Afropunk London In Photos: An Inspiring, Extravagant Celebration Of Diversity

On Saturday 24 Alexandra Palace hosted Afropunk's inaugural London festival with a celebration of black music, art, and fashion so outrageously fabulous it was almost intimidating.

Since its conception in 2005, Afropunk evolved from a Brooklyn festival celebrating black pride in a predominantly white punk subculture to a global annual blow-out honouring diversity and love. Preaching no homophobia, sexism, no racism and any other prejudice the day represented everything Afropunk - and London - stand for: openness and self-expression.

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(Photo: Trudy Barry)

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(Photo: Trudy Barry)

The music was an eclectic mix of soul, grime, hip hop, and alt rock performed by a stellar lineup. Headlining the various stages were the likes of Laura Mvula, SZA, Skinny Girl Diet, MNEK, Akala and living legend Grace Jones - who pranced naked on stage adorned in body paint and an endless array of masks. But at times it was hard to concentrate on the music when you were never a stone's throw away from an on-point OOTD.

The festival is renowned for it's focus on empowerment and political awareness, but also for the seriously stylish attendees. And the social media images from past events don't lie - it really was that outrageously fab. It makes sense, after all, to find such incredible style at a festival that celebrated creativity and individuality.

Almost every outfit put Fashion Week pundits to shame, and it felt like participating in an all-inclusive runway show. Wherever you looked you saw proudly donned twists, bantu knots (and any other demonised natural hairstyle), colourful African garments and, to stay true to the "punk" aspect, lots of platform creepers, leather harnesses, fishnets and studs. A harmonious blend of cultures that give hope for a world where individuality and togetherness aren't mutually exclusive.

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(Photo: Trudy Barry)

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(Photo: Trudy Barry)

If most UK festival are crowded with white audiences and corporate sponsors, Afropunk acted as an antidote for the marginalised - and yet, no matter your race you feel welcomed. It was a visceral appreciation of blackness in a year blighted with racism and cultural appropriation.

All in all, as soon as you stepped into the festival it was clear you were there not only to celebrate black culture, but also love not hate, tolerance not prejudice. And everyone was invited to the party with open arms.

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(Photo: Trudy Barry)

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(Photo: Trudy Barry)

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(Photo: Trudy Barry)

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