Collection by Diana Budds

Tendence 2012 at Messe Frankfurt: Textiles out of Africa

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One of the special exhibitions at Tendence was Africa Chic, a collection of objects designed and manufactured in Africa. We rarely get a chance to feature designs from the continent, and so jumped at the chance to see what the show was about. Many of the objects were expected—woven baskets, traditional jewelry, wooden vases—but the textiles stood out. While traditional, the colors and geometric patterns would not look out of place in a modern home. A neighboring series of booths featuring designs from Tunisia—a country that is now finding its footing after overthrowing its former dictator—also featured some stunning pieces, which made for a rich haptic and visual experience. The grouping was meant more to boost exports and there isn't typically a click-to-buy online shop for the products (but many designers said that they take orders via email and phone). In the following slideshow, spy the bright colors, thick weaves, and unexpected materials on view at the fair.

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