Tatiana Kombo attended Alphadi’s Couture Show in Paris and snapped some shots from the collection.
Alphadi (born Sidahmed Seidnaly 1 June 1957) is on a quest to bring African Couture to the forefront of the global fashion market. Met with difficulties in his early years, Alphadi remained steadfast in his desire to create a powerful and novel brand. His designs reflect intertwined cultures, sewing techniques stemming both from his French fashion education and his West African background. His masterful collections have earned him the title “Magician of the Desert.” He received the 1998 Prince Claus Prize in the Netherlands, was raised to the rank of Knight of the Order of Merit in France and named Commander of the Arts and Culture in Niger. In addition, Alphadi is the recipient of the Best African Designer award by the prestigious French Federation of Couture and Prêt à Porter.
Alphadi created the International African Fashion Festival FIMA several years ago, in the hopes of bringing a spirit of peace and collaboration to the world of fashion, and stimulating creative talent in the African continent. Further, this event has allowed African designers to come together with other international designers such as Yves Saint Laurent, Jean Paul Gaultier, Kenzo and Paco Rabanne.
The Spring/Summer 2014 Couture show was stunning – crisply defined dresses that emphasised the models’ shapes, an array of remarkable textiles used in conjunction with materials such as metal. In playing with hard decorative devices, Alphadi gave a fresh outlook on summer clothing. What stood out the most was the quality and detail in the beading, weaving and sewing of the clothes. Modern and youthful, the collection was undeniably rooted in West African fashion in terms of shapes and technique, but separated from it in terms of the daring tailoring. Like the festival he created, Alphadi’s collection was at the cusp of two worlds. The pale and iridescent palette teamed with the geometric shapes brought a sense of intrigue to the show – the colours ethereal while the overall outfit suggested strength.
There were some outfits that were boldly coloured, which added a certain vibrancy to the collection and gave a balance to the prominently white collection. With his recent boutique opening in New York and a loyal European and African following, the incredibly talented Alphadi is sure to go a very long way in the international fashion industry. By infusing his designs with his Touareg roots and mixing them with contemporary Western techniques and aesthetics, he is creating a powerful sartorial world.