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The ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative is surprising us this month with a highly unique project: a collaboration for playwright, theatre director and designer Andrew Ondrejcak's latest play Elijah Green's costumes, premiering in New York's The Kitchen on March 10. 

As with previous partners the EFI has taken Ondrejcak on a journey of discovery to meet local artisans in Haiti, Mali and Burkina Faso. On each stop he was introduced to local crafts, like paper mache, different weaving and jewellery making techniques, as described in the legend of the pictures below, showing each actor in his or her costume.

Together with Alba Clemente the two partners developed the final costume design for the upcoming play. Elijah Green tells the story of a divine spirit that wanders through modern life, exploring human interconnectivity, which is also a core value of the EFI's mission.

The main inspiration for the play came from Dutch renaissance painter Pieter Bruegel's work, as well as Swedish playwright August Strindberg’s A Dream Play. Although the materials and techniques chosen for this project where sourced and made in the Caribbean, Africa and Asia, Bruegel's and Strindberg's influence is very much present and the savagely haunting beauty of each costume will definitely provide its audience with an extraordinary theatre experience.

So if you happen to be in New York between March 10-12 or 17-19, don't miss out on this fantastic production by Tanya Selvaratnam and Tommy Kriegsmann/ArKtype, and book your tickets here. On March 17, you can also attend a Q&A session with Andre Ondrejcak, Alba Clemente and Simone Cipriani, founder of the EFI and his colleague Chloe Mukai.




Stuart Singer

Is wearing a hand-carved cow horn hairpin created
 by Paul-André Lafond in Haiti and Chinese silk print bow.



Heather Lang

In a Japanese vintage kimono, featuring off-cut and hand-dyed organic cotton strips from Mali, along with a cluster of leather and beaded tassels from Bamako Market (Mali). 




Edgar Oliver


Is pictured in a Belgian vintage leather skull cap, a jacket made of Bogolan organic cotton by Boubakar Doumbia from Ndomo Gallerie in Mali (with Guiness bottle caps from artist Katlyn Alexis from Gran' Rue 'Atis Rezistans' collective in Haiti), paper mache bracelets by Herbie Marshall from Jacmel in Haiti, cow horn disks by Paul-André Lafond (Haiti), and pouches made of raw cowhide, courtesy of Materials for the Arts.




Mike Melkovic

Is wearing a hand-loomed tunic and a bow made by the AFEPO collective from Ponsomtengo in Burkina Faso, (the latter was made on a home-size loom, enabling their female employees to work from home while caring for their families), hand-forged bracelets made from recycled oil drums by Mikerson Jean from Croix-des-Bouquets in Haiti, a Japanese vintage kimono sash and finally a pair of Bogolan pants, dyed by Boubakar Doumbi from the Ndomo Gallerie in Mali.




Imani Nia

In a dyed teal rabbit fur and fox stole made in upstate New York with vintage fox ushanka from Russia. The stripy fabric is by Vivienne Westwood and the Indigo-dyed fabric strips by Sega Diallo from Mali.




Meg Harper

Is pictured in a Latanier's hand-woven hat by Mamoune Clairossaint in Haiti, a jacket and large apron made of hand woven organic cotton 'danfani' from Burkina Faso and a 
hand-embroidered apron by Peacequilts in Lilavois (Haiti).




Yuki Kawahisa

Seen here in a jacket made with a fabric by Carolina Herrera, tye-dyed sash by Sega Diallo from Segou in Mali, a goard hat with burnt-in decoration, which was purchased in Segou market (Mali) and a Swedish sheep-skin collar. 

& first picture: 
Top: Bogolan (mud-dyed) organic cotton by Boubakar Doumbia from Ndomo Gallerie (Mali),
Karakul hat made of Qaraqui sheep (Pakistan), metal, plastic and glass beaded jewelry by
Ahaya Alagui from the 'Village Artisanal' (Burkina Faso) with metal pieces (Cote d'Ivoire).
Glass-beaded Maasai bracelets (Kenya). Bottom: vintage kimono
The actress is wearing a Bogolan (mud-dyed) organic cotton top by Boubakar Doumbia from the Ndomo Gallerie in Mali, a Karakul hat made of Qaraqui sheep from Pakistan, metal, plastic and glass beaded jewelry by Ahaya Alagui from the 'Village Artisanal' (Burkina Faso), with metal pieces from the Ivory Coast and glass-beaded Maasai bracelets from Kenya and a Japanese vintage kimono.



Images by Georgia Neirheim, courtesy of the ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative.
 



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