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African-Print Fashion Now!

A Story of Taste, Globalization, and Style Omar Victor Diop

African-Print Fashion Now! A Story of Taste, Globalization, and Style

March 26–July 30, 2017
Fowler Museum at UCLA
Los Angeles, USA

With Omar Victor Diop

An exhibition guest curated by Suzanne Gott with Kristyne S. Loughran, Betsy D. Quick, and Leslie W. Rabine.

Exhibition's photos : Courtesy Fowler Museum at UCLA, © Joshua White.

The Fowler Museum is part of UCLA’s School of the Arts and Architecture.

"African-Print Fashion Now" introduces visitors to a dynamic and diverse African dress tradition and the increasingly interconnected fashion worlds that it inhabits: “popular” African-print styles created by local seamstresses and tailors across the continent; international runway fashions designed by Africa’s newest generation of couturiers; and boundary-breaking, transnational, and youth styles favored in Africa’s urban centers. All feature the colorful, boldly designed, manufactured cotton textiles that have come to be known as “African-print cloth”.

The exhibition tells the global stories of these textiles—the early history of the print cloth trade in West and Central Africa, the expansion of production following independence movements, and the increasing popularity of Asian-made print cloth today. Popular African styles from Ghana, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, and Senegal are featured, as well as groundbreaking runway fashions by some of Africa’s most talented couturiers: Ituen Basi, Gilles Touré, Lanre da Silva Ajayi, Titi Ademola, Lisa Folawiyo, Dent de Man, Adama Paris, Patricia Waota, Ikiré Jones, and Afua Dabanka. Black-and-white studio portraits illuminate print fashions of the 1960s and 1970s, while works by contemporary artists incorporate African print to convey evocative messages about heritage, hybridity, displacement, and aspiration.

Contemporary photographs by Omar Victor Diop, Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou, and Hassan Hajjaj; paintings by Njideka Akunyili Crosby and Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga; and a mural by graffiti artist Docta suggest the ever-present role of fashion in African life. Throughout the exhibition, African-print fashions are considered as creative responses to key historical moments and the imaginings of Africa in the future.


Download: Press kit


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