The bold bronze Africa Fashion serif type seen throughout the exhibition is designed to stand tall and proud creating a statement entranceway to the exhibition. The aim was to create a title treatment which reflects the quality, craftsmanship and importance of African Fashion throughout history and the present day. Throughout the show visitors are guided through the galleries with tall ‘A’ boards which represent portals or archways to announce each section and theme. Colour, texture, and type have all been carefully curated alongside the 3D design, inspired by colours of urban and rural African landscapes from warm clay tones, vivid yellows, and reds to dark blues, brown and neutrals.
The collection gives us a preview of fashion during Africa’s liberation years and a tantalising flavour of the contemporary scene. The designers behind the objects, both the avant-garde and the present day, are unashamedly political in their work but their pieces speak more of the abundance of joy, beauty, pride, and creativity that resonantes from the continent to the rest of the world. The design team was keen to capture these qualities in the spatiality, graphics and lighting of the show. In doing so they wanted to turn their backs on the traditional ‘white box’ gallery space and any archaic representations of Africans and African fashion. The exhibition design paints colour, form, texture, and light across the backdrops to emulate Africa’s rich landscape and diversity of people and thinking.