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 Post subject: Wafrica - kimono with African fabrics!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 9:11 pm 
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Jimae Geiko
Jimae Geiko

Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2006 12:12 am
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Location: UK
I spotted this link from another kimono site - Wafrica

These are fabulous! Doing your own version of the look wouldn't be difficult with some wax batik (somewhere I have three lengths I bought in the mid 90s for a similar project but haven't gotten around to stitching them - will add them to the "to do" pile right now). There is a certain something about African wax batik (and also African tie dyes) that makes them work very well for casual kimono - the bold patterns & colours remind me of my favourite Taisho pieces.

If you wanted to do your own version, check out The African Fabric Shopfor similar goodies.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 9:19 pm 
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First Mate Ika-san (Admin)
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Wow, these are absolutely striking!  :droolkitti:

On that African textile site they have something called "daboya strips" that are 6.5 inches wide, I wonder how they'd do as a hanhaba obi..

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 9:58 pm 
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Maiko-san
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Do you think the name is a pun on wafuku and Africa?

Wow such a gorgeous style... :drooldrool:

Me want! Me want!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 10:04 pm 
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Jimae Geiko
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Ohhhhh, those are just gorgeous! I love the whole package, kimono, hairstyling, makeup, everything! Thanks for the link, Takenoko. Bookmarked. :D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 10:10 pm 
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First Mate Boobie-san (Mod)
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I was immediately reminded of Goldenphoenix's African fabric yukata that she shared here.

The entire thing is a lovely fusion of style! And they're very well dressed kitsuke wise, too, which is fabulous. I wonder what other cultures one could do that with?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 10:30 pm 
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Jimae Geiko
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Iyolin, I knew they reminded me of another kimono ensemble but I couldn't figure out where I'd seen it - of course, Golden Phoenix's!  Thanks for adding the link.

Ichiemi, I thought the same as you, the name must be a pun. :D

I'm making a yukata for a guy who is 6ft 3in tall and we are planning to use one of the strip cloths on the African Fabric Shop's website for his obi, 'cause he is sumo-sized and a standard men's kaku obi won't do.  Also it will work very nicely with the fabrics I'm using.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:32 pm 
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Shikomi-san
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Oh, wow!! I agree--those fabrics are stunning. I love the blue-with-diamonds-on furisode the one lady is wearing.

Concerning the same model, I couldn't help noticing what pretty contrast the dark skin makes with the white eri. The crispness really pops.

Iyolin wrote:
I wonder what other cultures one could do that with?


The first thing that comes to mind is Native American hair sculpting, like the Hopi squash blossom hairstyle. I think that one would look very cute with  furisode.

As far as textiles go, Native American patterns might make some pretty nifty yukata, or even meisen. And how about those shawls/wearing blankets worn for the Butterfly Dance? They're expensive...but then, so are kimono!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:36 pm 
Maiko-san
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:drooldrool:  :drooldrool:  I would KILL for that furisode!!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 12:49 am 
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Maiko-san
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that's so cool! I actually wanted to make some yukata with traditional african fabrics... I love cross cultural fashion, it really adds to the ensembles....

In Africa as well as Japan textiles play a huge role in the majority of cultures there, and have standardized motifs (like kimono) that tell stories and give out information.

(Wrote a huge paper on it, was exciting.)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 12:58 am 
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Shikomi-san
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Oooh, those were gorgeous :drooldrool: I love that furisode! Thanks for the link! P.S. Cute pun  :smil3:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 2:21 am 
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Kamuro
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wow those are stunning  :drooldrool:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 2:39 am 
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First Mate Boobie-san (Mod)
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That would be interesting, Kingyoko! Do you think you could share a little bit with us in this thread?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 8:02 am 
Shikomi-san
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There is a fashion shoot of the Wafrica fashions in this months (I believe October) Paper Magazine.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:23 am 
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Maiko-san
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It's gorgeous!! Thanks for sharing, Takenoko. Maybe you could post pics of the yukata you're making when you finish it?

