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Hat

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (probably, made)

  • Date:

    1970s (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Crocheted wool

  • Museum number:

    T.72-1994

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This crocheted wool tam (hat) formed part of an outfit put together by Derek Falconer of Crazy Clothes for the exhibition Streetstyle, From Sidewalk to Catwalk, 1940 to Tomorrow held at the V&A in 1994-5. The complete outfit consisted of this hat; a cotton army surplus jacket and shirt; a cotton string vest; cotton trousers; rainbow elastic braces and nubuck deck shoes. It reflected a style of dress worn by UK Rastafarians in the 1970s.

The Rastafarian movement started in Jamaica in the 1930s. Working-class Jamaicans were inspired by the anti-colonial teachings of Marcus Garvey, who sought an ‘Africa for the Africans’, and by the coronation of the Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie (Ras Tafari Makonnen). Followers of the movement rejected the trappings of western modernity. They wore clothes made of natural fibres and allowed their hair to form dreadlocks.

The Streetstyle outfit represented the ‘classic’ style of Rastafari at the time of its widest influence in Britain. By the 1970s Rastafarianism had become a fundamental force in the lives of many young black men and women in Britain. It encouraged them to draw strength from their African heritage in an often hostile environment.

Physical description

Crocheted brown, green, yellow and red wool tam (knitted hat)

Place of Origin

Great Britain (probably, made)

Date

1970s (made)

Materials and Techniques

Crocheted wool

Object history note

Registered File number 1994/113, Streetstyle exhibition 1994-1995, in the exhibition it was part of an outfit called 'Rasta UK 1970s' (includes the jacket T.67-1994, the trousers T.68-1994, the braces T.69-1994, the vest T.70-1994, the shirt T.71-1994 and the shoes T.73-1994).

This garment was purchased as part of an ensemble from Crazy Clothes Connection, a vintage clothing shop in London's Notting Hill neighbourhood. Crazy Clothes Connection was opened in the mid-1990s by Derek Falconer and his daughter Esther. The shop specialises in women’s and men’s clothing and accessories from the 1920s to the 1970s.

Descriptive line

Hat (tam), crocheted wool, probably Great Britain, 1970s

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Described in the exhibition publication, part of an outfit called 'Rasta UK 1970s'.
Surfers, Soulies, Skinheads & Skaters : Subcultural Style from the Forties to the Nineties

Materials

Wool

Techniques

Crocheting

Categories

Rastafarian; Black History; Fashion; Men's clothes; Hats & headwear; Streetstyle exhibition 1994

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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