The mode still has legs with no ebb in sight. It’s a fashion jungle out there…

You may have to walk the walk and talk the talk in our urban settings, but in the deepest darkest East Africa, where the animal is king, they set the fashion styles witnessed during my trip into Africa. Many international designers copy these ‘print’s, perhaps not even being aware that they have imitated real wildlife. But there’s no better inspiration than the colorful feathers of the birds and the subtle camouflaged tones of the animals.

Bateleur Camp, Kenya:     

It’s here that I viewed my first zebra and quickly realized that the dazzle of zebra’s high rear ends look like a New York hooker in black and white stripes which are, far too tight as they stroll on stiletto heels. So very Donatella Versace. The Pack of Spotted Hyenas may have a hysterical laugh but their fur would do well by Fendi designs and that’s no laughing matter. Only Dolce et Cabbana could take a wildebeest’s legs, giraffe’s tail, buffalo’s horns and make it work.

Near Lake Manyara Tree Lodge, Tanzania:  Judging from the puff of pink clouds from the hundreds of pastel-colored storks wading in Lake Manyara National Park, pink is definitely this year’s new black. And Chanel’s designer, the late King Karl (Lagerfeld) certainly comes to mind as I remember my very first Chanel ensemble, so bubble gum hued, still stylish and forever. And what a giggle to see the hanging fur of the Troop of Olive Baboons jumping from tree to tree with that ever so casual knitted unique look of knitwear queen Sonia Rykiel, while the elegant Klipspringer certainly could  become the best of the season’s Gucci shoe.

by Patyz Manie

In the two million year old Ngorongoro Crater (Tanzania) near the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, where bush meets Baroque in décor, it’s the playground for numerous species. The graceful Thompson Gazelles immediately conjured up images of that status symbol shoemaker Manolo Blahnik.  Their lovely tawny colour with a touch of white and a dash of black would be the perfect boot. Calvin Klein would fare well here with the very clean look of the chic Impala’s sleek, spare lines.  Ralph Lauren hits the target with smooth khaki-coloured lion skin. It’s so very safari,  so very Lauren-ish. However, no one could handle the lion’s mane but New York hair stylist supreme, Frederic Fekkai.  

Not far from Grumeti River Camp:  Too bad the elephant has such a bad tailor.  The fit of his grey flannel look is miserable and certainly would never get him a job on Wall Street. You can see why they stick to bulls and bears, whose fit is marginally better.  The large Raft of Hippos is where Dana Buckman meets big woman . Crocodiles would be Louis Vuitton’s favored skin although La Coste beat LV to the logo but, so what.

As for the ostrich’s bit of this-and-that- print, it’s Gaultier, while the journey of giraffes, with those long necks, stunning creatures that they are, may have simple clean lines but their play of squares and triangles of muddy beige or putty on ecru is very Armani.

Klein’s  Camp in the Kuka Hills, Tanzania:  Some animals are harder to pin point. For instance, the primary colours of the Grey Crowned Crane, is it an Emmanuel Ungaro or  Christian La Croix?. With the shot of yellow, a touch of red and a bit of black, these primary colours work so well together creating a great palette on any catwalk in any fashion centre. And the leopard could only be a brooch or pendant from Cartier- (but, been there, done that with the Duchess of Windsor).

All the East African camps/lodges are so romantic, I just couldn’t forget marriage and honeymoons. Wedding gown maven, Vera Wang’s sexy and original designs would fit the slim, trim egret, lovely Malachite Kingfisher, African Jacana and the Secretarybird.  

So neat, so classic but with a cutting edge is the cheetah, and so Bill Blass.

The blue thighed Topi are Diesels’ blue denim from jeans to jackets and everything denim in between. 

And since the tiny tots are now caught in the fashion frenzy, the cute Kirk’s Dik-dik (the smallest in the Antelope family) is definitely so Baby Gap.

Forget Paris, forget Milan and New York, everyday is a fashion day in the wilds of East Africa.