Have you heard of The Sapeurs? They're an incredible African subculture of impeccably dressed "dandies" wearing perfectly tailored suits, bright silk scarves, elegant hats and smoking pipes. It's surreal, really, a culture of incredible fashion in the midst of a war-torn, poverty-stricken Congo. Their style is not just an amazing fashion statement, but a cultural history and way of life: the African "dandy" goes back as far as the 18th century when European masters gave slaves a "dandy uniform" to "fit in" with their new environment. Didn't take long for Africans to develop their own "dandy" style, and oftentimes, it was bolder and better. See more of The Sapeurs in Solange Knowles video "Losing You" plus more inspiring African fashions below the cut:

The Victorian-esque dress designs seen below from southwest Africa feature bold prints, avante-garde hats and bright, saturated colors. Although they're a much different style from that of the Dandies, both cultures share an innovative, crafty fashion sense that is endlessly inspiring. I've always been fascinated by African fashion and I hope now, you are too! Browse the gallery and make sure to let us know what you think! [via MessyNessyChic]

What do you think of these looks, Lovelies?