Fée Uhssi London based, Franco Nigerian ethical fashion artist presents the Bolono Mali project supporting local textiles artists and makers in Bamako, Mali West Africa. Founded by Fée Uhssi’s mother, textile artist Kati Ertel in 2006 the Bolono Mali project aims to promote and preserve the ancestral techniques and art of Bogolan or mudcloth.
Fée Uhssi’s designs work is based and inspired by the textiles produced ethically through the project. Her Art of Fashion Wrapping collection offers a selection of wraps and garments celebrating traditional African textiles and wraps.
The Bolono coat designed by Kati Ertel is a tribute to traditional Malian cotton, named Finimugu; handwoven on a narrow loom, the finimugu is a band of fabric that needs to be assembled by hand to create a cloth. The Bolono coat was designed with a zero waste pattern following the shape of finimugu bands It was then hand painted with plants and mud according to the technique of Bogolanfini.
The Bogolanfini or Bogolan also known as mudcloth is one of Mali’s specialities and pride, it is the Art of dying/ painting the white cloth or finimugu with mud. The Bogolan technique follows a very precise and quite long process. First the fabric needs to be soaked in a decoction made with a specific local plant called Ngalaman that will give the fabric a light mustard colour and will act as a mordant for the mud to dye the cloth.
Then once dried the cloth is ready to start being painted with the mud. After painting the cloth needs to be left to dry fully for 24 hours, then it needs to be rinsed in natural water and the whole process needs to be repeated two more times as it requires three coats; All this is made possible due to the rare properties of the Malian soil.
Fée Uhssi is a London based Franco Nigerian Stylist and ethical fashion designer. The Paris born and raised designer defines herself as a fashion artist, using textiles as her creative medium. Her passion for textiles and in particular traditional textiles from Africa has always been at the heart of her creative processes, Ethical fashion and living activist Fée Uhssi has been promoting fairer practices within the fashion industry since the late 1990’s. With her mother textiles artist Kati Ertel they have founded the Bolono Mali project in Bamako in Mali in West Africa to support local artists.
Fée’s mission is to empower women and support her sisters to look good, feel good and do good! A professional ethical fashion designer and stylist with the ability to create something timeless and exclusive for all.