When I am new in a country I like to get into the fashion scene. Mostly I find it in artist markets or boutiques. Mali is famous for tie-dyed textiles and unique colors and prints used in its garments. The culture is lively, and that is reflected in the garments you see throughout the entire nation, no matter which region you are in. Often I saw much of the traditional dress that the Malian people pride themselves on.
Silk skirts, tunics and long dresses are popular choices for Mali women, particularly the pagne, which is a wraparound skirt. Traditionally, women also wear turbans that match their dresses. The boubou, which is a full-length tunic, is a traditional men’s garment.
Vibrant color belongs to the Mali wardrobe, and dressing up in costumes, jewelry and earrings is a popular activity. Colors used for clothing are typically from entirely natural dyes, which allows the craftsperson to develop his or her own specialized colors.
Mali is famous for a type of rough-cotton textile called mud cloth, which is often used to make dashikis, a colorful men’s shirt. After the cloth is woven, it is hand-painted in centuries-old patterns, then dipped in dyes made from mud. After it dries, it may be dipped again in a process that may take several weeks to complete.
I’ve got some fashion snap shots during my stay in Bamako. Enjoy!