Apr 09 2009

for fans of Congolese tailors only

Category: Uncategorized<ADMINNICENAME> @ 7:52 PM

Google has posted on YouTube a presentation I made on “Married to Africa” at the company’s campus last month. The video mainly consists of questions I took from employees curious about the region. I spoke about my affection for people and places. The high point of the film is seeing a stylish jacket designed by the most popular Congolese tailor in Kampala. The jacket, made of cotton and from fabric produced in Congo, has various flamboyant features that are hallmarks of the Congolese sartorial style. The jacket has an extra-long body, unusual lapels, and loud colors — all designed to draw attention to the wearer’s joyous sense of life. Congolese design is fast gaining ground in Kenya and Uganda, where Western dress is too popular. Many people from Congo have moved to the relative safety of Nairobi or Kampala after years of upheaval in their own country. Whether in clothing design or music, the influx of Congolese have made a welcome mark on cities not known for distinctive dressing or style. Of course, the challenge in dealing with a Congolese tailor is making yourself understood. In my case, I solve this problem by permitting my tailor to measure me — and then do whatever he wants! The results are invariably distinctive and pleasing.

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