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Opulent Vibrant Patterned Prints Inspired by the Congo Forest

The flora and fauna of the Congolese rainforest are the inspiration behind an opulent collection of vibrant patterned prints designed for contemporary interiors. The collection is designed by Barbeline a London-based textile design studio which embraces maximalism. Each print tells a story inviting you into a magical world teeming with wildlife such as giraffes, leopards, flamingos, makaku and ostriches brought to life with intense colour rich palettes.

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Kilubukila Mandombe Collection Revitalises Kuba Cloth Textiles Through Congolese Language, Craft and Design

Mandombé meaning ‘That which is black’ is a script that was created in 1978 in Mbanza-Ngungu in the Bas-Congo province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo by Wabeladio Payi. The script, based on the square shapes of the numbers 2 and 5 is intended to write the country’s national languages and has inspired designer Jess Kilubu to explore using script and shapes to revitalise traditional Kuba Cloth Textiles. Jess is the founder of Kilubukila, a textile brand based in Kinshasa, the DRC.

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Jewellery: Fonderie 47 Transforming Weapons of War into Luxury Jewelry

Fonderie 47 [Design For Change]   Transforming the tools of destruction into ones of prosperity by using traditional melding techniques, Fonderie 47 reworks the steel components, reshaping it’s value and perceptions into an object of beauty, in the form of rare and very expensive jewellery pieces that are combined with other precious metals like gold. Constructed with mechanical and precision engineering hallmarks of jewellery makers, Philip Crangi and Roland Iten, the designs are quite hard-edged, sculptural and masculine in form.

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Accessories: Emmanuel shuga Kasongo Vintage Inspiration, Contemporary Chic

Emmanuel shuga Kasongo [Democratic Republic of Congo] Emmanuel shuga Kasongo is a Congolese born, French designer who moved from Paris to London where he established his creative business, Ethno Art Vision in 1997, now the Cemak Collection, creating handbags, jewellery and other accessories inspired by his heritage, travels and background in the fashion industry. Emmanuel started out as a model for a leading French designer, later making the move into product sourcing and spent over a decade organising fashion shows and related events in Paris and Milan for leading French, Italian and Japanese designers.

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Textiles: La Petite Congolaise African Print furnishings

La Petite Congolaise [Democratic Republic of Congo] [Image credit: Lambert cushion – La Petite Congolaise] During my ‘actively running a business days’ I was always coming across various groups and associations at tradeshows, online, in the press and through word of mouth, enticing startups to join as a way of networking with other like-minded individuals and helping to build the business; there were many to choose from and some I joined and others I didn’t. One of the ones I always came across and met some interesting people through even though I never formally joined was Craft Central, previously known as […]

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Food & Drink: Original Beans Chocolate at London Chocolate Festival 

Original Beans [Democratic Republic of Congo] [Image credit: Original Beans] Spent a rather indulgent, calorie-busting afternoon with family at the London Chocolate Festival yesterday. Although smaller than I anticipated the Festival, held over three days on London’s Southbank, brought together some of the finest chocolatiers, along with the opportunity to try before you buy – a chocolate lover’s dream. We were fortunate enough to have another gloriously hot spring day which brought out the crowds; not only to the Festival but right along the stretch of the Southbank from Tower Bridge to the London Eye. Southbank is one of my favourite places […]

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