Friday, June 23, 2017

Genius Within

street photo of woman wearing a white top, afrrican print palazzo pants with a blag clutch bag in hand

Originally published on my previous blog, the edge hunter, during 16 June 2015.

Growing up, I was fortunate to spend a lot of time with my maternal grandmother.  I adore her for many reasons aside from being a wonderful grandmother. She had several nicknames for me, one being Mimiri the name I have chosen for my designs. Mimiri means beloved.


woman wearing red african print outfit with apair of red Zara heels is curtseying

Originally published on my previous blog, the edge hunter, during 8 June 2015.

When I first saw this fabric, I loved it. No, I didn't. Maybe the lighting at the shop was not so good. Maybe it was, but I was looking for something else. It was laying flat under a big pile, with a label, African Fabrics. Well, the African fabrics that we get here, are not exactly what we are accustomed to. About 99% of them have glitter, of which I have come to embrace for lack of options. No, I think there is a part of me that really loves glitter.

Repeat Offender: Another White Shirt

woman wearing white shird, red necklace and blue african print skirt

Originally published on my previous blog, the edge hunter, during 2 May 2015.

I've always steered away from prints and African fabrics in general until recently. I just did not know how I would wear them. There has been an unspoken rule about how to design the fabric and to me that was not appealing at all. I remember all the dresses my mum had tailored for us during Christmas and other occasions. I started rebelling against them at a very young age. I've always known what I wanted to wear and saved my allowances to buy the kind of clothes I wanted. I developed a wonderful relationship with the clothes vendors in our small town and as a result, I got my clothes at a bargain that my mum found very hard to believe. Rebelling against hideous childhood designs has been one of the most rewarding experiences, it has taught me to express myself through clothing and to be comfortable in being different.

Flower Power

black woman in flowery oufit

Originally published on my previous blog, the edge hunter, during 28 May 2017.

I was so fascinated by my mother's dresses when I was young. I remember gazing at the prints for hours, marvelling at how they managed to put them on a piece of clothing.  Beautiful clothes when I was young, had flowers/print. Wearing bold plain colours, was left for men and even back then, wearing a flowered shirt for a man was not out of the ordinary. When my friends and I would talk of a new dress our parents may have purchased, the  description would consist mainly of flowers and pink. And for those who understand Kikuyu, we referred to them as nguo ya mahua. The mention of flowers automatically meant beautiful.

The Miracle of the White Shirt

african print tie-dye jumpsuit

Originally published on my previous blog, the edge hunter, during 14 April 2015.

Those who are close to me know that I wear white shirts quite often. I always say that you will almost always catch me wearing a white shirt. I believe it can save you from those days when you have a pile of clothes on the bed or the floor frustrated because you cannot find anything to wear.  Another thing I always say is, when I do not know what to wear, I wear a white shirt. 

Guilt Free Fur?

dark skinned woman wearing brown faux fur coat

Originally published on my previous blog, the edge hunter, during 19 April 2015.

I made this faux fur vest in Autumn and I have had to think very much about whether I wanted to wear it. This was not because my conscience was not clear but because faux fur as you know is made from synthetic fibers designed to resemble real fur and one might dismiss it at first glance as real. I have comfortably worn faux fur before but my values change everyday and I am finding myself becoming a very conscious designer. If I was not a fashion designer, I would be a full time animal  and environmental activist. It's probably something I will consider along the way but as for now I make my contribution by supporting those who are fighting for the cause.

Sunday Best

dark skinned woman wearing white shirt, blue skirt, and colorful neck piece

Originally published on my previous blog, the edge hunter, during 22 September 2014.

When I was growing up, there were designated things for different occasions. Dishes for guests who might visit someday, Sunday's best and Christmas clothes. Everything good was reserved for the unknown. The guests, Sunday and holidays. We lived with so much longing and everything was such a treat. There were no mobile phones and house phones were a luxury. People just showed up whenever they wanted to visit. This put most families I knew in waiting mode. The days were filled with hope, grand parents hoping their kids will show up on weekends, wives hoping their husbands would  return from the city they had gone to find work. Everyone I knew was waiting for something. Waiting to wear their best clothes someday.