Explore the exchange story of designer Zinzi De Brouwer from Mozambique and artisan Beautiful Local Hands from Mauritius and find out how they created their look for The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange, 2018.
Experts in pottery, textiles, basketry and beadwork, the craft workers have benefitted from the careful structure of the business, allowing homeworkers who may struggle with conventional enterprise to work from home at their own pace. Those disadvantaged members of Mauritian society, including older women and disabled people are given new skills, escaping their isolation by meeting other craft workers and gaining confidence through their ability to earn an income. The promotion of traditional Mauritian handicraft techniques, using indigenous plants and recycled materials, maintains biodiversity and preserves the environment.
Illustration of the dress
As Zinzi De Brouwer's look is inspired by architecture, the fabric chosen nods towards the Maasai tradition for checks and the grid-like structure of the city.
The ruffles and gathers symbolise the lush vegetation and the warm sunshine dappled through palm leaves.
Jewellery made from locally sourced materials
Beautiful Local Hands’ artisans, James Warren (aka Pop) and Dany Couyava, created a necklace and bangles to accessorise the look, made from locally sourced polished coconut sewn onto beige canvas.
Final look on display at Buckingham Palace, 19 February 2018
Final look on display at the Australian High Commission, London, 22 February 2018
This content has been specifically curated for the Google Arts & Culture platform on behalf of the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange exhibition that launched on the 19th of February at Buckingham Palace in partnership with Swarovski, The Woolmark Company and MATCHESFASHION.COM.
The project, created and managed by Eco-Age, with the support of The Commonwealth Fashion Council and The British Fashion Council.
More information about the images is available by clicking on them.
Read more about the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange at http://eco-age.com/commonwealth-fashion-exchange/