Omar Salam and the motherly magic of Sukeina

The Senegalese designer Omar Salam, who debuted his FW 2013 collection on February 10 2013, says he chose to call his brand Sukeina because it’s the name of his late mother – and he chose fashion over film because he felt his voice would speak more clearly through its vocabulary of shape and colour than through screenwriting, his original choice of profession.

His words came back to me as I was hiking on Hong Kong’s Peak trail on the second day of Chinese New Year. The hills were thronged with Chinese families, the spring air ringing with their conversation and greetings of Kung Hei Fat Choy.

The atmosphere was sweet and powerful, conveying a feeling of renewal and companionship. My voice is best expressed through writing but I wondered what would happen if I spoke through fashion and designed a jacket inspired by my family.

What would it look like? I imagined deep persimmon silk brocade with lapels lined in honey coloured silk and trimmed with black neoprene (yes, my family is strange and eccentric). The buttons would be strong silver clasps attached with fine silk thread that would be apt to break, reminding me that family ties are powerful but fragile and require constant work. The brocade would be slashed in places, revealing deep red silk behind, because family is also about blood and pain, as much as it is a place of safety and love.

And at the back there would be vents with a belt between them, to speak of family’s restraints and freedoms. So many things inspire contemporary fashion designers, one wonders if they chose a new muse at random by flipping open pages of an encyclopedia, but family must be the deepest source of creativity, as Omar Salam’s Sukeina has proved. What would your family jacket look like? Maybe we should have a competition to find the best ones.




2月10日,塞内加尔设计师Omar Salam推出其2013秋冬系列,并用已故母亲的名字给此系列命名为Sukeina来自。他还说,选择了时尚设计作为职业,是因为相比于原来电影编剧的职业,他能更清楚地通过形状和色彩表达意思。大年初二,我在香港岛的山顶远足时这番话又浮现在了我的脑海中。山路上处处是全家出游的人群,早春的空气里弥漫着新春祝福和一句句“恭喜发财”的问候。这气氛是甜蜜的而温暖的。我觉得我最能通过文字来表达自己的意思,但如果要我通过时尚设计来表达的话,会怎样把我的家庭通过一件衣服表达出来呢?我想,我应该会选择深柿子色的丝绸作上衣,翻领为有黑色镶边的蜜色丝绸(没错,我的家庭是挺稀奇古怪的)。纽扣将会是结实的银​​扣,用细丝线缝在衣服上,这会很容易断,如同家庭关系是坚强但又脆弱的,需要努力维护。衣服后面要有两个孔,孔之间有一条皮带相连,代表家庭生活的约束和自由。如今时装设计师们的灵感来源太广泛,让人们不禁开始怀疑他们通过随机翻开百科全书找寻新的灵感。但无论如何,家庭应该是创造力最深的源泉,Omar Salam的Sukeina系列便是证明。你的“家庭夹克”又会是什么模样呢?