There is plenty of untold futuristic stories within the African culture from the dance to the traditional clothes, and Kkoolo’s Buyi Philip, a many of many talents, seeks to explore and express them. As Africans, we need to learn how to embrace who we truly are: we cannot always want to be like “them“, to talk like “them” to dress like “them“. So this takes us back to my Kampala Fashion Week 2016 collection,
borrow borrow never fit
We have a lot in common with Japanese culture, I think. I love the dances, colourful clothes, great Buddha, the fighting techniques. The women are courageous and strong. I read about Sakanouye No Tamuramaro and Yasuke (sidenote: these are documented African/Black Samurais & Shoguns in Japanese history). This is where I got my inspiration for using katana swords and the beauty of the colourful umbrellas. Mix that up with green matooke prints on the men’s pants and kimonos and the Nubian baskets called the kuta which look like Japanese kasa hats such as amigasa, sugegasa, sandogasa.
While I haven’t studied fashion anywhere, I am a creative person with a nice sense of style. I’m a traveler who loves studying what people wear, why they wear that, who they wear it for. It takes me ages to find the right inspiration, and involves listening to all sorts of experimental sound tracks, visualising and imagining garments, testing prints and different textures to finally get to the end product. The fact that it was my debut at KFW made it even that much more challenging because I wanted to make a grand impression.
I was justifiably blown away by the overwhelmingly positive response to my collection on the runway. For those who are asking, I make ready to wear “street haute” garments for both men and women and costume design for movies, stage plays & music videos. I have an online store with a physical location in the pipelines. Also, lookout for a fashion unleash party I will be announcing soon!
All photography is by Giulio Molfese.