Fashion designer Mowalola’s Silent Madness exhibition launches at NOW Gallery
THIS winter, Nigerian-born fashion designer Mowalola has collaborated with NOW Gallery to present her fully immersive exhibition, Silent Madness. Having been awarded Best New Designer at the 2018 Milan Fashion Film Festival and then selected to join the non-profit organisation Fashion East in 2019, it should come as no surprise that NOW Gallery has collaborated with the emerging artist to showcase her captivating talent.
Ahead of her London Fashion Week Men’s debut in January, Mowalola has already taken the fashion industry by storm with her creative vision, having dressed celebrities including Skepta, Steve Lacy, Solange Knowles and Naomi Campbell. Mowalola’s enthusiasm and passion behind her designs is infectious. And on the exhibition reveal Instagram posts that she shared, support comments range from Solange Knowles, “wow go off mama!” to endless emojis from Naomi Campbell to praise from fellow designers Charles Jeffrey and ASAI.
Mowalola exhibit at NOW gallery
Silent Madness has been described as both vibrant and revolutionary, combining Mowalola’s Nigerian punk-inspired aesthetic with her zeal for musical expression. The exciting multi-sensory experience aims to question preconceptions of normality and challenge the traditional discourse surrounding African sexuality. Visitors are therefore encouraged to neglect the pressures of conventional taste in favour of a life built around their own rules and terms.
Upon entering the exhibition, visitors are issued with a set of headphones and an MP3 player with 6 pre-recorded tracks all composed from contrasting genres to allow them to engage in a solely individual, unique experience. Visitors will discover a surrealist stage setting, complete with swathes of brightly printed fabric draped around the walls, floors and windows, as they escape into Mowalola’s interactive world of colour, chaos and freedom.
The exterior entrance to the Mowalola exhibit at NOW Gallery.
A ‘band’ of mannequins covered entirely in tar and dressed in Mowalola’s designs take the centre stage, each adorned with a tar-coated instrument ranging from guitars and drums to a piano. The mannequins all showcase daring outfits to depict themes of bondage, further echoed through the heavy use of black tar, and evident throughout Mowlola’s collections.
Silent Madness is the latest exhibition in the diverse programme at NOW Gallery, each uniquely demonstrating an array of themes that transport visitors through the lens of the artist. NOW Gallery is best known for exploring themes of human connection through art, design and fashion, making Mowalola and her exhibition an exceptionally perfect fit.
Previous fashion collaborations with NOW Gallery have included Molly Goddard, Charles Jeffrey and Richard Malone, shining light on up and coming artists and providing them with the opportunity to elevate their careers to the next level.
On December 6 the exhibition opened with a private view night in which performances from SHYGIRL, Loyal Duce and Yves Tumor, a DJ set from James Massiah and a surprise performance from Skepta wowed guests. The video below presents just a snippet of the level of energy transcending through the room.
Mowalola and guest on the evening of the VIP preview of her exhibit at NOW Gallery
Skepta on the evening of the VIP preview of the Mowalola exhibit at NOW Gallery
by Cara Jenkins
Mowalola’s Silent Madness is available to view for free at NOW Gallery, Londo until January 19, 2020.