These ‘Habari’ dinnerware sets from Anthropologie are clearly inspired by African textiles. I notice some iconic wax print motifs, as well as kanga-inspired text treatment. The vibrant collection includes coasters, plates of various sizes, mugs, coasters and napkins.
My mother is from Tanzania where it is customary for women to give each other kangas (also known as lessos) as gifts, especially at events such as weddings, send-offs, births etc.
Over the years, my mother has amassed quite a number! Last year while visiting her, I took the opportunity to raid some of her collection, taking photos for inspiration’s sake.
Kangas come in one piece consisting of two matching panels. You may have seen women along the Swahili coast using one panel as a sarong and the other to cover their head and/or shoulders. I often benefit from this when my mother splits her kangas with me. Here’s one I recently received:
Kangas traditionally feature a saying. The one above is fantastic: “We are in love, give us a chance”.
Mama’s collection also includes some kitenge (wax print) pieces …
Mixed in with mum’s kangas, are textiles from other parts of the world such as this Indonesian beauty. Given the history of African wax print, it’s no wonder that this piece fits in pretty well.
I’m really excited about The Kanga Book. Find out more about it here.
Images: Lulu Kitololo
- Inspired by Lubaina Himid’s Kanga Paintings and Collage Portraits
- Buy African: Chichia London SS14 – a celebration of kanga and cutting-edge cool
- Inspired: African Touches at the Eclectic Wedding of Zahra and Chris – including hints of manga
I met Yvonne Nicholson, the Zambian born UK based designer behind Evie Nix, at the African Market at Old Spitalfields in London. It’s her I have to thank for the fabulous kitenge/ankara/wax print corset that I walked away with that day.
Evie Nix offers unique African print corsets, jewellery and accessories, all handmade with love. I asked Yvonne a few questions about what drives and inspires her work. Continue reading “Interview with Accessories Designer, Evie Nix”
I’m not sure how I feel about this menswear trend, especially the shorter and tighter the shorts get! Lus has been threatening to get some shorts to rock this summer so, in support, I’ve collated a few, from Yevu and from Laurence Airline, that I could possibly get down with. Just maybe …
Yevu do great pieces for women too!
Which are your favourites?
- Buy African: President for Life Boxer Shorts
- Inspired: Men’s Clothing Line Y’OH
- Inspired: Choolips Diamond Petals Gold Coast Collection
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)
Happy customer Winkate, rocking her brand new Africrown tank from Creativity and Noise
Woven plastic bags from Senegal, available from Serenity Bags: senebagz [at] gmail [dot] com
Hoodies by Open the Gate
Shoe laces by Open the Gate
Trying on a fabulous corset by Evie Nix (don’t ask about the face!)
More ankara/wax print goodies from Evie Nix, including bangles, cuffs and earrings
Wishlist: this green weekend bag and the yellow Choolips dress, available from Sapellé
Textile recylcing – lavender pouches made from wax print off-cuts. By BURST: burstlondon [at] gmail [dot] com
Beaded bracelets from Sapellé
Loved these shirts, shorts and t-shirts by TYMO
After years of communicating virtually, I finally got to meet fashion designer Fée Uhssi in the flesh!
And the lady Verona herself!
Bibs and booties from the House of Loulee
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.
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.
- Sights at Africa Oyé – a great annual festival in Liverpool. It’s coming up this June!
- Presenting Creativity and Noise
- Buy African: Fashion on Sapellé
- Interview with Daphne Kasambala, CEO of Online Ethical Fashion Store, Sapellé
- Interview with Sustainable Fashion on Entrepreneur, Annegret Affolderbach of Choolips
Wax print, and African textiles in general, are often such a great inspiration for me when it comes to my design work, making art and being crafty in general. The shapes, the patterns and of course, the colour combinations! The ‘In Technicolour’ series continues and this time round I’ve got 3 palettes for you, drawing from predominantly turquoise prints.
I'm so thrilled to be sharing with you glimpses from the beautiful wedding of two lovely people, Zahra and Chris. I love how they incorporated African-inspired touches throughout, celebrating Zahra's heritage and the various countries that they're both connected to: from Zahra's beautiful dress with African lace courtesy of Vlisco; to the origami wax print bird decorations and; the adorable flower girls decked out in khanga dresses!
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you all for reading these posts and engaging with me. I’m so happy that this blog has given me a platform to meet so many incredible people; to be continuously inspired and; to share the sometimes tough, but always enlightening, lessons that business and life in general throw my way. I look forward to more great discoveries and learning, new relationships and further exchange in 2014!
For this year’s round-up, I’ve decided to do things a little bit different and feature the posts that were most popular each month. Enjoy.
Fun with colour, texture and wax print patterns on these shoes and bags from accessories brand, South of Africa, made by Zimbabwe-native, Fikile Dube. Take a look at more designs and buy South of Africa accessories, on Etsy.
Oftentimes the desire to support African design – and production in general – is there but, the products aren't always very accessible. In this "Buy African" series, I'll be highlighting various outlets to help you turn your intentions into action.
The South is Blooming shares the creative talent of contemporary makers in southern Africa with the world. The online boutique showcases an eclectic range of craft and design including fashion accessories, books, music, toys and more.