Thursday, June 10, 2010

Eve of Departure

I can't say I've been this nervous in a long time. Nothing in particular is really bothering me, either, so it's not like it's something easy to fix. I just know that no matter how much I read, no matter how many pictures I see, how many times I unpack and rearrange my luggage, I won't be ready for what I'm about to face. I'm not unprepared and I'm not ignorant, I know that is at least partially true, but it's an entirely different world some 36 hours from now that I'll be entering, and nothing in all of my years of schooling really prepped me for this kind of an experience. I'm absolutely excited.

I've been perusing the internet looking at wax prints recently, and have found a few interesting bits. Firstly, and this Fran did tell me, the biggest designer name in African wax prints is actually a Dutch company, VLISCO. According to Wikipedia, they began printing wax textiles in the Philippines, but discovered that their batik techniques carried over well to African prints and so they began to sell in that continent as well. Their market in southeast Asia ended when the Philippino buyers decided that they wanted to buy things made in the country, and so VLISCO Veritable Wax Hollandaise became known as an African textile primarily.

This company, and African wax prints in general, are some of the coolest things I've seen. Let me show you.

This bold red print features electric rotating fans. I absolutely love it to pieces. The lines that imply movement just give the fabric a bit of a buzz, it's so cool!

This piece feels like a 1980s tribute, but the cut they've chosen really shows off the pattern.

African designers aren't the only ones employing these wax prints. Gucci and Balenciaga featured wax prints in their collections intended for summer vacations this year, but it seems like the world of high fashion might be catching on to the wild assortment of opportunities offered by this style of printing. The modern idolatry of mundane items lends itself to some wickedly cool and eye catching patterns that make you think just about anything could be converted to fashionable fabrics.

I found a knockoff of this design today while doing some fabric shopping for skirts at my favorite cheap local shop, Jomar. Just look at the original:

Shoes! My print is green instead of orange, but the shoes are still that warm tone. There's a lot more going on in the background with some blue lines and dots. I'll be sure to post pictures of the skirt once it's finished so you can see just how much is going on in the pattern. It's probably a chinese print, the chinese have been manufacturing cheaper versions of these wax prints, but the value shows in the patterns when the colors don't quite line up like they should. I actually like they look that errors give, but it is a sign of a lower quality textile. The fabric is, however, printed on both sides, so at least it's a true wax print.

Well, I'm as prepared as I'll ever be. Time to finish up some last sewing jobs and read myself to sleep before tomorrow morning. I fried up some veggie patties for the day of traveling to hold me over until the airline dinner, I'm hoping it's enough. Here goes nothing.

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