During Paris' fashion week, Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz drew upon African styles and textures in order to create a dark fall 2010 collection. "Massive amulets, rough hewn fabrics, muddy hues and tribal feathers" are all symbols of the designer's African influence. However, upon interview Elbaz admitted to never actually visiting the African continent - except virtually. Cindy Gaston and Edna Bissoon of the Hemma line not only visited Africa, but also taught at a school for a period of time before launching their collection! If you enjoyed Elbaz' incorporation of African style into the fall 2010 collection, you should check out Hemma's designs and textures, which are influenced by African royal tradition.
What is it about the tribal inspired aesthetic that has influenced so many designers in the contemporary fashion scene ?
Hemma creates fresh, elegant collections using authentic hand-woven Kente, a textile rich in African royal tradition. Kente began to flourish in West Africa in the 17th century and still remains prominent representing social prestige, luxury, and cultural sophistication. Each garment is uniquely handmade from intricately hand-woven Kente imported from Ghana. By incorporating the same techniques used to dress Ghanaian nobility for centuries, Hemma allows each client to exude royalty. By investing in quality pieces that last a lifetime, the lives of Ghanaian school children are also impacted. A percentage of all proceeds will be donated to a West African middle school where the designers instructed classes.