PROUD SOUTH is a mesmerizing visual experience that celebrates the creative forces from the southern parts of the planet. Through the colourful and expressive lens of contemporary fashion, photography, styling and art, Lidewij Edelkoort and Lili Tedde bring together emerging and established talents from wide and far, illustrating that the axis of global creativity has indeed dramatically shifted.
Edelkoort has investigated multiple themes that connect sensational talents that hail from Latin America, Africa, South Asia and South East Asia. Not defined by maps, hemispheres or the rigid fashion system of the north, PROUD SOUTH represents an emancipated international movement. As Edelkoort observes, “A southern generation of creatives is standing up, expressing local craft, embracing regional materials, recognising ancestral practices and cherishing indigenous values.” A sense of excitement is discernible throughout this unique book, so palpable that Edelkoort says it feels “like being in a pressure cooker, creating local flavours with a sense of urgency.”
Having tracked the ingenuity from the south for several decades, Edelkoort explains just what makes the south so special: “Each garment has a soul, and each photo knows how to capture one, elevating fashion to an altogether other domain of totemic and emphatic strength. Ordinary items are lifted from their everyday functions, acquiring outsider status and insider knowledge, being both unique and universal. These strange powers gravitate around each other like atoms of a creative aesthetic bomb, waiting to explode on the centre stage of fashion, captured by gifted designers and intelligent brands. They are then eternalised by exceptional photographers who have made it a point to open the floodgates of southern creativity, cascading new ideas into an otherwise morose and repetitive landscape of fashion design, meandering with a sense of wonder, unfolding the power of expression for what southern design can become.” Fashion, style, materials, motifs and colours are therefore innovated in myriad ways. Yet the power of the south also leads by example, teaching the important lessons of de-colonialisation, inclusivity, ecology, spiritual harmony and grace.
PROUD SOUTH includes essays from noteworthy contributors such as writer and journalist Modupe Oloruntoba, textile and craft activist Kavita Parmar, author and collector Keith Recker and fashion artist Carla Fernandez with her strong manifesto. Profiles highlight several influential talents, including Moroccan photographer Mous Lamrabat, Senegalese artist Omar Victor Diop, Indian label Pero and Xhosa knitwear brand Maxhosa. Photographic essays illustrate southern pride with gusto, from the work of renowned Jackie Nickerson to the unpublished series of Carrot Picker Girls by Neville Trickett. An additional portfolio in black and white explores the history of photography in the southern regions, decrypting the origins of the current flurry of talent.
With over 400 pages of inspiring imagery, this expansive compendium is also a coveted object, designed by Mariola Lopez Mariño, putting the visuals on the pedestal they deserve and proudly sealing them in a sophisticated golden jacket. Now in pre-order, PROUD SOUTH is available in mid-August 2022 and makes the most engaging tool to discover which trends are cooking for the years to come. As a skilled forecaster, Edelkoort knows!