In Carnal Fashionby Samora Chapman / 24.04.2013
While the cutting edge fashion futuristas were dancing in the limelight at SA Fashion Week, flaunting their gorgeous threads and defining the very future of the world, I was pulling on my disintegrating Nike hi-tops, paint-stained jeans and fairy polka dot shirt that my momma bought me back in 2002 and heading down to Florida Road for our own little Poison City fashion show. It celebrated re-appropriated vintage threads with a shweshwe tang called the Motherland Collection created by our very own Catharine Nolan of the girl-power gang The Unicorns and featured many beautiful, luscious ladies who gave themselves to the night pro-bono.
I sweated and bent to get the shots while my two year old clung to my hip and my lady love walked the catwalk in sexy lingerie like Venus. It was Durban sparkle glam all the way from the toes to the haloes. The crowd went wild you shoulda seen the way their little eyes glowed.
The next thing I know my Nike kicks turned into flesh eating demons with seven serpent heads thrashing and gnashing, eating me from the shins up. I was sinking into the ground fast as the voracious beasts got to my knees all I could think of doing was to run for the exit before they finished me off, spat out my bones and turned on all the beautiful people in a carnal fashion-fantastic kill-rage.
I ran out that joint as the night filled with screams… the blood from my wounds formed a pool on the concrete and I saw a distorted reflection of the Nike swoosh.
“What I seen made my heart hurt, stomach turn, throat burn, teeth cringe spine tingle, and ribs sting. I noticed that the swoosh symbol was nothing but a whip in mid-swing.”*
Oh shit I shoulda picked up some traditional home-woven threads from the Motherland Collection to tourniquet my wounds I thought as I broke into a sprint. Repent, repent I broke out in a cold sweat, I broke out in a sprint. I fled. My leg stubs poking holes in the earth like little graves for the little slaves that made them.
I ran all the way to the seaside with my son still on my back. I tore our clothes into tattered threads until we were two naked souls baptized in the ocean, re-born under the stars and it all finally made sense. I’ve got my little man, the next generation; it’s not too late to save him.
*Word to Sage Francis (aka God) – peep this song.
*All images © Samora Chapman