In a world in which fashion usually skims the surface of issues, SELFI’s Spirit Body ’23 collection dives deeply into the human experience. Each piece is a tribute to indigenous cultures, an embrace of body diversity, and a reminder of the threads that connect us to our roots. The SELFI’s latest collection is about more than fashion – it is a conduit to self-discovery, heritage, and empowerment.
As South Africa embraces Heritage Month, in the heart of Cape Town’s bustling creative hub, Celeste Arendse, founder of SELFI, has meticulously combined notions of tradition, nature, and identity to birth the Spirit Body ’23 collection. “With each collection, I seek to delve into ways one can heal, nurture, or empower the self,” Celeste says.
With each collection, I seek to delve into ways one can heal, nurture, or empower the self
The collection is a testament to Celeste’s unwavering dedication to her roots and her relentless exploration of identity. Through a blend of raw silks, ramie linen, cotton, and mohair, she captures the essence of the spiritual practice of the indigenous San trance dance. “I’m looking at how we can become more present within our internal energy as we connect deeper to Mother Earth,” says Celeste.
The embroidered motifs of the San trance dance evoke a sense of celebration for indigenous women and offer empowerment for women of colour. Celeste’s designs dismantle preconceived notions of beauty and body, fostering inclusivity and acceptance. “The more we see certain body types in mainstream society, the more we can empower young women to see it as the norm and valuable,” Celeste emphasises.
This collection marks a departure from SELFI’s signature fabric choices by embracing mohair sourced from the Wilderness area in South Africa’s Western Cape province. The significance of mohair goes beyond its luxurious texture; it is woven with threads of history and spirituality.
Sourced from an area where the San chiefs once held sacred meetings, the mohair fibres connect the wearer to the land’s ancestral heritage. These threads tell a story of unity, reminding us of the intertwined tapestry of humanity’s journey.
Sourced from an area where the San chiefs once held sacred meetings, the mohair fibres connect the wearer to the land’s ancestral heritage.
As we immerse ourselves in Celeste’s world, we find ourselves called to explore our connections to nature, heritage, and self-awareness. The Spirit Body ’23 collection isn’t just about the garments; it’s about the experience of wearing art that embodies the spirit.