24 March 2011

A Visual Perfume Shop

When I was in France, my very dear friend forced me to go with her to Sephora . . . a grand magasin for makeup and perfume.  We made it about three steps in when the nausea hit . . . another two steps and the migraine started.  I don't do well with perfume in general, but an entire Champs-Elysées store front wafting of mixing scents . . . well, it gives me a headache just thinking about it.

Shopping for fabric to have clothes made here in Niger has the same effect on me.  Walking into a shop stall the size of a closet that is lined floor to ceiling with clashing colors and loud patterns triggers my vagal nerve and sends my head spinning.  But after only an hour and a half in the fabric section of the market in Maradi (3-4 hour drive from home . . . I'm here for the SIM Niger orientation for a few days) I had managed to find two fabrics for clothing and another two for curtains in my bathroom and kitchen.


Culturally, in Niger, clothing is a sign of respect.  When you meet with someone, you show them honor by the way you are dressed.  So when picking out fabric, pattern and color aren't the only factors.  It is just as important to consider country of manufacture, fabric thickness and stiffness, and wax quality.  Size and style??  No worries, that's a hassle for the tailor.

And nothing allows for brilliant pattern sightings quite like a fabric market!  Brace yourself, some of these are unbelievably amazing!

Star fish
Melting ice cubes
Spinning tops
Apple slices
Ninja stars
Tassels
Strawberries
Heads of garlic
Soccer balls with cleats
Snails
Monopoly money
Hot air balloons
Antique Model-T Fords
But the Grand Prize Winner: Disco balls

2 comments:

Bethany said...

i would love to know which one you choose for your curtains. i think Monopoly money curtains would be quite nice... and definitely FUN! =)

Bethany said...

i would love to know which one you choose for your curtains. i think Monopoly money curtains would be quite nice... and definitely FUN! =)