The end of an affair: I close off the week with “Gentlemen of The Bacongo” by photographer Daniel Tamagni.
Ok so I’m closing out the week with a complete belter of a post, to all of you who read my blog you will have realised that I am having a little love affair with African men’s fashion at the moment… By that I mean the actual fashion as being worn by actual men in some of the poorest parts of our continent. Men who have more dash than cash who revel in being outrageous and original in their choices, who have a delicious sense of eccentricity to their ensembles. LOVE it. And of all the images I’ve loved so far I really do love these brightly-coloured portraits taken by Daniele Tamagni for his book entitled: “Gentlemen of Bacongo”.
Have you spotted the third usage of tartan yet – how’s that kilt??? Or the man in the candy pink suit with red bowler??? Or the man in orange complimenting beautifully his blue surrounds???
Reading up on a review of the book I discovered a little more about these men and indeed ladies on occasion… For one thing they like to splash out on the most expensive garb they can get their hands on – they favour handmade and designer suiting and will team with a D&G belt for example – even though they live within the garbage slums of Congo. Also the Sapeurs actually belong to ‘La SAPE’ (or the: Societe des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Elegantes) and there are many different conventions and codes of conduct that govern both the clothing and moral ettiquette of members. These include things like limiting the combinations of colours in an outfit to no more than three, always lighting the cigar even if it remains unsmoked, etc. From an anthropological standpoint they are fascinating as they represent a merging of colonial culture with traditional Congolese sentiments…
Very cleverly the publishers were able to secure designer Paul Smith to write the preface to the book – an applaudable choice given the designer’s own ingenious use of colour in menswear over the years.
Here endeth the lesson. And the Affair.
- « Congolese Sapeur style by an Italian named Francesco Giusti…
- » I’m making some noise about a designer named Marios Scwab Fall Winter 2012….