Oumou Sy - Fantastic Show


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It is well known that many acclaimed designers and artists worldwide are inspired by the exotic African art and the mixture of natural materials and vibrant colours used  for  traditional events. While these non-African designers and artists have profited and attained recognition in the professional arena, most African designers and artists are struggling to survive. The situation is much so for African fashion designers. But an African lady, Oumou Sy, is making a big impact on the fashion scene. She presented a fantastic show of her artistic fashion designs at the documenta 12 in Kassel, Germany.

The fashion show was scheduled to begin at 9 pm on the 23rd September 2007. At 7 pm, people were already securing their seats. There were only a few seats available. They were supposed to be reserved for journalists and VIPs. 

By the time the first journalists arrived, all seats were already occupied. It was even difficult for them to find a place around the catwalk stage to take good shots. At about 15 minutes before schedule, the organisers realized that they have underestimated the interest the show would generate. The main hall of the Kultur Bahnhof Kassel (cultural train station Kassel) was overcrowded. The organisers had to improvise. An announcement was made that a new stage was being built on the departure platform along the train line.  continue>

Oumou Sy

The length of the two catwalk stages together would now total 150 meters and identical shows would run parallel on each stage. The improvisation caused a delay of about 40 minutes. The show started with a lady in sky blue costume singing in Senegalese traditional griot manner and leading a parade of about 50 very young girls between the ages of 8 and 12 years. The girls had only white knee-long cotton fabric covering their chests on, symbolizing the typical simple form of women dressing in African culture. After the parade, the girls took their seats on the edge of the stage. The first part of the fashion show commenced with an historical overview of the kings and queens that reigned in Africa before and during the colonial era. The retrospective show displayed colourful costumes, robes, jewelleries, royal accessories and military utensils used by the royal family from princess Assian Yatabaré in Bukina Faso to Mauritanian king Ouldou Mokhtar.

The rhythms of percussion accompanied the main fashion show, which began with the catwalk of a beautiful African model wearing a long skirt made of raffia in a colourful artistic patchwork design and a matching sleeveless top. The show continued with a display of fantastic dresses made of natural materials such as straw, raffia and silk and fashion accessories made of wood, calabash, nuts, stones, shells, feather and leather.          continue>




Fashion photos >
The audience showed its acknowledgement with many rounds of applause. To round up the show, a dress creatively covered with CDs was displayed, showing the versatility and imaginative power of Oumou Sy. All designs were created in Oumou Sy studio in Dakar, Senegal.

The show ended with Oumou Sy showing up on stage accompanied by the models and members of her crew as well as the moderator of the show. The audience applauded for several minutes before Oumou Sy finally thanked the children who participated in the opening parade, the models, the audience and the organizers of the show. End         Afritopic 2007









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