pretty and good

Klint dress

Henriette in Denmark sent me this lovely dress from Rigetta Klint (click on the image to visit the website. Warning, the site plays music; really nice ambient music, but music nonetheless).

It's based on the traditional dress of Zanzibar, the kanga. The dress can be wrapped and worn a number of different ways, and Klint says:

On the design side it is immediately obvious to extend the idea of the kanga and produce an item of multifunctional clothing, i.e., an article that can be used as a skirt, top or dress according to need, and it's just as obvious not to cut up the beautiful textile more than necessary.

The dresses are produced in Zanzibar, and, in addition, 100 kroner (About US$15) from the sale of each dress goes directly to the women's cooperative on Zanzibar; they are using it to build a store to sell children's clothing to the tourists who visit there.

I am always in favor of clothing manufactured by women who maintain control over their working conditions and who share in the profits of their labor–especially when the clothing is as lovely as this.

I can't figure out a price or sizing information (even though the site is actually in English!), but if you're interested you can email — if you do, leave a comment and let the rest of us know!

0 thoughts on “pretty and good

  1. Cool–and how timely! My mother is an artist who for many years has both worn kangas and used them in her work. She got those kanga-tying instructions as a little printed booklet at least ten years ago, and when I was more waifish, I used to be able to wear the Crisscross Dress and the Elegant Dress. Mom mostly wears them as shawls. And the kitchen curtains in my ancestral apartment were made from kangas!Anyway, yesterday I went over for dinner and Mom offered me a now-too-large dress that she sewed out of kangas a couple of years ago. Naturally, I snatched it up, and I’m wearing it today. It has a matching shrug–“to show that you mean it,” she said–which I decided was too much for a weekday. I seem to recall that it’s from a McCall’s pattern and that she originally made it to wear to a wedding. It’s intense–red, black, yellow, and white, with big flowers right on the, ahem, girls. It’s very “Hello! Here we are!” I’ll post a picture later.You can see some of Mom’s paintings on her gallery’s Web site; she has a show there until July 22. The border of the righthand painting in the Take It Back/Work It Babe diptych is made from kangas, and the format of most of the pieces–fabric border with boxed painting title at the bottom–is based on kangas, also. In fact, now that I look at it closely, the border on that particular painting is made from the same print as my dress, but with a blue ground instead of red. Check it out!


  2. my blog is juliagaletti and i am trying to unionize the garment industry in foreign countrys where women are underpaid and their children starve so i formed the blog 4f fair fabrics for females if you would like to comment i read about zazibar co ops and denmark is alovely country


  3. I love it! I’m clueless as to how to work a kanga, but now I feel the motivation to figure it all out. How versatile!


  4. thanks for posting this Erin. I love all the kanga wraps except the one you have on this page (too choke-y at the neck).


  5. Hi!Very interesting site! It is a lot of perfect .I want to exchange links with your site.Inform me please, if it is interesting to youThank,


  6. India your moms art work is wonderful!!! Your dress is great.Erin, I love the Kanga dress you posted. I want one!!! I dont know if I could figure out how to wear it but I love it. Shannon thankyou for posting that link.


  7. I love this dress! It definitely has an african feel, but when I first saw it, I thought it looked a bit like a kimono or yukata with the way it’s cut at the top.


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