Sunday, October 5, 2008

Senegalese Style Goddesses

Strumming along on my fashion riff, New York Fashion Week attracted lots of scrutiny because of the recently discovered scarcity of models of color. Italian Vogue published an "all black" issue that sold out globally. Naomi Campbell displayed her dissatisfaction with the industry's inequality by starring in a violently fierce video on the topic. Of course, none of this is new, the fashion industry has flashed a suspiciously pale facade since its inception. This fresh awareness has reaped some benefits by exposing the problem and flooding the spotlight on any model of color that manages to hurdle over the industry obstacles. Two new-comers are grabbing lots of the attention and it didn't surprise me at all to discover that they are both Senegalese. Senegal is noted throughout the African continent for expert tailors, tall, slim citizens and a stunningly fly fashion sense. You see it in beautifully constructed gran boubous that flow over the men like water and the expertly cut gowns that drape just so on the women. Aminata Niaria and Kinee Diouf carry on that tradition. They stirred up NY fashion week strutting for European designers Cavalli, Lanvin and Westwood with a style goddess attitude that's totally Senegalese. There's an innate, non-chalant quality to Senegalese style that pops up in the streets of Dakaar as hoodies and jeans embroidered with African prints and in Paris, with French berets worn over intricately braided hair styles. A great example of this style blending is British singer Estelle. She may be a West London girl but her Senegalese heritage speaks eloquently through her casually eclectic ensembles and her fashion ease.


Anonymous said...

LOVE this post :-)


Anonymous said...

Thanks! I'll be doing more fashion posts from a cultural perspective in the next few eeks.