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Post #4

Anne Lowe (left) Amsale Aberra(right)

Amsale Aberra is an Ethiopian fashion design, who mainly designs couture wedding gowns.

Amsale Aberra

Ann Lowe learned fashion design from her grandmother, who was a slave in Alabama.

It is interesting with the placement of these two designers pieces next to each other, maybe because they are both gowns, and the same color?

Focusing on the left, the designer is Ann Lowe. I believe this designer, herself was included because of her rich history of how she became a successful designer, and to this day is a very profound and luxury brand that is still alive and very successful. Her culture and her background history seems to be interesting and very inspiring to many people and designers. She is one of the very few black fashion designers, of the past who became successful and still stands as a successful brand today, being sold in high end department stores, and having fashion shows every year, alongside some like Azzedine Alaia.

Focusing on the right, which is personally my favorite, is the designer known by the name of Amsale Aberra. It is a beautiful wedding gown, actually her own wedding gown that she wore and designed. It is interesting to me seeing a black fashion designer, who is designing couture wedding dresses, and evening gowns. Because, there are literally mostly only white evening wear or wedding dress designers, and seeing a black fashion designer doing the same is very…beautiful in a way. It may be a bit problematic thinking in this kind of way, but it is the sort of ‘sad truth’ that there is a lack of famous black fashion designers, or ones that have even been put in the spotlight. This dress is absolutely beautiful, with intricate details using beading, embellishments, layering of tulle, and a degrade effect of spacing, and it shows that it is tremendously beautiful like other evening wear or wedding pieces that I have seen. I am extremely into gowns, and this is another that I find the same beauty in that I have found in others.

Could the story of Ann Lowe’s upbringing, or Amsale Aberra’s distinctive scarce identity of being one of the few black fashion designers that do couture evening wear/bridal, be a sense of… “Western bias” (Kaiser 2012: 32) way of persona or thinking?

“If we broaden our conceptualization of fashion (and, indeed, culture more generally) to include Africa, Asia, and the Southern hemisphere of the globe, then we can begin to consider how social and cultural change happens in a variety of ways, with different paces and within different spaces.” (Kaiser 2012. 33) And so the mentioning of these different countries, and how fashion can be understood, learned, broadened through different countries, and culture….how significant is it that it started in the early-mid 1900s, and goes through teachings from an earlier generation to their younger, such as the case of Ann Lowe and her grandmother. Her grandmother being a slave, was obviously brought from Africa, and therefore a cultural representation of Kaiser’s quote?

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