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Lifestyle: Threads of Change Mud and Wax Cloth Mobile and Tablet Sleeves

Threads of Change [Africa Inspired] Once upon a time you could just put your mobile into your pocket or bag and just go (…well I still do!); but now ever-rapidly evolving interactive, on-the-go paraphernalia such as handheld computer games, iPhones, Blackberrys, iPads and more are so ingrained in our day-to-day lives we now seek to dress them up as expressions of ourselves whilst keeping them safe – think of the teenage girl with her rhinestone covered mobile phone or the interchangeable ‘skins’ that come in a plethora of colour and pattern. So how about some colourful, distinctive Mud and wax […]

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Accessories: Olele Blending African Print Fabrics with Spanish Tradition

Olele [Africa Inspired] When it’s stifling out there and the caress of a cool breeze is nowhere to be found I always find myself wishing I had a fan, and enviously looking at those who had the foresight to carry one. A self-indulgent pleasure, but oh so ladylike; fans are one of those things you don’t think about until you need it right then and there; and then prove impossible to find. Blending African prints with Spanish tradition, Etsy store Olele has a covetable range of fans that are just the thing to have to hand to keep you cool when the […]

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Textiles: Landry & Arcari Luxury African Inspired Tibetan Weave Rugs

Landry & Arcari [Africa Inspired] In a blend of cultures, the richly textured raffia cloths of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Kuba and Shoowa people provided the inspiration for a range of Tibetan weave rugs hand-woven in Nepal. The rugs use Tibetan wool, mohair and silk and capture the distinctive iconic designs through the patterns, textures and colours. The silk is used in the lines of the designs and shimmers as it catches the light. Landry & Arcari the company behind the rugs, created the range as a way to pay homage to what they felt was a rich but under-appreciated African […]

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Textiles: SisterBatik Wax Cloth Cushions

SisterBatik [Africa Inspired] [Image credit: SisterBatik – Etsy] Loving these gorgeously colourful cushions and pillows from SisterBatik, that I saw via The South is Blooming blog. Working on a philosophy to create items that will happily become part of someone’s space or home, SisterBatik’s pillows and cushions will definitely add some cheer. Stemming from a love of global textiles, UK-based SisterBatik says their latest collection is inspired by an obsession with the colors, patterns and textures of Dutch wax batik prints. Each cushion is handcrafted in small quantities to enable new prints to be added continually. On some pillows fabrics are mixed and […]

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Fashion: Gudrun Sjödén Summer 2011 Africa Based Lookbook

Gudrun Sjödén [Africa Inspired] While leisurely flipping through the ‘Mail on Sunday’s’ (3rd April 2011) ‘You magazine’ supplement I saw a rather dreamy African inspired photoshoot, advertising the latest ‘Early Summer 2011’ collections from Swedish clothing label Gudrun Sjödén. The backdrop of the editorial drew me before I’d even taken notice of the clothes; I guess such is the power of a comfortingly familiar savannah landscape of over me. Beautifully shot on location in various parts of Botswana, ‘Early Summer’ comprises four core looks that are laidback and easy to wear. Founding the company in 1976 designer, Gudrun Sjödén’s states that […]

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Fashion: Missoni’s Global Chic Inspiration

Missoni [Africa inspired] [Image credits: Pre-collection spring 2011 – Missoni] Luxurious crochet knits are the signature of family-owned Italian fashion house Missoni. Founded in 1953 the label’s distinctive prints make use of zig-zags, waves, blocks of colour and geometric shapes, and are seen across clothing like eveningwear, swimwear, and accessories.  The summer collection is said to celebrate the world’s different cultures and you do get that sense, as it is hard to pinpoint a specific influence. It is the embodiment of global chic, so although I can’t strictly refer to it ‘African Inspired’, however when looking at the spring 2011 pre-collection […]

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Accessories: Bettye Muller Wax Cloth Wedges on Anthropologie

