Hey there. I made a dress.
I know I rabbit on from time to time about how much I love swimming in the sea, but it's true. I do. And whenever I see fabric that looks like the ocean I just have to buy it. Happily for my wallet this doesn't happen too often. But this fabric, which came from a stall at Dalston Market in London that sells African-Dutch wax fabric, is definately ocean-esque on a windy and wild day. Breathe in deep and dive as the waves break!
The pattern is a "Style" pattern (3927) - I think from the 90's, although I've gone and lost the cover (forced to tidy the spare room, and now can't find anything). I do recall that it has the option of a fairly kick ass jumpsuit, but that seemed a little overkill in this particular fabric.
The fits a little off - mostly just a little big in the top - for future reference, I'll be taking more length and width out of the bodice. But hey at least its comfy.
It seemed kind of right to take these photos (mid Sunday walkabout in South East London) in front of the Dulwich College. It's a very old "public" school for boys - part of the Etonian set of schools: commanding buildings, privledged young men. It seems a world away from the busy stalls owned by generations of migrants - people who for a long time, and, in fact if you listen to all the anti-immigration hullaballoo, are still seen as alien and other. But who, in reality, come from places that have long been connected to Europe through processes of modern imperialism.
These spaces- landscapes of class, race, power are not really so unconnected. I should know, people like me, mixed up, products of colonisation only exist because of these historical and evolving connections.
Just like this fabric.
"Dutch" or "Holland" Wax Print was designed based on the Javanese Wax Batik fabric designs, which the Dutch encountered during their colonisation of Indonesia. The Dutch Wax Print was a mass produced imitation. When you think about, it really is a testiment to just how far-reaching (from one side of the world to the other!), that heady mix of colonialism and capitalist penetration has been, that these fabrics are now identified as African.
To quote the late Mr Edward Said, " We face...the deep, profoundly perturbed and perturbing question of our relationship to others - other cultures, states, histories, experiences, traditions, peoples and destinies...We are, so to speak, of the connections, not outside or beyond them".
I'm not sure if I'm putting the comment on the right post, but I LOVE that wax print. I'm always drawn to those, not sure why. I like that they are graphic in nature but also have kind of a hand-dyed artsy vibe (even though I know they are probably not). I think the style of dress you made is just perfect for the fabric, too. Great pairing!