Way back in June, I did a paper doll set roughly based on some Asian costumes and mostly based on what I draw when I’m bored in class. Lindsey asked if I would consider doing an African inspired set in the same style. Now, I wasn’t against the idea, but I didn’t know anything about African dress. After several months of looking at pictures, many books borrowed from the library and a fair bit of internet searching, I can now say I know a little bit about African dress.
To give credit where it is due, the dress with the blue sash on the cream is based on a dress in the South African Fashion Week show of Amanda Laird Cherry. You can see a picture of the original garment here. The trousers are based on this design by the African designer Janice Morrison. I used a considerably more subdued color pallet for my paper doll based on the colors of mud cloth and traditional bead work.
The black dress with the gold is based on a dresses worn in Tunisia, usually over white blouses and loose trousers. I have included a white dress to wear under it. The two poncho like robes (the cream one and the blue one) are based on robes worn by men in Nigeria made up of strips of cloth. Mine are much shorter and slightly more fitted. As I said, it was a fantasy interpretation of African costume. The book I adapted these costumes from is called African Costumes and Textiles: From the Berbers to the Zulus. It’s a wonderful look at original garments. This paper doll set is an utterly inauthentic collection of fantasy garments. Enjoy. 🙂
Edit: It has come to my attention that some sites are linking this post as actual African traditional dress. It is NOT. Please don’t pro-port that it is.