Last year I attended the Faku’gesi Beats Bloc Party in Braam’ and was awe-struck by two guys who wore a look emulating Raiden – a character from the video game Mortal Kombat. I loved how they incorporated the traditional Sotho hat into their ensemble and the addition of a mask made of patterned fabric. I could not resist recreating this otherworldly, “Japanese-esque” look!
Raiden is said to protect planet earth from “otherworldly threats alongside his handpicked warriors” – a typical superhero story. After watching Marvel’s Black Panther movie this past weekend, it has elevated the meaning and portrayal of what a superhero is (more on that by co-blogger ‘thatgirlneima’ later). And how awesome it is that the King of Wakanda is protected by an elite, all-female, fierce group of personal bodyguards called the Dora Milaje (pronounced dora-meh-LAH-shay)!
In my attempt to recreate the superhero look, I opted to wear this lightweight, tailored blazer from South African fashion label – Khosi Nkosi. The Zulu word, Khosi Nkosi, translates as ‘King’ in the English language and signifies royalty. Garments created by this fashion designer are inspired by strong, modern, wordly, Nubile women – much like the Dora Milaje from the majestic Kingdom of Wakanda .
I love how the vibrant turquoise colour blends with the pink, red and black print. And as a tailored jacket should, it drapes my frame perfectly as the cinched waist is enhanced by the peplum hem. This blazer could add the feeling of Dora Milaje finesse to any woman who adds it to their outfit.
More below from thatgirlneima
The Black Panther has elevated the meaning of superhero to the umpteenth degree. What with its glass-ceiling-smashing female characters who don’t portray the commonly accepted “fairy tale-esque” story lines of yester-year. This is clear in the fact that they don’t need to be rescued; but instead fully embrace and are expected to embrace all aspects of their femininity including their strength and intelligence without fear of reprimand. The film has succeeded in imparting to the viewer, the intricacies of African culture by reinforcing the themes of power, love, pride, empathy, dignity and the true meaning of family and friendship. Heck…even the bad-guys seem to be relatable. In keeping with the Superhero theme of the day, Azima has incorporated some quintessential Martial Arts moves to enhance the ensemble. The poses predominantly incorporate Tai Chi straight sword.
Khosi Nkosi’s fitted blazer is in fact just as ground breaking as The Black Panther movie, in that it breaks the mould of what contemporary African attire can be and how it can be worn. Nkosi has used the peplum shape on the body of the garment which, is sure to flatter any body type. Added to this is the unapologetic use of colour and print with the puff shoulder sleeves, thereby cohesively merging the contemporary with the traditional in an uncommon yet empowering way. How fitting it is, therefore that the name Khosi Nkosi means King or Royalty especially at such a time, when the Black Panther film has reinvigorated audiences the world over not least of all, Africa and her descendants.
Written by: Azima & thatgirlneima
Photography by: NPM Photography