Iyolin, I think lots of traditional fabrics from countries all around the world could do a fussion culture kimono. Traditional fabrics are really wonderful! :lovelove
Thinking in my own country, in Mallorca they have a kind of fabric called "Roba de llengües" that I think I could made nice kimono and obi with them...
llengües clássica
llengües multicolor
llengües
And my friend Mizuho wants us to make fukuro obi with traditional Valencian silk brocades...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 9:21 pm 
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Jimae Geiko
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Oh wow, this page is stunning. The fabrics are gorgeous and the models look really good in wafuku  :lovelove

U no Hana I really like this pattern
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I could ad this kind of fabric "Blaudruck" or indigo print
http://www.blaudruck-meterware.de/Blaudruck/Blaudruck-Meterware.html
Yes, it looks like aizome  :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 1:32 am 
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Shikomi-san
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Those are beautiful! I wish I could afford one..  :cry:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 12:31 pm 
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Jimae Geiko
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U no Hana, those fabrics are wonderful! Especially "llengües" - the Verde Manzana and Verde Oliva colours look like just the right fabric for a Nara era ensemble I'd like to try making (based on a picture in a little book about the Festival of the Ages in Kyoto).  I've been looking for the right kind of ikat fabric for the "hakama" in that outfit for a while.  Can I order them from the website?  I couldn't find an ordering link.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 1:31 pm 
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First Mate Shiba-san (Mod)
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Wow! These are so beautiful. I like almost all of the designs. I think these patterns work so well with kimono. I'm much impressed! :lovelove

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 1:43 pm 
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Maiko-san
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Takenoko, I can't see an ordering link, neither... :???: it seems part of the page is still under construction.

But at tle left , under the brown block where is written "teixits Vicens"  you can see many options... one of them is "Correu" = "mail". I`m sure you can ask here about ordering fabrics and so on.

If this way doesn't work, they owe a Museum, too, and they have an e-mail adress, and a phone number.  Maybe here they can give you info:
http://www.martivicens.org/contacto.php3

If you can't contact with them, tell me and I will try to find other options.

Here is the Museum link in English, as I'm not able to post the contact page in English :mad:

http://www.martivicens.org/home.php3?idioma=eng

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Last edited by U no Hana on Fri Oct 03, 2008 8:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 2:17 pm 
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Onesan
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that is, quite possibly, the coolest thing ever.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2008 1:57 am 
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Maiko-san
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ah! wafrica!
there was a page-full article about them in one of my favorite magazines, i think paper or maybe nylon.

i wish i could afford one! they are absolutely beautiful!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2008 2:03 am 
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Shikomi-san
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How odd!  It looks like something out of a Star Wars movie!  Beautiful, though.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:00 pm 
Maiko-san
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This seemed interesting:  http://aknfabrics.com/

Think of an obi in an animal print like zebra, leopard . . . etc.

One of my friends lived in Guatamala for a while and took home suitcases of fabrics that she had made up into kimono and obi.

There's a lot of interesting stuff out there!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 2:51 am 
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Shikomi-san
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That link just made my evening.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:31 pm 
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First Mate Shiba-san (Mod)
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I showed this website to my colleague. In turn, she showed her sister. Her sister has now placed an order with them! I told my colleague I'd love to know what she ended up paying for one, and that if she needs my help in how to dress in kimono, I'm more than happy to help. Her sister wanted something unusual to wear for Christmas, and as they are African-decent, she thought this was perfect! If I get to have a look at it, I'll be sure to take photos and post them here.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 10:12 pm 
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Jimae Geiko
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Look forward to seeing pics of the real Wafrica kimono - hope you get to see how nice she looks in it!
:droolkitti:

I will have to be content with a yukata "in the style of".  I will probably find the wax print yardage when I move the workroom fabrics.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:08 am 
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Maiko-san
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A beautiful cultural blend: African kimono By DANIELLE DEMETRIOU
Special to The Japan Times

Wander past a certain kimono store in Aoyama and center stage in the window is a riotous splash of canary- yellow cotton, with bright cubes of grass green and swirls of earthy brown. A tribal red-and-black obi tied high around the waist completes a perfectly styled kimono that on close inspection evokes not the misty mountains of Japan but the searing heat of another world: Africa.

Worlds collide: Tokyo-based Serge Mouangue has matched fabrics from his home continent of Africa with Japanese dress to come up with the Wafrica kimono. More than fashion, the designer is interested in the exploration of cultures.

The contrasting landscapes of Japan and Africa may seem, literally, worlds apart. But they have been artfully united in a collaboration between an African designer and a traditional Japanese kimono-maker. Launched last month, Wafrica — Africa plus wa for Japan — has unveiled a range of kimono handcrafted in an array of African cotton fabrics that would seem to be a million miles from the subtle silks more commonly associated with traditional Japanese dress. Yet despite the orange comets and flashes of lightning tearing across a moss-green background, and the tribal swirls in colors that recall the sun-drenched African soil, the prints blend seamlessly into the kimono form before they surprise Japanese shoppers with their foreign origin.

