My OBT

What if you spent every day looking for One Beautiful Thing?

Fancy Pants

23 Comments

sape

Per-Anders Pettersson

“In life you cannot always choose your circumstances,
but you can always choose who you are.”
-La Sape

La Sape is the short name of the Société des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Élégantes, which translates to the Society of Ambiance-Makers and Elegant People. Sapeurs (members of La Sape) are known for their courtly manners, strutting demeanor, and fancy, brightly-colored clothes. They affect these clothes and these ways as a means of protest against the harsh, poverty-stricken neighborhoods in which they live. Begun in Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo, the movement has begun to spread to other communities as well.

“It is not the cost of the suit that counts, but the worth of the man inside it.” – A Sapeur

Sapeurs can spend thousands of dollars on their clothing, although they’re by no means rich. In fact, in the Congo, an average salary is only $300 per month, and unemployment is rampant. Many of the Sapeurs rent out their clothing to make a living. Those lucky enough to travel bring back designer clothes and sell them for a small profit.

I think this is one of the most fascinating forms of social demonstration I’ve ever heard of. These dandies are doing something for their communities than many other well-meaning relief efforts don’t do. They are a living reminder that life doesn’t have to be ugly. They represent hope and joy and the finer things in life, and I think it’s a shame there aren’t more groups like this in more depressed areas of the world.

Beauty and bright colors for everyone!

sape 1

Per-Anders Pettersson

sape 1a

Per-Anders Pettersson

The Congolese Sape

Per-Anders Pettersson

sape 3

Francesco Giusti

sape 4

Per-Anders Pettersson

sape 5

Per-Anders Pettersson

sape 5a

Per-Anders Pettersson

sape 9

Francesco Giusti

Miguel Ju‡rez

Miguel Ju‡rez

Per-Anders Pettersson

Per-Anders Pettersson

Per-Anders Pettersson

Per-Anders Pettersson

Per-Anders Pettersson

sape 10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author: Donna from MyOBT

I have committed to spending part of every day looking for at least one beautiful thing, and sharing what I find with you lovelies!

23 thoughts on “Fancy Pants

  1. Where you find these things is beyond me, but I’m so glad you do. This was exceptional. I think they are each wonderful but I’m particularly impressed with the man in kilt! Awesome post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This completely elevated my mood. And made me want to go shopping.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Half of these men should have modeling contracts already. They wear the hell out of these clothes.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love these guys! I hope they have heard the ZZ Topp song….about them?! Good one, Donna.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “They are a living reminder that life doesn’t have to be ugly. ” What a lovely poignant post and what a lovely turn of phrase. The comment within the documentary about how dressing up negates one’s desire/need to fight is a powerful idea. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Fantastic pictures. I first heard about the Brazzaville movement in National Geographic several months ago. It was described at the time as a fashion religion. Creativity comes from places we least suspect.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. “Fascinating form of social demonstration” indeed. So grateful you shared this!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Love this pretty much every way possible.

    Like

  9. Pingback: Don’t Believe Him? Just Watch. | My OBT

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