Ghanaian-Russian designer and KORA Fashion Award winner Bee Arthur of “B’Exotiq by Bee Arthur” showcased her first ever combination collection dubbed, ” Fierce & Feminine” at this year’s edition of FAFA 2012, Fashion for Peace Gala dinner at the Ngong Racecourse, Nairobi, Kenya on Saturday 17th November 2012.
The “Fierce & Feminine” collection constituted of 2 contrasting collections: 8 hand-painted short patchwork dresses in earth tones with Snake & Wldlife motifs -”Fierce and Funky”-, and 7 hand-painted White and Ivory tones dress in lace, chiffon, organza and feathers, with the predominant motifs being Floral – “Feminine and Fertile”.
The Fabrics for the ‘Feminine’ collection were sheer and fluid, whiles the ‘Fierce’ dresses were all constructed with opaque cloth. Although the 2 collections seemed not to have a connection, the concept was about portraying the contrasts and multi-facets of a Woman’s nature : her softness and sensuality on one hand and her funkiness and fierceness on the other.The symbolism represented in the collection are the Snake ( phallic symbol) and the Flower ( the Female reproductive organ) which also allude to Conception and the continuation of Life. Hence the need for understanding and tolrance for life to continue peacefully.
Although most fabrics used by the designer in her “F&F”collection were not necessarily traditional African fabrics, , Bee Arthur incorporated pieces of Malian Mudcloth as well as Cotton Wax print into her patchworks. In addition, she recycled a cocoa sack and her old bags in the spirit of “going green” and incorporated them into her “Fierce” dresses .
The entire F&F collection was hand-painted with glitter for a touch of bling and glamour.The Serpent motifs that were hand-painted on Earth-tone dresses were inspirations taken from designs painted on Malian “Bogolanfini” cloth.
Bee Arthur’s accessories -umbrella, jewellery, hats, sling bag, fascinators, boots , eye-wear – are her private collections acquired through extensive travelling across Europe and Africa. In addition to clothing, the designer makes bags, purses, throw-pillows, table-runners, bed-spreads and other interior decor items, most of which are made from traditional cloth hand-woven by women in the North of Ghana. Some of these accessories are oned by Mrs. Kofi Annan, whiles Jeff Koinange owns shirts made by Bee Arthur