Wrapping oneself in a cloth is a primordial gesture, common to a very large part of humanity, from the peplum to the sari, from South America to Asia. But even today it’s still a way of getting dressed every day for many women in West and Central Africa, who prefer to wrap themselves in a rectangle of fabric to form a loincloth, sometimes overlapping them to give the effect of a double skirt. This is the starting point and main inspiration for this collection: Abeung Sanda Iyé means “the beautiful loincloth” or “the pretty draped garment”. So I explored different ways of wrapping, draping and layering fabrics to create garments that sometimes complement traditional Western wardrobe pieces, or at other times result in dresses sculpted directly on the mannequin, held together by a few pleats and one or two seams. I have also sought to create garments by draping and folding, without assembling them, traditional fabrics from Ghana, Gambia or Burkina Faso in cotton or kapok, hand-woven in small strips 9 to 12 cm wide. Alongside silks such as crêpes drap, crêpes envers satin, organza, taffeta, faille and duchesse satin, this collection includes several versions of one of my favourite fabrics, Kenté, hand-woven in Ghana.
There will also be a few ‘Yoyo flowers’, made from fabric scraps, as a ‘sequel’ to my previous collection.