“The company was started by my mom Victoria Aidoo
in 1995. She has a really good eye for fashion,” says Esi Aidoo
of clothing distributor Kwestomar Kreations
, “My family is from Ghana so we mostly feature Ghanaian clothes and designs, with designers from the Ivory Coast, Sudan and other areas in Africa.”
After two successful years, Kwestomar Kreations presents its 3rd Annual Fashion Show
at The Westin Nova Scotia
(6:30pm, Atlantic Ballroom), with men and women's clothing lines from 16 designers, plus jewellery and wood carvings. Garments can be bought and ordered via Kwestomar.
The event is a chance to see the rich colours, textures and styles of African clothing, as well as African pop music, one of the runway highlights: “We play lot of Afro-Pop that’s not so traditional, like Sarkodie
,” says Aidoo, “That’s one of the most enjoyed parts of the show.”
“A few of the designers are quite traditional,” she continues, “But younger designers have been more exposed to the Western world and have a fusion style. Chiffon low-cut tops, Dashiki prints, embroidery, fashion that you might see in New York or Montreal that's much more global.”
But fabric and materials remain traditional to Africa, the most common of which is cotton: “It’s the most wearable in a hot climate. Cotton kante is often used, which is quite heavy. There’s also polished cotton and moisturized cotton, and traditional kind of Ghanian cloth, sheda cotton, with two different kinds of threads that form patterns of the same colour. This year, we’re seeing a lot of cutouts, lace, chiffon and batik print, as well.”
Less common in North America, Aidoo notes the fashion show will feature fabrics to suit the African tradition of buying uncut materials to be cut in specific designs, and for tailors to create matching patterned ensembles between couples and families and for specific ceremonial events.
“Patterns are a way for people to express themselves. Some patterns have meaning and it’s very evident in the fabric,” Aidoo says, “The weaving is often very geometric, and a lot of the shapes symbolize different things, like for weddings or funerals. People also love using colour to express who they are and how they’re feeling. It’s a way to symbolize our day to day lives.”
Tickets can still be purchased online
($15), or at the door ($20). Doors open at 6:30pm.