When wanting to showcase fashion in its truest form (and by that, we mean embodying movement, connection and community), there's no better medium than fashion film, a notion most recently supported by East African fashion brand EILAF's latest film The Resilience of Weaving.
Rooted in rich East African folklore craftsmanship and female empowerment, EILAF's contemporary approach to East African & Sudanese design won Osman last year's @fashiontrustarabia Prize thanks to the brand's pillars lying in using sustainable crafts and female empowerment to develop communities with artisans in Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda and Chad. Ideas are then fed back to the brand's Spanish atelier where quality is prioritised over quantity to create meaningful fashion with an impact.
'As an emerging designer of a small artisanal brand, so much of the design process is focused on product development: materials, functionality, and logistics', Osman said in a statement. 'In creating this short film, I wanted to show the audience the essence of my brand's design process as one that centres around intimate moments with artisans. By using film, we are able to capture the stories and folklore that are intrinsically woven into our baskets and give our designs purpose.'
Resilience of Weaving was shot in late July this year while Osman was working with a weaver's cohort in Zanzibar. In between lessons of flat-plaited basket weaving, Osman told us the 'Zanzibar Mamas' adopted her as one of their own, all while giving the designer age-old lessons on the inherent connectivity of artisan communities across East Africa. Taking these lessons and motivations with her on her next leg of her journey, Osman decided to resettle a portion of her Sudanese artisan community to Chad to help restart the Dom Basket Bag supply chain after it was destroyed by the on-going war in Sudan. The film itself doesn't document this process, but it does introduce EILAF's audience to the spiritual process of connecting with East African artisans and resistance as power.