Ashley Callahan takes the reader on a deep dive into the art of African-print fashion. A European introduction that has been adopted wholesale by African seamstresses, fashion designers and both men and women, her retelling of the textile’s history, its rich language of symbolism, and its contemporary use lights up the imagination.
Carl Little paints a picture of Julia Turner’s abstract jewelry. Inspired by modern art, and drawing influences from painters and sculptors such as Piet Mondrian and Robert Rauschenberg, Turner’s work creates mountain ranges from sharply cut wood, desert panoramas from bright spectrums. Utilizing both traditional techniques and CAD, she finds ways of expressing herself with the bare minimum of elements.
Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell finds the allure of the fairy tale in Chinese couturier Guo Pei’s over-the-top ensembles. A child of the Cultural Revolution that found her vocation as a fashion designer in the political period after Mao, Pei’s fond memories of the past through her grandmother informs a fantastical and sculptural approach to garments.
Robert K. Liu gives coverage to the extensive Tuareg collection of Ellen Benson. The unusual and finely crafted examples in Benson’s collection help illustrate the level of technical mastery by Tuareg smiths, as well as predominant styles and types of work. Materials, tools and methods are all explored in this fascinating exploration of African metalsmithing.