Saturday, 21 December 2013

Print Stories: Coquillage

This print is most commonly known as coquillage, meaning ‘shell’ in French. Other names for it include ‘Bunch of Bananas’ and ‘Snail Shell’. It is a heritage design, dating from the 1960s – fifty years on and it is still as popular as ever. Wandering around the streets of Accra or Lome you’re guaranteed to spot at least one person wearing the familiar print.

Abobo: a print found in our tailor Diogo's workshop

In Togo, the print is known as 'Abobo to le gome' meaning 'the snail is out of its shell'. This name comes from the town of Abobo, located in the coastal region of Togo where they celebrate a snail festival each year in September called Abobozan. During the festival, the big molluscs are devoured by the locals -- apparently they are quite the speciality!

We spotted a beautiful navy blue, deep red and cream take of this classic print at Marche HLM in Dakar, Senegal that we snapped up for Madame Tay's first collection. Here's a sneak peek:

Coquillage, Detail 1 
Coquillage, Detail 1
The beautiful coquillage print that we are using for Madame Tay

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