Wednesday, June 27, 2012

More Dandies in Africa: Sapeurs and Swenkas

You may remember the post I made a while back about the Sapeurs, Congolese dandies whose styles are simply mind-blowing. They're super interesting because they don't just believe in dressing well. They bring beauty to the world at great cost to themselves under adverse conditions. Their emphasis on personal style over just following fashion has tuned them into celebrities of the best kind in their community- through standing out for doing something positive, and by setting a good example for and bringing happiness to others. They believe in non-violence and adhere to a high standard of elegance and polished manners as part of an entire way of life that goes way beyond the clothes. These guys are my freaking heroes.

Here's a great short video with lots of photos of them.

There are lots more videos of the Sapeurs on YouTube if you want to search for them there. For more images, also check out a copy of this book, Gentlemen of Bacongo by Daniele Tamagni.

And I'm really excited to have just found out about this totally other group of similar guys in South Africa, the Swenkas, who put on a weekly fashion contest to showcase their styles. Here's a short video profile about them and what they do.

A documentary was made about them a few years ago.

Here is a copy of most or all of it dubbed in French.

And here's the beginning of it with English subtitles (the video is ten minutes long but after the first five minutes or or, it starts over from the beginning, strangely). I'd love to find the full movie with English subtitles, but it's proving elusive so far. The competition scene with music by Henry Mancini is great!

I hope you enjoy seeing these images as much as I did.

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