African and Japanese cultures interwoven
Elda Joaquim is a student from the Lisbon School of Design and the creative mind behind Kapulana San, a label that combines African and Japanese style to create its vibrant, fun kimonos. Elda is a Mozambican designer, with a Mediterranean childhood and Indian heritage. She draws on cultures from every corner of the globe within her work. You can check out Elda Joaquim’s portfolio and connect with twitter at @joaquim_elda.
What is the background of the work you submitted?
In this collection I tried to mix African influences with Japanese culture by using African fabrics to create kimonos. My theme for the project was ‘roots’ so I used kimonos from my brand Kapulana San made with capulana (African fabric), and I combined the traditional images of African women and geishas. I find similar elements within the two cultures, for example they both rely on mixing different textile patterns.
What inspires you creatively?
Everything inspires my creativity. My African roots inspire me; I grew up surrounded by capulanas! These fabrics help my imagination to run free. My great-grandmother was Indian and I grew up watching Bollywood movies, which also inspire me. I also love Japan, kimonos and mixing prints. I am interested in the idea of mixing cultures (new and the old), techniques, ideas, craftsmanship and technological… Everything around me stirs my imagination.
How has a childhood in Lisbon inspired you?
Growing up in Lisbon has led me to look at any sidewalk or aspect of the wonderful architecture with interest. I often have a desire to create fabric prints from things as simple as the brickwork.
What is your favourite film of all time?
Probably ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’. I like its emphasis on memory. Whether painful, embarrassing, funny, happy or sad, our memories shape us and make us who we are, as well as linking us to the people associated with these memories and the people we find in the course of our life too.
What is your favourite music track or album right now?
Nega do cabelo duro (Black Girl with hard hair) by Emicida and Elza Soares. My mother sang this song to me whilst braiding my hair when I was little, so it brings back many memories. This version brings together two generations, making it more special. Emicida is a fantastic rapper and the voice of Elza Soares is heavenly.
What is your favourite blog or website for inspiration?
This online magazine has some awesome fashion editorials with fashion from every culture.
Twitter and Instagram: @AfroStyleMagz
This website captures my love for Japanese street style, encapsulating everything I admire within the culture.
Twitter and Instagram: @jananesestreets
When I want to research what is new in art and design, this visual arts magazine is my go-to.
Following my interest in transforming and customising, this website is for everyone with a love for DIY.
Twitter and Instagram: @psimadethis
What is hot or new in the world and/or where you live?
Cosplay, a form of performance art with costumes, is getting hotter and attracting more attention. It allows you to be someone else whilst dressed up as a superhero or super villain. You can have a thousand different skills, wear fantastic clothes and escape from the reality of everyday life.
What does Fashion mean to you?
I always liked the idea of mixing cultures in fashion. I believe that fashion has the capability for enabling greater acceptance and opening the minds of many. Fashion lets you create something new by mixing old designs and trends with new elements or styling. You can turn traditional garments or prints into something new and unique. Often we don’t use this trait of fashion as much as we should, preferring to believe that fashion is superfluous and hollow. But fashion can be a form of communication and expression that can open doors, minds and new horizons.
What is your ideal Fashion Project?
I’m creating a kimono brand called Kapulana San, with the idea of mixing Japanese forms with African colours and patterns. I want to create unique pieces that can be as casual as a t -shirt or as special as a wedding dress, but at affordable prices. If it can be environmentally friendly too, that would be ideal. I would like to collaborate with other designers that are innovative, hardworking, and above all, open-minded and willing to share knowledge and experience.
How do you imagine your future?
In the future I would like to create my clothing brand but first I would like to work for a brand or designer. I still have a lot to learn, which is only attainable by working with others. Working for a brand would teach me more about design and marketing.
What would be your ideal internship?
At this point in my education I would like to start working, get a job, as soon as possible. A job would provide me with the opportunity to learn and grow, especially within an environment that would allow me to explore my creativity. I’m interested in the idea of working as a designer but I like anything that has to do with pattern making!
Will fashion ever be fully sustainable/green?
What do you think? Why not tell us in the comment section below.
Elda Joaquim is a finalist for Modeconnect’s #YourView15 fashion competition sponsored by Bloomsbury Publishing. The support of our sponsor extends to all our readers: until the end of July 2015 they can benefit from 20% off ALL Bloomsbury’s fashion and design books! Just use the code YOURVIEW2015 at the checkout on www.bloomsbury.com.
Voting open 11th – 19th July 2015.