Next year Brighton Museum & Art Gallery will host an exhibition titled Fashion Cities Africa, which is said to be the first major UK dedicated to contemporary African fashion. The exhibition aims to explore the practices of dress, fashion & styling and to celebrate contemporary fashion scene in 4 African cities – Casablanca (Morocco), Lagos (Nigeria), Nairobi (Kenya) * Johannesburg (South Africa).
The exhibition will feature historic African textiles but develops the theme by looking at recent and contemporary fashions, from designers to fashion bloggers. Which includes Nigerian fashion designer and creator of the only African based fashion label named Maki Oh, Amaka Osakwe; Johannesburg based creative collective, The Sartists; Nairobi-based brother and sister duo, 2Many Siblings and Casablanca-based designer Zhor Raïs known for her exquisite hand-crafted ‘caftan couture’ pieces.
‘There’s been a surge of interest in contemporary African art and design in Europe and the US in recent years, but this is the first major UK exhibition dedicated to contemporary African fashion,’ said co-curator Helen Mears. ‘We want to reveal the diversity that exists across the continent – and within single cities – and show that wax print is only part of the story of African fashion.’
‘Each of the cities featured has its own fashion scene: in some cases emergent, in others more established. Some African designers are now major players in international fashion, while others are experimenting creatively in the interface between global fashion and local identities.’
The exhibition will be accompanied by a community engagement programme and a vibrant events programme including music, dance, performance, workshops, talks and debates.
Fashioning Africa is a longer-term project to develop Brighton Museum’s holdings of African textiles, the majority of which entered the collection between 1880 and 1940.
The exhibition will run from April 30, 2016 to January 8, 2017. For more about the Fashion Cities Africa exibition visit BrightonMuseums.org.uk