Monday, May 29, 2023

Not African Enough|A Fashion Book By ‘The NestCollective’

The Nest Collective have come up with a fashion book that is designed to perform a fashion intervention and provoke conversation on African worldviews that go beyond crippling colonial stereotypes.

Firyal Nur Al Hossain’s
The Nest Collective is a small army of thinkers, makers and believers living and working in Nairobi. Since inception in  2012, The Nest Collective has created works in film, music, fashion, visual arts and literature such as the critically-acclaimed queer anthology film Stories of Our Lives, which has so far screened in over 80 countries and won numerous awards, and Tuko Macho—a groundbreaking interactive crime web series widely considered to be one of the best African TV series.
Jewellery designer Ami Doshi Shah
Not African Enough is a project that aims at showing that African people are humans rather than tokens to be fetisised and exoticised, in a lay mans term, Kenyan designers are so tired of being put in the hole and The Nest Collection are here to salvage the situation. According to the group “This book, for us, is a part of that wider aspiration. In it we aim to dismantle this heavy super-concept ‘African’; the assembly of words, images, sounds, ideas, weaknesses, histories, and failings associated with the entire continent.”
Muqaddam Latif and Keith Macharia
This Book Which is led by Kenyan fashion stylist, creative director, and production designer, Sunny Dolat has certain galling questions about Western ideologies in Africa. Africanness is an idea that has remained stagnant for as long as anyone can remember because colonization had negative and belittling effect on the way African people view their culture and also the way the African Culture is Perceived by Non-Africans. The only image of Africa is a dust filled environment characterized by poverty, disease, and illiteracy.
Kepha Maina
To fully illustrate the multiplicity of kenyas fashion scene, The Nest Collective gathered some of the country’s top and emerging creatives. The first chapter of the fashion book, Joy Mboya, the director of the GoDown Arts Centre in Nairobi, unpacks Kenyan national identity and how it relates to art. In particular, a 2004 project titled Sunlight Quest for a National Dress is described as an attempt to create recognizable symbols of identity through fashion.
Kepha Maina
“There is also a greater desire for and consumption of clothing designed by Kenyans and inspired by Kenyan cultures,” she wrote. “It is possible that this set of brewing cultural conditions could better demonstrate the importance of national dress, beyond an abstract need to stand out from other Africans in international fora.”
fashion book

This book shows an array of designers creating new, diverse Kenyan aesthetic on the continent while portraying African culture at large. Included in this book are the works of Adèle Dejak whose signature material remains cow horn, Wambui Kibue whose pieces are influenced by Hollywood glamour, and Anyango Mpinga who harnesses feminine and masculine energy in her collections.

Not African Enough|A Fashion Book By 'The NestCollective'

 “Together we explore our troubling modern identities, re-imagine our pasts and remix our futures. In all our works, we prioritize the acknowledgement and stating of our different individual perspectives and privileges, and our work strives to convey this dialogue.”african fashion book
While we await the launch of this fashion book in September 2017, HERE is something interesting. CLICK HEREfashion book
Reference: Design Indaba

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  1. Fashion is not about politics, race or culture. Anyone can design or wear exactly what they want. Disconnecting Africa from the fashion world will cripple the African fashion scene. Let’s pay respect where it is due.


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