|The Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) repository holds full-text theses and dissertations submitted for higher degrees at the University (including submissions from former Cape Technikon and Peninsula Technikon).|
Beadwork and its impact on contemporary fashion in South Africa
Judging from the market growth of African-style designs, including beadwork, it is clear that beadwork continues to recur in contemporary fashion, both locally and internationally. This thesis addresses the role traditional South African beadwork plays in contemporary fashion, in an attempt to determine its impact on fashion trends over time. It explores the history of beadwork in South Africa: its development from the pre-colonial era, under colonial rule, and during apartheid. The beadwork of the Ndebele, Zulu and Xhosa are looked at specifically, since beadwork forms a vibrant part of their cultures. The research examines the history of South African beads, as far back as 75 000 years ago, when beads were first made, used and traded. This research is underpinned by the way in which beads contribute to a cultural identity in society. The research considers how South Africa's colonial and apartheid past inhibited the development of beadwork in South African fashion. This thesis describes the process and dynamics of traditional beadwork in contemporary fashion; the way in which beadwork has been infused into fashion; and the reasons for these trends. It also investigates the way in which African designs, patterns, colours and techniques began to playa role in negotiating fashion designers' identities during the African renaissance and at present. This is a qualitative study that through in-depth interviews, analyses the relationship and balance between beadwork and fashion trends. Lastly, the research indicates whether South African fashion consciously affirms beadwork and beading techniques in contemporary fashion design.
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