Is there a difference between East and West Africa when it comes to textile prints? In a nutshell of course there is.

West Africa traditional print Ghana gracie opulanza Florence Italy 2020 (2)

This is a traditional West African print from Ghana and I will do another feature on this maxi skirt later.

Let me now take you on a journey to Uganda East African print and textiles.

East Africa Uganda Print

How do you spot the difference between East and West African prints?

If you chose to wear it as a westerner what style would you opt for that suited your everyday lifestyle?

During a visit to Uganda Naki from NKB London spotted a textile that she instantly knew would look great. Naki passion is to use Uganda prints but with a modern design.

I bought it in Uganda, when I met Ritah Kivumbi, a Ugandan painter who lost her sight in 2008. I was drawn to the print because of its earthy tones but also because it has a very subtle jacquard pattern in the fabric. I love these sort of small details which makes the dress and fabric even more interesting, regal and beautiful.

Gracie Opulanza Uganda East Africa print dress Florence Italy 2020

Sophia Loren Style

Italy is the fashion nation of the world. We are not afraid of colour, bold prints and standing out.

One of my inspirations is Sophia Loren the Italian actress. I have not worn a dress like this for years. The moment I put the dress on I transformed into what could only be described as a flower that was in full bloom.

I was keen and ready to take on the biggest and harsh critics in the world, the Italian Florentine’s. Why has no one created and worn a print from East Africa like this?

The biggest challenge when opting for African prints is to find a designs that look edgy and can be used here in Europe.

Claude Monet The Water Lilies

From the moment I saw the dress for what ever reason, Claude Monet print called The Water Lilies came to mind.

The Water Lilies – The Clouds; Date Created: 1915/1926; Provenance: Donation of Claude Monet, 1922.

The Water Lilies - The Clouds; Date Created 19151926; Provenance Donation of Claude Monet, 1922.

Uganda east Africa print 2020 Gracie Opulanza Italy Florence (2)

Can You Spot The Hidden Jacquard Shape

If you take a closer look within the print there is a hidden jacquard shapes. Just like Monet the more you look at the textile the ingenious of this one of a kind print is. The Italians and including a luxury fashion house here in Florence could not stop staring.

That is a rare experience to seek these days in the world of fashion.

Uganda east Africa print 2020 Gracie Opulanza Italy Florence (2)

Quotes Of The Day

So as I strolled through the streets of Florence.  I drew attention from a lady called Sara in Vienna  a digital artist who took these shots and just watched me do a video for 5min. That is the power of fashion it will draw attention. She end up following me around for the next two hours. In her own words.

Gracie!!!!! It was wonderful meeting you. It was not, the dress“, it was YOU wearing it! Would love to see you (face to face 😁) again. ☀👋 stay gorgeous

Cuoioifficine Leather Boutique Palazzo Pitti Florence Gracie Opulanza

Tim and Tomaso owners of luxury leather brand called Cuoioifficine loved the print. Can you see that artists will gravitate to those who too wear and sew niche fashion dresses.

Gracie Opulanza Florence Italy 2020 (1)

From East Africa

Steven Tamale, he is Norwegian Ugandan. A farmer in Uganda.

By the way this is not the ordinary Ugandan dress. It’s above the regular standard.

She is also making it more dramatic. No wonder why the whole village is opening their eyes!!

Uganda east Africa print 2020 Gracie Opulanza Italy Florence (2)

Are you seeking to be true to who you are regarding your wardrobe?  The only way to do this is by gravitating to what represents you when buying clothes.

I have always spotted the needle in the hay stick when it comes to standing out on the streets of fashion.

What do you think of the dress print and style?

Uganda east Africa print 2020 Gracie Opulanza Italy Florence (2)