Daisy Emuze Silva
The new Archipelago
As a designer I feel like I have always been interested in finding connections between different cultures and continents. This subconscious ambition derives from my own cultural heritage, the Cape Verdean islands, which is a mixed culture from both African and Portuguese, European, descent due to its history. Having parents from Cape Verdean descent whilst being born and raised in the Netherlands, a Western country, I have always felt in between two worlds, two cultures. Therefore, I always search for a connection between them.
For my collection, I was inspired by the fashion culture and system of my cultural background and heritage. I was intrigued by the import-export system of my country whereby emigrated Cape Verdeans, that emigrated in the past due to lack of welfare, have the tradition to give back to their country by sending or bringing products and clothing each time they visit the country, whilst bringing back typical Cape Verdean products with them to the Western countries to which they emigrated. Therefore, the fashion culture and dress of Cape Verde was largely formed by an authentic way of handling and styling the gifted and imported clothing from the West. Something I think is also relevant amidst the sustainable wave in Europe and the West.
There are some elements from the dress of Cape Verde that inspired me during my research. The styling, the layering, the wrapping, the preference for certain garments and the use of second-hand clothing. Which I applied by partially making use of recycled garments in my collection as well. Either by draping them into new garments, turning them into new textiles by crocheting them or using them to make fabric collages, or making new patterns out of cut up pieces. The goal for this collection was to turn my inspiration into a personally interpretated and elevated look and dress of Cape Verde in relation to the West. Hereby creating a new Archipelago, which is a global Archipelago to me, where we all come together.
Photo's by Gino Taytelbaum