My own spirituality, like my own heritage, is often represented in the clothes I wear. Traditional forms of American worship have never really resonated with me ... and I'm sure growing up with my dad praying to our Ghanaian ancestors and having a library in his den filled with books from every religion known to man probably aided in what some might feel is a bit unconventional spiritual views/practices.
Today, while I ascribe to Buddhism as my life path (my personal faith), my inclinations toward acknowledging and praying to "Mother Universe" ... thanking the sun for its warm rays ... celebrating the power of the moon & stars ... connecting with life force through a simply breeze ... are still just as important for me. What can I say? I'm a bit of an eccentric compared to today's mainstream religious practices. My spirituality is a big part of who I am, and its influence is clearly reflected in the clothes I wear and design.
This is especially true when it came to developing my fall / winter collection as I learned from Malian elder of the "Dogon" tribe. Located in Mali, W. Africa, this tribe of people are known for their wooden masked dances, incredible architecture, & wooden artistic sculptures. However, they are most noted is their extensive knowledge of the stars, universe / galaxies & planets before anyone else ... even in ancient times.
When archaeologists finally interviewed elders in the 1940's, the tribe already had extensive knowledge of systems, planet orbits, & stars like the then only hypothesized twin "Sirius" star (invisible to the naked eye) .... a star yet to be formally confirmed by science at the time, but later incorporated into the science of the day. The ancestors had SO much knowledge, power, & magic with them. I loved how vibrant unique each hand painting of each piece ... how connected they were to their space in the world and in the universe at large ... reverence for the moon & stars. In them, I saw bits of myself.
Out of this inspiration, the birth of my very 1st ever fall / winter collection was born. Each piece is hand-painted and hand-stitched with authentic fabrics imported from Mali, W. Africa, then crafted in a uniquely modern way with my own designs. The skirt pictured below, is made of authentic mud cloth from the people of Mali ... the 60's style mod dresses / tunics are hand-designed with patterning and metal accents directly from the Dogon people ... my white "Laline" dress with deep scooped neck and black flecked accents to remind the wearer of the beauty of the moon ... a handmade belt of cowrie shells which were prominently used in their culture as well. I felt so proud. Below are images of pieces from my collection so far.
I'm currently, working on additional pieces for the 2nd installment of my fall / winter designs. Stay tuned to the Fashion House for more "globally classic" collection pieces and cultural inspiration! Click here to shop my current fall / winter fashions!