Featured WorkIkiré Jones: The Untold Renaissance

This series of pocket handkerchiefs from fashion label Ikiré Jones’ The Untold Renaissance collection is intended as an homage to 18th century textiles and tapestries.

However, the brand’s head designer Walé Oyéjidé seeks to criticize the standard absence of dark-skinned people from historical textiles; using a sampling approach derived from hip-hop, Oyéjidé recreates individual works and narrates them from the perspective of Africans, whom he puts into this foreign context. Some of these new figures adopt new positions, others replace previous characters in their designated roles, weaving themselves seamlessly into the narrative. The stories told by these scenes are neither destroyed nor altered; they are simply infused with new dynamics. This oblique view of the past radically breaks the visual habits of the viewer, opening the space for new approaches and thought experiments on the absolutism of historical representations and the feeling of alienation, evoked by the character’s diverse skin colours.

  • Ikiré Jones. The Blessing. Of Saints & Savages, autumn/winter 2014/2015 collection. Pocket handkerchief, silk-wool mix, 42 × 42 cm © Walé Oyéjidé [ikirejones.com]

    The Blessing, 2014/2015
  • Ikiré Jones. The Madonna. The Untold Renaissance, spring/summer 2014 collection. Pocket handkerchiefs, silk-wool mix, 42 × 42 cm © Walé Oyéjidé [ikirejones.com]

    Pocket handkerchiefs from The Untold Renaissance, 2014
  • Ikiré Jones. The Rightful Heir. The Untold Renaissance, spring/summer 2014 collection. Pocket handkerchiefs, silk-wool mix, 42 × 42 cm © Walé Oyéjidé [ikirejones.com]

    Pocket handkerchiefs from The Untold Renaissance, 2014
  • Ikiré Jones. They Came For Oil. The Untold Renaissance, spring/summer 2014 collection. Pocket handkerchiefs, silk-wool mix, 42 × 42 cm © Walé Oyéjidé [ikirejones.com]

    Pocket handkerchiefs from The Untold Renaissance, 2014
  • Ikiré Jones. When a Fire Starts to Burn. The Untold Renaissance, spring/summer 2014 collection. Pocket handkerchiefs, silk-wool mix, 42 × 42 cm © Walé Oyéjidé [ikirejones.com]

    Pocket handkerchiefs from The Untold Renaissance, 2014