Crasstalk Classic: Gentlemen of Bacongo

In the early days Crasstalk was a backwater with few visits but so many great things to share.  To help bring some of those early posts to light we present Crasstalk Classic.  Our first classic post goes all the way back to December 2010 when Coffee and Cigarettes brought us the amazing Gentlemen of Bacongo about the exquisitely dressed gentlemen in the book from Daniele Tamagni.  Now go relive the magic.

Everyone who knows me is aware of my severe weakness for well dressed men, and African accents. Pair those with my fondness for great photography, and you’ll understand why I’m currently lusting over this book by Daniele Tamagni. Full of amazing photos featuring  members of the Congolese cultural movement called Le Sape, this book is a must have.

Early in the 20th century the French arrived in the Congo, and with them arrived the idea of Parisienne elegance.  In 1922 “G.A. Matsoua was the first ever Congolese to return from Paris fully clad as an authentic French gentleman, which caused great uproar and much admiration amongst his fellow countrymen. He was the first Grand Sapeur.” Each Sapeur is a celebrity in their community, and believe themselves to be artists.

“We respect other people, we don’t like war, we like peace, and we have a moral code that is very Christian.” One of the sapeurs explains in Tamagni’s book.

Designer brands of suits and accessories are of the utmost importance to Sapeurs – Pierre Cardin, Roberto Cavalli, Dior, Fendi, Gaultier, Gucci, Issey Miyake, Prada, Yves Saint Laurent, Versace, Yohji Yamamoto are their patron saints.

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