[continued in the article]

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 2:23 pm 
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Shikomi-san
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More Wafrika pics here:
http://designcorner.blinkr.net/Fabrik_Project/2008/11/04/Wafrica_-_African_Kimono

wow, wow, wow!


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:01 pm 
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Maiko-san
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oh cool! I love the outfits on the website! It looks as if the kimono could be native to Africa! And the hairstyles are amazing!


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 Post subject: Re: Wafrica - kimono with African fabrics!
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 5:11 pm 
Shikomi-san
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Totally overlooked this topic :ermum Anyway, hopefully we can buy this for cheap in a few years...

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 Post subject: Re: Wafrica - kimono with African fabrics!
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 5:15 pm 
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First Mate Boobie-san (Mod)
First Mate Boobie-san (Mod)

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Shigatsuhana, did your friend ever receive her Wafrica kimono? Any comments from that end?

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 Post subject: Re: Wafrica - kimono with African fabrics!
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 5:58 pm 
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Shikomi-san
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Those are just beautiful! And it gives me more courage to make a kimono out of a bolt of silk batik I received from a local artist. Yay! Thank you so much for sharing this!

Edit:: And thank you to those who necroposted, because I never would have found out about this, lol!


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 Post subject: Re: Wafrica - kimono with African fabrics!
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 6:25 pm 
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Furisode Shinzo
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To be honest, I had ignored this thread in the past because I was expecting kimonos made out of the "kinte cloth" fabric prints that were popular in the early '90s.

Boy was I wrong!
These are really lovely!

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 Post subject: Re: Wafrica - kimono with African fabrics!
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:24 pm 
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Jimae Geiko
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Has anyone here contacted them for prices??? I´m curious about this :kawaii:

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 Post subject: Re: Wafrica - kimono with African fabrics!
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:11 pm 
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Maiko-san
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I think these are soooooo cool. I love the leopard-print ensemble with the green, red, and yellow striped obi. They're all so creative and wonderful!


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 Post subject: Re: Wafrica - kimono with African fabrics!
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 2:35 pm 
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Shikomi-san
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Oh~ on the 'Wafrica Style' page, there's a model in a blue/brown/off-white furisode dancing around and looking beautiful! :lovelove

What an amazing site. Aaa, so pretty~ :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Wafrica - kimono with African fabrics!
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 6:30 pm 
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Maiko-san
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They used to have some way better photos. But it just goes to show how kimono style can and should evolve.


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 Post subject: Re: Wafrica - kimono with African fabrics!
PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:14 pm 
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Maiko-san
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That is really neat, but I crave more pictures.

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 Post subject: Re: Wafrica - kimono with African fabrics!
PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 10:24 am 
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Minarai-san
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"ko-mu" houmongi
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Jean Paul Gaultier / bush warbler set
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 Post subject: Re: Wafrica - kimono with African fabrics!
PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 2:26 pm 
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Furisode Shinzo
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How creative!!!! :] Is anyone buying one? If so I demand kitsuke pics!!!! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Wafrica - kimono with African fabrics!
PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 2:53 pm 
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Geiko-san
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Oh that last one is so cute :lovelove ! I love those little birds! But it must be so expensive.. Where did you find it, Hanami?


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 Post subject: Re: Wafrica - kimono with African fabrics!
PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 3:21 pm 
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Onesan
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The blood red sun obi against the grey kimono is just gorgeous. WANT!

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 Post subject: Re: Wafrica - kimono with African fabrics!
PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 9:13 pm 
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Shikomi-san
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I want that bush warbler kimono so, so much. :drooldrool:

That Wafrica site is full of lovely, drool-worthy pictures. I really like the mix of African and Japanese styles; despite being such different cultures, they do make for a lovely combination.


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 Post subject: Re: Wafrica - kimono with African fabrics!
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 12:53 pm 
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Minarai-san
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muhvi wrote:
Oh that last one is so cute :lovelove ! I love those little birds! But it must be so expensive.. Where did you find it, Hanami?


Hi!

Yes, it seems to be 88 000 yen, but it's Jean Paul Gaultier. Here

And I myself love this: An iguana or the like (anyway something not native to Japan) in the Japanese Yyuzen style.

