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FASHION - Fashionable for Black History month

Published:Monday | February 1, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Latoya Grindley, Gleaner Writer

Wow! Who knew African-inspired fashion could look this sexy? Well, Jacqueline certainly proves it in this wine red formal dress. A custom-made dress, it features French satin and African lace from Senegal.

During the month of February, Flair will turn the spotlight on the fashion inspired by our African heritage, women who prefer this style and how we continue to be influenced by what our foreparents wore.

The African continent is home to many countries and is characterised by different languages and traditions. Because of its diversity, the fashion sense and style of people living there, varies from country to country.

Like many traditions and cultures which have made their way to Jamaica, African fashion has claimed a space in the fashion landscape. Fabric and clothing are imported to appease the taste of those who are fascinated with the African sense of style. And for those who prefer just a taste, there are African-inspired clothing, which are pretty much a modern twist on African styles and or fabrics.

Located at 20a South Avenue, Shades of Africa retails as well as manufactures traditional and African-inspired wear. Operated by fashion designer, Tanya Cameron, Shades of Africa also offers custom-made services which allow clients to have their fashion requests fulfilled. This service, according to Cameron, is the basis on which Shades of Africa operates, promoting it as their main service.

For any occasion, you name it, there is an appropriate piece that can be designed, manufactured or retailed to suit your liking. So, if you want to change your style a bit, just return to your roots by stepping out in style in a few head-turning pieces guaranteed to make you an instant fashionista. And, if you have always been in tune with African fashion, explore the wide range of designs and garments to add diversity to your collection.

Here are a few traditional and African-inspired pieces, with some coming straight from the 'motherland' and others featuring characteristics of the African fashion tradition.

Models: Jacqueline Jack and Tanice Morrison

Hats provided by Cinderella Hats.

Contact: Shades of Africa, 20A South Avenue

906-7987/898-4614 or visit

For a semi-formal occasion, this number would be an ideal choice. Made from African lace fabric, trimmed with purple chiffon, this two-piece, floor-length skirt set will definitely make you feel and look regal in African-inspired style. Hat provided by Cinderella Hats.- Photos by Ian Allen/Photographer

A head piece is used to complement the African-inspired pants suit made with Guinea brocade.