My trademark is beadwork. - Ere Dappa
When Yoruba artisans painstakingly hand beaded shoes, bags, and vests for royalty and diviners centuries ago, chances are they didn't think their art would transcend time and place to emerge as crafted mini dresses on the runways of New York. Yet, when Ere Dappa showed her S/S 2012 'Sun-sation' collection in New York, it seemed to invoke a strong heritage of history, art, and crafstmanship.
'Sun-sation' isn't print for the sake of print - it's print from a new perspective, with beads adorning the entire surface area of several pieces, elevating ankara and infusing it with a multi-dimensional brilliance. It takes Africa's ubiquitous wax prints and turns them into living, breathing works of art - no mean feat for a textile that has gone from obscure in some circles, to over-exposed.
Silhouettes were kept simple with shift dresses taking centre stage in colours ranging from gold, to pink and white in particular, with one dress combining multiple colourways (brown, pink, blue, gold, white), a maze of beadwork around each pattern and a low cut back. While one can't help but wonder how more intricate shapes would respond to Ere Dappa's trademark beading, there's no doubt that there's elegance in simplicity and Ere Dappa is one of Africa's most sensational.
Photos courtesy of thefashionisette