Style

Avant-Garde 'Volt' Fashion With Robert Wun

British label Robert Wun released their Fall/ Winter 14 lookbook entitled 'Volt'.

British label Robert Wun has released their latest lookbook for Fall/ Winter 14. Their new Volt collection is an ambitious piece of work that ties fashion and experimental photography. The label states that they aim to create "ingenious garments with sophisticated vision, to inspire independent individuals with original beliefs." We definitely see a beautiful contradiction between the shapes, dimensions, perspectives, colors and materials featured in the editorial. The lookbook itself is a striking piece of visual and fashion art. There's a clear attention to every single detail here —from the design, to its tailoring to showcasing the different looks. Wun brings a wide-range of unique and avant-garde garments with a cool Japanese inspiration.

Style
Photo by Seyni B.

First Look: Senegalese Rapper Nix & Designer Papi Present Their Sleek Capsule Collection, 'The Ñuulest'

The collaboration is hip hop meets West Africa—a fusion of the creative duo's worlds.

Last fall, when Senegalese rap pioneer Nix released his album, Excuse my Wolof 2: The Ñuulest, he hinted that a fashion collection was to accompany it. For the rapper, his multi-faceted project was aimed at using all aspects of one's identity as inspiration to create—and in collaboration with clothing brand Mwami, it's finally here.

Fifteen years post the start of his career, Nix decided it was imperative he rap in Wolof and this work built upon that. He also gathered a team of tastemakers from his home to bring the album to life both sonically and visually. Papi, the Senegalese-Mauritanian renaissance man—artist, designer and entrepreneur—served as creative director. Mwami, his contemporary clothing brand, set on "infusing art into the mundane" through the use of embroidery, high-quality fabrics and traditional design was another catalyst used to drive The Ñuulest's point home.

The Ñuulest capsule collection is the fusion of Papi and Nix's worlds. The two have known each other for 4 to 5 years. Papi has had time to get a sense of Nix's style and who he is as a person; hence, the streetwear that represents the hip hop side of Nix and a kimono that exudes Senegalese elegance.

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Arts + Culture
Photo still from Daniel Obasi's 'Udara' courtesy of Vlisco.

Daniel Obasi & Yagazie Emezi Probe Igbo Culture's Past and Present Traditions In This New Multimedia Project

The Nigerian artists have created a short film and lookbook in collaboration with Vlisco&co.

At the top of 2018, Nigerian creative Daniel Obasi pushed the envelope with his fashion film collaboration with Vlisco&co, An Alien In Town.

The artist has teamed up again with the Vlisco venture, along with photographer Yagazie Emezi, for the latest edition highlighting Eastern Nigeria.

After touching base with its Nigerian creative network for a roundtable discussion, Vlisco&co presents a unified visual narrative exploring the old and new traditions of Igbo culture and its connection with Vlisco wax. This multimedia project was deeply researched and gave Obasi and Emezi the room to document beliefs, myths and ways of life found in Igbo culture that are still alive, despite the preconceived notion that they are fading away.

These projects feature Vlisco fabrics that are too familiar in Igbo (and Nigerian) households, and were reworked into contemporary designs by Nigerian designers Fruche by Frank Aghuno and Gozel Green.

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Photo by Hamish Brown

In Conversation: Lemn Sissay On His New Book About Re-claiming the Ethiopian Heritage Stolen From Him by England’s Foster Care System

In 'My Name Is Why,' the 2019 PEN Pinter award winner passionately advocates for children in the institutional care system, and in turn tells a unique story of identity and the power in discovering one's heritage.

It took the author Lemn Sissay almost two decades to learn his real name. As an Ethiopian child growing up in England's care system, his cultural identity was systematically stripped from him at an early age. "For the first 18 years of my life I thought that my name was Norman," Sissay tells OkayAfrica. "I didn't meet a person of color until I was 10 years of age. I didn't know a person of color until I was 16. I didn't know I was Ethiopian until I was 16 years of age. They stole the memory of me from me. That is a land grab, you know? That is post-colonial, hallucinatory madness."

Sissay was not alone in this experience. As he notes in his powerful new memoir My Name Is Why, during the 1960s, tens of thousands of children in the UK were taken from their parents under dubious circumstances and put up for adoption. Sometimes, these placements were a matter of need, but other times, as was the case with Sissay, it was a result of the system preying on vulnerable parents. His case records, which he obtained in 2015 after a hardfought 30 year campaign, show that his mother was a victim of child "harvesting," in which young, single women were often forced into giving their children up for adoption before being sent back to their native countries. She tried to regain custody of young Sissay, but was unsuccessful.

Whether they end up in the foster system out of need or by mistake, Sissay says that most institutionalized children face the same fate of abuse under an inadequate and mismanaged system that fails to recognize their full humanity. For black children who are sent to white homes, it often means detachment from a culturally-sensitive environment. "There are too many brilliant people that I know who have been adopted by white parents for me to say that it just doesn't work," says Sissay. "But the problem is the amount of children that it doesn't work for."

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News Brief
(Screenshot from "Every Woman" video)

Check out Cameroonian Crooner Vagabon’s New Ode to Female Power

The singer dropped a video for new single "Every Woman" today, shot by fellow Cameroonian director Lino Asana.

Cameroonian-born singer-songwriter Laetitia Tamko, better known as her stage name Vagabon, has been spoiling us with delights as of late. First, the crooner teased us with two singles, "Flood" and "Water Me Down" from her forthcoming sophomore album, Vagabon, a work she wrote and produced herself. And today, she surprised us with a new single and video for "Every Woman"—a track Tamko claims is the "thesis of the album," as per a press statement reported by The Fader magazine

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