Showing posts with label les sapeurs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label les sapeurs. Show all posts

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

The Dearth

   Throughout the year (and, if canny enough, last year), bloggers, journalists and coolhunters have thrilled and trilled to the exploits of the Congolese Les Sapeurs, the funkily dressed flaneurs not far from this corner of the motherland. They've earnt plaudits from Paul Smith, international press and a book of photography by Daniele Tamagni. And they share my penchant for offbeat elegance. But nothing I can say about them would bring anything new to the Google results one can unearth on the topic

   Ghana doesn't really have any such movement, which would possibly be down to the British, rather than French and Belgian colonial occupation and the comparatively relative lack of adversity, civil strife and sartorial aspiration. Ghana's aspirational spirit is more akin to that of Nigeria in that hip hop and the cues of the African American community set the trends. Perhaps the rapper Cam'ron is responsible for my younger cousin, Charles, juxtaposing a purple shirt with a lilac pearl necklace and black jeans earlier this week. I'm almost sorry that there are no photos

   Business dress is simply subdued, baring a few "fun" shirts here and there. TM Lewin, well established in Nigeria by now, set up shop in the 2-year old Accra Mall last year, whilst labels such as Hawes & Curtis, Gucci and Ferragamo have been available to the successful through importing. Yet rarely is a full suit worn during the day; they come out at night if one's old and important enough and they tend to look like slightly gaudy cousins of the classic American Sack

   The closest cousin to Les Sapeurs here is, of course, my father, who is commissioning around 4 suits per year from a local tailor and producing some rather interesting results that I'll photograph when I receive a new camera. But ultimately, he needs someone to pass the baton to. Someone he's trained and nurtured, whose development he has somehow shaped or guided or influenced

   Someone like me? Watch this space

(Oh, and some of the fashion here will merit some future investigation. I really tease, don't I?)