Return to Slygo

Nicholas Daley presents a cross-generational portrait of Afro-Caribbean culture
By Cristian Burbano | Fashion | 15 June 2021

An ode to community opens the show notes for Nicholas Daley’s new seasonless collection, and it was just that. The Central Saint Martins alumni regularly explores multicultural angles of Britain via his own family history: his mum is Scottish and dad Jamaican.

Created as an extention to his terrific Return to Slygo exhibition currently running at London’s NOW Gallery, the project is lead by a short film by director Akinola Davis Jr. (Sundance 2021 Grand Jury prize winner for his short film Lizard). Backed by soft jazz-infused grooves courtesy of two London acts – Sons of Kemet and acclaimed saxophonist Nubya Garcia – the short film transports us inside a 70s North London family home where memories of generations of Afro-Caribbean filter together to form a storied portrait. Tropes familiar to Afro-Caribbean life are present and celebrated: “from sound systems to food, slow dance to dominoes.” The house itself holds presence – home of the May family, it was originally purchased by Florence May in the 60s when she came to England from the Caribbean as part of the Windrush arrival.


The collection itself takes inspiration from Daley’s knitwear and crochet craft, with old family photos referenced by reimagining new iterations of pieces worn by the designer’s nearest and dearest. Scottish checks and tie-dye prints feature in subdued tones, including a workwear-inspired navy corduroy jacket with contrasting pocket detail. The ‘Reggae Klub’ logo tee takes its name from his parents’ club night which traveled across Scottish clubs in the late 70s. Such is Daley’s meticulous approach, this collection is part of a larger tapestry committed to examining the enduring call and repeat of modernity and tradition.

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