NMM Art Museum holds gala fashion show

2018-10-03 06:02

THE Nelson Mandela Metropolitan (NMM) Art Museum will be presenting a fashion exhibition, under the theme Mother Tongue, celebrating the influence of traditional Xhosa fashion on contemporary design on Tuesday, October 9.

Mother Tongue celebrates local fashion and features the museum’s important collection of traditional Southern Nguni beadwork and textiles alongside selected works by the internationally celebrated textile designer, Laduma Ngxokolo.

Ngxokolo is an example of the power of traditional design and one of the Eastern Cape’s greatest exports.

He was inspired by the colours and designs of traditional Xhosa beadwork while doing research for his final year thesis in fashion and textile design at Nelson Mandela University. He encountered traditional beadwork from the 1940s to ’60s on exhibition at the NMM Art Museum.

Through his own personal experience and interest in tradition design, and by using images of works from the NMM Art Museum collection, he developed his now world famous MaXhosa brand.

“In a century from now, I want people to look back at MaXhosa and get an understanding of what Xhosa people were like in our time,” said Ngxokolo.

The title, Mother Tongue, reflects the importance of women as the custodians of traditional designs and aesthetics. Specialised patterns, colour selection and the cultural significance of beadwork were passed on from mother to daughter or aunt to niece or granny to granddaughter.

In the same manner, Ngxokolo, as a 21 century Xhosa man, got his passion for traditional art forms and textile design from his mother.

NMM Art Museum director, Emma O’Brien, said the museum was interested in new styles and fashions that reflected both the wisdom and aesthetic power of the past but also a transition from traditional design into the future.

“We want the historical garments and beadwork made by mothers, grandmothers, aunts, daughters and sisters to be shared with the younger generation and continue to inspire new editions of traditional wear,” said O’Brien.

Other local designers will also be sharing their work on the exhibition, as well as established fashion designer, on both the local and global stage, Jenni Button, who will also present a collection at the show.

Button will be supported by three of the city’s innovative designers namely, Ati Setipa, Braemor Lundall-Sauls and Kelly Dillon. The outfits will be showcased by models and local ballet dancers.

Tickets for this event have sold out with art lovers around the city showing their commitment to support local creative talent. The exhibition will close on February 15, 2019.

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