The jewelry though

  So Time Magazine did an Article on the tribal style of Africa. Sadly, I didn't get to read the article but the pictures were so amazing that i had to pause and think for a second. Even though Time called this look Tribal, the first thing that came to my mind was Bohemian. We all know Bohemian style encompasses a lot of different styles including tribal but often times we over look Sub-Saharian African style when it comes to Bohemianism. I've seen Gypsy, Native-American, European, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern style elements classified as Bohemian, but hardly ever do I hear things about the Central, Southern, Eastern and Western parts of African. One would think with all the vast cultures, languages, biomes and tribal groups in the region, that something Bohemian would have to come out of it (besides daishikis).

  When you think of African style, what do you think of? I think endless hairstyles from intricately woven braids, from red dyes and feathers to ball heads and of chunky wood bangles, beaded bracelets and necklaces, waist beads, metal cuffs and necklaces and brightly colored clothes and shoes made from mud cloth fabrics. Let's not even forget some of the bad azz makeup styles I've seen West African women rock, hell the Africans were the first to actually wear makeup. In Nigeria you will find some of the prettiest, chunky coral necklaces, bracelets and head jewelry that's been worn since ancient times, what was once seen as an indication of wealth and status, can now be seen in traditional Nollywood movies, on Brides & grooms and in Nigerian fashion magazines.The nomadic Tuareg Tribe has some beautiful metal cuffs, charms, beads and bracelets that many Bohemians would love. In South Africa, Zulu and Xhosa women create very intricate and distinctive geometric beading bracelets and necklaces that not only cultural meaning, but have contributed to Africa's mathematic culture. Metal, bone, shell, paper beads are just a few of Africa's seemingly endless materials used for jewelry design. One would be a fool to completely discard the Sub-Saharain (I hate that term) when it comes to fashion, due to it's vast cultures, biomes and unique histories.

 In truth there's no true definition of Bohemian when it comes to style, it covers a very large range, so i'm not going to get to technical. I will however, say that Bohemian is a place in Prague, that's rich in history, culture and architecture. The question remains; can one be a Bohemian if one isn't from Prague? Well according to Bohemian expert Laren Stover there are five main types of Bohemians here's an excerpt from wikipedia.

Laren Stover breaks down the Bohemian into five distinct mind-sets/styles in Bohemian Manifesto: a Field Guide to Living on the Edge. The Bohemian is "not easily classified like species of birds," writes Stover, noting that there are crossovers and hybrids. Below are the five main types devised by Stover.
  • The Nouveau Bohemian brings elements of traditional Bohemian ideology into harmony with contemporary culture without losing sight of the basic tenets—the glamour, the art, the nonconformity. And while Nouveaus may suffer poetically, artistically and romantically, they have what appears to be, at first, one advantage over other Bohemians—the Nouveau has money.
  • The Gypsy Bohemian: The expatriate types. They create their own Gypsy nirvana wherever they go. They are folksy flower children, hippies, psychedelic travelers, fairy folk, dreamers, Deadheads, Phish fans, medievalists, anachronistic throwbacks to a more romantic time…Gypsies scatter like seeds on the wind, don’t own a watch, show up on your doorstep and disappear in the night. They’re happy to sleep in your barn and may have without you even knowing it.
  • The Beat Bohemian: Reckless, raggedy, rambling, drifting, down-and-out, Utopia-seeking. It might look like Beats suffer for their ideals, but they've let go of material desire…Beats are free spirits. They believe in freedom of expression. They travel light but there’s always a book or a notebook in their pocket…Beats jam, improvise, extemporize, blow ethereal notes into the universe, write poetry, ramble and wreck cars. They live on the edge of ideas. They take the part and then make up their own lines.
  • The Zen Bohemian: No other Bohemians fathom the transient, green and meditative quality of life better than the Zens, even if they're in a rock band, which they often are. The Zen is post-Beat, a Bohemian whose quest has evolved from the artistic, smoky, literary and spiritually wanderlustful to the spiritually lustful.
  • The Dandy Bohemian: A little seedy, a little haughty, slightly shredded or threadbare, Dandies are the most polished of all Bohemians even when their clothes are tattered. The Dandy aspires to old money without the money…You are more likely to find unpopular liqueurs such as Chartreuse and Earl Grey brandy in the Dandy home than a six-pack of Budweiser. In fact, you will never find a six-pack in the Dandy’s quarters, though Alsatian ale is a possibility…This does not mean that the Dandy refuses Budweiser at a picnic. That would be impolite.

  In reality a person could actually be a mixture of all of these descriptions, as I consider myself to be somewhat of a Dandy with a Gypsy fashion sense and I'm well read on Zen philosophies. :) I stand firm with my belief that Africa has its place in the fashion world, from tribal to post-modern the cradle of humanity often goes unnoticed or not taken seriously when it comes on its contributions in  style. The boldness, edginess, wild, sleek, feminine, the unspoiled, the greatness, the simple, the beginning are just a few words I use to describe Africa. How you would describe African style? what type of Bohemian are you? 

I love the color scheme and her dark lips.

The look is so mellow yet dramatic 

My absolute favorite.!!! The jewels, makeup and outfit are on fire..

Classy like an African Duchess.

Is that a snake jacket? She could read my palm any day..!

Not real big on this one, but I love the way it's being presented.

Werk it wild child.!!!!

I'm in love with this color.

Every summer, I break out with neon colors for my hands and feet. This summer however, I wanted to do something different. My mother brought home O.P.I 's "Every Month is Oktoberfest" from it's Germany collection and I flipped. The best way to describe this color is blackened plum with a hint of red glitter. Since my skin tone is light brown, i was concerned that this color would be too dark for me. Boy was I wrong!!! The color went on smooth and ended up making my hands look soft a feminine with a Gothic twist. Oktoberfest looks good with both gold and silver Jewelry, it functions almost as neutral because it's not over powering and it and complements just about any outfit. I was so impressed with Oktoberfest that I plan on checking out O.P.I 's complete Germany collection. So what say you, do you like Oktoberfest? Would you wear it? If so what would you wear it with?

*For my tutorial on how to get soft manicure ready hands click here. The geode ring that I'm wearing can be found at Jungle Chic. they're Facebook page can be found here.
At a different angle the polish looks like a blacken purple.
I just love this color,
This color goes good with with many outfits.

Ugandan-American human rights advocate and home decor/accessory designer  Nasozi is currently based in Brooklyn, NY  and makes some beautiful decors for the home. OSxN, short for Origins Style by Nasozi, specializes in integrating African designs into contemporary home decor. Their goods range from throw pillows to window curtains and wall decor. They also carry a custom furniture line, and collaborate with Brooklyn- and African-based designers on exclusive designs.

photos curtesy of Naijalife