Friday, July 9, 2010

J'adore VLISCO

Coming from a "fabric" family (or, more precisely a 'fabric' mother), I am very intrigued by different types of fabrics: patterns, colors, textures. Love it all! It is very common here in Africa to buy yards of fabric at the market and then take it to a seamstress and have custom dresses and skirts made.

All over Togo...especially on the way to Benin...there are billboards advertising a store called Vlisco. All of the billboards picture one model standing in an extremely elaborate gown. They look very expensive. There are long trains and intricate bodices with huge chunky jewelry and slick hair. Fantastic shoes.

I have seen these billboards many times and thought to myself, "Those are wonderful dresses, but who here can afford something like that?" Usually the billboards are towering over women sitting in the dirt, grilling corn cobs or selling loaves of bread for 10 cents a piece. Ironic. And it gave me a bit of a weird feeling.

Last weekend we were walking through town, and low and behold--there is a Vlisco store!!! Dulce, Liz, Melissa and I went in and checked it out. There were many bolts of beautiful fabric, but other than the mannequins in the window, there were no pre-made dresses :(

We found out that there is another Vlisco store in Lome, and I think they have dresses there. I would love nothing more than to go and try on tons of these awesome gowns!! THAT would be an adventure. Here is an example of some of the dresses---these pics are from their website and are also on the billboards.

I've talked to Dee Dee on the phone and given her their website and now, not surprisingly, she wants me to go to the store and buy some fabric. Who knows...maybe I'll get my own Vlisco dress made from the fabric when I get home!!
Can't Wait!

High fashion in Togo----who'da thought it?!

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