handcrafted fashion


Vanichi Magazine partners with The Africa Channel to present “What If Movie Icons Wore African Fashion?” (#WIMIWAF).

This creative fashion editorial imagines an alternate reality where iconic Hollywood film characters dress in modern, handcrafted fashion from designers of Africa and the African Diaspora. 

Designers include Senegal-based brand SARAYAA, TEGAA, a Gambia-based jewelry line, Egyptian designer AMMANII, M ANDREWS sartorial luxury based in San Antonio, Texas, Nigerian brand OBIOMA, eyewear designer BURKINABAE, menswear designer KENNETH NICHOLSON, Ghana + NYC brand STUDIO ONE EIGHTY NINE (co-founded by Rosario Dawson), Sierra Leone + USA brand BADARA and Lagos-based luxury brand MINKU.

PHOTO: Juhn Kwon.
HAIR + MAKEUP: Karen Bates-Ashey.
STYLIST: Jordan Swain.
BlCREATIVE DIRECTORS: Joy Donnell + Jordan Swain.


Elle Drane 

Sara Ishag

Tia Hurley

Chanelle Renee

Celisse Graves

Jonathan Stanton

Isaiah Lucas


Elijah-Allan Blitz

Jordan Swain


Handcrafted leather pouch from real suede leather and ornamented with handmade juniper beads. A perfect pouch for keeping coins, your pet’s treats, tobacco, seeds, dice, MTG creature’s counters, and any amount of tiny things you may need to carry!  Get yours here! And if you are interested in the druid drum pendant/incense holder in the background, click here!


This is the finished Green Dress. The dress and design was made by me. Everything was hand sewn. The design is renaissance inspired, but I made the patterns myself. I will post the progress pictures below.

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I’m working on a new renaissance inspired dress. It was designed, drafted and hand sewn by me. This is The Navy Dress and I designed this one for my dear Oana. The top and skirt are almost done. The dress will of course have a piece that covers the chest that I haven’t made yet, that’s why she’s wearing a sports bra in the pictures. I’m currently working on the sleeves. I will post progress pictures of the sleeves too after they’re done. I’m really proud of the top for this dress because it’s the first time I made the inside pretty too. For the other dresses I really didn’t pay any attention to how they look on the inside, but for this one I made the lining pretty and I really like that. As usual, absolutely everything was hand sewn. This is the design I want to make for the sleeves:

I wanted to make these sleeves for The Green Dress, but I changed my mind because I loved how the simple puffed sleeves turned out. 

- Maria Heller


Got these done~ Man these were so much fun to design! Here are Morgan’s signature guns, Cell Block Tango.

“The famed demon-smith Rodin handcrafted and fashioned these guns after the semi-automatic Colt M1911 pistols. They’ve gained their names from some of the most dangerous women from the Cook County Jail, including Annie, June, Velma, and Mona. These women are remembered in infamy for doing away with the men that did them wrong. The sturdy pistols are a bit on the heavy side compared to some more lighter models, but the shattering power that comes from the bullets of these guns can break even the toughest of angels. It is said that anyone, be they witch, angel, human, or god, who threatens the family of the witch owns these guns will find out in an instant how quickly a barrel from these guns can break one’s jaw.”


I haven’t posted any updates on the Navy Dress in quite some time! I made one sleeve - this is actually just the upper part of the sleeve. It is not yet complete, it will have another part that will cover the rest of the arm - to the wrist. I stopped working on this dress a while back because I got stuck at that part: the half of the sleeve that covers from the wrist to the elbow. But now I started sewing again and I thought I’d post this update. I like how the puffed sleeve came out. I haven’t done anything like this before and I didn’t have any pattern on how to make these puff and slash sleeves, so I improvised and figured it out on my own, like I usually do. It turned out ok.

So the puff and slash sleeve is formed of 2 layers: the puffed sleeve underneath (ochre) and the slashed sleeve on top (navy). They are sewed together and then sewed to the dress. The layer underneath, which is made of a fine ochre fabric, is basically just a puffed sleeve (you make the sleeve very wide and then you pleat in heavily). The slashed sleeve is a bit more complicated. It is formed of 8 narrow pieces which together form the sleeve. I used 3 different fabrics to make the slashed sleeve: 1. a navy brocade, which has a texture to it (and which was also used to make the top of the dress), 2. the layer inside each piece which was used to stiffen them, and 3. a plain navy fabric which covers the backs of each piece (the skirt was made of the same fabric). I used canvas to stiffen the sleeve (plain canvas for painting). So the slashed sleeve is made of 8 little pieces, each of the pieces is made of 3 fabrics: navy brocade on the outside, canvas inside, to stiffen them, and plain navy fabric on the backs. They are all sewn together, and then sewn to the ochre puffed sleeve underneath, and then sewn to the dress. 

This is my third renaissance inspired dress. The design, patterns, drafting and sewing was all made by me. The whole dress was completely hand sewn.

You can see how I made the top and the skirt here.

The top is not done yet either, that’s why she’s wearing a bustiere underneath the dress.

- Maria Heller