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Scarred Perfection

'Scarred Perfection'
Scarification is etching or cutting designs deep into the skin as a permanent body modification.
This ancient practice emerged from Africa.  
The markings have several meanings among the many different African tribes that have used scarification. 
For some, scarification served as a form of beauty, tribal identity, spiritual cleansing, or even a ritual.   
For others, it was erotic, political, an autobiography, and a symbol of motherhood.
Sometimes, scarification can be a single long mark or a row of 3-5 slashes. 
It can run along your face in different angles or create 3-D half moon circles that multiply across your back,
there are so many different styles of scarification, depending on where you are from.
The Scarifications of the Betamarribe people of  Benin in West Africa are extremely fine, subtle and extravagant. 
They are known as the "Masters of Scarification."
Their elaborate patterns decorate large surfaces of skin on the
face and torso.
For the Betamarribe, scarifications are spiritual and serve as protection.
The Bakutu tribe of the Democratic Republic of Congo have some of the most elaborate scarification designs. 
The scarification patterns are about their identity as a group and as individuals within that group.   
It is the beautiful and powerful scarification of these two tribes that inspired this collection. 
"My Mother has a scar on her cheek.
She told me it was a coming of age mark she 
received when she was a little girl. 
I always loved her stories of
rituals and tribal markings from our native Ghana,
and wanted to share my own vision of African Scarification
re-imagined as a textile on leather skins."
-Mimi Plange 
 We mimicked these geometric patterns on skin, using leather and a traditional Italian stuffing technique called trapunto embroidery
We wanted to celebrate and reflect their amazing bodies in the most modern way. 
Every line on every garment was corded one by one, by hand,
utilizing our trapunto technique to create surface details similar to those created by scarification on the body.
It started with the Skin.




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