Imane Ayissi. Spring Summer 2023 "Agnieup" Couture Collection during Haute Couture Week.
Can beauty save the world? Agnieup means beauty in the Ewondo language of Cameroon, the beauty of a person, an object, nature, love. In this disturbing period in many ways I felt like going back to a certain form of simplicity in fashion, which is to make beautiful clothes and to make those who wear them beautiful.
In most African societies, even in difficult times, in times of shortages, giving the best appearance of oneself, "making oneself beautiful" is still very important, even with very modest means. In this collection I have mixed the tradition of French Haute Couture with the use of silk taffeta, duchess satin, embroideries, and sequins with materials that can be considered more modest from the African continent : raffia, recycled vinyl beads, obom, tie & dye cotton, cotton canvas scraps as well as precious hand-woven African fabrics such as Kent from Ghana, to create the mixed-race silhouettes of this collection. Raffia, one of my favourite materials, for its link with dance and traditional African religious ceremonies, is also used in the make-up with false eyelashes made of raffia fibres by Marcello Costa.
Text and Photo: Press Imane Ayissi