Ankara Print Dresses? These Aren’t Shakespeare’s ‘Merry Wives.’
Susan Kelechi Watson as Madam Ford, left, in a lace blouse and wrap skirt that is usually worn by Nigerian women. Pascale Armand, center, and Kyle Scatliffe as the Pages. Armand is wearing a two piece jumpsuit. Credit...Sara Krulwich/The New York Times
In a recent New York Times article, Tariro Mzezewa highlights two time Tony-nominated costume designer Dede Ayite and her recent costume production for Saheem Ali's Shakespeare in the Park production of “Merry Wives". Ayite's creative process is inspired by the marriage between "traditional and modern West African styles with modern Western designs." Her production came true with fabric textures and textiles imported from Ghana, Khanasi, and Yonkers as well. Upon accepting this opportunity, Ayite's main objective was to create costumes that symbolized and embodied the origins of the actors in a grand and celebratory fashion.
“It brings me joy just to highlight that as a people, we come from somewhere and the culture is deep, it’s rich, and as much as we might lose certain things, there are essences of it that never leave us.” - Dede Ayite