Originally aired on Apr 19, 2023
Jesse and Priscilla talk with artist, designer, and scholar Christine Checinska, Ph.D., about missing design histories, the relationship between cloth, culture, and race, and her work as the curator of African and African Diaspora Fashion at the Victoria and Albert Museum. They also discuss the meaning and significance behind the expression “cloth is to the African what monuments are to Westerners.”
What is Christine Checinska’s interest in fashion and aesthetics, and how it sparked her fascination with the histories of cloth and African diaspora textiles?
- Christine’s parents were snappy dressers with a keen eye for style and the latest gadgets.
- Christine’s interest in the aesthetics of cloth grew from her visits to museums with her father and her own exploration of African diaspora textiles.
- Christine notes the importance of understanding cloth histories from diverse cultural perspectives and recognizes the erasure of non-Western textile histories in mainstream fashion and textile industries.
- Christine is currently the curator of African and African diaspora fashion at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and advocates for greater representation of these collections in museums and fashion exhibitions.
- Christine believes that understanding textile histories can inspire innovation and sustainability in fashion and hopes to encourage more collaboration and dialogue across cultures and disciplines.