IT is that time of year when the latest fashion fads begin to catch on in the city. This is especially so because the fashion week happens around this time every year. But just because there was no Fashion Week in Kampala this year, does not mean Ugandans will be stuck with the same trends in 2008.
Designers, fashionistas and uptown boutiques are still keeping their fingers on the fashion pulse. Some have even imported clothes from New York, London, Cape Town ands Paris. Titus Serunjogi spoke to Ruth Kibirige, a fashion critic and principal of Tiner International School of Beauty, about the hottest trends for 2008.
FLORAL prints that were once the in-thing in the 1960s are back. They are raging everywhere from casual or party dresses to shoes, skirts and tops in pink, orange, red, blue and purple hues. Kibirige says the floral trend has been picking on ever since the launch of the new Nokia N70, which was marketed around beautiful floral motifs that soon steeped into fashion.
Light sneakers aka skimmers have now usurped the oversize basketball sneakers from the scene. Menâ€™s skimmers often come in plain white with a flat sole and a miniature K-Swiss label at the back. Ladiesâ€™ sneakers are, however, much fancier with multicoloured laces, glossy and conspicuous lace holes and coloured patches of denim or camouflage. The skimmers trend has been picked from Afro-American rap and R&B music videos.
Pencil-leg jeans: These are tight--fitting jeans that hug the derriere, thighs and shins. Pencil-leg jeans are often elastic to enhance the body-hugging effect. Needless to say, they are better suited for ladies.
They are a continuation of the trend that also brought in three-quarter pants and capris, although these flare out below the knees, which is not the case with the trendy pencil-leg jeans. Pencil-leg jeans are often worn with high-heeled peep-toes, wedge-heeled shoes and dress tops.
â€œThe latest trends rule out showing off certain body parts and instead dictate that people should only stop at wearing such tight-fitting clothes that give a hint to the physique or figure,â€ says Kibirige.
Thus, low-waisted jeans (the kind that show off the panty line) are now a thing of the past. So are microminiskirts and tops that have low necklines, leaving much of the cleavage out. Hot pants could also be on their way out.
Tight-fitting shirts are the in-thing for menâ€™s casual wear. They came in as a necessary accompaniment to the pleatless trousers and cowboy jeans and they have stayed ever since.
Tight-fitting shirts show off the best of a manâ€™s physique.
The trendiest ones are those with subtle line patterns. Others come with French cuffs and collars, with linen being so much sought after.
Oversize handbags still stay and have become even bigger than those from last season. The trendiest. Small handbags are mostly considered a reserve for evening wear. The large totes, on the other hand, are glamorous and sophisticated, with lots of embellishments like straps, buckles, tassels and patches.
Multi-coloured sandals are making another big comeback, replacing the chunky and block-heeled shoes. They have crossed over from the street walks and casual settings like the insides of shops, right into offices.
The trendiest sandals are made out of leather or raffia. Some have a single strap like slippers, while others are more sophisticated and look like strap-on high heeled shoes.
The African touch has also become an in-thing. It started with people who wanted to personalise their outfits and stand out at parties. Now, everyone trendy goes to a party with a Kitenge print or a modern European-style dress made out of Kente (traditional West African cloth). Micro miniskirts are out of the question for parties. Instead long, fuller and more lady-like skirts are in.
All these fads show that the colour palette is in upswing, with lots of glimmer and sheen. Bold bright colours like orange, coral, pink, red, emerald green, purple and electric blue rule the day. And this is not only a feminine thing.
Men have also taken on the bright colours trend, only that they replace orange with brown. Plain white and plain black still remain perennial favourites.
What's in Vogue for Fashion 2008