Stella Atal

“Fashion designers in Uganda are facing a challenge: we can’t afford to buy our own materials. They are costly therefore leaving us with no choice but to use materials made in China. Even though cotton is one of the leading cash crops in Uganda, very few Ugandans can afford to buy the products made from this cotton. My work sets out to highlight the cycle from the growth of the crop in Africa to the sale of the goods in Europe and finally the return of the clothes through charities back onto the streets of Kampala. As an artist, every time I go to the market I feel inspired and see the potential in these clothes that can be recycled, given a new look and sold as new clothes to Ugandans at an affordable price.”

Stella Atal will exhibit in the Kisementi parking lot.

Stella Atal, 2012. (Photo by: Stuart Williams. All rights reserved.)

Stella Atal is a trained visual artist and self-taught fashion designer. She holds a postgraduate degree in painting and studied in Uganda, Kenya and the UK. In 2007 she started her own fashion label, Atal Stella where she focuses on recycled and natural material and promotes an eco-friendly environment by using locally available materials.

In 2008 she was awarded African designer of the year by the Ethical Fashion Awards held in London and two years later she went on to win the Afric Collection Fashion Award in Douala, Cameroon.

Stella’s designs have showcased at the New York Africa Fashion Week (2010) and at the Green Fashion Switzerland (2011). In 2009 she was the official designer for the Miss Uganda Beauty Pageants and for Miss Africa USA in Maryland (2012). Stella’s work has been featured in two issues of the prestigious Italian Vogue Magazine.

New Look

‘New Look’ emphasises Stella’s focus on sustainable fashion production in Uganda. “Fashion designers in Uganda are facing a challenge; we can’t afford to buy our own materials. They are costly which leaves us no choice but to use materials made in China. Even though cotton is one of the leading cash crops in Uganda, very few Ugandans can afford to buy the products made from this cotton.

My work sets out to highlight the cycle from the growth of the crop in Africa to the sale of the goods in Europe and finally the return of the clothes through charities back onto the streets of Kampala.”

‘New Look’ is a critical reflection of trans-cultural cloth production processes symbolic of unequal power relations in the current global economy. Instead of working with cheap Chinese material of low quality, Stella provides solutions by taking second-hand clothes from the local markets and giving them an attractive and individual new look.

This transformation process is made visible to the public in her KLA ART 012 project. By setting up a tailor workshop in her container Stella invites the public to select some of the second- hand clothes available or even bring in their own to be transformed. Stella will also exhibit textile-collages (canvases covered in recycled clothes) and a large scale sculpture representing fashion in Uganda where she invites the public to participate.

‘New Look’ offers affordable alternatives to the use of low quality products and aims to improve the bad image of second-hand clothes. Stella insists, “I am what you trash and proud of it.”

Artwork by Stella Atal for KLA ART 012. All rights reserved, 2012. (Photo by Thomas Bjørnskau)

Artwork by Stella Atal for KLA ART 012. All rights reserved, 2012. (Photo by Thomas Bjørnskau)

Artwork by Stella Atal for KLA ART 012. All rights reserved, 2012. (Photo by Thomas Bjørnskau)

Artwork by Stella Atal for KLA ART 012. All rights reserved, 2012. (Photo by Thomas Bjørnskau)

Artwork by Stella Atal for KLA ART 012. All rights reserved, 2012. (Photo by Thomas Bjørnskau)

Artwork by Stella Atal for KLA ART 012. All rights reserved, 2012. (Photo by Thomas Bjørnskau)

 

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4 thoughts on “Stella Atal

  1. john-meddie segane says:

    thats quite innovative and industrious….go for it stella

  2. apr says:

    Can we have nore details about the artist?

  3. fega says:

    Beautiful!!! Stella!!! (By d way dt’s my mum’s name too)
    Real beautiful. I caught ur name on AIT’s entertainment news n decided to get my besty ( google 🙂 ) to check u out. m glad I did. U r an inspiration….here in Nigeria, m lucky to have access to good stuff but, now, I see those old fairly-used things (like d ties) in a whole new light. 🙂

  4. Cate namutale says:

    Hi Stella dats good work,

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