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Designer Imane Ayissi looked East for his latest show in Paris

A model walk along the isle during the Paris Fashion Week   -  
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Brian Inganga/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved.


Known for blending African heritage with the DNA of French high fashion, Cameroonian couture designer Imane Ayissi looked East for his latest collection.

During the Paris Fashion Week show last week, he took inspiration from the paintings of Chinese diplomat Wang Ying.

"The collection is called Akalene in a language of Cameroon. Akalene means a correspondence or an exchange, a cultural exchange, a language exchange, a writings exchange, of a lot of things. And so we find that Africa is connected thus, we can exchange cultures, memories, words, the history of humanity," said Iyissi.

Volume was the watch word as the models were enveloped with large sleeves and overflowing hay fringing, which contributed to larger-than-life silhouettes on the catwalk.

The color palette combined both bright satins - fuchsia, green and chartreuse – and more earthly tones of pink, lilac and brown. Fabrics fashioned from bamboo, thanks to a collaboration with the Bamboo Union, providing the collection with sustainable credentials.

"I collaborated on a few outfits with a Chinese artist. China has always been very related to africa although we don't really say that. The kaba dress with the flowers on the chest that is in empire style; that dress arrived from colonial times. So this technique for working the hay has come to Cameroon has become a traditional outfit which we call kaba, which was brought in by the colonialists," said Iyissi.

Ayissi’s latest designs helped to fulfil the brand’s ambitions to see art as a universal language which connects people from around the world.

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