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History Happy Hour: Fashion, Cultural Expression and the African Diaspora
Friday, January 20 at 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
How do our cultural traditions and history influence what we wear? Discover how communities of African descent have used fashion, specifically modest fashion, as a form of cultural expression & empowerment. Enjoy a conversation between designer Sehar Peerzada, jewelry designer Elaine Robnett-Moore, and moderator Camila Bryce-Laporte, on the history of traditional dress and adornment and its influence the global fashion industry today. This event culminates with a live fashion show featuring Sehar’s and Elaine’s designs.
Meet Our Presenters
Sehar Peerzada designs and produces a unique style of limited edition clothing, home goods and dolls. Born in Washington DC, Sehar Peerzada works from her apartment/studios in Baltimore, Maryland and Lahore, Pakistan. An alumnus of Howard University and the Rhode Island School of Design, Sehar studied eastern design concepts and cuts, along with the ancient art of hand block printing in Pakistan, where she collaborates with artisans to design and carve her blocks developing her own hybrid collection. Sehar was recently a presenter in the American Folklife Society Conference in Baltimore (2019), and was selected to participate as a designer with The Baltimore Natural Dye Initiative and Maryland Institute College of Art, and is a member if the African American Craft Initiative. Sehar Peerzada’s clothing line has been carried in stores such as Nordstrom, Densua’s African Treasures in Macy’s, Toast and Strawberries and Zawadi in D.C., The Reginald Lewis Museum, Maja and Sankofa in Baltimore and others. As a costumer Sehar worked with Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Sweet Honey In The Rock, The New York Fringe Festival, The San Francisco Bay Area Theater Company and more
Camila Bryce-LaPorte is a folklife specialist and community scholar who works with people to help them rediscover the value of their history, their cultural traditions, their community, and themselves through the art of cultural documentation. She trains people to capture and preserve the history of and traditions of their community and their culture bearers. Bryce-LaPorte has worked on folklife-related projects for the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, and Ujamaa Cooperative Farming Alliance.
Elaine Robnett-Moore is an accomplished jewelry designer, born to a family of artists. Her one-of-a-kind pieces mix ancient and unique beads with other mediums, including gemstones, rubber, and found objects. She describes her work as “capturing the elegance of the natural beauty surrounding us – wind in the trees, cascading vines, the colors of sunset, the wisdom of ancestors – the style and grace of today’s contemporary woman.” In addition to her jewelry making, she is an international consultant and author. Elaine guides creative makers in becoming entrepreneurs. In Rwanda, she wrote their first manual on beaded jewelry making. Robnett-Moore then published The Art of Bead Stringing: Artist to Entrepreneur—a guide on how to make and sell beaded jewelry with a focus on design. Her other books are Dancing Out Loud: Thoughts on Navigating the Rhythm of Life and Dancing Out Loud: The Little Book of Quotes Elaine’s work will be available for sale at this event.
Individual tickets are $22, VIP tables $110. Members 20% off. Not a member? Become a member today!
For accommodation requests, please contact the museum via email or at 301-774-0022.
Pictured: Design by Sehar Peerzada