Spiritual practices are deeply woven into the fabric of life throughout the continent of Africa. Honing in on creative director Duduza Mchunu’s lineage, we witness an ode to the women of the AmaZayoni church; in which the attire is punctuated by crisp white fabrics, layered in specific iterations as garments of protection.
We tend to think of uniformity as linear, and the reductionist view is that similarities in dress codes challenge individual expression. In deconstructing the essence of the uniform, as a dialogue of community, these images express a common and sacred bond between the wearers. It demonstrates the power of aligning with others in the pursuit of a shared practice; and in this context, it is the cultivation of spiritual connection and insight.
Using garments from prolific South African labels, Unī Form and Selfi, artistic duo UBNYEHT (Duduza Mchunu and Holly Beaton) have sought to pay homage to the liberating nature of dress practices among women, with these acts conveying a demarcation of alignment under the notion of sartorial consciousness; in which fashion lends itself as physical act of uniting under the same values and motivations. Using the landscape of indigenous flora in the mountains of Cape Town as the backdrop, photographer Christina Fragkou captures the strength laden within the outer and inner world of uniformity. Clean layering accessorized with plants convey the intrinsic connection of women to the earth; as an expression of Nature herself.
Selfi is noted for their use of biodegradable, rayon weighted fabrics; adding a sense of proportion and depth, while Unī Form’s cascading dresses and crisp shirts create silhouettes in line with purification; both labels coming together as celebrations of the uniform
Creative Director: Duduza Mchunu @duduzamchunu
Photographer: Cris Fragkou @cris.fragkou
Styling: Holly Beaton @hollybellb and Duduza Mchunu @duduzamchunu
Models: Asiphe, Rhulani and Sethu of @topcomodels
Garments: SELFI @____selfi and UNI FORM @uniformza