African Headdress: The Clan

African Headdress: The Clan

The African headdress has always been a very important part of the continent’s fashion, heritage and culture. South African independent online magazine, ‘Gaschette’ has commissioned a wonderful shoot by photographer Lauren Fletcher to celebrate this distinctive fashion style.

The photoshoot is to be published in the Fall 2015 issue of the magazine which “showcases all original, all free content” and cutting edge fashion.

Lauren Fletcher explains the theme on her website for this particular issue was “Clan” and some of the reference images for the theme included both Scottish “clans’  of a “clan” (such as the Scottish clans) and African clans and tribes so she decided to take the African approach and use a mixture prints, signifying the relationship between Africa and Europe, and the idea of “clans”.

She explains that some African prints come from European roots; for example, shwe shwe was brought to South Africa by the Germans in the nineteenth century, and Xhosa women appropriated it into their own culture, making it uniquely African. West African wax print also has a similar colonial history and was brought to Africa from Java in Indonesia by Dutch settlers – a great case of “East meets West”. And this was how her shoot was born.

The model Aphelele has such a regal grace, we think it brought out the perfect multicultural dynamic of Lauren’s take on the idea of “Clan”. Lauren says the print-on-print aesthetic and style of the photos references the mid-20th century African studio portraiture alludes to classical portrait painting and Victorian portrait photography, another reference to the multiculturally-woven theme. The bright colours, flowers and textured background draw influence from Tretchikoff’s work, and the hessian backdrop also gives an earthy, African feel.

Check out Lauren’s website here

photo credit: Gaschette magazine

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