Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Things We Learned About Style from AfroPunk

So the second 2015 AfroPunk Festival took place this past weekend at its home in Brooklyn – and while we’re considering ‘Movement’ this month on the site, we’re now seriously thinking about joining the AfroPunk one and re-doing our entire wardrobe.

Following the street and stage style that blessed the 2-day event, we’ve figured out a shorthand guide to ‘Afropunk’ dressing – the term being both the name of New York’s most epic event, as well as a subculture in its own right – so take a look at the things we learnt on Afropunk style below before you hop, skip or jump on the bandwagon too…

1. No Sexism, No Racism, No Ableism, No Ageism, No Homophobia, No Fatphobia, No Transphobia & No Hatefulness

Afropunk Festival in Brooklyn

As festival attendees may have noticed, fun came with some ground rules – ones displayed on flags hung to the side of the main stage, reading:  No Sexism, No Racism, No Ableism, No Ageism, No Homophobia, No Fatphobia, No Transphobia, and finally, No Hatefulness – what Afropunk the festival says it stands for. 

So, should you wish to be a part of this movement, you’ll need to be about embracing everybody, as well as your own body, which is a good start if you’re going to do Afropunk-dressing, ‘right.’


Take your lead from 67-year-old singer Grace Jones, who took to the stage in little more than body paint for some of her 10 stage looks – most baring her nipples.

Not quite so keen on showing the world how much you love your body? Ok, baby steps… Start maybe with a sheer tee or a belly top.

2. Show Them Everything


And by this, we mean of your wardrobe – not necessarily skin and nipples, Grace.

Though we will take the style icon and her 10 amazing wardrobe-changes as good example, which saw the star in everything from body-painted symbols to fringed jackets and haunting headpieces.


While it’s unlikely you’ll have a stage (or reputation) as worthy of getting dressed 10 times, you can get it all out in terms of accessories, with  chokers layered over necklaces, big earrings and nose rings, hoops, shades, hats and more seen piled atop each other at every corner of Afropunk.




But if you can pull off any of Ms Jones’ stoic poses, or find a big black curtain to stand under? Well, let’s just say your selfie would be more than poppin’ and the landslide amount of ‘likes’ you’ll get might seem like a whole other movement of its own.

3. Colour is Your Friend, Friend


So the goths (and Kimye) have black, the Bloods have red and the Crips have blue. Followers of the Afropunk movement though? They seem to have claimed a rainbow.


Afropunk Festival in Brooklyn

With no hue left unworn, we spied red, pink, yellow, blue, green, purples and more – worn casually and creatively in some outlandish styles that inspired us to think outside our typical wardrobe and climb into a box full of crayons.

Crayola is the new black, apparently.

4. Your Body, Your Canvas

Afropunk Festival in Brooklyn

That aforementioned colour? Let it not be left from your thoughts when it comes to your hair and make up either.

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The streetstyle at Afropunk saw dots, doodles and delightfully-pigmented looks for lips, skin and hair, with festival goers and even their pets, included – like this little dream of a dog tie-dyed like a Beanie Baby circa the year 2000.


Slayyy lil’ buddie…

5. Matchy-Match, Mate


The thing to be seen doing with all that pigment though? Matchy-matching with your super saturations – a look that trumped all else going on at the festival.

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That means lips in sync with hair, or hair twinning with your outfit – the new way to do a colour theme being in full, head-to-toe colour-swatches.

6. Don’t Forget Those Prints

Nope, patterns of all sorts didn’t go a miss either, with everything from patchwork to paintsplatter on display in the crowds.


And let’s not forget a key word here : “Afro,” meaning those African wax prints you’ve been stocking your wardrobe with? Yep, they can take pride of place when you’re marching along with the Afropunk movement.

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7. Afropuffs


On the subject of “Afro” though, you couldn’t ignore the major display of love for the style when it came to hair, with natural hair doing its things all over the festival, whether it be dyed, kinky, coiled, wrapped, loc’d-out, braided, cropped or bantu-knotted.

Afropunk Festival in Brooklyn Afropunk Festival in Brooklyn Afropunk Festival in Brooklyn

hurr4 hurr1 hurr


Yes, the Team Natural has been doing its thing for sometime now, but no, we’re not quite over its beauty – and neither is the fashion industry’s new infatuation with the movement, leading us feeling like the hair at Afropunk will be soon seen again on the catwalk at the upcoming return of Fashion Week, launching globally from next month…

But what did you learn about getting dressed from the weekend’s biggest event? Share your thoughts on the 2015 Afropunk Festival below in the comments box, or online @SPICETVAFRICA.


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