ABOUT COLOUR EXPLOSION Spring/Summer 2022
TRIBUTE TO MY MUM
To this collection, I will begin with a tribute to my mother as she has always been a great inspiration and the drive that caused me to look back into my journey to Anna Luks as a Clothing Brand.
Anna Luks is presenting for the very first time, a new Plus size collection called Colour Explosion.
As a Clothing designer, my beginnings were inspired by my mother, who was not only stylish but also a dressmaker who made clothes for all my three sisters and myself. My mum was well known for making outstanding Leather bags with intricate details, a much-needed skill. With time, patience, and practice I will learn to incorporate in my bags too. I miss her deeply.
Being a native of the beautiful city of Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania, it is only natural to be induced by its rich Swahili culture lifestyle. The cultural richness includes diversity in food, dress, rhythms, open markets, and the aroma from the shores of the Indian Ocean. Mentioned above suffices is an inspiration to any creative being. You do not have to break a sweat to be inspired, it is all around you.
I always refer to myself as an experimental designer, I detest operating or working within guidelines. I like my creativity to evolve organically. My instinct is a tool that guides me or helps me make that final decision in making. This tool is important to me; it is my compass in creating. This tool has a name, and it's called a mistake. Whenever I make a mistake when working, I don't panic, I just change the sail, and the destination is wherever it may take me. It is bound to be "sure", and this is how I teach my apprentices or anyone working with me.
This collection is my very first breakthrough to bigger sizes; my goal is to stretch up to other sizes. Making Plus sizes have always been a challenge for me. I actually avoided making bigger clothing sizes. But it eventually came along with experience over the years and understanding women’s different types of body shapes and sizes. With my acquired confidence I am determined to cater to all body shapes and sizes.
The Brand's specialty is in everyday wear or calls it smart casual and is open to a wearer's styling whether to dress it up or down pending the occasion.
Brand wise, Anna Luks was enhanced mostly by studying Fashion History, movements like Art Nouveau of the 1800s, Art Deco of the 1920s, and reading biographies. A biography that really resonated with me was by Antonio Gaudi. Some described him as a true genius, but on the other hand, some thought he was ridiculous. m=1http://annaluks.blogspot.com/2011/01/from-gaudi-to-couture.html?m=1
Some of my earlier experimental work was architectural-inspired. I was particularly fascinated with a few architectural buildings with such as The Eden Project in Cornwall Uk and Zaha Hadid Sunrise Tower in Kualalumpa.
Clothing brands that inspired Anna Luks mostly are Duro Olowu, Mary Quant, Teresa Martin, Etro, Kenzo Takada, Rei Kawakubo, Yamamoto, Gap, United Colors, Diesel, Calvin Kline, and Galiano.
After scaling my first goal, Anna Luks is intentionally interested in, expanding the business to the motherland Tanzania, by using local fabrics made in Tanzania. As a proud Swahili woman from Tanzania and a Textile designer, my dream is to practice what I always preached, and that is to support local Textile industries in my beloved country.
Kariakoo Market in Dar - es - Salaam - 2021
Kitumbini Market in Dar -es- Salaan -2016
Ironically, when I was out to source local fabrics made in Dar markets and shops in Tanzania, they were flooded with fabrics from Congo, Ghana, India, and China. The saleswomen in the market always encouraged me to buy these fabrics. They would yell at me, (hii nzuri)... meaning those fabrics are the best ones. I would say no to them and ask for locally made fabrics which sadly, I found out there were not many.
I bought some fabrics locally made by Sungura Textile and from a local Textile designer called John who I was introduced to.
Tie-dye fabric by John a local artisan in Dar
I have fond memories of touring the Urafiki Factory in the Ubongo area of Dar-es-Salaam, wherein the early 80s, unfortunately, its beautiful authentic Swahili name was changed to Friendship Textiles instead under Chinese management.
I am holding on to the memories and proud to have had the privilege of modeling Urafiki's beautiful Khangas and Vitenge produced by these factories via YWCA Tanzania, which was one of the major clientele for purchasing the local fabric.
Urafiki Khanga fabric
Thank you Mama Lukindo
May you continue to rest in eternal peace until we meet again.