Monday, December 17, 2012

For the love of color!

I got the call. My clothes are ready!

One of the many things I love about Africa are the colorful fabrics.  I bought several fabrics while I was in Senegal and had an outfit made out of one of them while I was there. It cost me about $10 and was done in 2 days.

The 1st box is fabric from Senegal. Middle and end boxes show 
the fabric from Guinea Bissau.

When I returned to the U.S I had also acquired 4 more pieces of fabric from Guinea Bissau (given to me as part of my renaming ceremony).  So, now I had all of this beautiful fabric, but was unable to wear it.  It took me about 6 months to find someone who who could turn my fabric into what I will call, "African inspired contemporary or contemporary fashion with an ethnic flair ".

 Fula man sewing in Quebo, Guinea Bissau

I learned of a dressmaker, designer named Julie, who just happens to work at one of my favorite little boutiques (Bryn Walker) and I asked her to help me turn my fabric into something wearable, but what did I want?.

I left the fabric with Julie in August and finally, yesterday, I was able to pick up the 1st completed outfit (baggy pants and an over sized top - I based the shirt on a top I bought at a local African shop and the pants I based on a pair that I bought in San Leandro, at a shop called Absolutely Abeba). Julia had to make a pattern for me and also wash and treat the fabric (so that it would not shrink and also to soften it up), right now the fabric is pretty stiff. I still have 5 more pieces to be completed (BTW- it cost me a bit more than $10)

I really LOVE the final results.

What I find really interesting is the color choice of the fabrics selected for me by my Fula family in Quebo (you'll see more of what I mean when you see the other pieces). The fabric colors and designs were chosen without any of them having ever seen or met me. A-Mazing!

Can you tell that I love color?

Picked up my outfit today. 
1st look in the dressing room mirror.

Me among the racks @ Bryn Walker, Berkeley, CA

Julie & me

This is the muslin pattern and I could paint the fabric but I think I will leave it plain
(I remind myself of a chef)

My colorful new outfit in my colorful dining room in my new apartment

It looks great as separates too!

Recognize the painting? It's Du Pintor from Guinea Bissau on my gallery wall

Help Build a Medical Clinic in Djati, Guinea Bissau
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