Collecting and Curating African and African Diaspora Fashions

Friday 22th April

This event is hosted by The Research Forum at The Courtauld and organised by the Documenting Fashion Research Group.


As the V&A’s inaugural Curator of African and African Diaspora Fashion, I have a key role in managing and growing the global reach of our collection, ensuring that African and African diasporic fashions are better represented in our permanent collections, in our gallery and in our popular fashion exhibitions.

The contemporary African fashion scene is as eclectic and varied as the African continent itself, which consists of over fifty countries and in excess of 1.3 billion people. In this visually compelling presentation, I will share a glimpse of this cosmopolitan scene. I will also discuss some of the ways in which we intend to tell new layered stories about the richness and diversity of African creativity, cultures and histories, using fashion as a catalyst.

Dr Christine Checinska is the V&A’s inaugural Senior Curator of African and African Diaspora Fashion and Lead Curator of the forthcoming Africa Fashion exhibition, due to open on 2nd July 2022.

Prior to joining the V&A, Christine worked as a womenswear designer, academic, artist and curator. Her creative practice and research explore the relationship between fashion, culture and race. Christine’s recent exhibitions include an intervention for Makers Eye: Stories of Craft, July-October 2021, Crafts Council Gallery, and Folded Life February 2021, Johanne Jacobs Museum, Zurich, Switzerland. Her recent publications include ‘Re-Fashioning African Diasporic Masculinities’ in Fashion and Postcolonial Critique, Elke Gaugele and Monica Titton (eds.), 2019. In 2016 she delivered the TedxTalk Disobedient Dress: Fashion as Everyday Activism.

In industry for over thirty years, Christine has created womenswear collections for iconic British brands such as Margaret Howell, where she was a Senior Designer, during the late 1990s.