Buying this fabric was a bit confusing. I checked some usual sources for this type of fabric, but could not find any, so I looked at some tertiary New York fabric stores where I knew that I had seen large-scale eyelet in the past. The saleswoman at the first store I went to flat-out refused to sell me any.
Then I went to Chic Fabrics. The African salesman there seemed a bit puzzled about my desire for this fabric. He asked me what I wanted it for, and pointed out that it’s AFRICAN fabric. It was a weird experience, but I, being American, was completely focused on getting WHAT I WANT WHEN I WANT IT, so I did not really delve into what he was getting at when we were speaking. Doing an online search on this fabric, I find that it’s called “voile lace” and it is, indeed, specifically West African or Ghanain. So, if you are reading this and you are African, or if you know a lot about African sartorial tradition, I have a question for you. If you were to see me (a white American suburban housewife) in this dress, would you think, “Cultural Appropriation”? Is me wearing this dress kind of like me wearing my hair in dreadlocks? The reason I’m asking is because I know a lot about clothes, and I just don’t see it. I don’t even think this dress is all that unusual, let alone foreign to me.
I know that it’s really hard to leave a negative comment on a blog, but it would help me to know what you think. Also, keep in mind that even if you do think this is not appropriate for me, I will wear it anyway. I just want to know if I need to be a bit careful about where I go when I wear it. No one in my suburb would see this dress as inappropriate, but people in the city might.