The Cameroon-born Couturier ImaneAyissi has a silk and rayon dress and Shade Thomas Thomas-Fahm has re-imagined the traditional Nigerian Iro – he is known as Nigeria’s “first fashion designer” – there is always innovative creativity. The opening of the Africa Fashion Exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum this month (from July to 16 April 2023) marks a significant moment in celebrating 45 designers from more than 20 African countries.
(CREDIT: AFRICA FASHION AT THE VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM, LONDON, 2 JULY 2022 – 16 APRIL 2023)
This landmark exhibition celebrates the global influence of African fashions. It is the largest ever held in the UK. It celebrates the vibrant and innovative scene of Africa and is just as diverse as the continent.
Mbeuk Idourrou collection. Imane Ayissi Paris, France, AutumnWinter 2019 Photo Fabrice Malard … [+]
(CREDIT: 2019 c) PHOTO FABRICICE MALARD – ALL RESERVED
The exhibition features over 250 objects, approximately half of which are from the museum’s collection. There are also 70 new acquisitions. Many of the clothes on display are from the personal collections of several iconic mid-20th-century African designers, including Shade Thomas-Fahm and Chris Seydou. This marks the first time that their work has been displayed in a London museum. The exhibition will also feature influential contemporary African fashion designers, including Imane Ayissi and IAMISIGO.
Africa Fashionshowcases the pieces and their stories, along with personal insights from designers and sketches.
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Alphadi, Jacket, kuba cloth, cotton, linen. Niger, 1993. Alphadi.
(CREDIT VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM
Tristram Hunt (director of V&A) writes in the accompanying Africa Fashion coffee table book (PS25; edited and published by Christine Checinska). “The staging Africa Fashion at V&A coincides when the need for reimagining the practice of museum along more equitable lines could not have been more obvious… Today, it is more evident how certain people’s histories have been concealed or misrepresented. The Africa Fashionexhibition, and the accompanying book, reflect V&A’s wider commitment to focusing on African and African diaspora creators.