Bonana Van Mil
I have a weakness for silk; its drape, delicateness, femininity and the way the fabric absords colour always reminds me of water colour paintings; so was instantly taken with some stunning geometrically patterned scarves from Paris-based textile designer, Bonana Van Mil
, who debuted her eponymous accessories and fashion label in 2011 with the aptly titled Floating Dreams collection. Bonana's scarves call to mind faraway landscapes from hot dry plains to lush verdant countryside's; in the Luxe Wool 2 scarf I glimpse the familiar, details of the unpolished texture of hand moulded earthen pots; the reddish brown clay charred black in places from the intensity of heat during the baking process.
Born in Botswana, Bonana's family moved to the Netherlands when she was still quite young, her teenage years were divided between several African countries and the Netherlands, and eventually she settled in Paris in 2008 drawn to the inspirational city of fashion, love and culture. Undoubtedly these experiences influence her designs, which see chaos and order fighting each other for dominance; representing a clash of cultures from Africa with its shimmering colours and chaotic structures, to Europe with its rigid organisation and minimalism. The result is an almost fragile-like quality to the patterns where hard, jagged geometric lines are softened by the blurring effect of the colours bleeding into each other.
The dying traditions of ancient African; fabrics, storytelling and ceremonies along with souvenirs and vivid mental images retained on travels are sources of inspiration; as Bonana constantly recalls precious memories of a childhood growing up in Africa; from Herero women in the Kalahari Desert dressed in the colourful long dresses over hooped petticoats adapted from the Victorian style of early Missionaries wives, laughing and chatting by the roadside in marked contrast to the dry landscape and blazing hot sun surrounding them; to the geometric patterns of Ndebele beading and wall murals, distinctive in their simplicity and brought to life with the bright colour palettes used; and a time spent in Zimbabwe that recalls the Jacaranda trees lining her street and how inbetween those trees could be found sweet wild berries, the colours of which inspired the Wild Berries collection.
Each collection is produced by hand; the designs hand painted onto luxurious 100% silk or wool/silk blends, in a technique that looks like a modern edgy version of tie and dye. The addition of sumptuous complementary fringing and translucent beading add an extra shot of glamour.
...wrap up in luxury and glamour
Scarves priced at: £174-£370/€199-€250
For further information about Bonana Van Mil and to purchase visit: www.bonanavanmil.com
Scarves are also available for purchase at: www.boticca.com
Ok… so I’m coming to terms with the fact that autumn is around the corner and gradually letting go of the hope of a sudden late summer; after such a promising start it hasn’t been the greatest. In preparation for the chilly days to come London-based clothing and accessory label Choolips
have a range of boldly printed cotton scarves. Choolips is a fair-trade clothing company whose philosophy is one of simple stylishness, whilst helping to preserve ancient textile traditions. Part of Choolips ‘Gold Coast’ collection, all scarves are hand printed using traditional batik methods a signature across the company's clothing and accessory collections, which are produced in Ghana.
Portraying elements in relation to Ghana graphics such as; coffee beans, the rainforest, tropical flowers and fish scales in vibrant colours adorn the scarves, which are made from 100% soft Ghanaian cotton. With a keen interest in ancient textile traditions including batik, Choolips was established by Annegret Affolderbach, an East German national now living in London, who chose to base her production at the source of where the textile originated, in this instance Ghana, rather than simply importing the fabric into London to construct her designs. For Annagret this was a way of honouring the skills and knowledge of those involved and Choolips works with local batik artists such as workshop owner Juliana Mustapha, seamstresses and tailors to devise new ways to utilise local processes.
Slightly bigger than a metre squared, these unisex scarves, although launched for Autumn/Winter are in reality perennial and ideal for; wrapping up warm on chilly days, a headscarf to cover up a bad hair day or a mini beach wrap.
...also, do check out Choolips clothing collections for some cute dresses in colourful batik prints
Scarves priced at: £50-£100
To find out more about Choolips visit: www.choolips.com
To purchase visit: www.choolips.bigcartel.com