R6129/10 Trousers

women's flared trousers in an indigo resist dyed cowrie design fabric

Women’s trousers (Museum Accession Number R6129/10)

These trousers belonged to Saundra Lang, an African American fashion enthusiast who spent time in West Africa from the 1970s onwards. Saundra bought these trousers during her first trip to Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, in 1971, from a local tailor. The pattern represents cowrie shells as well as abstract geometric designs. The design was created by stamping the fabric with wax before dying. Saundra notes that at the time she bought these, the matte finish on the damask fabric was fashionable, but today shimmer finishes are popular. Collected as part of the Fashioning Africa project.

Creator: unknown tailor

Place: Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

Date: 1971

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