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Textiles: La Petite Congolaise African Print furnishings

La Petite Congolaise [Democratic Republic of Congo]

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[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 the Clerkenwell Green Association, a thriving and inspiring hub for up and coming designers and craft makers across various disciplines. I always try to look in on their website from time to time to catch any new names and work, and this is where I came across the sweetly titled ‘La Petite Congolaise’ which translates as ‘The Little Congolese Girl’.

The Little Congolese Girl in question is British-born designer-maker, Laurence Kanza who is of Congolese heritage. Laurence sought to create a range of vibrant and richly patterned interior furnishings that reflect her home country of Congo, as well as the personality of the person who buys them. In a bid to show the modern face of Congolese design and creativity, Laurence drew inspiration from aspects of Congolese life; from the fabric used – Wax cloth in all it’s vibrancy reigns supreme across a limited edition range of handmade cushions; perfect for brightening up the home to counteract the winter blues that have taken hold for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere – Congo’s natural beauty, traditional craftsmanship to the buzz of day-to-day street life. La Petite Congolaise’s debut collection entitled ‘The Awakening’ comprises three colour groupings: Earth Tones, Vibrant Brights, and The Alternatives.

Earth Tones Collection - La Petite Congolaise

[Image credit: Clockwise from top left; Marc, Joachim, Hugh, and Jean cushions – La Petite Congolaise]

Earth Tones takes it cues from the red dusty roads taking travellers on a journey from urban to rural life and vice versa, with the mighty Congo River and tropical rain forests represented through blues and lush green tones. Vibrant Brights reflecting the dynamic city of Kinshasa, the celebrations and enjoyment of life, paying homage to the bustling Congolese markets pulsing with life, later giving way to the energetic nightlife. The Alternatives is a meeting of opposites where the earth tones combine with flashes of brightness, allowing you the best of both.

Margot Cushion - La Petite Congolaise

[Image credit: Margot cushion – La Petite Congolaise]

Provided in a complimentary drawstring bag, all cushions are backed with denim and come complete with a feather and down cushion pad. I am drawn to the prints with the strong geometric patterns as the shapes allow for greater versatility and offer a fresher, more contemporary take on wax cloth inspired cushions. I can just imagine the chevron pattern gracing the Lambert cushion against a hardback ebony wood chair with white padded seating; in my mind, it all looks very striking. 

…embracing the power of bold pattern and colour to transform the home

Additional details:
Cushions currently on the website priced at: £55-£75
For further information about La Petite Congolaise and order enquiries visit: www.LaPetiteCongolaise.com

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