hail from the archives of iconic mid-twentieth century African designers – Shade Thomas-Fahm, Chris Seydou, Kofi Ansah and Alphadi.

Foregrounding individual African voices and perspectives, the exhibition presents African fashions as a self-defining art form that reveals the richness and diversity of African histories and cultures. Africa Fashion celebrates the vitality and innovation of a selection of fashion creatives from over 20 countries, exploring the work of the vanguard in the twentieth century and the creatives at the heart of this eclectic and cosmopolitan scene today.

The Politics and Poetics of Cloth considers the importance of cloth in many African countries, and how the making and wearing of indigenous cloths in the moment of independence became a strategic political act.

The first generation of African designers to gain attention throughout the continent and globally can be seen in the Vanguard section.

Adire – ‘tied and dyed’ indigo textiles

Part of the exhibition focuses on the tradition technique called ‘Adire’ which uses a resist dying technique to create striking patterns in blue and white. The term ‘Adire’ means ‘tie and dye’ in Yoruba.

The dyeing process
The cloths were usually prepared, and always dyed, by women. Their bright colour comes from imported indigo grains or locally-grown indigo leaves, which were fermented and mixed with water softened with caustic soda to make a dye. The cloth would be dipped into a large pot of dye, and then pulled out to allow it to oxidise – a process which could be repeated to make the colour darker.

Before dyeing, the cloths would be treated in a variety of ways to prevent certain parts of the fabric from absorbing dye. This would create the patterns revealed after the dyeing process. Raffia and starch were the two most common forms of resist-dyeing used. Tying raffia around the cloth, a process known as adire oniko, could produce a huge variety of patterns.

The term adire alabare is used when sewing is the means to resist the dye. If the sewing has been done with raffia then it would be a form of adire oniko. Both machine sewing and hand sewing could be used to produce patterns. Although adire cloths were usually made by women, the cloths that used a sewing machine were made by men.

Cloths decorated by using a starch made from cassava flour were known as adire eleko. The starch was only applied to one side of the cloth so the underside would be plain blue. Starch could be applied through a stencil or painted on to the cloth freehand using a piece of metal to create a great variety of patterns.

Today, adire textiles continue to be a popular fashion choice, in Nigeria and more globally. The techniques have evolved to include hot wax and parrafin as the resist agents, in place of the traditional starch methods, and block-printing in place of stencilling. Yet tie-dyeing, folding and crumpling by hand are still universally popular methods of decorating textiles, an alternative to machine-generated prints.

See more in the exhibition at the V and A from July. All images from

Gucci x Adidas

Designed by Creative Director Alessandro Michele, adidas x Gucci merges the emblems of the House with those of the iconic sportswear brand. The collection expands on the sartorial streetwear creations with a spectrum of sport-inspired pieces in which the heritage of both brands is encoded in a trio of lines. 

This AW22 collection featured a mash-up of Adidas and Gucci’s signatures, both in terms of aesthetics and also literally in the form of prints, which were a mix of both labels’ logos. The Adidas x Gucci logo adorned the waist belt of a long white Victoriana-style dress, complete with the famous three stripes of Adidas, while red track pants were paired with a tailored version of a sports jacket boasting logo-stamped gold buttons.

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Pulling inspiration from decades past, the collection is both nostalgia-driven and contemporary.

Silhouettes recall typical ‘70s styles

Emblematic House motifs mix with those of historic sportswear brand adidas.

Signature silhouettes meet the combined creative codes of adidas and the House, creating something distinctly new.

Building on the success of sell-out collaborations with The North Face, as well as its Hacker Project with Balenciaga that you’ve definitely seen all over Instagram, Gucci unveiled a partnership with Adidas Originals. And it’s already been worn by Harry Styles, who wore a pair of the Adidas x Gucci trainers in a promo shot for his single As It Was.

Print Trends

Different strokes

Painterly textures from Del Core and Jason Wu.

Optical Illusions

Trippy, Psycadelic, wavey motifs.

