product of my past

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Posts Tagged ‘fashion

Ubuntu International Project: redefining African fashion?

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In this world, there are two kinds of people: those who see how far we’ve come and those who are fixated by how far we still have to travel.

At the Ubuntu International Project showcase at Vauxhall Fashion Scout,  I was unfortunately one of the latter. The show got off to a turbulent start, running close to an hour late and then frustrations growing as people jostled for seats. By the time the lights came down and Nelson Mandela’s voice rang out, defining the ‘ubuntu’ concept: “I am what I am because of who we all are,” my expectations were high but my patience was low.

The show got off to a good start with Clinton Lotter‘s collection of dogtooth shift dresses, fitted jackets, pencil skirts and finger gloves in black and forest greens. Fashion for sinister ladies-who-lunch. But soon I was more bemused than blown away. Jewellery by Frankli Wild was by turn both fascinating and – from the third row – somewhat reminiscent of a crafts project: all golf balls, copper wire and brightly coloured stones. By the end, I concluded that the show would have probably been be better appreciated with my eyes closed as I couldn’t fault the music but had no shortage of criticique for the designs. Read the rest of this entry »

Making the case for organic cotton

CC Yosef Hadar / World Bank

On Friday, 9 September, I hosted the Africa Fashion Guide book launch on behalf of its author, Jacqueline Shaw. The evening consisted of two panel discussions, the first on ethical fashion and the second on African fashion. The latter sparked debate about what is ‘African fashion’? Was is style over substance without a satisfactory focus on developing skill in garment making or in building an industry. My views on this will be blogged later.

But what also came across from the former was how little people understood the benefits of ethical fashion. Like the general public, much of the audience – though involved in the fashion in some way – were uncertain about how organic cotton, for example, differed from conventional and what the point  was. Last year, I wrote a piece for the Ecologist highlighting the development benefits of organic cotton. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Eliza

September 26, 2011 at 1:40 am