Sunday, April 4, 2010

Macaulay Culkin and I share a bond

I was forgotten by my family! Ok, not really.
There comes that time when all kids move out of the house and there's a couple months where their parents may 'mourn', but eventually they move on and carry on. In this case my parents and sister decided to carry on the family tradition of going on vacation together for half term. Except A) this year it's minus 1 and B) they're going to Ethiopia... no biggie right?
I'm seething with jealousy and while I'm playing the Home Alone 'they forgot me card', I'm so excited for them (still supremely jealous though). I've already demanded at least 1,000 pictures, something my freelance photographer mother was happy undertake.

There's this wonderful 'coffee table book', perched on you guessed it, our coffee table at home, called 'Natural Fashion: Tribal Decoration from Africa' and it consists of these amazing artistic photographs of some of the tribes in East Africa and the regalia they sport. They're absolutely freaking beautiful. Who needs fashion week when you can do this?
Anyway, since my family will be seeing some of the actual tribes shown in the book I thought it's appropriate I get to give a preview of what they're seeing.

Just some background: there are about 50 different tribes in the Omo Valley (where most of these photographs were taken). It is also an archaeological site where some of the earliest hominid artifacts have been unearthed. Many of the tribes have maintained their traditional lifestyle, but with the increasing advent of modernism and the suggested plan to create a dam in the valley they are changing and embracing the new.
I couldn't for the life of me tell you which tribe was which, but honestly, does it matter?
Flowers, feathers, grass, seed pods, animal horns and furs... everything is used to create a visual experience that couldn't be duplicated
Using many different natural pigments, a colored paste is made and applied as body paint.
I'm waiting for a designer to try this out. Many cite African art and tribes as inspiration, but I have yet to see this level of design.
(All images are from the book) I've always been fascinated with the tribes of Africa and one day I would love to go to Ethiopia and spend time there living with these people and learning their habits and culture. * Add to life goals list *

I did find several designers who channel a slightly 'tribal' (I couldn't find a better adjective) feel in their collections.
In his Spring 2010 Couture show Jean Paul Gaultier channelled aztec and Latin American textures but his use of foliage as hair pieces reminds me of the photos above.
And then during the Spring 2010 ready-to-wear shows the lovely Mulleavy sisters - the masterminds behind Rodarte - made use of black body paint that adorned the models arms. Similar non?

All runway photos from
Anwyay mom, dad and shorty have a great trip and everyone else:

- Life is good

Listening to: Train - 'Hey Soul Sister'
Craving: Brunch, yumm

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