The Provenance Part I by Lukhanyo Mdingi

It is rare to peer behind the creative veil and it into the very heart of the design practice. To begin to weave together the varying threads of a designer’s tapestry - both literal and figurative - and reveal their process, brings up queries of the studio, the story - the materiality, inspiration - and how could this even begin to be distilled and conveyed to a community? Such an interrogation is a task so profoundly archival, while being a contemporary elevation of the exhibition format as wholly and holistically suited to sartorial expression in fashion design.

The Provenance Part I is precisely this; a warm, heartfelt welcome by Lukhanyo Mdingi into the intimate nexus upon which his eponymous label has been built since 2015.

Dissected into four thematic enclaves, The Provenance tells the story of the label’s expedition; and delves deep into the source material of the textural, collaborative and visionary aspects that comprise the Lukhanyo Mdingi cosmology.

The label contains within it an essence, language, people, aesthetic and material, must be shared. Provenance is a letter written physically and energetically by those part of LM and the collaborative partnerships from places within and beyond South Africa.

Housed in the Lemkus Exchange Building and partnering with Morné Visagie, Maybe Corpaci & Rodan Kane Hart of THEFOURTH: Lukhanyo Mdingi’s world is brought to life through the collation and curation of storyboards, handwritten notes, design drawings, mock-ups - final garments - alongside physical manifestations of textiles that make up label’s profound relationship to craft, and the human hands that make.

Lukhanyo’s story-telling is an ongoing dialogue that makes use of multi-dimensional mediums across continents and practices: garment design being the eventual distillation of this all. Design is the methodology; connection is the vision.


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