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Inside Thebe Magugu’s Tale of Queer Love and African Spirituality

For his Autumn/Winter 2021 collection, South African fashion designer, Thebe Magugu, created a film depicting a love story between two strong women. Assembling a roster of talents, including Chloe Andrea Welgemoed for set design and styling and Kristin Lee-Moolman as director, the film is an artistic tour-de-force, but the fashion is the true stand-out. Along with African spirituality, the idea of the collection was also about using everything around you, creating naturally. In South Africa, eco-printmaker Larisa Don created botanical transfers by plant-pounding cannabis and imphepho (the plant traditional healers burn to communicate with the ancestors) onto merino wool. On the other side of the world, Mr. Adachi San – the revered Japanese textile maker – made hand-crafted black wool suiting with tufts of rayon pom-poms hand-sewn onto the garment, thus creating a fabric that gives off the sense of at once, being prey and a predator.