Those who attended the College of the Arts (COTA) Annual Fashion Show hosted at the Goethe Institut Namibia two weeks ago may remember one of the best local designers, Ester Linkando’s colorful designs.
Likando has succeeded in incorporating elements of traditional Namibian garments into fresh and modern clothes. She got her start as a designer whilst in exile during the Namibia liberation struggle. Currently working for the Central Correctional Services in Windhoek, one of her duties being imparting skills to female prisoners how to make clothes for use upon completion of their sentence. “My inspiration emanates from my desire to assist inmates in learning new skills and being able to create something out of nothing,” says Likando, adding that sewing is a skill, and thus inmates who have this particular set of skills tend to be successful in life upon their release.
Likando goes on that female inmates at the Windhoek Central Prison are learning sewing skills as part of a rehabilitative process thus offering them hope. Her desire is to learn more about fashion at the COTA so that she can use her skills to ensure that inmates become better and productive members of society upon their release.
The fashion show demonstrated that there is indeed a future in Namibia when it comes to fashion designing. Likando showcased four pieces which were inspired by the renaissance period. She incorporated the use of satin and weaving. She used the colours silver-grey and gold to give a modern feel. More than 300 guests were inspired by her garments.
Likando says that lecturers at COTA, where she is currently studying, are helpful in shaping the designers and the curriculum is interesting. “There are numerous challenges which I have had to overcome such as balancing school work with family life. I intend improving our sewing department in the Ministry with the skills I have acquired from COTA. It is my dream to one day sees to it that our department in the Ministry is able to provide uniforms to the various ministries and private entities,” she determines.
Models showcasing some of the garments of Ester Likando at the Goethe Institut Namibia recently.