The general museum-going public may have little idea of how vibrant and contemporary Africa really is. Thanks to exhibitions such “Kabas and Couture: Contemporary Ghanaian Fashion,” viewers can see firsthand that African fashion systems are dynamic, changing, and thoroughly of-the-moment (Fig. 1).

Guest curated by Christopher Richards, University of Florida alumnus, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for the Creative Arts of Africa in Johannesburg, and most recently Assistant Professor of Art History at Brooklyn College, the exhibition is based on his dissertation—the culture of fashion in Accra, Ghana from 1953–2013 (Richards 2014); Susan Cooksey, Curator of African Art at the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, served as organizing curator. Although Richards gently nods to historical precedents, including garments and textiles that serve as inspiration, his focus is largely on the recent haute couture fashion industry centered in Accra.

Kabas and Couture” makes...

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