Unstitching the Past

Iziko Museums of South Africa and Groot Constantia Wine Estate are collaborating with the Design Academy of Fashion and Elizabeth Galloway Academy of Fashion Design to stage the inaugural Iziko Heritage Day fashion Show ‘Unstitching the Past’ which takes place on the 24th of September 2016 commencing at 12pm at the Groot Constantia upper wine cellar sundial garden. 


The theme is 18th century fashion with a contemporary African twist.  It has been planned to explore exciting ways to grow the audience for fashion, culture and heritage in Cape Town that showcases 43 fashion design students and aims to allow diverse museum public’s access to a unique cultural event. Furthermore it proposes a modern reading of 18th century cultural, political and aesthetic qualities as reflected in clothing of the period.  The world-wide rarity of surviving 18th century costumes is well known. Hayley Hayes-Roberts, Textile and Fashion historian and Iziko Groot Constantia Museum educator, has provided historical support through extensive design briefs.  A special focus has been the attainment of critical conceptual and creative skills by the students drawing on historic sources such as the Iziko Social History Textile and Fashion Collections archive looking at rare fragile 18th century dresses and Cape dressmaking traditions. Studies of Neo-classical, Baroque and Rococo patterns,  a visual history of Cape Slave attire,  contemporary SA Fashion designers, film references with 18th century fashion, sketching and photographic documentation and the creation of an 18th century visual diary has formed part of the programme.  Students were given an opportunity to give their imagination free reign and create garments infused with 18th century references while exploring Eurocentric dress forms decorating the body as a reflection of status, power and position in the context of colonisation and Cape slavery. Therefore ‘Unstitching the Past’ is sure to be an exciting opportunity to explore culture in a new light.

Unstitching the Past

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