Zimbabwe meets Burlesque

We’ve been celebrating Black History Month in our window, displaying a Zimbabwe meets burlesque wedding dress.

I created it in 2012 for the wedding of my wonderful friend Alberta. Albie is from Zimbabwe, but met her future husband in a burlesque club in London. So the brief was to create an outfit with a contemporary feel, but with strong nods to both how they met and Albie’s heritage.

Albie sourced a selection of Dutch Batik Print or ‘African Wax Print‘ in South Africa, the fabric style popular across Africa. If you don’t know much about this particular fabric, I highly recommend following this link to Ugandan website & blog, Mazuri. We selected a length of fabric that lent itself well to an Edwardian style, in reds, golds and browns.

The dress has a net petticoat in reds and golds, with a draped skirt and corset. The print had lots of dots as part of the pattern, and on each dot I added a crystal. Yes, I did regret that particular design feature very quickly!

I used a variety of beading techniques to create an ‘African Queen’ high necked choker. I used a combination of ambers, carved beads, wood, bone and glass. To finish off the outfit, of course we needed a headpiece! We took inspiration from the African headwrap, the Gele. But with a twist!

You can see the full out fit in our window until the end of October.

Look out for Black History Month events near you.