Natural Fashion: Tribal Decoration from Africa by Hans Silvester is going to be the fashion photography book of 2010. His photos are of the Surma and Mursi tribes in East Africa. These nomadic tribes travel vast distances and bring minimal materials with them on their journeys. For this reason, most of their fashions are taken on the go, directly from nature. Primarily, Silvester's photography book begins with a short description of the tribes. This introduction describes this nomadic nature among other reasons for their natural dress and how it is developed. Silvester demonstrates their face and body painting techniques and states that, without mirrors, their painting takes on natural lines and purposefully lacks precision. No two lines are the same and none of the faces painted are created to be alike.
What makes this book worthwhile is that it demonstrates great individuality and inspiration. As stated earlier, none of the faces look a like. Materials and body paints are completely different though they are all taken from the same natural forest. The way these people adorn their bodies demonstrates a vast imagination and the materials are used to both imitate and stray from the natural world. This books presents this region of Africa as the complete opposite of the heart of darkness. The uniqueness and originality of these portrayals make the Surma and Mursi tribes one of the most interesting photography subjects of this coming year. A fantastic book, you can see more of Silvester's work by clicking here.