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Thread: DEAD WHITE MENS CLOTHES (Paris Fashion Week invitation)

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    Default DEAD WHITE MENS CLOTHES (Paris Fashion Week invitation)

    Hi everyone,

    I don’t know if this is the right sub-forum for this, but I’d like to present a project to you that I’ve been working on in my position as art director for Amsterdam Berlin for the past few months:

    DWMC / DEAD WHITE MENS CLOTHES is a project by Ghanaian artist Jojo Gronostay and Amsterdam Berlin GmbH. DWMC sets out to provoke discourses on capitalism, post-colonialism, identity and fashion. The clothes that make up the collection were found on the Kantamanto Market in Accra, Ghana. The selected vintage pieces were relabelled to be viewed in a fashion context.

    The Kantamanto Market is among the largest collection points for used clothes worldwide. A place where cheaply produced garments from China are placed next to second-hand clothes from Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America. Here, the often donated clothes re-enter the cycle of capitalism.

    The origins of the label’s name lie in the Ghanaian term “obroni wawu‘ which translates as “the dress of the dead white man”. When the first wave of second-hand clothes came into the country from the West, the residents of Ghana could not believe that such high quality clothing could just be given away and assumed that the previous owners must have died.

    In recent years, the textile industry has been part of a major conflict between Western countries and Africa. The used clothing donated in the West is helpful in the short run but destroys the local African textile economy in the long-term, thus hindering independence from the West*.

    Collection II consists of workwear, suits and timeless classics, combined with neon colours and souvenir t-shirts – altered ready made clothing that combines the Zeitgeist with an archetype of western mediocracy. Collection II consists of 118 pieces. Every piece is unique.

    The communication for the project centres around a short film and includes numerous social media assets. Based on classic fashion ads, it contrasts two different concepts of luxury. Decadence on one hand, morality on the other as a possible future commodity, represented by the DWMC collection.
    What is luxury in the future?

    *The label’s profits are donated to support young African designers.

    These are some of the 118 pieces of collection II:

    We will host a showroom where we’ll show the campaign film as well as all 118 garments.
    The artist will be present.

    30 September 2018
    17–21 pm CET
    96 Rue De Cléry, 75002 Paris

    I’ll be there and it would be cool to see some of you. Let’s have a chat and a glass of champagne together. Just ask for Romano (but I think you’ll recognise me by my clothes).

    If you can’t make it, feel free to check out (online shop and campaign film launching on the 30th)or the official instagram account for more info.


    "The only rule is don't be boring and dress cute wherever you go. Life is too short to blend in."
    -Paris Hilton

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    Would be cool to hear feedback / opinions on this?
    "The only rule is don't be boring and dress cute wherever you go. Life is too short to blend in."
    -Paris Hilton

  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by Nickefuge View Post
    Would be cool to hear feedback / opinions on this?
    The first thing that came to mind was how the structure of common difference imposed by the global fashion industry was reflected within the pictures you posted, despite the reappropration of the clothes. In other words, the clothes are presented within a Western fashion ideal, despite being appropriated. So a potential critique I'd see/If I play the devil's advocate, would be that it's a missed opportunity to represent what Ghanian fashion is/means (which I have no clue about watsoever). I'm not critcizing you on this, but I hang out with enough people who I see would make this argument. But I'd be curious to see how the clothes are appropriated locally and integrated within local fashion norms, rather than being fitted within the "Zeitgeist".

    Personally, I find the idea of sourcing second-hand clothes from Africa, altering them and reselling them back to Westerners to be quite neat. Vetements would be proud? ;) I think that makes quite a commentary on the System as a whole...

    I'd go see this if I was in or close to Paris. Good luck with the show/opening!

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    Pretty humorous but I don't find the work as challenging as it aims to be. It's too ironic and arguably promotes the same systems it aims to criticize-- especially because the clothes aren't particularly interesting just styled in an artsy way.
    This could just be my artistically conservative bias, I agree with Stagename in that the work would benefit from real reflections on Ghanian culture, it seems tired to criticize the West in art.

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