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National costume competition launched |21 September 2019

The National preparatory committee for the 250th anniversary of Seychelles and the department of culture have launched a national costume competition.

The deadline to submit the design is scheduled for March 10, 2020 and the winner will be announced on May 25, 2020.

Traditionally, the ‘kazak’ and ‘penwar’ have always been considered as Seychelles’ traditional costume. It is believed that these costumes took influence from European costumes during our colonial era. However, though this is generally true, other factors have also influenced the way the Seychellois dress, for example adaptations to the tropical climate and economic factors.

In those early colonial days, clothes, hats and shoes were imported from France via Mauritius. For the gentlemen of French origin there were wigs, ruffled shirts and jackets. The ladies wore long dresses with layers of petticoats, and often decorated with much lace and embroidery.

It has often been mentioned and debated upon that Seychelles needs a national costume that would reflect our culture and identity.

As Professor Emerita Lou Taylor confirms, a national dress “bears the weight of representation of an entire nation … stemming from an urban, knowing, intellectualised awareness of the concept of nationhood”.

The national costume will be used to represent Seychelles during official events, both nationally and internationally and any other events to be determined by the government.

The department of culture is calling out for Seychellois designers, art professionals and enthusiasts to take part in its national costume competition.

The designs should deal with the following questions: What in your traditions is worth spreading? What elements reflect our Seychellois values, traditions and culture? How do you bring the stories of our Seychellois traditional heritage and way of life to the modern world and context? And how would you bring forth through your design the Seychellois identity in a modern yet meaningful way?

The competition is open to all Seychellois designers, artists, students, innovators and fashion enthusiasts and has no categories.

A person can only submit one entry and he/she must design one women’s wear and one men’s wear collection for contemporary use. Applicants can also present garments, accessories, shoes or other kinds of body-related objects as part of their collection. All submitted artwork must be the person’s original creations and must not have been previously shown in public.

All proposals must be submitted both in hardcopy and electronic copy. Hard copies must be submitted in A3 size and electronic copy on a pen drive in PDF format

For more queries, those taking part can contact Aisha Capricieuse at the department of culture on 4321333 or email on



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