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 Post subject: Wafukui+Africa=Wafrica
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 5:59 pm 
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Geiko-san
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I found this wile surfing around Google.

http://www.wafrica.jp/
http://craftysistah.com/2009/11/wafrica ... ts-africa/
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/ ... 104a3.html

this is just too cool!!!!!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Wafukui+Africa=Wafrica
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 6:02 pm 
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First Mate Shiba-san (Mod)
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Big discussion about it here: viewtopic.php?f=12&t=11759&hilit=wafrica

I will add this to the end of that discussion.

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 Post subject: Re: Wafrica - kimono with African fabrics!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 9:46 am 
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Shikomi-san
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The"Wa" is supposed to refer to Japan and the "frica" is of course from Africa. I looked at this site the other day and I think it would be perfect for me to have being that I'm African American but I do love kimono!! I tried to look for prices but the say that you have to ask for a quote..translation: expensive.

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 Post subject: Re: Wafrica - kimono with African fabrics!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 10:14 am 
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Jimae Geiko
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Satomi K., how about making yourself a yukata in African print fabric? There's tons of information around IG and links to sewing sites - quite a lot of it in the Knowledge Bank.

Saves on translation!
:]

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 Post subject: Re: Wafrica - kimono with African fabrics!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:50 pm 
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Maiko-san
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I second that Satomi K, you can make your own yukata with a nice African print. I've done it before using cotton I bought a couple of years back in Angola. I've also got a couple more of those African cotton rolls waiting to become yukata. Definitly see if you can find some African cotton prints and try sewing your own yukata. That way it will be beautiful and unique; a yukata that's your very own.

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 Post subject: Re: Wafrica - kimono with African fabrics!
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 5:53 pm 
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Shikomi-san
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Thanx ! that sounds like a good idea because I have been undertaking some sewing projects lately and this could work :)

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 Post subject: Re: Wafrica - kimono with African fabrics!
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:19 pm 
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Onesan
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Did anyone here win the wafrica type yukata bolt Ryu sold this weekend? I got outbid, but I was hoping it was by an IG-er with this thread in mind!

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 Post subject: Re: Wafrica - kimono with African fabrics!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:08 am 
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Shikomi-san
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Soooooooo, I'm out to make yukata, and I cannot find those fabrics or anything near as nice as what's been posted here. Kentucky isn't exactly the "melting pot" of the US so I'm not too surprised but dayum...

I found something to use, it's fairly simple pattern, but I suppose it will do. I have no camera, but I may find it online and post it.

ETA: I had to make a Paint workshop impression of the fabric:
http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k204/vlwimb84/yukatafabric.jpg

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 Post subject: Re: Wafrica - kimono with African fabrics!
PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:23 am 
Shikomi-san
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Satomi K., if you're out to make yukata, I would first try looking at local quilting stores (fabric stores like Hancock may have some stuff, but not as good of a selection as a shop geared towards quilting specifically). I've found gorgeous Asian fabric in quilting shops, so I'm sure that they'll have African patterned fabric (and if they have a few good stores in St. Louis, they should have some in Louisville). Likewise, if you look online at quilting fabric sites, you should be able to find something. It won't be cheap--$8-11/yd--but some of the stuff out there is so stunning, it's (almost) worth the price...or enough that you don't care too much. ^_^

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 Post subject: Re: Wafrica - kimono with African fabrics!
PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:06 am 
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Shikomi-san
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Hey thanx! Yeah I tried looking at Hancock fabrics but didn't like their selection, and did find some on eBay but I got outbid..lol!

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 Post subject: Re: Wafrica - kimono with African fabrics!
PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:19 am 
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Jimae Geiko
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Satomi K., have you looked at the fabrics from the African Fabric Shop at the top of the page? Magie is very helpful and may be able to put you in touch with a specialist african fabric store in the USA or Canada - she would probably know. Real wax prints are harder to find than "Japanese" style quilting fabrics, but I'm sure you'll be able to find some eventually.
:]

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 Post subject: Re: Wafrica - kimono with African fabrics!
PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:41 am 
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Shikomi-san
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Aw man. D: These are awesome! I'm going to Ghana in September and I will definitely be on the lookout for nice fabrics and maybe brush up on my sewing skills so I can have one!


