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


July 12th, 2014

CHiCHiA SS14 | REMINISCENCE – Recalling Time Forgotten

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Written by: Jacqueline Shaw
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Bringing back a sense of fun into your closet, the CHiCHiA  Spring/ Summer 2014 mini collection  entitled ‘Reminiscence’ recalls a sometimes forgotten time; ones childhood. The collection focuses on the idea of being grown up but still wanting to have fun in clothes and dressing up to feel happy, channeling a youthful innocence. An elusive colour palette of muted sugary pastel tones sit alongside more darker tones, black and navy, to add an edge.

Traditional Tanzanian khanga prints  are prominent within the collection where colourful florals, graphics and stripes are used to inject an expressive and playful statement as they adorn the contemporary, ultra-feminine silhouettes intermixed with  solid shades. The collection also experiments with peek-a-boo cut out detailing and a mis-matched colour palette to add that naive, almost childlike feel. Mosaic, stained glass style detailing is seen throughout the range with contrasting mis-matched prints merged together to form decorative textiles that tell a new story with each garment.

Traditional Tanzanian art Tinga Tinga influences the prints within the collection (exclusively designed by Oliver Goddard) where colourful animals and birds inject some expressive and playful humor as they adorn the contemporary, easy to wear silhoutettes. The collection also experiments with Batik handmade prints to add that naive, almost childlike feel.

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Screen shot 2014-07-08 at 20.29.02Other details such as colourful binding, curved hems on skirts and dresses, pretty flounces , mock capes and manipulated style lines are featured through the collection in Chichia’s signature playful contemporary and refreshing silhouettes.

London-based designer Christine Mhando graduated from Kent University with an honours degree, in 2002. After her studies, Mhando gained invaluable experience working for high-end designers as well as womenswear brands and suppliers for the high-street Mecca. With the knowledge she acquired, Tanzanian-born Mhando launched the label that bears her childhood nickname, Chichia in 2007.

The Chichia ready to wear range is an amalgamation of both continents and cultures from which the designer was born and raised. The label’s signature transpires from the artful application of the “Khanga”, a traditional east African cotton printed fabric used by local women as wraps.

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As well as the Made in Africa range Chichia have also launched their made in Britain collection. The ‘CHiCHiA LUXE CONCEPT’ is a range of high quality garments created using a mix of luxury fabrics focusing on sophisticated craftsmanship and techniques fused with CHiCHiA signature traditional East African fabrics and prints. All garments are made in Britain.

Currently stocked in independent boutiques across the world and online, Chichia has gained a cult following on the online blog circuit as well as extensive press attention in distinguished publications such as Grazia, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan and Vogue Italia. Featured on Vogue Italia Talents in 2013, it is understandable why her inspired use of colour and print has warranted the Chichia label with a growing celebrity following. With fans including Beyonce, Chichia is fastly becoming recognised as an international African brand that modernises and transforms traditional East African textiles into stylish, contemporary and considered fashionable attire.





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