Photos

African-Inspired Prints With An Easy-To-Wear Twist: Les Enfants Sauvages

A snippet of Les Enfants Sauvages Spring/Summer 14 Collection.

A woman sitting on a stool is playing the ukulele; she's wearing a cute dress with a large line of strong-pattern fabric and flat shoes. That's how you step inside the world of contemporary label Les Enfants Sauvages: "a Montreal-based studio working with fabrics from different cultures. It freely combines tradition with modernity, the local, and the foreign. We make clothes for the free and independent human beings." Marie-Christine Quenneville, the brains behind the brand, constantly reinvents herself through a blend of African-inspired prints and oversized ready-to-wear pieces.


Quenneville states, "[the] collection is inspired by Haitian voodoo, particularly the representation of the spirit goddess Erzulie.  I am interested in feminine figure and I linked that to the Japanese mythology of the spider Goddess Jorogumo. The fabric I use is always the starting point of my creative process, and I worked this time, with a spider motif fabric. [That's] where I elaborated the concept from. The spider symbol also a strong meaning in Africa, as it is presented in the film KwankuAnanse (whose filmmaker, Akosua Adoma Owusu, wore Les Enfants Sauvages dresses at the Toronto Film festival)."

"[I was also inspired by] images of American vernacular jazz dance and the crazy dance parties in private Afro-American clubs back in the 1920s and 1930s. The feel a joy that emanates form those party are palpable to me. As voodoo travelled to the south of the United States I saw it blended in the society of the era. This era was greatly represented by the drawing of the artist Bill Traylor. There's a shadowy mood and, to give you an image of the collection as a whole, it'd be like a secret society in a Louisiana village in the 30s — everyone gathering around a pond under a full moon in their very best attire to dance old dances." Her Spring/Summer 14 collection is definitely a combination of stylish easy-to-wear pieces. You'll be to purchase it here starting March 2014.

Photo by Meztli Yoalli Rodríguez

Dying Lagoons Reveal Mexico’s Environmental Racism

In the heart of a traditionally Black and Indigenous use area in Southwest Mexico, decades of environmental destruction now threatens the existence of these communities.

On an early morning in September 2017, in a little fishing village in the Pacific coast of Oaxaca, called Zapotalito, thousands of dead fish floated on the surface of the Chacahua-Pastoría lagoons. A 7.1-magnitude earthquake, which rattled Mexico City on September 19, was felt as far down as Zapotalito, and the very next morning, its Black, Indigenous and poor Mestizo residents, who depend on the area's handful of lagoons for food and commerce, woke up to an awful smell and that terrible scene of floating fish.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Watch Focalistic & Vigro Deep’s New Music Video For ‘Ke Star’

The 'Lockdown Level 1 anthem' has come to life through fire visuals.