Thursday, October 20, 2016

Vlisco: A History of African Fashion

What a wonderful exhibition. We're talking about the one showcased since April at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Vlisco: African Fashion on a Global Stage, is an exhibition which explores the influential textile brand and the way it changed and shaped the face of fashion and design in Africa during decades, being actually the origin of wax printed textiles in this continent.

African Fashion African Clothing African Dresses

It's really significant to understand how a Dutch textile company could discover a new market for its products, thinking Africa as a potential client for what would become the biggest supply of wax prints around the world. To see the beginning of this outstanding trend, we should move back to the 19th century, and involve not only this European company but also providers in China and India, which would eventually take over the supply to become nowadays major producers.

What you may surely learn about this history lesson, teaching us that even such an African cultural and traditional property today as it is wax print clothing, had its origins out of the Black continent, where this particular trend became little by little assimilated by the African people, specially in Central and West Africa, finally acquiring a social meaning, representing status, value and identity for many African societies during the past century, and arriving today as a cornerstone in African fashion.

If you have the opportunity, just don't miss this exhibition. Closing on January 22, 2017.

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