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African fashion event attended by the king and queen consort

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His Majesty King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort, attended an exhibition on African fashion at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Believed to be the largest African fashion show of all time, it tells the story of the continent’s clothing along with showcasing the work of contemporary designers.

The curator, Christine Checinska, explained the significance of the event.

“We really see fashion as a catalyst to tell deeper, richer and broader stories about the myriad of histories and cultures across the continent,” he said. “So we hope that our visitors will be inspired and maybe question some assumptions as well.”

Charles and Camilla met African designers and fashion leaders who, in addition to their work reflecting the end of colonial rule in parts of the continent, included modern creations that now inspire designers around the world.

Checinska explained: “African art, African creativity has inspired many, many designers around the world, and I think that continues. It was really important and really vital to have this exhibition at this time, because we see that it is African creatives who that are changing the global fashion landscape.

“That’s how important their impact is right now. So they demand to be seen. They demand to be heard. And we see their impact rippling through global fashion.”

More than 250 objects are on display, including 70 new acquisitions for the museum.

It comes as the V&A hopes to increase its collection of works by contemporary African designers, as well as those from the past.

One of the fair’s designers is Artsi Ifrach, who described his goal of blending cultures.

“My piece is based on the two garments that come from two different cultures,” he says. “The first is British culture, which is the trench coat. And the second is the burqa, which is also very deep in Morocco, and in all Arab countries. In Morocco, as far as we know, it is North Africa. And I decided to have a dialogue between the two and pay respect to both countries.”

Africa Fashion reflects periods when many African nations freed themselves from colonial rule. But it includes clothing from 40 contemporary designers.

It works until April 16, 2023.

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