We welcomed Maggie Relph to our evening meeting. Maggie runs The African Fabric shop with her husband and she has been collecting African Costumes, both vintage and new, since the 1980s. Members of our group assisted by modelling some of the outfits and there was some gorgeous fabrics to purchase on the night.
A big loose outfit for a man, note the yardage of fabric used and the simple shapes in this garment.
Machine and Hand Embroidery
Vintage costumes, this once belonged to a very important chief. The designs on the fabrics have many hidden meanings
Big Pants - yes these are a pair of pants once worn by a great chief. The more fabric, the more important you are. This pair was from the 1950s.
Detail from an embroidered hat
So beautifully worked we were unable to find a seam
Colourful printed fabric, this one has green serpents
Some outfits Maggie had made in Africa especially for her husband
Colourful, blingy outfit for a woman, including a rather fetching hat. Probably worn to a special event such as a wedding. All the women from the bride's family would purchase the same fabric and have it made into different outfits.
Some of the fabrics incorporated metallic threads which must have shone brightly in the sunshine
These shoes are made from tyres.
Another pair of pants, this time of more modest proportions
The 'pile' of discarded clothing once we had finished 'dressing up'
A shopping opportunity. They also have an online shop - African Fabric Shop