Why is Eva Gabarra’s story so interesting? It is simply because she is representative of the nature of contemporary fashion in Africa. First, her designs know no boundaries. Although the inspiration is decidedly African, her designs appeal tothe modern and cosmopolitan woman especially one who travels or lives abroad, and has a style that is inﬂuenced by her internationalenvironment. In the end, you get designs with a contemporary regality, made for a conﬁdent woman.Second, the epicenter of African fashion is not in Africa. Western popular fashion typically converges in four cities: London, Paris, NewYork and Milan. Coincidentally, African fashion is following the same pattern, taking root in Johannesburg, Dakar, Paris and New York;there is no one epicenter. EGC’s base in Dakar and strong presence in Paris is testament to this. There are social and economic ties to thecities in which African fashion has established itself, however more revealing are the ways in which Africans continue to progress both inour native countries and our countries of residence. What you get in the end is a resultant fusion of both cultures.The success of African designers lies in manipulating this tension between what is African and what is Western, andturning this into a form of creative expression that women and fashion lovers can appreciate. Eva’s fabrics of choice include silk, muslin,organza, lace, sequins with a backdrop of high-fashion VLISCO Wax Hollandais fabric, of which she is the ambassador in Senegal.As more African artists give-up their 9-to-5 jobs to answer their artists’ call to life, it will be interesting to note how this will shape oursocial structure over the next decade. Some countries like South Africa are already investing more into the arts than others, and are holdingthe torch for the rest of the continent. It is designers like Eva, who take the leap with conﬁdence and incredible talent, who will ultimatelypave the path for others. With a vision that distends from the past, from history, into the future and its possibilities, designers are partakingin this African Renaissance that is like none that has been seen in the past ﬁfty years.
Fanele blogs on
FASHION ET AL
Be a fan of Dunia on FACEBOOK
Join our mailing list for your free monthly newsletter
You might like:
African Fashion Renaissance – Progressing from the past to the ...http://www.duniamagazine.com/2011/07/fashion-eva-gabarra-af...3 of 1011/19/12 10:43 PM