Charmaine (Shahimah) Idris is the founder of Diva Headwraps.
She was born in bewitching Cape Town, South Africa pre the dismantling of apartheid. In 1980, Charmaine emigrated to Australia where she embarked on a much anticipated journey of self-discovery and inner reflection. Melbourne became her watering-hole where she later embraced marriage whilst juggling motherhood and an established career. In 1994, the (then) family relocated to the city of the historic Petronas Twin Towers aka Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Three years after her arrival in Malaysia, Charmaine was stabbed in a basement car park. The brutal attack resulted in paraplegia. This major turning point in her life greatly influenced her first play "From Table Mountain to Teluk Intan" which was staged in 2000 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and then again at the New York Fringe Festival in 2002. Writing the play proved to be cathartic in that it allowed Charmaine to come to terms with the challenges of being a paraplegic.
In 2007, Charmaine relocated back to Australia.
Given her passion for living life to the fullest, Charmaine believes in nurturing the mind, body and spirit so you'll find her pumping iron at her local gym, swimming to infinity at several pools around Brisbane, checking out the latest in theatre and on the fine art scene, spending time in dark cinemas, and never, never leaves home without a book - you can follow her on facebook.com/writeousness to read all the latest book, movie, music, festival and art reviews! Charmaine is continuously nurturing her journey of self-discovery armed with wisdom, insight, patience, humility and gratitude to guide her.
Charmaine's love for headwraps began back in South Africa where it still is customary for women to wear a 'doek' (from the Afrikaans language meaning headscarf, fabric, kerchief). This is a dominant feature of styling particularly amongst the 'Cape Coloureds' (as they were known back in the apartheid years) as it bears a strong significance to their cultural heritage and is the ideal head cover on bad hair days.
During her 15 year stay in Asia, Charmaine was introduced to the traditional batik making technique. She became enamoured with the designs that were created by the local village folk and admired their creativity which is still being passed down between generations. When she returned to Australia, Charmaine began exploring the idea of styling these handmade batik designs as headwraps - a poignant reminder of her cultural identity and chic enough to compliment any and every outfit.
The Diva Headwraps collections include african inspired designs (ankara), batik (personally sourced especially from Asia), velvet and handmade tiedyed designs. Since its establishment, our brand has gone global with customers across the States, Europe and Africa. We have a loyal following from all over Australia and we strive to restock our shop with exciting designs and different fabric selections. Our hands-on headwrap workshops have been popular here in Brisbane so we endeavour to run these more frequently.
“For centuries, headwraps have been a consistent feature in the daily living of African women. One could tell from a headwrap if a woman was married, widowed, young or old. Spiritually as well, head coverings are perceived as a sign of respect, humility and sometimes modesty. International fashion designers are growingly incorporating headwraps into national and international runways. It is also not a shame to admit that headwraps are no strangers to bad hair days. They have safely tucked away what we otherwise prefer not seen by the public. Actually, headwraps have long been used as protective garments over hair from dust and dirt while doing home chores. Even some African men wear head-wraps as a fashion statement, and as a wealth and social status symbolism. ” (Click the link above to read this article in full)