Culture Dose | AFRICA + FASHION

Models holding hands in Lagos, Nigeria, in 2019, by Stephen Tayo

This week’s culture dose is a little different: originally set to run two weeks ago, highlighting the explosive and wide ranging creatives from AFRICA FASHION, an eye-popping show at the V&A with suggested Read Watch Listen’s, we put it all on hold as London’s V&A was closed and then had limited hours due to the extreme heatwave.

Sanlé Sory ‘Je Vais Décoller, 1977. © Sanlé Sory/Tezeta. Courtesy David Hill Gallery

The temperatures have come back down but the irony of multiple museum closures isn’t lost on us. Nor is the irony that Londoners went to work to take full advantage of air conditioning while the airport tarmacs buckled.

‘The Trench’ designed by Maison ArtC, Morocco, 2021. © Image courtesy @M.A.Roock, model Abdul

But if you’re in the UK or plan on being there, the show runs until April 16, 2023. For those of us inspired by the pioneering designers and exuberant pieces but unable to see the show in person, why not check out…

READ:  African Textiles Today by Chris Spring

African Textiles Today by Chris Spring

All artifacts or works of art hold within them stories. In Africa history is read, told, and recorded in cloth.

Making and trading numerous types of cloth have been vital elements in African life and culture for at least two millennia, linking different parts of the continent with each other and the rest of the world. Africa’s long engagement with the peoples of the Mediterranean and the islands of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans provides a story of change and continuity. African Textiles Today shows how ideas, techniques, materials, and markets have adapted and flourished, and how the dynamic traditions in African textiles have provided inspiration for the continent’s foremost contemporary artists and photographers. (from the publisher)

Watch: Wax Print I From the Cradle to the Grave by Aiwan Obinyan

“An outsider would call it African print or wax print. But if you’re an insider, it’s just clothes.”

One fabric, 4 Continents, 200 Years of History. That’s the tagline, and if you can put together a screening. You’ll enter an ongoing conversation of exploitation, appropriation, theft and profit, and the African diaspora contained in this colorful fabric. The doc is extremely personal, wonderfully educational, and as bold and beautiful as the pieces of fabric themselves.

WATCH: African fashion is showcased at London’s V&A

The Africa Fashion exhibition at London’s V&A features garments by designers from all over the African continent. CNN has a 25 minute video that takes you behind the scenes of the exhibit. The next best thing to being there?

–KL Dunn