Showing posts with label Fashion History. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fashion History. Show all posts

Sunday, 25 May 2014

The Art of Photography

Meet Gosta Peterson


On my previous post, I mentioned Gosta Peterson the photographer, a man who saw beyond colour, the man who against all odds, made a model's dream come true.  Naomi Sims.
Peterson, a Swedish born who migrated to the US in the late 1940's.  As an illustrator and a self taught photographer, Gosta Peterson worked as a  fashion photographer with the New York Times. His images are what I describe as works of art and purely timeless in its own style. 
Here are a few of my favorite shots
Super Model Naomi Sims





 


Source




























Saturday, 16 March 2013

Swag Your Head!



It seems like I have been away forever!  
It surely feels good to come back to my little diary.  

The last couple of months have been hectic, with new projects, deadlines, new season collection and all that jazz. Still gathering the bits and pieces together and will share it all soon. In the mean time its hats alert!

I love hats! Or any kind of funky head wear actually. It's one of my favourite accessories. If I wear something on my head, it has to be with a touch of swag, otherwise there is no point. 

Let's call that touch of swag, 'hat swag'. Hat swag has been around for centuries.  It can be tracked back as far as 17th century, so nothing new there.  Ultimately, it comes down to where you are as to how you pull a funky head!  Africa and parts of Asia have the head wraps/turbans, beaded, or metal pieces (coin like or triangular shapes)head wear. Chic!
There are many different reasons why people wear hats. Nevertheless, in my opinion, wearing a hat today completes an intended look and definitely sets you apart in a crowd!  I believe any style driven person has at least some kind of a head wear-no doubt about that. It comes naturally to anyone who has the swag!!



People wear hats for many reasons. It could be part of uniform, status symbol, religious, sports and protective headgear or even due to culture. 

It is most definitely fashion statement. Hats can also be a blessing.  There are days when all of us need a head covering of some sort. I call them 'ooops days'. They are more commonly known as bad hair days, rush hour days, basically the days when nothing seems to go the way you want. These are the days that one will definitely need to look for 'that hat'. Saved!  


Hats are there to give you that confidence when things are not that great.
 

I have put together hats that are wearable and some just statement or fun wear. I enjoy a bit of humour when it comes to dress. 

There is nothing wrong in wearing something that catches one's sense of humour, something with a bit of flamboyance. At the end of the day your look should really be about just you and your being free, enjoying what you have put together for the day or occasion. Here's one of my great style inspiration, the late Anna Piaggi and Liliy Dache, (the famous milliner of all times) followed by my hat illustration.






Lilly Dache







My love for hats is growing stronger lately, so watch this space! My Illustrations below have been inspired by this image. This looks like a straw hat to me from a Harper's Bazaar dated December 1933.  A good example, it shows that style does not wear off, still very wearable now and ready to go, bring on the sun. Love it!



 


Anna Luks Illustration
The China Hat
A collage of a China hat worn by a chic lady in Anna Luks print summer dress.

Lamp Shade Hat

 "Hats have become a symbol of elegance, true passion for fashion and vintage femininity that the modern fashionista enjoys"














Sunday, 8 May 2011

Khanga - The Wonder Fabric

The word Khanga is a Swahili word for guinea fowl, which are common in Tanzania. Originally Khanga were designed and printed in two colours.  According to my research, Khanga did not have borders then the two borders were introduced on the shorter sides.  The face of Khanga then evolved as time went by before reaching this present stage.

Growing up with Khanga, without being told, I understood that there is more to this magnificent piece than meets the eye.  Khanga is a way of life in East Africa but mostly in Tanzania.  The cloth  speaks a culture of silence.  The government and institutions use Khanga in all sorts of campaigns, be it political, educational , health or  romance.  These campaigns are usually in forms of images and illustrations; messages are portrayed in writings and in proverbs.

Here I am talking about the Khanga to London's AILTV in 2006.

Of all Tanzania's traditional fabrics, Khanga is the most versatile.  Its uses range from  wraps, shawls, skirts, loin cloths, baby diapers, bed spreads, wall hangings, aprons, not to forget the main Swahili use which is medium of communication.  Indeed Khanga is a wonder fabric, it represents art and beauty ; it is a Swahili custom and is almost mythical.








History

Tanzania is  on the East coast of Africa and borders the Indian Ocean on the east side, with the Zanzibar Islands as part of her east region.  The inhabitants of this coastal area are known as Waswahili.
Khanga was invented on the East coast of Tanzania, then known as Tanganyika in the early 1800's. The idea  came from  handkerchiefs that were brought  by Portuguese traders sailing on the East African coast stopping in Dar-es-Salaam and then Zazibar harbours. At that time Zanzibar was the dominant port in the region.  Portuguese traders brought handkerchiefs as part of their merchandise.  These handkerchiefs, also known as Leso, were very colourful.  The local women bought them, sewed them together to form Khanga.  Prior to Khanga, women wore black cotton cloth almost the same measurements as the Khanga.  Called Kaniki, this cloth was used as a form of attire.




Stylish Swahili Women in Khanga Wear (1800s)











A strong and everlasting history of Khanga, its prestige and value, is known almost world wide. The word has even been adapted in Brazil where Khangas are essentially beach wear. Khanga has indeed given East Africans a  strong identity and pride.  
As a Swahili woman myself, I am proud to highlight or just scrape the surface of this subject.  (To be continued)