Monday 31 January 2011

Spices from the Indian Ocean........mhh!!.. Nzuri sana!

Tanzania's top model Millen Magesse in black stripy native clothing is called Khanga.  I love it.

 Khanga is a versatile fabric, which can be worn in many ways and on different occasions.  The main language in East Africa if I may say is Swahili but mainly spoken in Tanzania, and Kenya, a little in Uganda, then in other few neighbouring countries.  Looking at these two beauties, really make me proud to be a Swahili Woman.

 Today, I have gathered a few high profile top and budding models from the strip of the Indian Ocean.  The models who I have featured hear originate from, of course, my own country, Tanzania, then there are some from Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan and Somali.

This map, is to give you an idea where these countries are.

Tanzania's Top Models
  Millen Magese & Flaviana Matata

Flaviana Matata

Kenya's Top Model
Ajuma Naseyana

From Uganda
Florence Odaru at Face of Fashion4Africa

Ethiopia's Top Model of the 90's
Anna Getaneh

(CNN) -- In the 1990s Ethiopian supermodel Anna Getaneh walked the runways of Paris and Milan. These days she is putting her flair for fashion to good use, helping deprived children in rural areas of her home country.

British/Sudanese Top Model of the Mid 90's
Alek Wek

Alek Wek is an entrepreneur and also very active in helping raising awareness refugees worldwide including her own country. 
Alek is a handbag designer inspired by her father's briefcase, known as Wek1933 available only on selected department stores in London.  

American/Somali Top Model in mid 70's

We all know her as just Iman, but she is actually Mrs Bowie...Well, lets stick to Iman shall we? , with no disrespect to Bowie, I love you too my shemeji (Brother-inlaw)  Its just that there are some people you just cant get use to them with a new name. Moving on....
I/we, first new her as just this amazing model, then she moved on to being an actress, and now,a successful entrepreneur.  Iman started her own cosmetics firm called after her name, for brown women, and also works for some charity organisations.

Samira Hashi British/Somali
London Fashion Week 2010

In Face of Fashion4Africa
Samira wearing one of my designs.

Thursday 20 January 2011

From Gaudi To Couture!

The Fusion: 
  Architecture, Design & Fashion 

Antonio Gaudi, a 20th century Spanish architecture, the visionary, and,  also believed to be the last builder in stone.  Gaudi, a strong believer in God's existence and a devoted Roman Catholic, who most of his inspirations came from nature forms and also by isolating himself and had a huge interest in reading.  Looking at his work, you will see influences from some parts of the world, mainly the middleast.   Gaudi was open minded with material he used, and made sure that they corresponded with his vision, and he wanted his work (buildings) to tell a story, with much emphasis on decoration,  vibrant colours and a great attention to details. 

For me, each of his work is a masterpiece, 'a work of art', a joy to look at.  His techniques were never repetitive, even in the quality of materials that he used, (integration of materials) and that’s the way he intended it to be translated.   His work is just wonderful to look at, the swirls, curves, stained glass, ceramics, domes, grillwork, pillars, columns, stone arrangements and not forgetting the woodwork . His work is aesthetically pleasing to the eyes, the elements within the work are arranged in a balanced compositional way. 

Some described him as a true genius, but on the other hand some thought he was ridiculous.  Well, isn't that the case in point even today? It is all a matter of personal opinion.   The world would be a boring place if we all liked or disliked the same things.  Gaudi simply enjoyed what he did, regardless of the critics out there! That's something to be taken on board folks.

Enough said about Gaudi.  Here are some few images of Gaudi's work I played around with, to create some funky silhouettes.   

Stained glass & Mosaic