AFRO-Jazz musician Selmor Mtukudzi will catwalk on the Zimbabwe Music Awards red carpet clad in a wildlife conservation dress – the Elephant Dress.
This is after she was made ambassador of the dress because of her totem – elephant.
The dress was launched earlier this month by top designer, Thembani Mubochwa, in partnership with the Ministry of Environment, Climate and Water.
“We found it fit to work with Selmor, an award winning musician who’s also popular in the region as her totem is the elephant. This goes well with the concept of the elephant dress,” Mubochwa said.
He said the Elephant Dress was rather heavy and rigid and was strictly for the red carpet, hence their decision to have Mtukudzi showcase it at the Zimas.
Mubochwa said he designed the dress after being affected by the continued poaching of local wildlife, especially the numerous elephants that have been killed.
The designer, based in South Africa, had been observing from a distance the devastating effects of poaching and climate change on Zimbabwe, Africa and the world at large. But being a designer; there was a limit to what he could do and thus the Elephant Dress came to mind.
“The dress is made of two parts; the upper part with an emphasis on elephants. The frame is made of wire to strengthen formation of the elephant and its task while fabric is ethnic sequence material.
“The bottom part speaks to environment, water and climate and is made of taffeta leaves material that creates waterfalls and clouds shapes on the finishing of each of the three layers,” Mubochwa said.
“Vegetation on the bottom part is used to provide detail that represents flora and fauna.”
Since the challenges being addressed by the dress are not unique to Zimbabwe, Mubochwa intends to take the dress to several red carpet events in the region and internationally so that those who are fashion conscious begin and continue talking about the environment, climate change and anti-poaching.
“In the long run, replicas which are lighter will be created and will be made available to various markets.”
“We also intend to conscientise children at the grassroots levels by engaging them to draw sketches of animals and dresses so that they grow up conscious of these topical issues,” Mubochwa said.