I was reading through a Time magazine supplement, Style and Design, and it made many references to Africa and Western fashion. On the catwalk, influences from Africa have been cropping up more and more, from tribal prints to layered bangles. Designers are working closely with artisans in East Africa, using their craftmanship to produce fashionable items such as jewellery and bags. So why this change in fashion, is it just a trend?
What happens in the world, and in the economy especially, has always had a direct link on what happens in the fashion world. So in a climate where we're spending less, and (hopefully) saving more, being careful with our resources and what we do spend our money on, an important issue has been raised: how can we turn fashion into something more sustainable?
Big fashion labels are tapping into the idea that fashion is no longer just about the glamour and bling, but something that can help others and improve a global situation. Fashion is a business, but it's not only those in the Western world that are able to profit from it. By working with African artisans, items can be produced that are still rarefied and by involving communities directly, businesses can be formed, and the wealth of their success can be enjoyed.
I think this is a much better way to help build the developing world, not just to give aid donations, but create something more permanent. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but I immediately thought of this when I saw the collection. I hope that MAC were paying homage to this change, one of the reasons it's a favourite brand of mine is the fact it concerns itself with the AIDS cause. If you're interested in reading a couple of the articles here's some links:
The collection also coincides with ARISE African fashion week 12th-20th June which you can read about here:
And now, onto what I bought:
I got 3 things, and what I bought was unexpected, I really liked the look of the lip products from the website pictures and originally I thought I would buy them, but in real life they were really not my colours at all. For dark skin tones they would look amazing though. Seeing the bronzers and eyeshadows in "real-life" though, I could really appreciate how beautiful the colours were.
The first thing I picked out was this nail lacquer in Peaceable.
This is probably one of the least popular nail varnishes from the collection, it doesn't exactly catch your eye, especially next to the other two which are a very bright purple colour, and a bronzey golden colour, but it appealed to me because I don't own enough neutral shades. I love that I can just paint this on my nails and not have to work my outfit and makeup around it for the next couple of days.This is after one coat of the varnish, and what I liked about it was that if I wanted just a sheer, slight shine to my nails, this would do the trick, it was a little streaky, but I could get away with it.After two coats, this is the finished result, and this is enough to finish my nails. Excuse the messy cuticles, I'm really not great at painting nails, I tend to just aim for covering my nails, this usually includes my cuticles too unfortunately and then I rely on washing my hands afterwards to remove the excess. Lazy I know, but us shaky handed girls have to make do.
This is the outer packaging for the eyeshadow.
I picked Bright Future, which I describe as "New York can yellow" very vibrant, and for lighter skin tones, probably a bit off putting. I'm quite a firm believer that with eyeshadow, any colour can work for any skin tone, so I suppose I bought this as a little bit of a challenge to myself, how could I make it work for me. I don't own a yellow eyeshadow so it was something new and fun to try. Tempting was also released with this collection, I already own this from the permanent collection, but if I didn't I think I would have bought it as well. Along with Bright Future, I've managed to create quite a different (for me) look that's unusual but wearable.
Finally, the bronzing powder, this is in Refined Golden, very gorgeous golden brown, with gold sparkles in. The other bronzer didn't have any golden sparkles in and was a little darker. I know shimmery blushes and bronzers aren't everybody's taste, but I personally love them, and this one doesn't over do it all. The gold particles are very visible, but on the skin they're really subtle.
So there's the finished look with Bright Future and Tempting eyeshadow and Refined Golden under the cheeks and temples. Please feel free to leave comments or email, I'm always interested to hear what other people think.