House of Aama Spring 2022

Touchstone Pictures “The Inkwell,” Lawrence Otis Graham’s Our Kind of People and HBO’s “Lovecraft Country” all share the setting of affluent Black communities that were respites from segregation, discrimination, and Jim Crow laws. Mother-daughter design duo Rebecca Henry and Akua Shabaka of the boutique lifestyle brand House of Aama are the latest creatives to utilize these places of history and culture as reference points for their own creations.

For the brands spring 2022 collection, Henry and Shabaka designed a collection entitled “SALT WATER.” They describe this line as “inspired by the seafaring legacy and Black resort communities that flourished in the US in the early 1900’s.” House of Aama’s spring 2022 collection highlights Camp Aama, a fictionalized Black resort community, Black sailors and the [Yoruba] water spirits of Yemaya, Olokun and Agwe that have served as spiritual anchors of African traditions in the diaspora. “Salt Water” as a term is an ode to the Africans who crossed the Atlantic Ocean and survived the middle passage to the Americas.”

To make sure the story strikes home, House of Aama presented both menswear and womenswear, ranging in items from matching short sets and high-waisted sailor pants for guys to swimwear and tea-party frock for the ladies; all of which have the appropriate vintage aesthetic for the 1900s married with the contemporary cuts and silhouettes of today.

The menswear has a color scheme of mainly shades blue, but there is also the appearance of sand, olive, and burgundy on a number of items. The looks that immediately catch the eye are the sailors uniform consisting of nylon pants and jacket, a cream colored wide-legged, low-cut overalls, and the variety of short shorts.

On the womenswear side, House of Aama provides a full gamut of options bedrocked in an assortment of pastel hues that will carry you from the beach, to cocktail hour, to a night on the town. The bikinis and swim short sets are sexy, accented by cut-outs and side-string details. The cocktail dresses are made Sunday brunch or Tuesday high tea with debutantes. But the jumpsuit and woven maxi dress are the perfect any day outfits for walking around town with style and flair.

Images courtesy of House of Aama

Aside for the wonderful silhouettes, the head turning standouts are the prints. From skin- tight shirts and bodysuits, to scarves and a top loading duffle bag, Henry and Shabaka use prints of Yoruba water spirits to continue to tie the collection to African heritage. For their scarf, used as a flag, skirt, and recut as a shirt, the pair utilized a colorful silk print that pays homage to the African ancestors.

The spring 2022 collection by The House of Aama is not merely an assortment of new clothes. It is the amalgamation of history, accomplishment, and beauty found within the lexicon of African American culture.

 

—Carl Ayers

 

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