Thebe Magugu is a born storyteller.
Earlier this week, the South African designer revealed he was launching the heirloom shirt, a wax print shirt that may be custom-made with the wearer’s personal picture and title as a solution to memorialize individuals by material.
His spring assortment additionally honored the reminiscence of the lifeless, solely this time it instructed a narrative that continues to reverbate by the ages because the epitome of racist colonial exploitation.
The LVMH Prize winner was impressed by studying a e-book about Sarah Baartman, a member of the Khoikhoi neighborhood who was offered into slavery and exhibited in carnival-like exhibits in Nineteenth-century Europe below the title “Hottentot Venus.”
“It acquired me pondering quite a bit concerning the Black physique, particularly the Black feminine physique, as this sight of fascination but additionally extremely sexualized,” he stated. “It’s a narrative that I actually wished to inform this season as a result of I don’t suppose lots of people are all that conversant in it.”
Presenting the gathering on-line, Magugu stored the sexual references nuanced. A number of outfits had been trimmed with lace, whereas others had been accessorized with latex opera gloves. He selected a pink pair to go together with a silky black trench coat embellished with an outsized rose dripping silk fringe.
Illustrations of Baartman’s symbolically fragmented physique appeared on gadgets like a buttermilk cape gown, whereas a map detailing her journey was used as a print on a black and pink belted gown. Its pleated skirt was manufactured from break up panels with a coin hooked up to every tip, in a pointed commentary on sexual trafficking.
Magugu’s talent lies in creating stunning clothes that carries a political punch. As an impartial enterprise going through appreciable logistical hurdles, together with crippling energy cuts, he stored the gathering tight at 17 appears, however felt he had extra to say on the topic. Look out for a second chapter.