Bonana Van Mil [Botswana]
[Image credit: Wild Berries Scarf – Bonana Van Mil]
I have a weakness for silk; its drape, delicateness, femininity and the way the fabric absorbs colour always reminds me of watercolour paintings; so was instantly taken with some stunning geometrically patterned scarves from Paris-based textile designer, Bonana Van Mil, who debuted her eponymous accessories and fashion label in 2011 with the aptly titled Floating Dreams collection. Bonana’s scarves call to mind faraway landscapes from hot dry plains to lush verdant countryside’s; in the Luxe Wool 2 scarf, I glimpse the familiar, details of the unpolished texture of hand moulded earthen pots; the reddish-brown clay charred black in places from the intensity of the heat during the baking process.
Born in Botswana, Bonana’s family moved to the Netherlands when she was still quite young, her teenage years were divided between several African countries and the Netherlands, and eventually, she settled in Paris in 2008 drawn to the inspirational city of fashion, love, and culture. Undoubtedly these experiences influence her designs, which see chaos and order fighting each other for dominance; representing a clash of cultures from Africa with its shimmering colours and chaotic structures, to Europe with its rigid organisation and minimalism. The result is an almost fragile-like quality to the patterns where hard, jagged geometric lines are softened by the blurring effect of the colours bleeding into each other.
[Image credit: Ndebele Rose Etoile Scarf – Bonana Van Mil]
The dying traditions of ancient African; fabrics, storytelling, and ceremonies along with souvenirs and vivid mental images retained on travels are sources of inspiration; as Bonana constantly recalls precious memories of a childhood growing up in Africa; from Herero women in the Kalahari Desert dressed in the colourful long dresses over hooped petticoats adapted from the Victorian style of early Missionaries wives, laughing and chatting by the roadside in marked contrast to the dry landscape and blazing hot sun surrounding them; to the geometric patterns of Ndebele beading and wall murals, distinctive in their simplicity and brought to life with the bright colour palettes used; and a time spent in Zimbabwe that recalls the Jacaranda trees lining her street and how in between those trees could be found sweet wild berries, the colours of which inspired the Wild Berries collection.
Each collection is produced by hand; the designs hand-painted onto luxurious 100% silk or wool/silk blends, in a technique that looks like a modern edgy version of tie and dye. The addition of sumptuous complimentary fringing and translucent beading adds an extra shot of glamour.
…wrap up in luxury and glamour
Scarves priced at: £174-£370/€199-€250
For further information about Bonana Van Mil and to purchase visit: www.bonanavanmil.com
Scarves are also available for purchase at: www.boticca.com