Tuesday, 22 October 2013

a (tasty) slice of Africa

As you may know, large swathes of African farmland
are being allocated to foreign investors on long-term
leases to secure their food and fuel future needs.
China's engagement in Africa has briskly grown
in the last decade becoming quite a hot topic: it's small
wonder that the Western media tend to define this
large-scale land deals as 'land grabbing' depicting
China as the neo-colonialist power.

Hazel Eki Aggrey-Orleans, the mastermind behind
London-based womenswear 'Eki Orleans' label, is
factually optimistic about the Sino-African cooperation
on agriculture that actually dates back to the early
1960s. The confident designer who was born in
Germany, raised in Lagos, Nigeria, and educated in
London, draws inspirations from her mixed cultural
experiences and mostly from her own West African heritage.

The label's s/s 2014 collection, called 'A Slice of Africa',
is all played as a symbolic fusion of African and Chinese
design elements by juxtaposing two different colorful
prints on the same flattering silhouette through
diaphanous day and evening dresses.

The first print ”was inspired by the hustle and bustle of
African markets. I created a design using some of my
previous prints and certain African symbols in a pattern
to create the illusion of rows and rows of market stalls
and the resulting electricity and energy found in 
traditional African markets” she explains.

The second print ”was inspired by traditional Chinese
florals. I chose these Chinese and African (Ghanaian)
symbols, as they both mean 'friendship'. With the
growing Chinese interest in Africa, it is important
that both continents work together in partnership”

she declares manifesting her positive point of view.

”Where other fashion designers find fabrics to suit their
visions of a dress, Hazel decides on the dress to suit
her vision of a fabric design” she states, ”I'm passionate
about mixing and matching colours and I love nothing
more than to make a stunning entrance. My collection
accentuates the feminine, the brave and the sexy within
all of us and it's my mission to bring out the colourful
goddess in every woman” introducing her label's identity.

Another slice anyone?

> all images © by Jean-Christophe Hermier <

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