Buy African: Last-minute Christmas Gift Ideas

It’s less than a week to go until Christmas so, ordering your gifts online is now pretty much a gamble. If the thought of braving the madness shops this weekend makes you want to crawl into a dark hole, fear not – I’ve got some ideas that will hopefully keep you in the festive spirit.

The gifts here are all things that you can buy, right up until Christmas Day. They are organised by interest so, hopefully you’ll be able to find something appropriate for all the people on your list – whatever they fancy!

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In Pictures: the Monochrome Hues of Winter

As the weather turns, I find that my usually vibrant colour palette gets subverted by an inclination towards the monochrome. It’s clearest when it comes to my wardrobe but, I realised it happening with the photos I was taking too! Here are a few …

 

Sandile Zulu African Art

[Above: sculpture by Sandile Zulu, titled ‘Spinal Diagnoses: A Histopathological Case II’. Seen at the 1:54 Art Fair. Top image: Beaded jewellery from Sidai Designs, at the ‘Africa Calling’ pop-up curated by Shake the Dust which, returns soon]

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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:

 

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Interview with Daphne Kasambala, CEO of Online Ethical Fashion Store, Sapellé

Today I’m pleased to bring you an interview with Daphne Kasambala, CEO of UK-based, online ethical fashion and accessories store, Sapellé.

Sapellé is setting a new standard in curating and presenting elegant, high quality contemporary African fashion. Working with suppliers in the UK, Kenya, Zambia, Ghana, Uganda, South Africa, Rwanda, Malawi, Congo, Mozambique, Mali and Swaziland, Sapellé only features work by artisans, design labels and social enterprises that work to ethical production principles.

After an extensive and successful career in banking, Daphne decided to return to her original passion – fashion.

Her story demonstrates that you can return to your oldest dreams and use your new skills to facilitate their pursuit! In the end, nothing is lost and instead, a world of valuable experience is gained.

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The Best of 2012: Art, Design, Interviews, Commentary & Music

It will be 2013 in under a week and that means it’s time for one of those lists summing up the highlights of the year! The following is a selection of posts that you found most interesting (as per the analytics); posts that I most enjoyed creating; exciting discoveries and; some off-blog but on-topic articles.

Art and Design

 

Interview with Artist Toyin Odutola

Interviews

Continue reading “The Best of 2012: Art, Design, Interviews, Commentary & Music”

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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