Africa Fashion Guide
A social enterprise promoting sustainability within Africa's fashion and textile industry.


November 30th, 2015

Looking back in order to move forward – Celebrating the Artisan – SS16 collection Studio One Eighty Nine

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The third collection from Studio One Eighty Nine just has to have a mention. The amazing duo – Rosario Dawson and Abrima Erwiah’s launched this official collection during New York Fashion Week in September and celebrated various different artisan techniques produced in Africa such as (our love) the labour intensive Kente cloth, bògòlanfini mud technique from Mali as well as their traditional hand-batiking, basket weaving as well as an introduction to indigo dyeing.

Showcased at the Smithsonian in partnership with Lower Eastside Girls Club, Abrima and Rosario Dawson presented a cool, fresh and quite delicate collection of clothing. The designs being equally vibrant, refreshing and light, even though the collection is based on shades of indigo; light blue, ocean blue, sky blue. Whilst the hint of pink, whites and black geometric patterns and abstract prints moves the designs from summer breeze to fall ready wear. As done before they utilise the West African Adinkra symbol “sankofa,” with the meaning of looking back in order to look forward.

The line Studio 189 also has a echo-friendly jewelry line, which we feel represents Rosario Dawson as we know her to be fun, sophisticated, and edgy with a sense of pride for helping others. The jewelry and clothing was made in Ghana and provides a means of income for the people and the green necklace was made from recycled Heineken beer bottles, the white necklace from soda bottled and blue necklace made from Skyy Vodka bottles.

Styles included ponchos with hoods,  jumpsuits silhouettes, kaftans, halterneck dresses, 70s style wide leg pants and more but the garment that called to me was the indigo kimono. It was light, soft and feminine, moving it from a stiff and dreary traditional garment that can only be worn on occasion to a modern light, bright and breezy garment worn for any occasion. The garment was soft and flowy with deep plunge front with a vibrant colors of indigo blue.

In discussing the collection Dawson uses the words “beauty, excellence, craftsmanship and luxury” to sum it up, and we totally agree.










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