• Text Lewis Firth
  • Photography Harry Clark
  • 12th January 2015

Harlem Renaissance

Between World War I and the 1930s, the Harlem Renaissance existed. A movement that reacted oppositely to the negative legacy of the war in a fervent manner. It was a hotbed of literary, artistic and cultural change that constructed a fresh identity for the black community.

This underlying foundation acted as Wales Bonner’s FW15 ‘Ebonics’ collection. It was highly informed and executed faultlessly. An original outcome. Crushed velvet added depth to outfits and used in scarves, flared trousers and jackets too. The latter being embroidered with cowrie shells: used as currency and decoration predominantly in the Shang and Zhou dynasties, dating before the common era. Her collection is rich in historical signifiers; atavistic design is clearly Bonner’s realm.