>> I've always been in two minds about the use of "ethnic" costume in fashion. I'm all for being inspired by the world but where does 'ethnic' costume literal re-hashing start and end. Or even worse, countries, ethnic groups and cultures that form the inspiration end up becoming lumped into one and become one mass genre where a piece of clothing with something a bit unfamiliar looking about it ends up being coined as 'ethnic-looking' (*major eye wincing here…*)
In Paris, I discovered the work of Marani and surprisingly I was very taken with what he had done with his collection, a mainline re-launch (I gather Marani is a casual knitwear brand…). He's pretty specific about where his ideas come from. Actually, it is just the one idea… from Pieter Hugo's photography undertaken in Nigeria, specifically the series "The Hyena and Other Men", Alberto Marani took the dusty tasselled skirts of the hyena tamers and transferred them to a contemporary setting where I could well imagine an ornate layered tasselled skirt worn with a casual silk t-shirt. It's the very specific and singular motif and the way Marani has refined an item of attire that has this very raw kind of beauty that makes complete sense to me.