Monday, 12 June 2017

Wales Bonner Men SS17

 Elevated street. A flowing parade of energies, dialects, styles. Histories speak to one another, the canvas of pilgrims, travellers, migrants. Close to the heart, West Indian arrivals give fresh language to UK streets, tailoring to harsher winters, finding warmth in the functionality of fifties duffels and duster coats in Beuys grey and British tweed. 

From the East, a procession of Byzantines progress through Florence in handmade harlequin leathers. In the spectacle we find serenity in the effeminate son - a beautiful boy painted in the hat of a Magi, an Archer’s gathered silk tracksuit and patchwork boots by Manolo Blahnik. He joins a crowd forming to hear the street preacher’s sermon, a character informed by Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man and Renaissance friar Savonarola. Enter the new spirituals, a band of blessed innocents all in white; linen flowing robes, leather gloves, they wander the streets singing hymns, collecting vanities. 

Meanwhile, Second generation windrush - the Rockers step out in minimal utility shirting in cornflower blue, lime green, and hybridized jeans paired with square toed perforated leather mules. A Realness, a thread connecting the streets of Paris to Dakar, Kingston to London. 

Freedom rhythms. Elysia Crampton’s spoken word installation plays through a sound system transported from Notting Hill Carnival. Sampha’s soulful harmonies proclaim You're Free. Intellectuals and street poets embroidered with dalmatian gemstones weave through the crowds, united by a sonic magic reverberating through public space. No one is excluded, this a celebration. Out of many, one people. 

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