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A Nest Collective Collaboration: Ami Doshi Shah’s “Salt Of The Earth”

We’ve been friends and collaborators with Ami Doshi Shah for a long time, from our 2015 fashion film To Catch A Dream, which featured her stunning designs: peacock feathers and leather for the character Air Guide, and bone with delicate metal chains on the character Tawaret. These pieces have also been exhibited at several museums internationally, and garnered the interest of art collectors from all over the world! We also included her wonderful thoughts on the evolving aesthetics in Kenyan and African design in our 2017 debut fashion publication, Not African Enough.  

Our latest adventure with Ami is the design exploration “Salt Of The Earth”, after her well- earned selection as Kenya’s first designer to go to London’s International Fashion Showcase in its 2019 edition! Titled “Brave New Worlds: The Changing Landscape of Fashion”, this presentation of global talent is curated in partnership with the British Council, the British Fashion Council, the University of the Arts London and Somerset House.

Ami’s “Salt Of The Earth” incorporated her latest collection of wearable pieces into an art installation as part of the IFS exhibition, examining the talismanic properties of jewellery and adornment via the complex historical, political and chemical properties of salt. In developing this work, Ami was particularly taken by salt’s dual, opposing abilities: to poison, erode and decay, using the process of patination in her pieces, and conversely the material’s ability to create, rejuvenate and give life, via literal, physical crystallization.

Our very own Sunny Dolat served as the overall creative director of this project, as well as the films’ director, and members of the collective were also on set to shoot the exhibition’s film. Tahir Karmali and Edward Ngera consulted on the installation, exhibition and space, and the fashion designers Katungulu Mwendwa, Namnyak Odupoy, and Jasleen Maru helped with garments and pieces for Salt’s visuals, alongside producer Musa Butt.

Below is the two-part Salt Of The Earth audiovisual short, featuring the pieces from Ami’s eponymous jewelry collection. The first presents a silent ritual with an expansive desert backdrop, and the second is an unhurried, detailed, sculptural study. Enjoy!