Trained as an archaeologist and art historian, Berenice Geoffroy-Schneiter is a journalist and art critic. She has written several books on Egypt, including Fayum (Assouline). She also wrote the chapters on Egyptian, Oriental, and Greco-Roman antiques for the official guide to the Louvre (RMN).
Reviews - What do customers think about Africa Is in Style?
Pretty good, but only covers Francophone West Africa Jul 29, 2006
I celebrate and congratulate this work for its effort to catalogue the ways that African designers are fashioning a distinct aesthetic vocabulary for themselves, but in the same breath I must criticize it for its brevity and insubstantial nature, as well as for its near-exclusive focus on francophone, primarily West African, content.
Oh, sure, there's a mention of a Nigerian designer (and a picture of one of his works) here and a kente there, but the heart of this book lies in Senegal and Cote d'Ivoire and Cameroun and Niger and La Republique Populaire du Benin. And that's not a bad thing, but to slap the pretentious aspiration in the form of the title of making a definitive statement about "Africa" as a whole... it's a tad bit offensive, actually.
Then again, with a scant perhaps 10 pages of text, a few dozen color and black and white plates, perhaps the title is more aspiration than proclamation? Either way, there is a patent inauthenticity to the voice, the inherent ingratiation of the external sociologist/anthropologist too vehemently proclaiming the virtues of her subject of study. The definitive socio-cultural African fashion text is yet to be written, and will likely be written as a collection of essays by Africans themselves.
Nevertheless, they will owe this book much for helping to advance the conversation, in its own little way.