Animal Instinct

Tiger, Leopard and zebras – walk on the wild side.

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India Mahdavi x H&M Home

Interiors, print and colour. Name a better combo – or in this case name a better collaboration. Some incredibly beautiful homeware pieces to get your hands on, don’t walk… RUN!

She’s known for her playful palettes and her impeccable style. This year’s H&M HOME designer collab brings the colourful world of India Mahdavi — acclaimed interior designer and architect — into your everyday life.

For India Mahdavi, colour is a language.
Her very own language.

More of India Mahavis’ work

Over the last 20 years, she has created an extensive collection of incredible interiors (you’ve probably seen her work in some of the most Instagrammed restaurants and boutiques of London, Paris and Tokyo). You have to visit the website to experience more of the Projects she has worked on in hotels and restaurants that are both stunning and iconic!


House of Hackney

Here at the Print Affair we are partial to a bit of the House Of Hackney. If you don’t already know, they are a Print-Focused Interiors, Fashion And Lifestyle Brand. The amazing news is that they have won the 2022 Queen’s Award For International Trade.

The quirky east London based print-driven business successfully designs, produces and markets a wide range of textiles, wallpapers and accessories, and the growth in export sales of its products was one of the main factors behind their receiving this accolade.

Of this award Founders Frieda Gormley and Javvy M Royale say;

“We are incredibly humbled to have been awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award, the highest accolade of business in the UK.

People and planet are at the heart of House of Hackney and will always be our north star.

Our guiding principles of compassion, creativity and community make up the foundations of our House and this accolade, alongside our B Corp certification, adds fuel to the fire in our hearts to continue using business as a force for good.

It is our biggest honour to work for House of Hackney.”

All images are from the which is really worth a look. Full of prints, colours and inspiring interior design. Below are a few of our favourites!


Colour Inspiration

Our blog last week piqued colour interest from many, so this week we decided to interpret these palettes into some of the separated designs from Sublitex. Separation of the colours in a design maybe a laborious process but allows for the creation of a multitude of colourways adding value and longevity to the design. Creating one shot throw away designs is as objectionable and devaluing as disposal fashion. Sustainability is the only way forward and needs to be applied to all areas including the creative endeavours of our industry.

If you like what you see and want to source these or other designs from Sublitex, contact Sarah at Design and Colour Ltd;

Ready for wedding season?

Florals for spring anyone? We have collated together a selection of beautiful floral prints both high-street and high-end to inspire those of you who are looking for something floral, feminine and fabulous. Lots of beautiful soft pastel colours as well as a few brighter bolder choices. Fashion silhouettes for all shapes and styles from brands such as Lavish Alice, the vampires wife and Zimmermann.

Barbour x House of Hackney

Here are the Print Affair we do have a love for House of Hackney. Their prints are so interesting, intricate and original. So when we heard they were doing a fashion collection with Barbour – we got a little bit excited.

The first Spring Summer collection with British luxury interiors brand, House of Hackney and British Heritage brand Barbour has just launched. It merges the maximalist and fantastical bespoke prints of House of Hackney with the iconic heritage of Barbour beautifully. Classic styles have been re-imagined with contemporary printed linings and new modern shapes within quilts and their signature wax.

The origins of the print, ‘Flora Fantasia’, House of Hackney credit to the modern re-telling of Fleurs de Fantaisie by J E Buchert, a very rare book of watercolour prints detailing imaginary flowers dating back to the 1880s. Standout shades within this print include Cintrine Yellow and Bisque Pink.

The collection

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90’s Floral Revival

90’s Floral Revival

Whether you go all out for haute couture or trawl the charity shops for vintage 1990s garments or make your own from some old curtains, this look is creeping back into SS and AW collections.

Sublitex are the masters of beautiful blooming florals and their library teams with examples in every imaginable colour combination. They ruled this market in the 1990s and are ready to do so again.

If you like what you see and want to source these or other designs from Sublitex, contact Sarah at Design and Colour Ltd;