It is an undisputable fact that francophone and anglophone fashion on the continent are two different worlds. Whiles there are a good number of bloggers who cover African fashion shows and events, very few cross the barriers thus not fostering « integration » and « coooeration » between the French and English speakers on the continent. Mainstream media further compounds the problem by diffusing only to the public whichbsoeak either French or English.
This split linguistic or lingual divide has resulted in a lack of knowledge about who is who across the pond.
Isabelke Anoh , owner of Afrik Show and CEO of Avantguard Productions , has made a major step towards bridging this gap . For her 8th Edition of Afrik Show – a major Francophone Fashion event- which took place on the 16th november 2013 at the Golf Hotel in Abidjan , she invited the multilingual Ghanaian Kora award-winning designer Bee Arthur was to join the stellar lineup of designers.
Abidjan was bedazzled by Bee Arthur’s colourful collection adequately dubbed « Algues Rhythm » to reflect the principal motif that is reminiscent of Seaweeds. Typical of Bee Arthur , all the 8 dresses were handpainted and glittery. The recurrent colours were Aqua blue and hot pink accents . The collection was built with linen, ethnic prints and lace.
Bee Arthur’s Algues Rhythm was a breakaway from the « Couture » style which is quite typical of Francophone designers. The crowd was pleasantly surprised by the originality and rebellious sophistication of the collection which was built with different fabrics but linked together via motifs and accents.
The show was highly anticipated and attendance was 100%. Ministers, Diplomatic corps as well as creme de la creme of the Ivorian society were present at the event. Afrik Show 8 was diffused on FRANCE24 – an international French Channel that broadcast across Africa. Its worthy to pinpoint that being multilingual allowed Bee Arthur to communicate properly with the media and the general public.
Final word from Bee Arthur : » i am thankful to Isabelle Anoh and her team for inviting me to her show. I believe we all need to be bilingual as its the only way to do away with a colonial « divide and rule » vestige that continues to impede our cooperation and collaboration as a continent. ».