Anthropologie Shoes [Africa Inspired] [Image credit: Bettye Muller] Just stopped by Anthropolgie online and came across these wax cloth print covered platform espadrilles. Called ‘Reaching For Light’ the strappy shoes were designed by New York native Bettye Muller. Whilst the espadrilles are definitely African inspired, the silk print on the clogs, although not explicitly attributed to African print, still reminded me of wax cloth print. It is not the first time Bettye Muller has used African print, followers of African fashion may be familiar with the wedges below from a previous collection a few years back. [Image credit: Bettye Muller] …and these equally gorgeous […]

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Textiles: malene b Carpets Inspired by Global Travel and Cultures

malene b [Africa Inspired] [Image credit: Wolof: Signature Collection – malene b] I have a love/hate relationship with carpets; love carpets but am such a stickler when it comes to shoes on carpets and cannot bear the thought of people coming in from outside and trampling dirt all over them… I hear you laugh but I get completely stressed out… is that irrational or what??? My previous home had vanilla ice cream coloured carpets and no one; and I mean no one wore shoes on them! So I can only imagine how high my stress levels would shoot up to […]

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Textiles: Zara Home African Inspired Home Décor

Zara Home [Africa Inspired] [Image credits: Chic Collection – Zara Home] I adore the Zara Home Store, it is a veritable treasure trove of beautiful things and passing by the window display in Bluewater Shopping Centre in Kent, this past Sunday I was greeted with a showcase of classic African home décor – think safari-style in various shades of brown, sand, ebony and ivory. Whilst I tend to prefer a more vibrant look incorporating brightly coloured accents, there were some elements that appealed, however on entering the store to have a closer look I was greeted instead with distinct sections of […]

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Accessories: Vivienne Westwood  eco-friendly Shoppers for Gold Label

Vivienne Westwood/ International Trade Centre [Kenya] [Image credits: Shoppers – Vivienne Westwood] …I know I’m rather late with this one, even though I’ve had it on my radar for a while. Anyhoo, if you’re looking for some glamour when it comes to your eco-friendly shopper then check out Vivienne Westwood’s designs for Gold Label Spring/Summer 2011. In collaboration with the United Nations International Trade Centre’s Ethical Fashion Programme the bags are handmade in Kenya and make use of recycled materials. Originally available in three designs – a quick check of the web shows you’ll be lucky to still have your pick as they’ve […]

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Textiles: Inspired by Africa’s Currencies

ekofabrik [Africa Inspired]     [Image credit: ekofabrik blog] Now here is something I haven’t seen in like, forever and it certainly took me back in time! I’m taking about the mid-80’s; and the object in question is a vintage Zimbabwean $2 note, later withdrawn and replaced with a coin and now virtually nonexistent. Browsing the net yesterday and following some random but interesting links I stumbled upon US-based ekofabrik showcasing the note design printed on a cushion. Using vintage paper money collected on her travels as a child, designer Kim Johnson replicates the designs onto organic cotton pillows that are backed with […]

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Interiors: Ethniciti Interiors Inspired by Africa

Ethniciti [Africa Inspired]       [Image credit: Ethniciti] The days are starting to get a bit longer, with spring just a couple of months away and for me; a time when the urge to have a good clear-out and reorganisation strikes – I have already started to feel the itch! And looking back on the few months since I started African Daydreams I have come across some truly beautiful and inspiring products that I wouldn’t hesitate to use to refresh my home. Our homes and what we put into them say so much about who we are, but it […]

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African Design Inspired Liberia Tea Collection By SoHe Designs

Growing up my mum had a brown and white china tea and dinner set, depicting traditional English scenes rendered in the French toile style. It was a set that had pride of place in the display cabinet and came with the implicit understanding we were not allowed to touch. My siblings and I would peer at it through the glass, fascinated at the detail and delicateness of it, making up stories about the images portrayed. The thing that strikes me most about that set was how it was reserved for special occasions only, and even then it hardly ever came […]

