Inspiration for this season’s Form Follows Fashion comes to us from the fashion of Adel El Tayeb. His masterful collection, El Tayeb Nation, was created as an homage to his Sudanese culture fused with European influence. As a celebration of diversity, inclusivity, and positivity, El Tayeb Nation demonstrates the powerful combination of Arabo-African ancestral heritage and the contemporary world. We can see these designs translated into African fashion interiors in the form of color, pattern, textile, and decor.
Using rich colors to cover large spaces in interiors is an excellent form of following the bold colors used in El Tayeb’s fashion designs. Walls painted in vibrant green or vivid blue bring life that brightens the entirety of the space.
Additionally, the use of saturated textiles mirror the intensity of coats and jackets from El Tayeb Nation. Warm orange blankets and coverlets allow one to feel comfortable and at home while adding a touch of adventure. Simultaneously, these brilliant colors give the sense of familiarity as well as the exotic unknown that brings excitement into the space.
However, if entire walls painted in bright colors aren’t to your taste, bold details can offer the eye-catching pigment you want. Tufted, pom-pom-like decorations add both color and texture, creating energetic movement. Wall hangings, like those found below, are unique pieces that add alluring hues without overwhelming the senses. Simple inclusions of colorful throw pillows or fluffy rugs transform an otherwise basic room into something marvelously electrifying.
Geometric patterns and prints are perhaps the easiest, and most customizable, way to adopt the African influences of El Tayeb. One can smoothly incorporate this aesthetic with small things such as pillows, art, or even a basket collage like the one below.
In contrast, big statements of patterned furniture act as undeniable declarations of extraordinary design. Whether with large wardrobes or an entire seating section, these prints refuse to go unnoticed. Likewise, walls and floors painted to echo this geometry are perfect for creating a fearless and bold personality in a space.
Curved lines and neutral shades lend themselves to the feeling of a natural, down to earth, grounded space. Organic shapes create soothing movement for the eye to wander, like in the curved mirrors and light fixtures below. Organic colors, like these raw wood surfaces and earthy walls, provide a stable energy that transports the viewer back to nature. These designs are reminiscent of safari interiors that are both thrilling and receptive.
In this exploration of African-influenced interiors, one of the prime examples of form follows fashion is found in the artistic work of Zizipho Poswa. Based in Cape Town, Poswa is a ceramic artist who creates sculptures that are bold declarations of African womanhood. Poswa’s first major series was a tribute to the African practice of umthwalo, meaning “load”. This is the practice of rural women carrying heavy items, such as bundles of wood or parcels, on their head. The function of umthwalo turned into fashion which, in turn, influenced the form of interior decor and art in Poswa’s pieces.
Ultimately, El Tayeb’s designs stand out because of the fusion between the elite dress codes of French states officers and handmade crafts from Sudanese heritage. This African take on colonial influences creates a veritable global melting pot in the world of interiors.
The use of antique furniture and vintage decor echoes the style of European interiors. Yet, when blended with bright colors, these pieces not only reflect African aesthetics, but offer a modern look that more easily fits into the contemporary world. From chairs and frames to entry tables and dressers, the possibilities are endless. These dressed-up pieces provide the dual beauty of conservative traditional design and bold, out-there artistry.
These harmonious amalgams of styles and colors, fashion and decor, are a celebration of every corner of the world. Their mutability personalizes itself to each person and space. Which is exactly what we do. Interiors and fashions are not only a global celebration, but also an individual one.
What a joy to see shining smiles in celebration of this my very favorite of seasons – Spring! And how delightful to enjoy a nobility in an homage to Sudanese sensibilities – a joyous savannah! Whether your taste lies in bold hues and geometric prints or subtle neutrals and antique designs, our mission is to customize your space in a way that speaks to you. Contact us! Let’s collaborate to discover your own joyeux savane.