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The V&A Africa Fashion exhibition is a celebration of African creativity and culture

The Africa Fashion exhibition at the Victoria & Albert museum in London celebrates Africa’s vibrant and diverse fashion. The exhibition will be the most extensive exhibition on African fashion to date.

The exhibition spans the mid-20th century to the present through personal insights from the designers, photography, textiles, film and catwalk footage to tell the stories behind African fashion. Africa Fashion highlights the vitality of African histories and the variety of cultures that make up Africa.


Curator Christine Checinska stated in the forward for the exhibition, “African creativity has been largely excluded or misrepresented”. This exhibition brings together fashion, politics and history.

On display there are historic pieces such as Kofi Ansah and an Alphadi dress of cotton and brass alongside influential contemporary African designers from Johannesburg, Morocco and Nigeria. From Thebe Magugu, Imane Ayissi, IAMISIGO, Moshions to Sindiso Khumalo.

Image: Maganga Mwagogo

It features fashion from 45 designers from over 20 countries and has more than 250 objects on display. Marrakesh designer Atsi Ifrach of Maison ArtC created a piece for the exhibition.

The exhibition features mannequins with a variety of body shapes and skin tones.

James Barnor’s fashion shoots for Drum magazine are included which illustrates photography’s role in changing perceptions of African fashion.

Image: Tatenda Chidora

The Africa Fashion exhibition not only celebrates the ingenuity of African fashion but also artisanal craft, talent, heritage, creativity and style.

This exhibition acknowledges the power of African fashion and allows for an understanding of fashion made in Africa worn throughout the continent and all over the world.

The exhibition will run until 16 April 2023.

Words by: Tam Hayden

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