By Solomon Muleyi
Gomesi’s belong to the Kwanjula, and other forms of traditional functions. But the many details on them have over time, served as major sources of inspirations for many designers. So much so that many have attempted to bring it back to the modern world of Red Carpets and glamor.
But if the dress wone by reigning Miss World Vanessa Ponce De Leon to the recently concluded Miss Uganda pageant is anything to go by, Tina Brad successfully gave the Gomesi a face lift, and managed to achieve that which many designers had failed to do.
Vanessa Ponce De Leon looked stunning in a champagne colored Gomesi-inspired gown that stood out. Many imagined she’d flown the dress in.
Whenever they asked her who she was wearing, many assumed that the Tina Brad she was talking about was a major European Shop.
Yet Tina Brad is one of the many gifted Ugandan Celebrity Designers.
The DressAccording to Tina Brad, the gown was masterfully designed to showcase a chic and modern look inspired by the Gomesi, a traditional attire famous in the Central region of Uganda since 1940.
“The Gomesi is under rated. It’s hard to even try to express the beauty of the Gomesi in one attempt. I had for long wanted to turn it into something gorgeous but also contemporary, like an evening gown or a piece one can wear to the red carpet. But I’d never given it a good try up until when the chance came for me to design the Miss World’s gown,” explained Tina Brad.
She adds that the first notable feature on the gown are the Gomesi sleeves.
“ Traditionally, the Gomesi has short, puffed sleeves. Miss World’s gown, however, was designed with off shoulder sleeves to give it an in vogue appeal whilst maintaining the frame.
She also wore a A kikooyi-esque dress under. (A kikooyi or Kanga is an inner garment tied underneath the linen of Gomesi to ensure the fabric does not stick to the body.
This is meant to accentuate the elegance and decency of the attire. ) Miss World’s gown had a dress underneath inspired by the Kikooyi.
The belt on Miss World’s gown featured a skirt spread on top of her dress giving prominence to the final part of the Gomesi inspired look which is the Sash.
A Gomesi is tied with a sash placed below the waist over the hips to not only give the attire shape but also to make it fashionable. Miss World’s sash or belt stylishly mimicked the complete look of a Gomesi with the addition of a decorous trail.The look was topped off with feathers subtly adorned on a top and lace on the bottom of the gown,” explained Tina Brad.
Asked why she chose feathers, she explained that it’s because they are the new fashion trend and because they blended beautifully with the champagne colored gown.
“I wanted Miss World Vanessa Ponce De Leon, to grace the event dressed in an outfit that embodied comfort, tradition, in fashion and elegance,” she stated.