Decolonizing Fashion as Process
  • ISSN: 2051-7106
  • E-ISSN: 2051-7114


In 2019, I started an interdisciplinary, multi-media fashion project entitled It aimed to show people, through the lens of my Nigerian Yorùbá culture, what it would look like if the Black body was perceived as royalty. was part of my graduate project and it served as a response to my final year undergraduate dissertation. I was shocked when, during a tutorial session on the development of this project, a reviewer told me, ‘throw on a pair of jeans on’ () my designs because ‘we need something more up-to-date and not archaic’. Sadly, throughout the development of my project I felt the colonial permanence in the fashion education system and this constant struggle between ‘the ideal’ and ‘the other’, as I often had to decentralize the Western-centric ideas that I came across in my design research. Decolonization begins to occur as we consciously work progressively outside these barriers in spaces we create ourselves and that are not bound to coloniality. In Yorùbá, we say (‘exit’), which literally translates to ‘leave () and take away ()’ – we need to come out of this world where the West is dominant and move away from that position. is emphatic language that calls us to do so. In this article, I will explore the role plays in decolonizing fashion through Yorùbá storytelling in relation to my graduate project , which depicts Black bodies as royal despite the experience of an oppressive past and complex present.


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  • Article Type: Other
Keyword(s): decoloniality; dress; fashion; Yorùbá; Yorùbá storytelling
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