ShweShwe fabric, or ‘seshoeshoe’ as it is also known, has been an iconic part of South African culture and fashion for almost 80 years.
Our beloved ShweShwe patterns have even made their way overseas, thanks to South African fashion designers like Khosi Nkosi and his creative use of the print in his Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week 2016 collection, and many others. While the textile has its roots in Xhosa culture, people of all walks of life are using ShweShwe in a variety of new and exciting ways.
Five contemporary ways to ShweShwe in 2017:
- Bridal bliss
Brides-to-be take their cues from the runway when choosing the perfect dress for their special day. From traditional African weddings to Western-style affairs, ShweShwe is becoming a more widely featured element in wedding dress design and even décor, adding a touch of South African eccentricity to the nuptials.
- ShweShwe street style
Fashion is always evolving to speak to a wider audience, and the latest trends have seen ShweShwe take its rightful place on the streets of Mzansi too. Shoe fanatics will love the local flavour of the latest ShweShwe shoe designs that include everything from ShweShwe-inspired pumps to chic lace-up sneakers in all the original ShweShwe colours and patterns.
- Kids’ fashion
Pink and blue are no longer the only options for clothing when it comes to dressing your little girl or boy. Parents are increasingly opting for items that are unique and fashionable, allowing their children to express themselves through their clothing. JenniDezigns is a South African clothing brand that gives kids the freedom to play and express themselves in unique and comfortable clothing items made from 100% cotton ShweShwe. The current collection includes beautiful ShweShwe dresses for little girls, handmade by local seamstresses, which can be paired with wool leggings and a cardigan for winter.
- Handbags for Africa (and beyond)
ShweShwe is not just beautiful to look at – it’s also durable enough to hold all your precious belongings in one stylish package. Many designers are putting their own unique and modern twists on previous styles to produce beautiful, quirky bags that every fashion-forward woman would be happy to add to her collection. Fashionistas can also get their hands on the latest ShweShwe accessories to add a pop of colour and texture to any outfit.
- Décor and furniture
Along with its uses in the wedding and fashion industries, ShweShwe has also made its mark on the interior décor world in the form of quirky home accessories, scatter cushions, furniture designs and even wallpapers. The use of the beautifully busy and vibrantly colourful patterns adds texture to the modern living space and creates the perfect focal point in any room.
Source: Jenni Dezigns. Images: Chameleon Studios and Hello Pretty