BA (HONS) FASHION

ARO DIASPORA

The African Diaspora is the voluntary and involuntary movement of Africans and their descendants to various parts of the world during modern and pre-modern times. This collection, Aro Diaspora: will be addressing my Arochukwu cultural legacy, searching inwards to explore the treasures engraved within Western African traditions and outward in modern advances to narrate a beautiful seamless story of history, present, and future.

My inspiration stems not only from my West African culture, but also from my newfound fascination with Japanese traditions and cultures. The juxtaposition of these two cultures will lead to exciting links and contrasts that will reinforce the uniqueness of the collection. Aro Diaspora recognized my journey as an immigrant child and the brutality of a disruptive reinvention of my identity.

The collection showcases a bright colour palette made up of sunny yellows and blood boiling reds to represent the grim reality of the maniac phases caused by my identity crisis during my early teen years. Leading themes of self-expression, isolation and dissociative encounters are developed through using artistic hand printing techniques (Lino), dynamic silhouettes amplified by beading / asymmetric cuts, and the metaphor of the "masquerade." All these factors lead to a rich and eccentric collection that hopes to bring recognition to young diaspora youth who feel lost, confused, or ashamed of who they are.

Aro Diaspora is a gender-neutral collection that creates an interchangeable design space for the autumn / winter season 2021. The collection is positioned in the mid-luxury market to target fashion-forward people who have a vision for utopian Africa and empower the life of LGBTQ + and BIPOC youth.

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The Aro Diaspora line up creates a dynamic atmosphere that highlights the core message of the collection which is of individuality and identity.

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Both garments have been printed and painted by hand to create a unique artistic language between I the designer and the wearer.

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My research opened up a world of similarities between west African and Traditional Japanese cultures. My discoveries led to to a rich world of colourful masquerades and daring silhouettes to be inspired with.

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Re-contextualising gender neutrality within garments through amplified silhouettes in order to create an interchangeable design space.

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Embracing queerness as part of my individuality through artistic creative direction. Makeup is used here to magnify rather than hide the individuality of the model.

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