Oscar & Rose: The Ekaya Shift Dresses
Oscar & Rose is the fashion brand that has blown people away with its combination of craft, design, and tradition into its striking collections. The designs incorporate vivid colours and vibrant patterns, effortlessly fusing African culture and Western style, resulting in unique garments for the modern, influential woman.‘Ekaya’, meaning ‘Home’ in isiXhosa, is the first collection of O&R. It is owner and creator, Noor Thandi Modise’s, interpretation and experience of the different tribes and cultures once she arrived in her country, South Africa, for the first time after many years in exile.
The ‘Ekaya’ Shift Dresses:
The shift dress should be a fashion staple for any woman. With little definition, the shift dress sits beautifully on any figure, shaping around the curves of its wearer. All the shift dresses from O&R were printed on scuba fabric: an unconventional fabric Noor chose for its modernity. The fabric looks heavy and stiff, but Noor was drawn to its softness on the skin and its light-weight texture. With its straight-cut lines, the silhouette does not to deter from the vivid image of the powerful African woman exhibited on the front.
The Basotho Shift Dress
The traditional Shweshwe print that the Basotho woman dons on this design was originally created in indigo colour print and was adopted from Asia and Europe. After learning this, Noor realized that a lot of the fabric that we called “African” was not originally created in Africa.
Printing fabric techniques were introduced to the African continent by expediters who arrived from Europe and Asia. Although this may be so, today it is still predominantly Africans who wear Shweshwe.
The Xhosa Shift Dress
In the rural valleys of the Eastern Cape, Noor witnessed the depth of the Xhosa culture. The portrait of the Xhosa woman epitomizes an image that Noor created of the elderly sitting on top of a green hill, telling and sharing stories of wisdom with one another while enjoying a tobacco pipe.
The Zulu Shift Dress
One of the first things that captured Noor’s attention of the ama–Zulu people’s traditional attire was the Isicholo (Zulu red hat). Adorned by women, it gives the impression that any woman wearing Isicholo was carrying a crown, making every woman a queen!
It is not the lightest thing to carry, making a woman elongate her posture and become more regal! This dignity and pride is depicted on the Zulu Shift Dress.
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