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 Post subject: Re: Wafrica - kimono with African fabrics!
PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 4:29 am 
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Maiko-san
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I just about fell out my chair after seeing this. FANTASTIC! :katana:

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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 7:03 pm 
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Maiko-san
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Ichiemi wrote:
Do you think the name is a pun on wafuku and Africa?

Wow such a gorgeous style... :drooldrool:

Me want! Me want!

I was thinking the exact same thing and I think you're right! And WOW! These are actually... really awesome! In my mind I wouldn't think it would look right, but somehow it just does.

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 Post subject: Re: Wafrica - kimono with African fabrics!
PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 10:10 pm 
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Shikomi-san
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I fear this thread has inspired me a little too much. I am in Ghana at the moment (Kumasi to be exact) and at the market today I got a bunch of the most gorgeous red and white batik cloth with the express purpose of making a yukata out of it. <3

Now, let's just see if I can get around to sewing it once I get home next week and I'll have pictures. Hopefully. xD We'll see how that goes.


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 Post subject: Re: Wafrica - kimono with African fabrics!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 7:23 pm 
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Maiko-san
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xPeachPuffx wrote:
I fear this thread has inspired me a little too much. I am in Ghana at the moment (Kumasi to be exact) and at the market today I got a bunch of the most gorgeous red and white batik cloth with the express purpose of making a yukata out of it. <3

Now, let's just see if I can get around to sewing it once I get home next week and I'll have pictures. Hopefully. xD We'll see how that goes.

Yeah, you better upload pictures! :kawaii: I am definitely curious to see how it works out!

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 Post subject: Re: Wafrica - kimono with African fabrics!
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:48 am 
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Kamuro
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I just found a youtube video of Serge Mouangue talking about his life & work with kimono

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65J8okZMfR8

It's in french tho :(

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 Post subject: Re: Wafrica - kimono with African fabrics!
PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:09 am 
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Shikomi-san
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I tried searching for subs, on one of the TED sites but no luck. If anyone knows french, I hope they can give us a little overview.

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 Post subject: Re: Wafrica - kimono with African fabrics!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:24 pm 
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Geiko-san
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Just for practice, I tried translating the whole thing. There were a few phrases I didn't catch, where he spoke quietly or too quick, and there are a few bits that I couldn't translate as nicely as they sound in French, but I got 90% of it. Any true francophones, please correct me if I got something badly wrong! Bits I couldn't understand are in italics.

--------
I'm born in Cameroon, I grew up in France, worked in Australia, and now my activities are based in Japan.

I arrived in Japan 5 years ago, I had no culture shock. I blended myself quickly into the Japanese community, I joined into the crowds, observed how people carried themselves in very chaotic environments, how they say hello, how they work, how they eat, how they've ritualized their society, and I felt good, I felt like I fit in, and I said to myself "The Japanese comport themselves like Africans!"

Okay, so there's a lot of distance, it's not the same physiology, you don't dance the same way, you don't eat the same food, you don't speak the same language, so what is it? I'd like to take you to a level a bit deeper. Africa, like Japan, is very animist. What this means is that everyone believes that in this tree, there is a spirit. In that pebble, also, there's a spirit. There's also a spirit in that cellphone in your pocket. Very animist.

Here you also have societies that communicate very well because they're (something?)
Here you also have societies that are very sophisticated, and this sophistication brings you towards an infinite respect for elders. (ancestors?)

I'm not a sociologist or tropologue, I'm a designer. My trade is to transform the environment that surrounds us in order to bring us a new narrative. And therefore, when I have a question like this, I have to do something, I have to create something. And I hope that this creation will bring me back answers to my questions.

So what I did was to choose one of the most important icons for Japan, the kimono. You show a kimono to someone in Canada or Australia, they'll say "That's Japan." But what is a kimono in reality? A kimono is a piece of fabric 13m by 38cm. Nothing more, nothing less. And it hasn't changed, it's been like that for 1000 years. Therefore I chose the kimono, and I chose the African 'waks', which is the fabric the women wrap around themselves. I worked, I drew, I explored, and the result is this, the African kimono.

The African kimono, what does that define, what story does that tell? It tells us that we take from two cultures, respecting the codes and quality and beauty of these cultures, and we come to express a third aesthetic. Another world, a new opening.

(kimono is brought in)

So you know Africa, you know Japan, but together they say something new.

