Showing posts with label East African Designer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label East African Designer. Show all posts

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

From Sisal to Fashion Apparel

Okay folks!  When you hear about sisal, naturally what comes to mind is agriculture, a commercial crop.  Perhaps your mind will wonder around industrial ropes, low cost, hardware .....well, anything BUT 'glamour'!

I was born and raised in the beautiful city of Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania,  East of Africa.
As a little girl, I remember looking forward to holidays because it was travel time!  My parents took us  on a vacation to Korogwe and Mheza, in Tanga region, my parents birthplace, to visit our relatives.
 Tanga is located on the coastal strip of the Indian Ocean on the north east of Tanzania.  It is beautiful!.

I remember starting the journey to Tanga from Dar in the family station waggon, at 6am and reached Korogwe, a small town in Tanga by lunch time.  The trip was such fun!
When approaching Korogwe, I was always fascinated to see huge plantations of sisal beautifully cultivated in endless rows. Dad always told us about the history of this cash crop and  use of sisal.

The plantation

Sisal cut and ready to go for processing

 In preparation for further process in the machine called  decorticatior.

Processed sisal hand to dry for exportation.
Visit this site for details.

   Little did I know that one day I would actually create something out of it.  If my Father was still alive today, I know he would have been amazed to see how sisal can actually be so versatile and produce something that is glamorous and wearable.

The Beauty

My fascination with natural fibers, and my love of creating, I dared myself to created something from this fibre.  I enjoy working with ropes, different yarns and strings, so  I went to a hardware shop one day and deliberately searching for sisal rope.  I bought lots of it and decided to dye it in various colours.  Green off course to depict the original colour of the plant, as well as other variety of colours. I got creative and.........this is what I came up with.
Photographed by: Anna Prays

A lil je ne sais quoi !!!

The necless perhaps!

mmmh.... :)  Cape?

Simply Vogue It!!!


Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Colour Explosion Collection

Previously, I commented on designer Doro Olouwu's print, which I though it was similar to mine. I hope you can see the resemblance.

Fabric: Silk Jersey
Model: Jestina George
Photographer: Sonia Marabet Sanches

The Motif: by Mbezi Valentine
Media: Oil pastel

You are looking at a section of a parrots eye.
I must also, give credit to my son, a graphics student, who took his precious time to design this exotic motif for me.

The initial inspiration for this collection., is from the Japanese rope bondage. The print is only one section of the collection, more is on its way. I will for the moment, talk about the print and leave the rest for later as I am still trying to gather this whole project together. Upon building up this collection, I looked at various things and one of them was images on the traditional Japanese silk printing, where a parrot caught my eye and sailed on from there.

I love creating my own prints, by doing this; I believe it provides individuality in ones collection. I also find it necessary to complete my creations by designing accessories, which you will see very soon.

Fabric, digital printed, steamed and left to dry.

This is the fabric, digital printed, steamed and left to dry.

Fabric: Satin silk viscose - Decisions! Decisions!