NOW Gallery is thrilled to welcome one of the UK’s most pioneering young fashion designers, Nicholas Daley, as its 2020 Fashion Commission. The fully immersive exhibition, RETURN TO SLYGO will celebrate the coming together of Nicholas’s multicultural Jamaican-Scottish roots with his passion for music in a multi-sensory installation.
A marriage of Nicholas’s three core values of community, culture and craftsmanship, the exhibition comes at a fitting moment of national healing and togetherness. RETURN TO SLYGO will see the gallery transformed into a welcoming space for the local community and visitors alike to come, slow down and dwell. A nod towards his fine tailoring reputation and attention to beautiful woven fabrics, Nicholas’ vision will see the gallery floor covered in bespoke woven carpets that invite the visitor to enter the space, sit down and take in the surroundings at their own speed. Bringing together his rich and diverse references and inspiration for his menswear designs, the backdrop of the exhibition will showcase a moodboard of different cultures allowing visitors to immerse themselves into his world where key archive imagery, family photos and iconic reggae club t-shirts will be on display.
A series of ‘illustrative vinyls’ will cover the windows creating an inhabited and fun front to the exhibition. Designed in collaboration with illustrator Gaurab Thalki, Nicholas’s message will stand proud on banners in his signature Nicholas Daley fabric hung from the 7 metre gallery ceiling. These banners highlight that the exhibition is a place for all to come and unite in a safe space beyond lockdown.
Offering an insight into Nicholas’s fierce sense of family and how his upbringing has had a powerful influence on his approach to fashion will be a key theme of the experience, with his family honoured throughout. Two films offer a vison of his parents in relation to his practice and how they influence him. A screen will provide an opportunity to experience an intimate documentary style film by Joseph Dunn both showcasing different knitting techniques and interview Nicholas and his mother discussing family and ancestry in relation to Nicholas Daley’s current knitwear; and how his mother’s skills and craftmanship have been passed down generations.
The second film is a tribute to Nicholas’s musical connections. The director Akinola Davies Junior explores a musical interchange between black British artists from different generations creating a musical conversation on ancestry, culture and resistance. The film will feature music by Sons of Kemet, Nubya Garcia, with a score by Dennis Bovell and poetry by Roger Robinson. Nicholas’s clothing acts as the glue to celebrate black British culture together and create a film that celebrates The Reggae Klub with the name “Slygo” deriving from his DJ Soundsystem name “IMan SLYGo”.
Visitors will be encouraged to take home knitting skills using upcycled yarns and fabric, through a QR code linked to the NOW Gallery website. A playlist will also be available to download, curated music reminiscent of carnival for all to enjoy. An exclusive Nicholas Daley Tote will be available.
Jemima Burrill, Curator at NOW Gallery, comments: “Nicholas Daley is giving us the exhibition we need right now. Slygo celebrates community and diversity but also flags up the brilliance and importance of UK design and manufacture. Nicholas Daley brings music and art into the mix, when we need a shot of light hearted hedonism and an exploration of what is good in the world, at this time.”
About Nicholas Daley
Nicholas Daley graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2013 and launched his eponymous label in 2015. Since the brand’s genesis, Nicholas has continually explored his dual-ethnic heritage, being of Jamaican and Scottish descent: he widely questions and reflects the notion of multiculturalism within the British identity.
Placing great significance on craftsmanship with his production within the UK and Japan Nicholas works with recognised artisans creating bespoke textiles and fabric finishes for every collection. For the last six seasons Nicholas has been supported by The British Fashion Council’s NEWGEN designer program showcasing his collections during London Fashion Week Men’s. He was also the recipient of the 2019 International Woolmark Prize Semi-Final Award, presenting a custom collection titled ‘Reggae Klub’ .
He has collaborated with iconic brands such as Adidas and Fred Perry continuing his creative narrative into new areas of the fashion market. Nicholas is stocked within notable stores such as International Gallery Beams, Browns, Mr Porter, SSENSE and Dover Street Market.