faith (noun) :
1. complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
2. strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof.
Or, in my words:
3. the balanced meeting between spirituality and self-discipline.
Faith is an Afrofuturistic statement, proposing an amplification of my inherited values.
Three aspects of my upbringing contributed to this vision: my traditional French education, my Malagasy heritage and the influence Science-fiction -geek culture- has had on my creative world.
In my eyes, the key common trait between these personal pillars, amongst others, is faith.
In God, in fate, in ancestors, in humanity, in the future, in community, in oneself, in the Other.
Representation is central in my approach.
As a millenial adopted Black woman who travelled and lived both in West Africa and Western Europe, I grew up
observing cultural differences, sometimes mix, sometimes clash. However, I never felt fully in tune with these divisions and yet, these are part of my identity.
A catholic education and a military environment on one side, a distant ancestral spirituality from Madagascar on the other, triggered a search for balance in oneness.
It is in fictional worlds displayed in Fantasy Litterature, Sci-fi movies and Japanese comics, as well as in the sense of kinship of the communities stemming from those artworks that I found myself and my purpose.
My strong desire to birth my own tribe,
both celebrating Afro-descending Black Women as main characters of a Solarpunk fantasy
and sharing an Afrofuturistic vision of Feminine energy and strength materialized in this collection.
In the current state of the world, African heritages are re-explored by Afro-descendants born and raised in the Western world. This search is one way of affirming our identities and defining our intend in this world. In culture, those stories are still under-represented and struggle being told the right way but there is a space for them to exist, be related and inspire. In my attempt to contribute to this aim, the need for new languages, new symbols, new aesthetics and updating of values fuels my creativity and my faith in offering a point of view on the topic of heritage.
The creative process behind the silhouettes has been to incorporate and self-appropriate elements from french military uniforms, traditional Malagasy fabrics and the Cyberpunk aesthetic.
The Lamba -the Malagasy traditional fabric worn draped freely around the body- and the Dolman -military taillored jacket- were the main inspiration in terms of garments. The observation of nature as a first step is essential to the creative approach overall.
A striking, vibrant and contrasted color palette runs through each look and characterizes the overall aesthetic of the collection. These warm eye-catching colors and their dialogue draw inspiration from the depth of the sea and Cyberpunk movies such as The Matrix and Ghost in the Shell (1995).
The materiality of this project fluctuates between unusual and unique materials such as latex or fake woolen fur and more simple fabrics such as woven polyester. The contrast in texture, feelings and luminosity creates a multi-sensorial experience through each look.
Tribal patterns inspired by insects are printed and applied on fabrics, referencing Lamba akotofahana -woven silk brocade Lamba with complex pattern- and the culture of fabric adornment in Africa in general. Meaningful and decorative patterns inspired by nature are reworked in a more modern, almost tattoo-like, way.
The silhouettes and garments shapes draw inspiration from vintage pictures of Malagasy people wearing the Lamba and vintage military Dolman collections. The draping is very free and voluminous, manipulated yet effortless.
The more tailored pieces are cut out with graphic shapes in the same style as the prints. In this manner, abstract draped garments meet rigid angular clothing with military codes.
Handmade adornment and craftmanship are a huge part of Malagasy culture. Rather large macramé pieces, referencing the art of passementerie in military parade attires and Akotofahana, play as the central finishings and accessories of the collection.
The Ramisphere woman is a bold, vivid and regal warrior who sports her body with pride.
She knows where she stands, doesn’t forget where she comes from and is ready to go forward and beyond.
«Izay mahasahy maty ni mofono lambamena. Velona hitafina maty hitonosana.»
«Those who dare to confront death wear the lambamena. We wear it from life to death.»