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Food & Drink: Paradise Coffee

Paradise Coffee [Africa Inspired]     Based in Kyiv, Ukraine; Kyiv Coffee Factory brings you a carefully selected range of the world’s best coffee. The coffee is marketed under the brand name Paradise and comes beautifully packaged, it was through the packaging showcased on African Digital Art where I was introduced to the brand. Included in their offerings are some of Africa’s finest coffees from: Ethiopia, Kenya, Burundi and Uganda.     [Image credits: Paradise] The coffee can be purchased as loose beans or milled in vacuum packs. Paradise also has a vacuum packed selection of eight 125gram popular blends including coffee from: Costa […]

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Interiors: Interior Elegance Inspired by Africa

Aline Matsika [Africa Inspired] [Image credit: Aline Matsika] Interior designer Aline Matsika is known for her impeccable sense of style and discerning eye for detail that draws on her African heritage, seamlessly blending contemporary and antique French chic with traditional African elegance. The results are gorgeous inviting spaces where diverse cultural accents co-exist in unison. [Image credits: Aline Matsika] Starting out in Paris with her boutique, Concept Ethnic, Aline Matsika brought her unique take on old and new to the heart of New York’s Soho district in the form of Mosaic. Her signature style sees unique furniture such as Louis XVI chairs covered […]

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Food & Drink: Chocolates for a Cause

Compartes Chocolatier [Africa Inspired] [Image credit: Compartes Chocolatier] Benefiting Relief International’s efforts in Darfur, celebrated Los Angeles-based chocolatier, Compartes has created a special collection of chocolates called ‘Chocolates for a Cause’. With over 60 years producing handcrafted artisan gourmet chocolates, Compartes takes pride in using only the best and freshest ingredients for their confectionary, searching the world for inspiration and ingredients. The Chocolates for a Cause range are made with fruits and spices sourced from North and West Africa, with flavours including cardamom, coconut, coffee, grains of paradise and caramelised plantain. The gift sets come with a Relief Beads bracelet, and each chocolate square displays a […]

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Design: Binta by Philippe Bestenheider for Moroso

Binta [Africa Inspired] [Image source: via Dezeen] These have to be some of the cutest chairs I have seen and a testament to the timeless appeal of wax cloth. Designed by Swiss designer Philippe Bestenheider for the Italian furniture company,Moroso, I first saw these chairs last year, 2009 and a year later they still look good. Taking inspiration from Africa, the Binta chair is designed to evoke African woodcarvings and like a mighty Baobab with its trunk like feet, sits firmly on the floor. Upholstered in a patchwork of bold, colourful Senegalese fabrics adds personality, bringing the chair to life. [Image sources/Credits: left via […]

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Interiors: Wax Cloth Dinnerware

Wax Print Inspired Dinnerware [Africa Inspired] Bring some colour to your place settings with these Wax fabric inspired dinnerware offerings. Firstly from American-based French Bull, whose kitchen and lifestyle products are wonderfully bright and funky. With products sold globally, the Isis range of dinnerware and platters caught my eye whilst browsing their website. Described as being inspired by Africa, the Isis range has an air of vibrant wax print fabric design about it. Made from melamine making the products durable and resistant to high heat, these plates are perfect for adults and children alike making them ideal for picnics. [Image credits: French Bull] […]

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Textiles: Anthropologie African Bedding Inspiration

Anthropologie Bedding [Africa Inspired] [Image credits: Yoruba Quilt, Anthropologie] I am a fan of US-based store Anthropologie, loving its quirky bohemian style with a dusting of romance and was thrilled when they finally opened two stores in London, the first one in October 2009 and then the second earlier this year. Browsing their online store I came across a range of African inspired bedding and interior accessories that they state is drawn from Yoruba and Northern Sotho cultures, although I may be wrong in saying, I feel the fabric inspiration relates more to the Dutch Wax cloth popular in West Africa.

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