Friday 2nd of December 2022

Nairobi, Kenya

The largest exhibition of ‘African Fashion’ in the United Kingdom will open in London.

Posted On : June 30, 2022

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Britain is gearing up to host the world’s first and most comprehensive exhibition on African fashion in London, offering a glimpse into the continent’s cultural heritage and designers.

“Africa Fashion,” which opens Saturday at the Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum, is the country’s first exhibition dedicated to the medium.

The show will provide a “glimpse into the glamour and politics of the fashion scene,” according to project curator Elisabeth Murray.

“Today, we wanted to celebrate the incredible African fashion scene. So, looking at the inspiration behind all of the designers, stylists, and photographers, “According to Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Objects, sketches, photos, and film from across the continent are included in the exhibition, ranging from African liberation years in the 1950s to up-and-coming contemporary designers.
Senior Curator Christine Checinska described the exhibition as “part of the V&A’s ongoing commitment to highlighting work by African heritage creatives.”

Global anti-racism movements, such as Black Lives Matter, have compelled the United Kingdom to reconsider its contentious colonial past, from museum collections and public monuments to history education in schools.
The V&A was founded in 1852, as Britain expanded its global empire under Queen Victoria, including in Africa in the decades that followed.

Checinska, on the other hand, claimed that African creativity had been “largely excluded or misrepresented in the museum, owing to the historic division between art and ethnographic museums arising from our colonial roots and embedded racist assumptions.”

The scene is set with a section on “African Cultural Renaissance,” which highlights protest posters and literature from independence movements that evolved alongside fashion.

The central attraction is “The Vanguard,” which features iconic works by well-known African designers such as Niger’s Alphadi, Nigeria’s Shade Thomas-Fahm, and Ghana’s Kofi Ansah.

Beadwork and raffia, among other African textiles and styles, are used in innovative designs with cross-cultural influences.
For example, Thomas-designs Fahm’s reinvented traditional African-wear for the “cosmopolitan, working woman.”

Other exhibits, such as “Afrotopia,” “Cutting-Edge,” and “Mixology,” look at fashion alongside issues like sustainability, gender, race, and identity.

The centerpiece, created especially for the exhibition by Moroccan designer Artsi, is a highlight.
It’s a work inspired by the British trenchcoat and Muslim hijab that explores how to “present Africa in England,” he told AFP.

Artsi emphasizes the beauty of African fashion, which “doesn’t come from a source of commercialized clothes,” in her “meditation on our common humanity.”
“It comes from a place of heritage and culture,” he added.

Content courtesy of Daily Sabah & NFH

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