“African fashion is past, present and future at the same time. The joy of life and of colour are completely different and quite special on the continent. It is a language written in the heritage, the DNA, it is a language of memories,” says Artsi, stylist for Maison ArtC, one of the protagonists of the show that lights up the Summer at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Clothes, fabrics, photos, drawings, videos and personal testimonies narrate the increasing impact of contemporary African fashion at the global level, highlighting its exceptional inventiveness and creativity. Reunited in London from the archives of the most celebrated designers of the continent, these items on display offer a journey through over twenty countries. With the avant-garde of the XX Century and the icons of the second millennium, there are works to be explored by Shade Thomas-Fahm, Chris Seydou, Kofi Ansah and Alphadi, as well as pieces from contemporary figures like Imane Ayissi, Iamisigo, Moshions, Thebe Magugu and Sindiso Khumalo, with an unexpected gift - the latest fashions for the first time on display. Up close, the richness of individual voices and perspectives - from prêt-à-porter to accessories, even photography - making African fashion, already eclectic and cosmopolitan by nature, a never-ending surprise.