script> Africa Moto: 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Where to Go: Singita Grumeti Reserves

 I came across the 3 stylish lodges (Faru Faru Lodge, Sasakwa Lodge and Sabora Tented Camp) that make up the Singita Grameti Reserves located in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania in Travel & Leisure where it was voted the World's Best Hotel two years in a row by T&L readers. I love the Singita properties, I wrote earlier about Singita Pamushana. It's been such a long time since I have been on a safari, and I have yet to go on a luxury safari. If I was go on a luxury safari and glamp this would so be it. I'm already dreaming about it. I really love the luxurious interiors and beautiful landscape, it's so the perfect balance of luxury and being out in the bush. Enjoy your virtual trip to Tanzania!



                                 Photos: Singita

Monday, November 19, 2012

DESIGN LOVE: Moroccan interiors

Happy Monday everyone! Hope you had a great weekend.

Today I am thinking about Moroccan design. I just recently finished (not sure if I can should say I have finished since I always go back to it) re-reading Maryam Montague's lovely design book Marrakech by Design and I am so inspired by all the captivating photos of  Moroccan style including the architecture, gardens, textures, vivid colors and fabrics. Here are some ideas for creating your very own fabulous boho-style home or room or just a chance to be transported virtually to Morocco.

Shop for Moroccan style here, here and here.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Accessories Love: Tashenkat

Tashenkat is a Malian high-end accessories brand founded by Christine, a Bamako-based French designer. I met Christine at an event that we organized to promote local design at the Canoe Club in Bamako last year. She ended up stocking my baby and kids clothing in her lovely boutique, Bambou.

I simply love the quality of her jewelry and bags, don't you just love the cuff? Working with skilled Malian artisans she creates accessories that have an electric range of colors and incorporate Touareg symbolism. Her boutique is closed now, doing business in Mali is difficult at the best of times, and is even more so now with the drastic decline in the number of expats and tourists. Her work is however still available at a number of local Bamako boutiques including the Woodin boutique in Niarela, and the boutique at the Badala Hotel. If you are in Bamako be sure to check out her work.

All images here

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Interiors: Kim Hersov

Yesterday my husband finally made the move from Mali and brought with him the rest of my stash of African print fabric and some of my artwork that I left when we made the mad dash out of Bamako. You should have seem my smile while I was thinking about all the possibilities for the fabric while watching the election returns. Fabric, politics and husband back home, what a day, what a day!

So my traditional bogolan, indigo and wax print fabric had me thinking about mixing in our contemporary furniture and art with African texture and prints inspired by the home of Harper's Bazaar UK's editor-at-large Kim Hersov in this month's Harper's Bazaar UK that I am currently reading.

The Notting Hill, London townhouse of Kim Hersov was designed by her friend London-based South African interior designer Hubert Zandberg. Zandberg  designed the eclectic home mixing textiles and art from Africa and India with flea market finds and contemporary art. I love this house, it's so well executed.

        African wax print cushions on the floor and framed African fabric on the wall

      Love the handwoven throw pillows and color of the ethnic print throw

 African headrest and chair with the wax print throw pillows and animal print table

      Isn't this tub just a dream, also love the shower and tiles below.

                                                              Images: Elle Decor

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Africa on the Runway

I posted a photo recently on my Facebook page of the Moschino Cheap and Chic Spring Summer 2013 collection without a caption which led to a debate on my page about African fashion on international runways by non-African designers. Some of my friends felt that fashion exploits and that we shouldn't be excited to see international designers celebrated for the hard work of African designers. I took the position that I didn't see much harm in other designers being inspired by Africa, that is if they acknowledged the culture or country they are inspired by, especially with increased globalization many designers are inspired by traditional cultures from all around the world.

 I have to say that I was taken aback by reports that Burberry Prorsum had denied that its Spring Summer 2012 collection was inspired by Africa, especially given its use of largely wax print fabrics usually associated with West Africa. Many of us may also remember the discussion over Matthew Williamson's SS 2008 collection inspired by Ethiopia. I think the key issue there was whether it was an inspiration or if his designs were direct copies of the Ethiopian national dress.

Well I decided to do a little bit of research on Africa on the runway in this lovely book and online. It's trend I don't forsee waning anytime soon as "Africa rises" and more African designers continue to show their collections inspired by the specific cultures, colors and scenery of the 54+ countries on the continent on international runways. Here are some African inspired designs from the New York, London, Paris and Italian runways over the years:

Yves Saint Laurent Spring Summer 1968 

Dolce & Gabbana Spring Summer 2005
Dolce & Gabbana Spring Summer 2005

Alexander Herchcovitch Spring Summer 2007

Alexander Herchcovitch Spring Summer 2007

Christian Lacroix

Christian Lacroix Spring 2008

Diane von Furstenbery Spring Summer 2008
Oscar de la Renta Spring Summer 2008

Oscar de la Renta Spring Summer 2008
Oscar De la Renta Spring Summer 2008

Matthew Williamson Spring Summer 2008

Juanjo Oliva Spring Summer 2010

Michael Kors Spring Summer 2012
Donna Kara Spring Summer 2012

Donna Karan Spring Summer 2012
Burberry Prorsum Spring Summer 2012

Burberry Prorsum Spring Summer 2012

Moschino Cheap and Chic Spring Summer 2013

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