Wednesday, July 20, 2011

When JLo said we're going to Afri-cah I took her seriously.

I don't know about y'all but I'm about tapped out on my ability to look at another austere black, white and brown Scandinavian-esque interior. Not that my freshly finished kitchen might be in that same family or what my living room is probably going to look like when I'm done painting it but whatever...  

via Our Afria but I wish I knew where this originally came from
Yep.  Kinda how I feel.  BRING ME SOME COLOR AND PATTERN!!!!  Preferably lots of it.  At the same time.  If it's African, even better.  Seriously, I'm addicted to Africa right now.

At the risk of reducing an entire spectrum of cultures into pretty shapes, colors and patterns um well... that's kinda the part I'm addicted to.  This also happened during my Cross Colours phase back in 1991 but I was only eleven and didn't actually wear any of it but I really only watched BET back then so you can't really blame me.  You can laugh at this because even though I'm like Stephen Colbert in that I don't see color, I can say with all confidence that I'm the whitest person imaginable.  I say that not just because I look like a cheerleader made a baby with a snowman that turned out to be the giant Stay Puft marshmallow man from the end of Ghostbusters (except with more glitter, of course), but also because I'm "White" in the sense that the majority of Stuff White People Like is most likely a transcript of my life.  I think this post is actually #127 on the list.

Wodaabe boy from Niger. Photography by Steve McCurry from here

You can never have enough bangles no matter what continent you live on.

photography by Seydou Keita via Fly


Earrings show this Masai woman is married. here

You think friendship bracelets are hot right now?  Try showing up at the coffee house with a cuff like this.  Dare I even say that Africa is trendy?  It makes me cringe when marketers or retailers describe things as "tribal" or gawd-forbid "ethnic" so whatever this post is, its intent is not that.  I'm just desperate for something to look at with personality!  (I just made myself cringe by using a reductionist word like "personality" but there really isn't a way that I come out the other side of this not looking like an asshole.  So let's just carry on.)

Billy Kidd has this stunning series of portraits of Samburu warriors in NYC.  These two pictures are of Lesiit.  He's killed two lions so says the caption.  Purchasing prints helps the Thorn Tree Project which provides funding for education to regions of Northern Kenya.  See?  It's not all about shapes and colors!

Samburu woman ready to be married. Photography by Eric Lafforgue 


via Cool Hunting
Hair salons photographed by Simon Weller for the book South African Township Barbershops and Salons.


The Hyena Men - street performers - of Lagos, Nigeria photographed by Pieter Hugo.  I almost shat my pants when I realized that's what size hyenas really are.  That's what I get for getting my basic life skills from The Lion King.  Next you're going to tell me honey badgers DO give a shit!  [MS sidebar: apparently Beyonce wasn't scared because I'm pretty sure she appropriated some hyena wrangling for her "Run the World" video. {In an Inception-style sidebar within a sidebar: I almost shat my pants a second time when I just recently saw the original video for the track Beyonce sampled for her song.  The fuck??  After the donkey punch, it really ruined whatever grrl power anthem B was aiming for in using that sample... }]

Back to things that make me happy:


Shilluk woman, Sudan - from here


pinterest via kira-cph

Oroma Elewa in Vogue via Fly
Who needs a shirt when you have so many BANGLES??!!!!!!

Fabricadabra via jubella 
We have reached maximum saturation on Ikats and Suzanis and I'm desperate for patterns that haven't been bastardized with butterflies and pastels.  Enter wax prints!!  One wax print pillow is for pussies, though.  You have to commit because they look better in groups.  Pattern on pattern on pattern.
Ok unless you're the type of person who can do a headwrap and then you just do one because that's hawt.  I can't do this and make it look good in any way possible so if you can please go for it.
compilation from here
Fair trade textiles, jewelry and crafts from Ananse Village.


via Fly

Colorful Rambunction from Stephanie C. Mathews

bags made my women in Ghana for Della via Modish
What about a bag?  Could I do a bag without looking like an asshole?  Probably not...

