The main inspiration for our first range of prints was the geometric shapes of Islamic architecture and pattern work. I have always been mesmerised by its intricate details, seamless and never-ending design. A symbol alluding to God’s Infiniteness. The style formed the basis for my final year’s work in Surface Design in 2008 and I am still greatly inspired by its intricacies today just as I was all those years ago.
This range features three prints, two of which are based solely on Islamic design. For the other print, we’ve combined Islamic design with another art form that I revere, the bold house paintings of the Ndebele tribe. The paintings are characterized by simple geometric shapes, boldly outlined and filled with a range of tonal colours such as greens, blues, browns and pinks.
The thinking behind combining these two aesthetics is to highlight the notion that what we may think are two completely different styles, share some commonalities. When put together, a harmonious design can be achieved. I like to think of it as a metaphor for how we should approach all the different types of people will come across in life.
The Djelleba Print:
A placement print, designed and scaled for specifically for a garment, this print came about as I was playing around with the concept of tessellation.
A Tessellation is a pattern that is repeated continuously without overlapping or having any gaps in between. It is commonly used in mosaics and tiling. Artist and optical illusionist, M.C. Escher was one of the great masters of this technique. After playing around with rectangular shapes , I ended up with a design that resembled the minaret of a mosque. With additional elements inspired by Islamic pattern work, I was left with what I felt could work as yoke design for tops and tunics. Much like the ones found on tops from West Africa, called the Dashiki. The subtle colour usage and intricate design lends the garment a deceptively simple yet captivating look.
The Dahlia Print:
This is one of the prints that is a combination of Ndebele and Islamic design. The Islamic lattice pattern can be found adorning various pieces such as carved into doors, room dividers as well tiled onto courtyard walls. The Ndebele paintings imagery stems from the women’s beadwork, a tradition that goes back hundreds of years. Combining the hexagonal lattice design with the bold outlines and symmetrical characteristic of the Ndebele shapes, a contemporary design of the two aesthetics was achieved.
The Rosette Print
What differentiates this print from the others, is that this one is an all over repeat design, whereas the others are placement prints. Based on the star shape found throughout Islamic Design, this print is a lot bolder but when presented as a “white on white” colour, the result is subtle. It is unassuming yet interesting to look at upon closer inspection.
As with all garments that are handmade, you can expect a slight in variation in aesthetic. We don't consider this to be "flawed" but what makes the garment truly one on of a kind.