Africa Fashion is a landmark exhibition celebrating the irresistible creativity, ingenuity and unstoppable global impact of contemporary African fashions. It will be the UK’s most extensive exhibition of African fashions to date, celebrating the vitality and innovation of a scene as dynamic and varied as the continent itself.
Words Pearl Boyd
Over 250 objects are on display, many of them from the personal archives of a selection of iconic mid-20th century African designers – Shade Thomas-Fahm, Chris Seydou, Kofi Ansah and Alphadi, marking the first time their work will be shown in a London museum. The exhibition also celebrates influential contemporary African fashion creatives including Imane Ayissi, IAMISIGO, Moshions, Thebe Magugu and Sindiso Khumalo. Africa Fashion showcases objects and the stories behind them alongside personal insights from the designers, together with sketches, editorial spreads, photographs, film and catwalk footage.Starting with the African independence and the liberation years that sparked a radical political and social reordering across the continent, the exhibition explores how fashion, alongside music and the visual arts, formed a key part of Africa’s cultural renaissance, laying the foundation for today’s fashion revolution. Across contemporary couture, ready-to-wear, made-to-order and adornment, the exhibition offers a close-up look at the new generation of ground-breaking designers, collectives, stylists and fashion photographers working in Africa today. It explores how the digital world accelerated the expansion of the industry, irreversibly transforming global fashions as we know them. From global fashion weeks to celebrity wearers and the role of social media, Africa Fashion will celebrate and champion the diversity and ingenuity of the continent’s fashion scene. (more…)