Amsterdam based ready-to-wear label Daily Paper has always found the rooting for its inspiration in the cultural heritages of its founders. At its core, the very identity of the label is closely linked to the diasporic experience. A brand that attempts to reclaim narratives of and related to Africa; its diverse patterns and traditions in a world that has become increasingly brazen in its appropriation of the continent’s creativity. Enter Ancestral Anarchy, Daily Paper’s new Autumn/Winter collection, that once again not only falls right in line with the label’s design ethos, but also beautifully captures the subtle art of storytelling and social commentary sown into the fabric of its brand-wide visual language. Ancestral Anarchy continues Daily Paper’s commitment to integrating elements of and from Africa into their collections, however, Ancestral Anarchy is far more direct in its material approach — placing patterns inspired by the creativity of distinct cultures from the continent center stage in some of the collection’s material designs. The brand states that thematically, the collection draws much of its inspiration from “harkening back to a pre-colonial era and the communal lifestyles and values that prevailed throughout the continent.” At its core, the collection is centred around principles of sharing, giving and mutual respect.
In truth, the conceptual identity of Ancestral Anarchy is captured exceptionally well throughout the collection, not only through prints and patterns but also in the earthy tones and materials selected. An air of a particular “African” aesthetic alongside European sensibility is present — particularly in the silver jacquard range which includes gorgeous wrap tops, workwear and padded trench coats. A stunning braided pattern complete with Daily Paper’s iconic shield logo present in the pieces, giving them that something extra. Similarly, we can look at the tonal choices made for the collection, particularly the seasonal puffers that pop in earthy shades of green, copper, burgundy and blue — far more akin to landscapes of Africa than the concrete and cobblestone streets of Amsterdam. Now, I wouldn’t say Daily Paper is reinventing the wheel or redefining elements of design. Rather, the strength of the collection lies in the tasteful and contemporary way in which they reimagine aesthetic elements and sensibilities tied to Africa and perceptions of “Africanness”. Daily Paper’s continued success exemplifies the very essence of what Ancestral Anarchy is all about; community. The collection and the entire brand ethos are so heavily focused on a sense of communal growth and as they go on to say themselves, “Daily Paper has attracted a [community] of multidisciplinary creatives and cultivated a community of individuals who celebrate their own roots and champion inclusivity”. Community, it seems, conquers all as Daily Paper continues their incredible ascent, reimagining cultural elements as essential pillars of heritage and identity.