It will be on full display this Saturday in a new exhibition at London’s Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum.
The position of the African continent in the global fashion landscape
Through clothing, photos, sketches, film and catwalk footage, the visitor taken on a journey that looks at the industry’s roots on the continent and traces its development. The position of the African continent in the global fashion landscape will be on full display in a new exhibition at the Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum that opens Saturday.
It is fashion that refuses to box.
It “introduces the idea that African fashion is beyond definition and that creatives can and do choose their own path”, says V&A curator Christine Chesinska. Overseeing the museum’s Africa and diaspora textiles and fashion collections As the person to do, he led the project to put the exhibition together.
Industry in Africa is on “the cutting edge of global fashion” and has 250 exhibits
Through clothing, photos, sketches, film and catwalk footage, the visitor taken on a journey that looks at the industry’s roots on the continent and traces its development. In Lagos in the late 1960s Shade Thomas-Fahm, seen here at work, has been dubbed “Nigeria’s first fashion designer.”
Thomas-Fahm’s Traditional Yoruba Arrow
A champion of Nigerian textiles, she sought to modernize traditional dress with fabrics that had a familiar look but with innovations that made them easier to wear, the V&A says in its exhibition notes. This Thomas -Fahm’s traditional Yoruba arrow (cover), baba (top) and gele (headscarf), made in hand-woven fabric aso-oke:
This gave rise to “unlimited creativity and freedom of the spirit”.
The independence movement in full swing in the middle of the 20th century was “a time of tremendous creativity in fashion, music and art”, says Dr. Chesinska. This 1988 dress, made of cotton and brass, and referencing Congo’s Kuba cloth , shows the work of Alfadi: