The Missing Thread, curated by the Black Oriented Legacy Development Agency (BOLD), will open this autumn
Following the profound – and largely under-appreciated – impact of Black creativity on the UK’s fashion landscape, The Missing Thread: Untold Stories of Black British Fashion will come to Somerset House this September. Spread across the four themes of Home, Tailoring, Performance and Nightlife (each a nod to the spaces that allowed Black fashion and design to take shapes of their own), the exhibition will focus on the past five decades.
Expect to be taken on a journey from the 1970s to the present day, charting the undeniable influence of Black music, photography, art and design on fashion along the way. The first theme, Home, will look at the intercontinental roots of Black British style and how safety is found in community. The second will explore how Tailoring has been used by Black Britons in establishing their own identity. The third, Performance, will spotlight Black performers and examine the effects and power of ‘being seen’. And the final will centre around Nightlife and the freedom of expression afforded by its spaces.
In a fifth part of the exhibition, visitors will be told the story of the late Joe Casely-Hayford OBE, a fashion designer, cult icon and favourite of Lou Reed, The Clash, U2 and more. With exclusive access to the Casely-Hayford archive, the exhibition will close with a wide selection of unseen studio material and items from the designer’s most renowned collections.
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Thurs 21st September 2023 – Sun 7th January 2024
Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA