In line with the V&A's current blockbuster exhibition Africa Fashion, South African designer Thebe Magugu will present his first international fashion show in the museum's grounds as part of the institution's Fashion in Motion programme this October. The runway show will present highlights from the designer's Discard Theory collection - inspired by discarded American and European fabrics - which will unravel across four time slots on the day; 13:00, 15:00, 17:00 & 20:00.
Dunza - a well-known site for second-hand clothes discarded by Europe and America - became the starting point for the collection, which Magugu describes as 'trickle-up fashion', cleverly inverting the luxury sector's ‘trickle-down’ theory. Combining traditional African silhouettes with western styles and graphics in classic Magugu style, the young designer's vision explores the implication second-hand clothes have on the continent's identity politics overall. Expanding on this in a statement, Magugu commented:
'For this collection I thought about national identity politics, and how western influence has penetrated indigenous dress. Often times, I see a woman in downtown Johannesburg wearing a shweshwe wrap skirt - a fabric often worn for traditional ceremonies - but paired with a Vodaphone or Manchester United tee. I found that Dunuza acts as a nexus between local and global, throwing everything into a melting pot that produces a post-modern interpretation of what African fashion is, and I’m delighted that I can bring these looks to the V&A for Fashion in Motion this October.'
Speaking of Magugu's unique strength as a designer who not only creates beautiful clothes but asks questions through his collections while doing so, the V&A's senior curator of exhibitions Oriole Cullen noted, 'His collections, while beautiful to behold, also convey important stories. Thebe deftly manages to both celebrate the possibilities and joy of fashion whilst also causing us, as viewers and consumers to reflect and question how we can all be better when it comes to our own engagement with fashion and the politics that surround it.'
Tickets are available from 29 September at 10.00 here.