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Voices of Fashion

Celebrating Black couture, beauty and styles

AiRich, See Us Coming, model: Hazel Vijfhoven, 2020

Finally! After months of anticipation, we can now walk (or run) into Centraal Museum‘s fantastic new exhibition, Voices of Fashion: Black couture, beauty and styles.

Present-day, there is still a lack of Black representation in the field of fashion (and beyond). A completely unjust imbalance, considering the abundant creativity and inspiration the Black community has globally contributed for centuries. Voices of Fashion is intentionally turning this Eurocentric white gaze around, highlighting how this vantage point has harmfully shaped our cultural relationship with fashion — and the lack of Black representation within the industry, from past to present-day. Voices of Fashion’s co-curator, Diversity Rules-founder and fashion activist Janice Deul put it powerfully in two sentences: “Black people are often said to be the ‘Curators of Cool’, but this isn’t always recognized nor acknowledged where it matters. This lack of recognition has all to do with power and history.”

Christopher John Rogers, S/S 2021, 2020, © Emmanuel Sanches Monsalve

The exhibition, designed by AFARAI’s architect Afaina de Jong, guarantees us a sensational journey through the spaces within the Centraal Museum. The journey has been mediated by personal stories from Patta’s co-founder Guillaume Schmidt, as well as two inspiring Dutch singers Giovanca Ostiana and Denise Jannah. These three talents each talk us through their own lived experiences and memories, embarking on all the things they admire and appreciate about their favorite designers. The exhibition has been filled with a range of designers, from Botter Paris, Christopher John Rogers, Pyer Moss, Pierpaolo Piccioli, to The New Originals, Filling Pieces, Daily Paper and Lesiba Mabitsela. Voices of Fashion has also included our fellow art lovers, as creatives from alternative disciplines will also be showcased, such as visual artists Raquel van Haver and Airich, the museological platform Oscam and countless others! If you live in Utrecht, or around the city for that matter, it’s definitely worth the visit! See you there ?

Lesiba Mabitsela Studio, ReInstitute collection, 2019, model: Mariah McKenzie, hair & make-up: Valerie Ekgebo, © Mandla Shonhiwa

Get tickets for Voices of Fashion here, now showing from June 5th – August 15th, 2021!

Words by Brechtje Polman