Kimberly Sumner via Time Out New York
This is how cool people in New York dress and where my obsession with pattern will be in a few months when I've then reached my threshold of outrageous colors and bold patterns.  But somehow when I mix patterns - even in neutrals - I look like a homeless hipster cat lady and not fun and eccentric.  Being a marshmallow offspring sometimes has its disadvantages and I'm not even talking about campfire season.

Iyadede via Fly
She says "wheeee" for color and pattern too.  

My eyes feel positively reborn after looking at all this.  Emmas designblog who?


  1. Great post! I feel the same way about Africa and the beauty it inspires. I just got back from my first trip to Africa and it exceeded every expectation I've ever had. I'm ready to go back again! Lovely compilation of photos here.

  2. I'm with you on the patterns- how can you be around them and not be inspired?!

  3. Thanks for putting that together.

    So beautiful!

    Oh, and the patterns were pretty too! ;)

  4. As disturbing - but also riveting - as the Major Lazer vid was, it was chock full of patterns and colors.

  5. Beautiful inspiration! I admit I am a fan of white interiors, but this may get me to add some color and pattern.

  6. Oh I love you so much. I think we ARE living parallel lives. Today, I posted on pattern too. I am totally SICK of brooklyn hipster vintage retro quirk and I, too, cannot take one more Scando white/black modern. I want riotous color and nerve dancing pattern and PERSONALITY and individuality for God's sake. And, yes, I really really want to prance to my coffee shop wearing that huge cuff. You're the best, 'Sauce.

  7. Kecia - Your trip sounds wonderful and so glad to hear you speak so highly of it - I hope you get a chance to go back soon! Thanks for stopping by the Sauce. ; )

    Nick - Yay for colors!

    James - My pleasure! It's nice to have a place to dump my inspiration and it's just a bonus if someone else likes it too. ; )

    Kelly - Believe me, I'm a fan of neutral but I think I've become a little bored of seeing it soooo much lately. Needed a little visual stimulus! And thank you for swinging by the Sauce today!

    susie q - Yes, yes, everything you just said, yes. Riotous color is perfect!! I must head over to read your post asap - I need more!! And save me a seat at the coffee shop. I'm the really white marshmallow girl... ; )

  8. Emily - I seemed to have skipped over you above - sorry! That's a good word for that video - riveting. I won't lie - I watched it like 5 times YES for the pattern and color in it but also because... the fuck??!!!

  9. Holy molly thats a man if hyena!!

    You post and awesome post on Africa, pretty patterns and shit and all my brain sees is a huge ass hyena that could eat me. I am a total asshole.

  10. Um... that hyena is a big motherfucker! You would be crazy NOT to notice it. This post was really like a secret public service announcement to warn everyone about hyenas but only YOU figured it out. That's the opposite of asshole.

  11. thank you for alerting me to the real size of hyenas, Madame. Who knew? Loved all of the color and patterns. As always, you are cool, marshmallow white girl! XOXO

  12. I'm cool til I see a hyena that will eat me! I'm going to change the title of this post to "Hyenas: The Killer Bears of Africa" because I think it's really what we all took away from this.

  13. Stunning. You know I love color and pattern and this post just fed my soul. The pure, unique, individual....definitely a lesson to be had here.

    p.s.-I have a really good source stashed away for Dutch wax printed fabric.

  14. What a wonderful comment Nelya - IT fed my soul!!!! And I will absolutely be stalking you for that fabric source - I want to be surrounded by this stuff!!!

  15. The patterns and colors are brilliant, and awesome. But the most awesome thing I got from this post was the Samburu warrior who's killed TWO lions.

    Maybe it's my Lakota blood talkin', but If I'd killed two lions I'd get decked out in feathers and bead jewelry (which are looking bad-ass in the pix) and hang out in NY myself. I mean who in their right mind would mess with that!?


  16. Lesiit is totally a badass, right?! I think he also killed 6 men but I don't like to glorify violence on THIS blog. Sometimes I just want to wear feathers and beads for making it out of bed in the morning. #firstworldproblem

    Definitely check out the rest of Billy Kidd's warrior series and his other works. He photographs a lot of naked people so it's a win/win! ; )