In pictures: Sci-fi shoulders wow African fashionistas

By Marta Moreiras
Photographer, Dakar

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Fashionistas have been parading through Senegal's capital, Dakar, over the last week to see the latest African creations, with futuristic designs from Congo-Brazzaville the talk of the town.

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Dakar has a fashion hub in Africa since Senegalese designer and entrepreneur Adama Paris started Dakar Fashion Week in 2002. This year she also invited US designer Mickey Freeman, seen above adding his special touch to his creations.

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Renowned designers and new talents - like Queen Tawa (above left) - were part of the line-up. A young singer from Congo-Brazzaville, Queen Tawa recently launched her label Liputa Swagga - Afro-futuristic extravaganza at its best.

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The swagger of her designs certainly impressed the audience, which started clapping and cheering as the models walked down the catwalk. She told the BBC the shoulders were like wings: "I often dream that I fly away, that's what it inspires me, my dreams - flying and levitating."

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Other designers launching their new collections came from Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Morocco, Niger - and also included home-grown talents such as Rama Diaw, one of whose creations is seen above.

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Moments of joy and excitement were evident backstage on the last day of the event, which proved successful with those who came to Senegal to discover "Made in Africa" pieces.

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Here models wait backstage in Sisters of Afrika outfits by a Senegalese fashion label, which was established in 2013 with a vision to create colourful designs for women of all shapes.

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During the week there was a wide range of designs, from simple and elegant outfits to exclusive and unique dresses. Here, a designer, stylist and assistant help a model get ready for the stage.

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Favourite designs and shows were snapped and filmed and shared on social media using the hashtag #dakarfashionweek2019.

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The venue was a great opportunity to promote the best fabrics and accessories from Africa, including this corset from Kenyan fashion label Moyo By Bibi.

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Western-style outfits were also on show.

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Dozens of hair stylists and make-up artists also worked around the clock.

image copyrightMarta Moreiras
image copyrightMarta Moreiras

The frenetic activity backstage contrasted sometimes with moments of nervous waiting.

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One model took to the catwalk wearing a design from Senegalese label So' Fatoo, founded by Fatima Zahra Ba, who named her fashion company after her grandmother Fatou Sow.

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And Senegalese model Alima Diop wowed the audience on the last night in an eclectic design by local fashion house Al Gueye.

Photos by Marta Moreiras from Dakar Fashion Week 2019

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