At the first signs of spring, fashion industry reasoning and sensibilities move in to resort and vacation mode. Collections in white and African prints capture and reflect these moods. The 2014 spring collections of Stella Jean, Givenchy and Celine were awash with African prints. At this year’s Paris fashion week, Alexander McQueen’s Sarah Burton mixed art, African prints and the spirit of women from a bygone era to create McQ’s summer 2014 collection.
The upshot is that these textiles and colors have become ‘what’s trending’ for spring and summer. As Chicago’s spring fashion week gets underway, these themes can certainly be anticipated on the runway, however in this setting they will be coupled with a verdant signature of authenticity. Chicago’s Mamie Kapend, a participant in this year’s runway shows, will present her current YaSika Mode collection. “The line,” says Kapend, “is a versatile ready to wear collection that goes from day to evening, mixing the beauty and colors of African prints with a touch of modern textiles to captivate a sense of confidence and elegance.”
Kapend’s Congolese heritage is visible in her creations: the “maputa” head wraps or the “mabaya” tops - represent her tribute to and celebration of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. “YaSika Mode, which translates to ‘the latest fashion’, is a set of collections that offer an elegant and modern look at African textiles,” says Kapend.
The African prints, though beautiful and symbolic of summer, stand on their own; quietly and proudly making statements of celebration. Each African textile design, while generally referred to as an ‘African print’ actually has it’s own name, history and tradition. Many have patterns that represent proverbs, poetry or regional fables. The colors too can signify social standing, age, tribal affiliation or marital status.
Kapend’s YaSika Mode considers these factors when shaping what she describes as “the most polished, simple, elegant and chic style”. According to Kapend, “The YaSika brand is one which promises to diligently deliver quality products at affordable prices while providing a sense of exclusivity.”
To get a glimpse of this award-winning designer’s spring collection and possibly meet Kapend and other designers participating in Chicago’s spring fashion week, visit The Fashion Market’s website for ticket and location information.