A MAG is a Modern African Girl, so no subject is taboo. My purpose is to share things which may interest a MAG.

The MAG weekly Blog by Lydia, every Friday 1700 hrs. Nr 65 15th September 2023

A MAG is a Modern African Girl, so no subject is taboo. My purpose is to share things which may interest a MAG.

This week's contributors: Lydia, Doré Fasolati, this week's subjects: Brocade for your next outfit and style, Naomi Campbell crosses a line, Ebo Whyte.

Brocade for your next outfit and style.

In a world of constantly revolving design trends, brocade has done the miraculous: it's been around for over 1,500 years and has never once gone out of style. Brocades are fabric with an elaborate embossed or embroidered surface effect, usually with different ground and pattern weaves. The name comes from the Italian brocato, meaning 'embossed cloth'. Unlike damask, brocades are not reversible. In Continuous brocade, the weft thread are left loose and floating on the back.

Originating in China whose closely guarded secret of how to use silkworms to create silk was desired by many; brocade was one of the very few luxury fabrics chiefly reserved for nobility in the Far East. In 1804, the invention of the Jacquard loom and the automation of patterning changed everything. With this loom, seamstresses could more efficiently produce brocade designs, and brocade gowns became incredibly popular during the Victorian era.

Brocade is known for its raised designs, durability, and elegance compared to Western fabrics, which are often made from polyester, today's brocade is meticulously crafted from 100% cotton to provide optimum comfort, regardless of whether it's hot or cold. Check out the next blog post for your brocade styles for 2023.

Naomi Campbell, one of the world's supermodels crosses a line.

The world is slowly starting to realize that the big polluters who even seem to influence our climate and our food are not just the burning of coal and petrol for energy for factories and houses and transport, and agrochemicals for food, but fast fashion is number 4 on the list. So the word sustainable is on everyone's lips, longer lasting clothes, less artificial polluting materials, less pollution during production, recycling, ecolabels what not. So it came as a surprise that Naomi had a different lipstick on her lips. Linked to brands such as Prada Versace, Chanel, and Burberry, and worth over 70 million Pounds, hence not a “needy person” she now links up with fast fashion brand PrettyLittleThing (PLT). “To Gen Z this may look like a clear demonstration of an icon choosing money over meaning, and Gen Z does not tend to stand for that type of inauthentic action. It may appear as a betrayal to Gen Z as much as it is to Naomi herself,” someone commented. Naomi goes for a cheap way to make money, she could have made money anywhere, whilst the recent trend is to align yourself with brands which at least claim to support sustainability.
Campbell suggested that she is only trying to support a start-up and that the criticism she got is race-related. Do Caucasian models get the same criticism for doing a similar thing? I doubt the race-related connection, but if we take race, fast fashion is inherently linked to racism. Of the 74 million textile workers worldwide, 80% are women of colour, often working for half peanuts. The fashion industry makes huge profits from the exploitation of black and brown women. It is the millions of black and brown people making our clothes in factories thousands of miles away who bear the heaviest burden...
The environmentalists get a field day out of all this to highlight their case, so maybe the worldwide publicity around all this will in the long run make Campbell's controversial choice a contributor to more sustainability.

We had another go at an Ebo Whyte theatre play at the National Theatre in Accra, starting perfectly on time, as usual (usually for Ebo Whyte, not at all usual for Ghana, the reason why I don't like attending shows). One of the players kept saying “Always be 2 or 3 steps ahead”, and when unexpectedly the light went off it turned out that Ebo himself was also 2-3 steps ahead, he had brought his own generator because the one at the National Theatre probably was not reliable, and waiting for 10 minutes the show was back on track with a personal apology from Ebo. This man really deserves an applause, being foolhardy and insisting and eventually winning. Today he runs 4 different shows a year, employing, I think, hundreds of people in the process, from actors to ticket sellers, make-up artists, and tailors, and so forth. He has now also moved to Kumasi. His plays are always worth watching, incorporating lots of local stuff and local music and politics for laughter. Check him out on the net for a nice evening.


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