Dear Shaded Viewers,
My first evening in Ethiopia had its fair share of fashion excitement, with Addis Ababa's Goethe Institut putting on a great show last Saturday, featuring Ras Africa founder Osman Mohammed and three upcoming Ethiopian talents, Adila Ismail, Sewasew Hailu and Yamerote Mengis. The work was the result of a collaborative effort between them and London-based, German designer Markus Lupfer. The venue was packed and the atmosphere festive, with the audience clapping and cheering every time a new look came out. Markus' brief to the designers was to focus on one idea and exploit it to the fullest, whether it be fabrics, techniques or shapes. I loved the way each designer referred to traditional Ethiopian craft, such as weaving, embroidery or fabric dyeing, while giving the silhouettes a very contemporary spin.