In Pictures: When Darkness Meets the Light

Photography-Contrast-Darkness-Light-Lulu-Kitololo-2Over a decade ago, I came across a quote which has stayed in my memory since:

“Had I not fallen, I would not have arisen.
Had I not been subject to darkness, I could not have seen the light”
Midrash

The quote has special resonance for me now, given how good I feel about this year, in contrast to the last. Incidentally, as I look back through my Instagram feed from the past couple of months, there are quite a few photos that play with this contrast between darkness and light. Above and below are a few – catch the full story behind each, over on Instagram.

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Photos from The African Market at Old Spitalfields, London

I spent Monday hanging out with Lusungu at the Creativity and Noise and Merkato stall at The African Market Bank Holiday Festival, presented by Open the Gate at Old Spitalfields Market. There was entertainment, food and a variety of African and African-inspired art, design and crafts. I got to chat to some of the designer-makers and creative entrepreneurs – it’s always inspiring to be around other creative people!

Enjoy the photos and do check out these great brands and makers. Prepare your senses for a print and colour explosion!

(Photo above: recycled textile pouches by BURST. Contact: burstlondon [at] gmail [dot] com)

 

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Lusungu with his screenprinted Creativity and Noise t-shirts and Merkato baskets and toys

 

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Happy customer Winkate, rocking her brand new Africrown tank from Creativity and Noise

 

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Woven plastic bags from Senegal, available from Serenity Bags: senebagz [at] gmail [dot] com

 

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Hoodies by Open the Gate

 

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Shoe laces by Open the Gate

 

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Trying on a fabulous corset by Evie Nix (don’t ask about the face!)

 

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More ankara/wax print goodies from Evie Nix, including bangles, cuffs and earrings

 

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Wishlist: this green weekend bag  and the yellow Choolips dress, available from Sapellé

 

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Textile recylcing – lavender pouches made from wax print off-cuts. By BURST: burstlondon [at] gmail [dot] com

 

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Beaded bracelets from Sapellé

 

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Loved these shirts, shorts and t-shirts by TYMO

 

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After years of communicating virtually, I finally got to meet fashion designer Fée Uhssi in the flesh!

 

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Dolls by Verona.C

 

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And the lady Verona herself!

 

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Bibs and booties from the House of Loulee

 

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Lucy of House of Loulee. Last Christmas she custom made some beautiful boots for my friend’s 18 month old and a funky sweater for Lusungu.

 

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Story time!

 

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I didn’t catch the name of the last band that performed. Let me know if you did!

 

All photos by Lulu Kitololo (except the one of Lulu, taken by Yvonne of Evie Nix), with a little love from VSCOcam.

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Related:

 

Continue reading “Photos from The African Market at Old Spitalfields, London”

Interview with Sustainable Fashion Entrepreneur, Annegret Affolderbach of Choolips

Last week I had the pleasure of finally meeting Annegret Affolderbach, the founder of London-based womenswear label, Choolips, in person.

Having featured Choolips designs on the blog before, it was great to meet the amazing woman behind the brand. Annegret’s passion for what she’s doing – championing high quality craftsmanship; reviving ancient textile traditions; empowering the local artisans and entrepreneurs behind them; operating with small water and carbon footprints – is infectious. She is a rebel, in the best sense of the word, on a mission to make the world a better place. With exquisite style and beautiful stories. Yes, we can have all this!

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Inspired: CHOOLIPS Diamond Petals Golden Coast Collection, Spring Summer 2013

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Continue reading “Inspired: CHOOLIPS Diamond Petals Golden Coast Collection, Spring Summer 2013”

Buy African: Fashion on Sapellé

Oftentimes the desire to support African design – and production in general – is there but, the products aren't always very accessible. In this new "Buy African" series, I'll be highlighting various outlets to help you turn your intentions into action. 

The question of what constitutes "African" will no doubt come up, as well the contentious issues of fair trading and credit for African-made goods and intellectual property. I look forward to discussing all these complicated questions with you!

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Launched in June, Sapelle.com offers stylish, contemporary, Afro-inspired womenswear & home decor products that have been made & sourced ethically.

These are a few of my favourite fashion pieces from the site.

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First set, clockwise from top left: YouMeWe halter dress, YouMeWe reversible vest tops and Choolips 'Anvita' sweetheart jacket.

Second set: Kooroo halter top, Choolips 'Carly' wrap dress, Tina Lobondi v-neck and back dress, Kooroo kaftan.

Check these out and more on www.sapelle.com

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Know of any great outlets, online or otherwise? I would love to hear from you.

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