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How to slay at Afropunk this weekend

Matilda Egere-Cooper

On paper, Afropunk is simply a one-day music festival – established in Brooklyn in 2005 but making its debut in the UK this week at Ally Pally, with acts including Grace Jones, Lady Leshurr, Laura Mvula and GoldLink.  But one look at the hashtag on Instagram reveals many past punters on a mission to look fly by any means necessary. They’re not rocking up in your run-of-the-mill festival uniform, either. Here are some fashionable Afrocentric looks that will be out in full force in London this weekend – and where to get the look. 


1. Don’t be modest 

Anything goes at Afropunk – whether that’s vibrant Ankara wax fabric fashioned as skirts or headwraps, elaborate, bespoke garms with a tribal twist, or enough bling to make Mr T blush. 

Get the look: Make a beeline to the Soboye boutique in Shoreditch, Sapelle on Portobello Road or the Jekkah stall in Camden Market for African-inspired threads and jewellery. 


2. Mix it up 

The Afropunk tribe may like to keep things original, but even the everyday hip hop head can get in on the act by mixing up the skater uniform with bold prints and other adornments. 

Get the look: United 80 in Brixton does a strong range of hip hop tees and rucksacks. Top them off with any number of sick accessories from A Child of the Jago on Great Eastern Street in Shoreditch.  


3. Rock a septum ring

Love them or loathe them, septum rings are de rigueur at Afropunk, as they’re a nod to indigenous Native American and African tribes (spare yourself the painful piercing, though, and cop a clip-on). 

Get the look: Visit Parlu in Boxpark on Bethnal Green Road for their bangin’  range of faux septum rings from Elisha Francis London – or try the legendary Tribu in Camden Market.


4. Get that hairdo on point 

Expect to see plenty of wigs, fresh braids, fro-hawks, waist-length dreadlocks, big hair, sharp cuts and everything in between. 

Get the look: Adornment 365 in Brixton can get your ’do coloured or braided up, or drop barber to the stars Mark Maciver (aka ‘Slidercuts’) a line if you fancy a fresh chop. Based in Holloway, his past clients include Tinie Tempah and Dizzee Rascal.

Afropunk takes place at Alexandra Palace on Sep 24.

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