Sunday, October 08, 2006

African scents in Paris

The past two months have been filled with so much joy and never ending days, with nights and sleeps so deep the memory of them remains at the bottom of the sea. There has been so much work and woolf-like hungers from having the opportunity to bring together my love of Africa & textiles in some dress designs that are set out to make a difference…an ethical difference for African business women & overall for fashion. What happened was that at the beginning of September I was short- listed for a competition called Design for Life Ghana - for which I had submitted 3 dress & 3 print designs. The prints were going to be Batik produced in Ghana by Juliana Mustapha @ Womeninprogress –

So…over the past month I have seen my prints come to life & created the dresses I had dreamt up. All three dresses celebrate & highlight Ghana’s rich natural resources and its local textile traditions. There are coffee beans & fish scales that playfully combine African traditions of dressing in vibrant fabrics. The fabrics are printed in colours plucked from Ghanaian landscapes and simply wrapped, folded, tied, tugged & pleated. My designs take these elements and celebrate them in a marriage of silhouettes, colour schemes & print layouts popular in the UK. The silhouettes mirror much of fashion seen in the 50’s colonial Africa and will be no strangers to a Ghanaian eye and certainly not our local wardrobes. However the detailing reaches beyond uniting the spirit of Africa & UK culture by displaying Far Eastern Origami traditions, which echo the African wrap, fold, tie, tug & pleat playfulness.

At the end of this week all three afro- brit creations will be setting foot onto a Parisan catwalk @ Ethicalfashionshow -
I am tingly all over with excitement for all things to come. But most of all I am at peace having stepped a little closer to where my future visions are carrying me. A special Thank you for the photos to Sarah Bayliss my talented photographer...its been a pleasure to work with you again. Please enjoy for now. There will be more to see upon my return next week…

There will be Buki. wouldn’t know it, but her catwalk is the pavement. She is a lady with a playful soul & butterflies behind her eyes. When she passes you, you will catch the scent of roses & the warmth of true African sun. Her grace & irresistable charm makes heads turn round n’ round in pavement crowds.

There will be Umeme.
Umeme - ‘ Lightening’ is dedicated to my friend’s baby; sadly born to pass to a world unknown to us. She came along like a bolt of lightening & her spirit is to remain with us as a care -free bright spark. We may just catch this ‘blondie lock’ skippin’ across meadows setting hearts on fire dancing with dragonflies and singing as sweet as bee’s whisper.

...and Annabelle a waterbaby, mysterious & graceful. She was born where dolphins dance with Jaques Costeau. A black-haired beauty, skin that tastes of cinnamon & jade-eyed, she is a spiritual leader that rides the backs of whales & rests her head in Bali Hi.

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