South African fashion designer Thebe Magugu to host his first-ever international catwalk show as part of the V&A’s Fashion in Motion series on October 7.
The showcase will mark Magugu’s first catwalk shows outside of Johannesburg and will present his ‘Discard Theory’ collection, featuring second-hand clothing discarded by Europe and America from Dunuza.
Magugu, who combines traditional African silhouettes with western styles and graphics, describes the collection as “trickle-up fashion,” as he seeks to invert the theory of ‘trickle-down’ luxury, which argues that fashion is a hierarchal and class-based industry.
In a statement, Magugu said: "For this collection, I thought about national identity politics, and how western influence has penetrated indigenous dress. Often, 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.”
V&A senior curator exhibitions, Oriole Cullen, added: “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase Thebe’s work as part of Fashion in Motion. 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.”
Magugu will present four free fashion shows in the V&A’s Raphael Court on October 7.
The V&A’s Fashion in Motion series has been bringing free-to-attend catwalk shows to the public for more than 20 years and has featured designers including Alexander McQueen, Harris Reed, Erdem, Grace Wales Bonner, Molly Goddard, Roksanda Ilincic and Vivienne Westwood.