Yellow, Fringes, Puff Sleeves and Pleated Skirts – our trend review and coverage of Tribal Chic 2016

We understand that Fashion Weeks and other fashion events tend to lose the greater community coming across as too opulent or exclusive. We however like to bring the exclusive to the fore because lets face it; we are all the customers, the ones buying the clothes. Tribal Chic, hosted against the backdrop the Tribe Hotel’s vibrant interiors and unique architecture reflecting the fun, creative and stylish city that is Nairobi provides the platform for designers whilst supporting causes that help change lives. This year, proceeds from the show went towards the Soma Soma Foundation, an initiative aimed at inspiring youth to acquire an education through the various projects they run across the country.

In addition to such philanthropy, we also love the opportunity to see the collections of our best fashion designers showcasing the work that has probably caused sleepless nights infused with boatloads of passion.

So, here we are giving you a small break from the Conservation Series to review the event that took place Saturday 3 December at the Tribe Hotel in Nairobi. Welcomed by champagne and goodie bags, the air was definitely filled with excitement and semi-nervous designers. After all the chitchat and hugs went round, the show began with nothing short of a bang.

Here is a take on the show, the looks and what we can be looking forward to next year in stores. A hint: look out for the traces of yellow and grey and fringe details that seem to be this seasons favorites. See below and you’ll see why.


There was no need for an announcement; her collection could have passed by with her signature written all over it. The combination of leather dresses, bold jewelry and her iconic handbags made the collection simultaneously strong and feminine. This collection is definitely made for the woman who is strong and not afraid to show it – at all. Adele’s collection, dubbed “Yanga, the Dream Machine” blends style, substance and luxury simultaneously. The word Yanga is Hausa and refers to the action of slow and flirtatious movement with two diverse materials incorporated into the collection: feathers and porcupine quills giving that sense of duality between soft and strong.

Find out more about Adele Dejak here in our exclusive interviews with her.






Fashion always needs to blend beauty, aesthetic unique design and culture. This designer found a way to cater for women who “appreciate a combination of quality, comfort and consciousness” bringing her hijab collections into the fashion discourse. What we liked was the deconstructed hijab veil reflected in the black masks worn by the models coupled with the head wraps and snoods. We loved the color palette firstly, pastel colors of charcoal grey, touches of pink combined with the powerful black. Our favorites were the white shift dress with the long sleeveless cape as well as the grey and peach tunic.






Following suite with the culture incorporation into tonight’s fashion show is the Scottish touch to Kenyan culture in Kiko Romeo’s menswear brand “Chieftain” (aptly named). Well, Ann McCreath, designer behind the Kiko Romeo brand that carries a 20-year heritage successfully did it. The collection started with a bang – a yellow flowing shirt with a kilt styled with a strong belt that screams power worn by a male model who owned it. Another favorite piece (with more yellow touches) is the high-low yellow shirtdress and the white (with yellow embroidery details) high low shirt tunic for the men – perfect match we believe.





Bringing the nomadic to modern fashion is Katungulu’s gift and this collection is no exception. Grey is definitely another favorite color this season. With touches of fringe details on the shirts adding delicate movement to the clothes. The Spring/Summer 2017 collection named “Work in Progress” is a blend of Dogon architecture, sisal skirts, androgyny, explorations of self-identity with a touch of joie de vivre.

Find out more about Katungulu and what makes her tick in our interview with her here.





Deepa never fails to bring out your femininity with the hand-cut hand-painted floral butterfly details on her pieces. We absolutely loved the Kajaya collection with the small touches of butterfly details in unexpected places like the one on the front and back of a grey silk shift dress. Our favorite pieces were definitely the long floral shift dress that swayed its way through the runway with its beautiful easy flow that makes you want to go on holiday, immediately. The second being the short evening dress with a zipper in the front with the rainfall detail that is hand painted adding a unique touch to each dress. Our third favorite is the one saved for last, this long purple halter neck maxi dress with the gorgeous butterfly detail on the base are all the reasons this is one of our favorite picks of the night and why Deepa’s 25 heritage in fashion is to be celebrated.





Now, when you speak of statement jewelry, Niku does this exceptionally well. You can find out more about this designers journey into fashion and what his brand is all about in our interview here. You could ask how could he possibly go above his previous pieces yet remaining true to his brand and we would respond by saying its definitely in his blood. A black dress and this neckpiece (pictured below) is enough and although it may look simple, we can believe that it is far more intricate – gold looking vines and beaded round details front and back sitting so beautifully is what make this our favorite piece from his collection.






Fringes are at it again with Sally Karago giving us our evening choices from sparkly short dresses and high low tops to easy kaftan tops paired with skinny capri pants. SK Collection is a 15-year-old local fashion brand that combines classic elegant silhouettes that appeal to every woman and inspired by all shapes and forms that surround her. Our favorite is definitely the sequin black top with the sheer in the back.





This collection seeks to show the journey made by a girl transitioning from puberty to adulthood through the old common traditional practice of scarification. The prints in this collection are adapted from actual scarification patterns from various African tribes. Presenting “the Proverbial Dreamer” who is on a quest to “free herself from the bounds of societies’ self-imposed standards of beauty, pride and identity.”

There is definitely something whimsical and romantic about this collection with the bow ties and oversized ruffled sleeves making Anyango Mpinga’s collection a must have this season. We especially loved the white shirtdress with the black bowtie; the black long puff sleeved dress worn by the designer herself is beautiful both on the runway and in person.




M + K

Remember these designers whom we wrote about in our Emerging Designer series (read about them here)? The blend between constructed design, leather pieces and intricate beading such as the purple top is our sum up of M + K’s collection. Our favorite pieces were the A-line beautifully draped and cut pleated midi skirts, especially the yellow one. These designers note that the “leather crop top and leather skirt are core pieces for our spring collection, their minimal silhouettes are key to M+K Nairobi’s aesthetic DNA. This is a collection of ease, adaptability and modern femininity.”





Well there you have it, Tribal Chic 2016 ends the year and we are super excited about next year. In short, be ready for some pleated midi skirts, fringes in unexpected places, deconstructed shirt dresses, the return of the oversized and puff sleeve as well as some mellow yellow. So out of all these styles, tell us, which one is your favorite? Which one will you add to your wardrobe?

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