On Fridays We Wear White

7th March, 2014

In Salvador da Bahia, we were introduced to Candomblé, the mystical Afro-Brazilian religion derived from Yoruba and brought to Brazil with the slave trade. For centuries, Candomblé was practiced in secret, cloaked in Catholic practices in order to protect its devotees from persecution. Today, Candomblé is coming out of the shadows.

On Fridays, the believers wear white in honor of Oxala, the god of creation. The women’s dresses are like frothy meringues, stuffed to their fullest with crinolines and crossed with colorful beads, belts and headdresses. It’s a sacred festival day, a day of purification. They sing and dance for hours, summoning their deities ~ the orishas ~ to cross over from the spirit world and possess the chosen.

Candomble2|ABOVE| Donna Karan tunic, Candela crop top, DKNY parachute skirt, Alice + Olivia ball skirt, Jewels By Dunn jewelry |BELOW| La Petite Princesse necklace, Zimmermann gown, Candela skirt, Sheila Johnson scarfCandomble3 Candomble4There is no concept of good or bad in Candomblé, only an expectation that every person should fulfill his or her destiny to the fullest, and an acceptance that any harm one causes will return to him eventually. Candomble5 Candomble6|ABOVE| Jewels By Dunn jewelry |BELOW LEFT| Candela dress, Delpozo gown, A Peace Treaty scarf, Lizzie Fortunato choker, Glamourpuss necklace |BELOW RIGHT| Isoude gown, Delpozo top, vintage scarf Candomble7The orishas arrive in Candomblé ceremonies to possess the chosen, who gradually begin to writhe and shout, entering into a trance. Those possessed are led away and returned dressed in beautiful, sparkling costumes ~ their colors representing the orisha inside of them. They perform fantastical, ritual dances while a priest sings. Candomble8|ABOVE| Lizzie Fortunato necklaces, A Peace Treaty scarf, Dries Van Noten top, Delpozo skirt, Candela sandals |BELOW| Sheila Johnson layered scarves, Tanya Taylor top, Glamourpuss necklaces Candomble9Dancing and great banquets are important pillars of this mystical religion, and women are integral to the Candomblé faith. Services are usually led by women, who are celebrated as ‘mothers of the holy one’.

Everywhere we looked in Salvador, we found traces of Candomblécists. We were moved by the strength of their history, inspired by the beauty of their dress, entranced by the magic of their deities, touched by the power of their dance, changed by the energy of their people.Candomble10|ABOVE| Miguelina top, Tanya Taylor dress, Candela sandals, Jewels By Dunn jewelry Candomble11|ON FRIDAYS WE WEAR WHITE| starring Amber Talley |PHOTOGRAPHY| by Jamie Beck |STYLING| by Kelly Framel |HAIR| by Joseph DiMaggio for L’Oréal Professionel |MAKEUP| by Carly Rose for Stila Cosmetics

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TheGlamourai is a webzine produced by Kelly Framel, a multi-media creative director based in downtown New York (but constantly bouncing around the world). Part fashion blog, part glossy mag, part fantasy travel portal, it's your ultimate online destination for stylish daydreams. Tune in for inspirational editorials, beauty tutorials, outfit ideas, DIYs, jet-set travel tips and more!
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