Thursday, 17 April 2014

West African Inspiration: SRK by Selly Raby Kane

Selly Raby Kane in front of the old Dakar train station (Photo by Jean-Baptiste Joire

Selly Raby Kane is the young Senegalese designer behind label Seraka. With a diverse background, Selly brings an enormous amount of creative energy and uniqueness to the fashion scene in Dakar and indeed, internationally. She began Seraka in 2008 and since then the label has grown exponentially - both in terms of artistry and size. Selly has recently launched her A/W 2014 collection - Alien Cartoon. It is stunning mix of textures, patterns and lines with delicate wax print touches and lots of stonewashed denim and clear vinyl ponchos. The collection was shot by Jean-Baptiste Joire and Omar Victor Diop and the styling is impeccable. 

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Wax Prints with Christina

I recently relocated to Toronto, Canada not fully prepared for what it had in store for me, especially when it came to the weather.  Before arriving, I thought I would be rocking uber stylish winter outfits for a good chunk of the year. Instead I have been rocking a navy winter puffer coat stuffed with duck feathers for the past 5 months (imagine a sleeping bag worn vertically).

Needless to say, when I received a package in the mail with our bright patterned  wax prints, it really cheered up my day!

The weather has picked up to a ‘balmy’  10 degrees now and it’s time to bust out the short-shorts. Here are some photos of how you can style our Wax Print Blazer and our Wax Print Shorts.

Whoever said office attire can’t be stylish/fun, prove them wrong and team our Wax Print Blazer with some smart trousers and heels for a professional, yet fashionable look.  

Here, I teamed our Wax Print Shorts with a light denim jacket and a bright blue sweater  - given the shorts carry themselves, best to keep the top half of your outfit understated and simple.

For the brave, you could go all out and pair the above two as a twin-set combo which looks really fun. I initially accessorised the outfit with a thick, gold chain necklace and gold bangles and thought I looked really cool. Fact is, I also looked like I was auditioning as a backup dancer for a hip hop music video or something. Lesson learnt, keep accessories to a minimum when dealing with loud prints.

How would you style your MT Wax Prints?

Photos by me and Matt

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

West African Inspiration: Anne de la V by Anne-Marie Diatta

Today we're continuing our series profiling Senegalese creatives with Anne-Marie Diatta - the creative director and designer behind the label Anne de la V. Not only does Anne-Marie make beautiful contemporary garments, she also has a lot of exciting ideas about the direction of the textile industry in Senegal.

I met Anne-Marie Diatta by chance when I was in Dakar last year – and what a lucky meeting it turned out to be! Having spent a good part of the last few years working in garment sourcing in France, Anne-Marie has a wealth of knowledge about garment construction, including an incredible technical knowledge of fabrics, stitching, patternmaking and design. After studying fashion in France, Anne-Marie began working for some large fashion retailers and acted as the intermediary between these retailers and the manufacturers of their garments in Asia, namely in India and China. Talking to her about this work was fascinating – the amount of detail and care that went into each garment she oversaw is incredible. She also had a lot of in-sight into production in these workshops, and explained that this is, in part, why she returned to Senegal to begin her own label.

What I like most about Anne-Marie’s work is her attention to detail – she only works with the best tailors, and often sews many of the garments herself, and has a very broad knowledge of the local textile industry and goes to great length to source the best quality fabric, including beautiful silk, delicate chiffon and bright wax print from Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana.

 Anne-Marie also has some really exciting plans to begin her own garment production factory in the South of Senegal, where she is from. She recognises the capacity and capability of Senegal to become a big player in the global fashion market – not only does the country have a wealth of natural textile resources, but is also close to the European market and Anne-Marie passionately believes Senegal could compete with the likes of garment producing giants Bangladesh and China to make quality, affordable garments in ethical conditions.

Anne-Marie hard at work altering a stunning wax print gown.

If you are in Dakar you can find the Anne de la V boutique in Ouakam, Cité Asecna, near Brioche Dorée. You can call Anne-Marie on +221 77 606 6162, the store is open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 7pm.