These African kimono, I've made quite a few in Japan, and one of the strongest moments for me was when a Japanese client said "I've never worn kimono, but yours I have no problem wearing." I asked why, and she said "In Japan, the kimono is the image, the icon of beauty for a woman. But at the same time, there's an echo of submission that bothers me." So as a result, she had refused to wear kimono her whole life. Mine was the first kimono she'd ever worn. She said "When I wear your kimono, I feel like I'm putting on a global heritage, that I'm becoming transcultural, that I'm coming from Japan but traveling the world like this." This made me very happy.

So my kimono are always appreciated in Japan, except for one person who sent me a mail one day. "This is an outrage, do not bastardize Japanese culture." Effectively, when you touch culture, codes, identity, you touch something very fragile, very delicate. (something) So this guy didn't discourage me.

So I thought to continue my idea a bit further, with another icon of Japan - the tea ceremony. In Japan, it's a moment when time and space join into a complete tension and we join in osmosis with the others. It's not really about drinking tea, it's about tasting perfect harmony.

So in Africa we have lots of ceremonies, we have ceremonies for everything. We sing, we dance, we cry, we we have ceremonies all the time. And in Japan also, there are little micro-ceremonies: you exchange business cards, it's a ceremony, you get into a taxi with friends, there's a ceremony, you introduce people, there's a ceremony. But with the tea ceremony, I tried to sprinkle in a little of where I came from, and see if we can tell something else with this tea ceremony.

So I did a performance in Tokyo in 2009, where we had a tea ceremony where people wore African kimono, there were 300 people, it wasn't very intimate but I succeeded in creating intimacy within it. We had a musician playing the kora, a Senegalese harp, and also a nude spirit who wore a Nigerian mask.

(video)

At the end of this ceremony, there was little controversy. An old Japanese man, very very old, old like you see in Asia, bent over, came up to me. He pulled me by the sleeve, looked me in the eyes. When old people grab you, you have the feeling that there's 150 years of history that's pulling on you. So he pulled me down, looked in my eyes, and said "Thank you for this moment (something)". He pulled me even lower and looked me in the eyes, and in Japan you never look people in the eyes, and he looked in my eyes for at least 10 seconds. *waits* ...it was really long. It reminded me of the elders from my country; when you'd go see an elder for advice, effectively it's the same thing, you go for advice and you say two words and then you're obliged to sit beside them for two hours. And sometimes we understand better when they speak. And what I understood from this old man was that we're not so distant after all.

Now I'm going to tell a story. It's the story of two people who've never met, and who will probably never meet. The first is an African artisan, a sculptor who works in wood, who works with what's in the interior. The other works in wood, but cuts the wood to use the sap, the blood of the wood, and with this blood he coats the surface to create texture. So one is occupied with the structure, and the other with the skin, the texture. I wanted to bring this meeting to life, so I went with my sister and mother to Cameroon, and we found 4 statuettes which we brought back to Japan, they were about 43cm approximately. So I worked with one of the biggest lacquerers in Japan. We worked two and a half years on these pieces, we mixed techniques; we used a technique that's been used for a long time in Japan, putting washi paper fibers in the lacquer, we put preparatory layers on the wood to protect it from insects, we put hundreds of layers of lacquer, and these are the results: the brothers of blood.

Due to the techniques we used, they will last 800 years. These brothers of blood, they're objects that look at us, and question us. Do we really come from where we come from? And so I invite you today, to turn to strangers, your neighbours, people across the world, and create, discuss, and through this discussion, find a universal core.

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Last edited by Sarcasm-hime on Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Wafrica - kimono with African fabrics!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:58 pm 
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First Mate Boobie-san (Mod)
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Very interesting, Sarcasm-hime! Thanks for sharing and putting the effort into translating it for us.

Could tropologue be anthropologist? I'm just guessing based on context.

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 Post subject: Re: Wafrica - kimono with African fabrics!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:32 am 
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Geiko-san
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Wafrica fashion show in 2010: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkymLxFEltA
The black "hair" kimono was stunning (a little creepy too)...

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 Post subject: Re: Wafrica - kimono with African fabrics!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:46 pm 
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Shikomi-san
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Wow !
Looks like an absolute dream to me since I've always admired African fabrics and love when cultutes are mixed together ! That's a very impressive initiative !


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 Post subject: Re: Wafrica - kimono with African fabrics!
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:40 am 
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Onesan
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Thanks for the translation - really interesting read.

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 Post subject: Re: Wafrica - kimono with African fabrics!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 7:36 am 
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Shikomi-san
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Thanks a ton for the translation Sarcasm-hime!

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