These are Uglylovely's original designs for Malian Dancer

Kettly Noel's production of 'Je m'appelle Fanta Kaba' which was performed across Europe

These are Uglylovely's original designs for Malian Dancer Kettly Noel's production of 'Je m'appelle Fanta Kaba' which was performed across Europe.

The Fanta Kaba character is a prostitute, and the costumes had to accommodate Kettly's sinuous movement as well as giving clues to the emotional tone of the piece. Inspirations for the headwear and costumes came from Haitian Voodoo, African prints, vintage burlesque costume and cabaret. using images from artists such as Mistinguette and Marlene Dietrich.

Uglylovely journeyed to Mali and to France to places such as the infamous 'Rue De Princess' where real life prostitutes work, to listen to their stories, and to source the correct colours and traditional prints. Kettly Noel developed the choreography alongside the costume design process, while Uglylovely followed her movements throughout, using feathers and volume, especially at the neck and lower back, to exaggerate her curves and form.

Photography by Sarah Hickson.



Dressing up in Mali

Sahar travelled to Mali with a case of feathers, fabrics, accessories and trinkets, as well as various inspiring moodboards based on Kettly's initial ideas. The costume designs and choreography were developed together as Sahar styled Kettly and Kettly moved and danced as inspired by the developing costume designs. Trips to the local markets, dance shows, and night visits to 'Rue de Princess' were all part of the research.

France; work in progress

Sahar, Kettly and the production team then met up in Brest, France to test out the initial choreography and costume shapes. There was a performance of the work in progress, which was used as a learning curve to push designs and dance forward to the premiere in Annecy, France.


The team met up in the beautiful town of Annecy, France to finalise the production as part of the 'Anti-Codes' dance festival. Costumes, dance, lighting, set were finalised and perfected. Success and good reviews all round.

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