Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Double Vison: The Look of MATAANO

Identical twins Idyl and Ayaan Mohallim, the designers behind the elegantly stylish line Mataano, have already been met with unparalleled success in their short careers. Oprah Winfrey lauded the two as future millionaire moguls on her highly rated show. CNN tapped the young entrepreneurs for a feature on burgeoning African talent. And this past summer, the girls showed their collection to hundreds of onlookers at African Fashion Week in South Africa.

The key to their success? Their cosmopolitan outlook and ability to speak to women from a multicultural perspective. Born in the United States, the girls spent their childhood in Somalia, then moved to Washington D.C. at the advent of Somalia's violent civil war. The two separated for college-one attended Boston University, the other the University of Michigan-then came together in New York City, the universal melting pot. What resulted was Mataano (which means twins in Somali), a line that blends structured silhouettes with draped fabrics, strong patterns with feminine cuts, and African sensibility with Western flavor.

Their Spring 2011 collection pairs delicately draped harem pants in soft peach with close fit ivory tanks, organic silk blousy jackets with sharp abbreviated shorts, and low cut vests with flouncy skirts. Though only the twin's fourth collection, the clothes show amazing promise and a talent that goes well beyond their years.


Such a "fresh" collection! Clean with a slight touch of minimalism as they put their stamp on a few of the latest trends. The high-waisted skirt and wide leg pants boasts a sort of retro vibe sure to create a long and lean silhouette. As harem pants go, I find this design instantly appealing, as the draping adds a feminine softness. I look forward to future collections from this designing duo!

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