Performing postcolonial identity: The spectacle of Lagos Fashion Week | Intellect Skip to content
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Decolonizing Fashion as Process
  • ISSN: 2051-7106
  • E-ISSN: 2051-7114

Abstract

Throughout the fashion year in Lagos, events take place across the city. The pre-eminent event is Lagos Fashion Week (LFW). A key event in the fashion calendar on the African continent, this is where designers are consecrated in the fashion field, and where social and economic capital is delineated. This article describes the strategies employed by the designers and attendees to realize and self-represent their creations. To some degree, LFW is more accessible than the dominant western fashion weeks (New York, etc.) and offers the potential for actors to destabilize that system and its inherited colonial ideologies. LFW provides a platform for self-representation and for legitimizing alternative identities, some of which challenge an embedded patriarchy. A vibrant competitive display of street fashion, covered by international journalists and photographers, offers further possibilities for the articulation of contemporary identities, which challenge the legacies of stereotypical colonial representations of African dress. At the same time, certain western conventions are reproduced, such as the celebration and legitimization of individual designers over the hidden labour of artisans. The article suggests that LFW might serve to facilitate decolonial processes once designers employ equitable fashion practices and represent the voices of the artisans.

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2022-10-01
2024-02-25
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