I have been away for awhile. My sincere apologies as I was preoccupied with my day job. I am back and hopefully will be around all summer. It’s been awhile and will try to make sense of all that I have missed in the past couple of months. First is a series I came across while away and it’s entitled “State of Undress” hosted by Hailey Gates for Viceland. No homo here, but I truly love Hailey Gates. She gets it 100%. The point of this show is to use fashion as an entry point to talk about identity issues and politics and sort of underreported cultural phenomenon and to be able to show both the light and the dark of these things. Fashion means so much more to people in many different contexts and I love how her docuseries did a splendid job to showcase this. It was also amazing to view how fashion would lend itself to exploring all the avenues that she wanted to explore in the countries she visited especially in war-torn regions like Pakistan or censored countries like China. I loved all her reactions with every place she visited from Pakistan to Russia and even Congo. I most especially love how she champions the need for representation of people and their fashion beyond that which is commonly seen in the media these days.
Hailey and her show are the inspiration for what I plan to hopefully write this summer. I would love to spend the summer giving a window to fashion from Africa in ways that I hope will set the tone for what it means to be the voice of fashion from Africa. I will make no serious promises and I am horrible are doing so. But I will work to ensure that what I do is honest, relevant and always opinionated. When Elle Magazine asked Hailey the following: “What would you say is the biggest lesson you’ve learned about fashion’s function in society?” her response: “Everybody gets dressed every day and whatever you decide to get dressed in that morning is communicating something. Whether that’s helping you sort of form your identity or telling people how they should deal with you, it’s all information. Some of us are lucky enough to choose what we wear, and some of us don’t have that luxury, but we all are communicating something to the world around us by what we wear no matter if it’s sweatpants or a tuxedo.” It is this idea of communicating something through fashion, particularly fashion from Africa, that I plan to stand for this summer. Wish me luck.