For several years now, I have subscribed to a personal policy of ensuring that I dress to represent the character of my soul: colourful, Afrikan and free! Beyond the aesthetic appeal of Afrikan styles and patterns, I am deeply drawn to and reverent of the heritage and history attached to and represented by such designs, and in the spirit of Sankofa I aim to reach back, reclaim and embrace this culture. However, due to a combination of lack of access to shops stocking Afrikan clothes, my own quite specific preferences for the shape and fit of my garms, and my love for productive creativity and self-sufficiency, I decided that investing the time and effort required to learn to produce my own designs could only be beneficial. I started by studying and mentally deconstructing several dashikis that I already owned, before getting stuck straight into hand-stitching my first top from a green, yellow and black Kente-style fabric. Needless to say, I was mad happy with the finished product! In the two years since that first dashiki I've swapped hand-stitching for a sewing machine to boost efficiency, and created 15 more vibrant designs in a variety of colours, patterns and styles and incorporating an increasing level of complexity in features. The fabric itself has been sourced via a range of channels, with some bought from online sellers, some from UK Afrikan markets, some found in my attic (the result of my mum's trips to Brixton in the 80s) and huge amounts brought back from trips to Ghana, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka. I thus have an ever-growing pile of material and ideas to match, so watch this space!