The brilliant hues, rigorously positioned plumage, ornate and customized badges—The beaded and feathered costumes of the Mardi Gras Indians are as dynamic because the efficiency members who put on them. The artwork of “masking” and accompanying costume making determine prominently within the lifetime of Cherice “Queen Reesie” Harrison-Nelson. As a third-generation participant within the custom and queen of the Flame Maroon Society Guardians, Harrison-Nelson has cultivated a wealthy aesthetic sensibility that she has articulated in a West African-themed trend line that debuted in April 2021.
Dubbed the Queen Reesie Assortment, the road marks Harrison-Nelson’s first “official” foray into trend, in addition to his first collaboration with Nigerian designer Ese Johnson, whose London retailer, Tufafi Ng, has a world clientele. Regal and expressive, the gathering eschews the pre-made one-size-fits-all development that plagues right this moment’s fashions. As a substitute, it options customized attire that flatter fuller-figure ladies, every as totally different as her consumer. Even along with his most complete method, Harrison-Nelson ensures that his assortment is sure to suit all sizes. “[from the] curved [to the] not so curvy. ”
The debut design has each aesthetic and religious significance for Harrison-Nelson. The piece, a full darkish blue costume, pays tribute to Olokun, a Yoruba spirit who is alleged to take care of misplaced souls within the oceans of the Center Passage. As well as, every garment will embody an identical gélé, which features a complementary tutorial for tying the standard West African scarf.
Though the Queen Reesie assortment stays a piece in progress with solely its inaugural piece accessible, Harrison-Nelson and Johnson are exhausting at work on new outfits, all of which will probably be impressed by the artwork of Harrison-Nelson and, after all, their subsequent Carnival costume. . “Proper now, we’re growing a pageant outfit … a costume and a jacket [with] somewhat recreation. ”
Whereas the items may be meticulously deliberate, the road itself grew out of a second of sheer windfall. Harrison-Nelson’s son had come throughout Johnson’s creations whereas shopping Etsy, a well-liked digital market for artisan items. Regardless of the serendipity of the collaboration’s conception, trend itself felt like a pure development from costume stitching for Carnival. Like her Carnival costumes, the designs with Johnson mirror a want to transcend mere aesthetic magnificence to search out which means and finally herself.
“I’m an African American. As a result of atrocities that had been perpetuated towards us, we’re so disconnected … This custom for me is a solution to join with my ancestral land: one account, one sew at a time. “
Tufafi Ng’s Queen Reesie Assortment is completely accessible from Ese Johnson’s Etsy store right here, from $ 150.