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V & A introduces the "collective power" of African fashion

AuthorTomBouchier-Hayes, CNNLondon

Clear around There is a lot of talk about African fashion exhibitions at the famous Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Beginning July 2nd, this two-floor event is a fascinating mix of fashion from the mid-20th century to the present, spoken through photography, movies, magazines and mannequins.

Featuring the work of 45 designers from more than 20 countries, more than 250 objects are on display, 70 of which are new acquisitions. From the time many African countries declared independence, this exhibition examines the role fashion has played in the cultural renaissance of the continent.

Over 50 mannequins are dressed in exquisite costumes that show the creative spirit of Africa. It's colorful and fun, but it has a purpose.

"I think fashion is a kind of catalyst for us to get a glimpse of the myriad history and culture of the continent," said chief curator Christine Checinska. "It's also what people want to rob. It's the pure thrill and fun of Africa's creativity potential."

"With the difference, but with a true sense of collective power." There is a sense of pan-Africanism, "she added.

This exhibition will showcase works by the most important names in the development of African fashion, such as Folashade "Shade" Thomas-Fahm, often referred to asNigeria's first contemporary designer. doing.
A design by Folashade "Shade" Thomas-Fahm, from the 1970s.

Designed by Folashade "Shade" Thomas-Fahm in the 1970s. Credits:Victoria and Albert Museum

After studying fashion in London in the 1950s, Thomas Farm returned to Nigeria and her The traditional textile of the work. Her early foray into fashion coincided with the emergence of an independence movement across the continent.

"There was some confusion about our identity in the 50's and 60's," she told CNN last year. "Everything in the West was praised and no one seemed to care about our own indigenously produced materials. I never felt that way."

Archive of achievements

But what really catches the eye is the work of a new and groundbreaking designer. Among the many contemporary designers featured at the exhibition is Lisa Foravijo of Nigeria, who created her own label 17 years ago. She spoke from Lagos and she said she was excited to be asked to participate.

"We have confirmed that what we are doing is popular all over the world and is worn all over the world. People say that African fashion is beyond the (continent). It feels like it's time to notice. Anyone, anywhere, fashion. "

These pieces by Lisa Folawiyo, on display at the Africa Fashion exhibition, feature a mix of contrasting patterns and colors.

These of Lisa Foraviyo on display at the African Fashion Exhibition The work of is a mix of contrasting patterns and colors. Credits:Cheltzie Lee

Her work is one of the exhibitions near the award-winning South African work. It is on display on the floor. Designer Lukhanyo Mdingi. "It's no secret that the V&Museum is one of the most respected and respected museums in the world, and it's great to attend an exhibition where you can actually see African designers." He spoke from Cape Town. studio.

He added that this exhibition provides a valuable record of African craft and storytelling achievements.

"It is important for African designers and artists to be celebrated at such exhibitions, because in the long run, if people have an archive that they can look back at. This time,'"

African fashion will be held until April 16, 2023.