We have brought together a combination of traditional african heritage with a futuristic edge to create a current representation of what Africa means to us. As young creatives and designers in Uganda, the importation of cheap manufactured clothing from around the world, has had an extremely damaging effect on our own industry, which has been almost obliterated by such mass produced clothing. However, we believe that where they cannot compete, is on the hand-crafted, african-inspired garments made with locally sourced materials. This hand-crafted, artisanal touch is something we wanted to retain as much as possible throughout the collection.
We have placed a particular emphasis on using natural, locally sourced materials, such as bark cloth, sisal, raffia, nsimbi (cowrie shells) and goat skin. We wanted to show how these materials, which serve as a representation of our traditional culture, can be integrated into a contemporary fashion context. Whilst Kitenge and bark cloth are the main materials in the collection, a signature combination of IGC fashion, we have also hand dyed other locally sourced fabrics using entirely natural dyes. Hand crochet, weaving, embroidery and hand sculpting are some of the other artisanal techniques we have used throughout the collection.
Another theme running throughout the collection is the pyramid shape. The pyramid is an extremely strong and powerful structure whose base forms a strong connection to the earth, whilst the top represents an ability to reach into the higher realms and deliver it back down to earth. This sacred ability to reach outside of our natural realm whilst always remaining grounded, is something we believe strongly represents our collection and we drafted many of our garments in pyramid shaped constructions.
This collection is made not only at IGC studio nor Designers but each costume is inspired by a number of other creative, some pieces are are hand stitched by igc fashion students under the supervision of the creative directors as a goal to inspire the coming designers to use more of the traditional material/natural, other costumes are made through igc workshop installations in different conferences and culture events around uganda to spread the love of Embracing the traditional materials like back cloth, cowrie shells as they are considered extinct and devilish by individuals who are not well educated about their use and background.