Bodil Ouédraogo’s fashion designs question the cultural meaning of certain garments and clothing styles. She sees a lack of knowledge and perspective as a reason why (elements from) West-African haute couture is still seen predominantly as traditional costume in the West. Based on a need to present a more complete image of herself – someone from the African diaspora and (Northwestern) Europe – Bodil Ouédraogo aims to investigate this in a powerful, intimate and vulnerable way. She does this using the medium of fashion, because to her, ‘being well dressed’ stands for pride, beauty and self-worth. Her presentations are a combination of fashion, dance photography and video.
Bodil Ouédraogo’s collections are interesting and convincing, and place an alternative alongside the more classic Western beauty ideal. It is obvious that her outspoken personal motivation contributes to the urgency and quality of her fashion designs, which are also beautifully executed. Her collections enrich the field with stories that are unprecedented and important. With these layers she plays with the serious, existing power structures. Furthermore, she presents this at a highly professional level, with which she creates a beautiful and unique way of showing collections. The end result produces a very clear, refreshing signature.