Regarding Lisbon, we find a city with a vibrant African community (African Lisbon), and from this interlaced cultural web many African tailors have established their ateliers at the surrounding areas of Rossio and the city peripheries. They import African models of sewing conditions and they work in and for the African community. Most of them live in poor conditions, almost at poverty level, without access to school, knowledge development, surviving at the margins of Portuguese society.This project is part of a PHD research aiming both to apply, at an academic level, the identity, tradition and fashion-able challenges of African capulana textile into the XXI century fashion and, in parallel, to contribute in a practical way to the improvement of a more equal society through sustainable fashion design, seen as a vehicle for social changings and knowledge empower. Here African tailors are considered agents for the operational creativity of local fashion with this African textile (or sui generis), and therefore agents to develop mechanism between tradition and modernity.
The aim of the course was to develop a first educational platform at a fashion institute, where it will develop an educational program on pattern cutting that ‘fits’ the cultural background of the immigrant African tailors. We intended to develop a process that comes to them in other to let them come to us and let them express a “fusion of intellect and emotion” (Smith and Williams, 1999: 57). Based on a co-learning process, all the proposed exercises on this phase obey this aim.The program is developed mainly by Sofia Vilarinho.
Develop a program which focus on the development of different technical skills, whereby the student can apply and add to them own knowledge, mostly carried from the African learning with the African masters (apprenticeship) and the practice they had on them ateliers.
1) Pattern making,
2) Sewing techniques
– Main characteristics of different textiles
– Texture experience and emotion
– Color experience and emotion
4) Technical drawing of clothes
5) Textile cutting