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 Daly 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. From his parents setting up the Reggae club with the name “Slygo” deriving from his DJ Soundsystem name “IMan SLYGo”, and the knitting skills and craftsmanship he learnt from his mother, visitors will be able to interact with various elements of the exhibition over the course of the show. With Nicholas’s mother’s knitting expertise visitors that enter the exhibition will be encouraged to knit using Nicholas’s upcycled yarns and fabric. In addition to this, visitors can also tap into their creative zone by drawing on a white vinyl sleeve to create their own album cover. From 6pm-7pm every evening, the gallery will also be filled with the sound of a curated music playlist from sound systems reminiscent of carnival for all to enjoy. This music will also be available as a playlist. Look out for a limited merchandise collection designed by illustrator Guarab Thakli that symbolises Nicholas’s core values, on sale throughout the exhibition.
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.