Fashion in Motion: Grace Wales Bonner

Fashion in Motion is a series of live fashion shows at the V&A featuring leading fashion designers from across the world. Menswear designer Grace Wales Bonner presented highlights from her collection which take inspiration from black visual culture and mix couture techniques with African craft.

Born in south-east London to an English mother and Jamaican father, Wales Bonner’s designs explore cross cultural hybridity, masculinity and notions of European and African luxury fashion. She cites artists who explore black identity through their work as inspirations, including painter Kerry James Marshall and film maker Melvin Van Peebles. Her SS15 graduate collection Afrique explored Coco Chanel via Lagos and won the L’Oreal Professionnel Designer of the Year Award. The AW15 collection Ebonics was included within Fashion East’s London Collections: Men programme, known for highlighting London’s future design talent. Inspired by exoticism and 19th-century depictions of black men, the collection featured crushed velvet embellished with cowrie shells and Swarovski crystals, high waisted flares, jewelled skull caps and intricate neckpieces.

Grace Wales Bonner allowed visitors to view the designer’s striking ensembles close up in an innovative installation which reflected her sources of inspiration and the Museum setting.

The V&A feels like the perfect space to present the hybridity in cultural representation, which I aim to explore through my work. I am really excited about opening up the conversation to a wider audience through Fashion in Motion and honoured to be part of the programme

Grace Wales Bonner

Catwalk highlights

Grace wales grid
Fashion in Motion: Grace Wales Bonner, 2015. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Explore previous Fashion in Motion catwalk events.