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Hat

  • Place of origin:

    Jamaica (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    1980s (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Machine-knitted wool

  • Museum number:

    T.174-1994

  • 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 the hat; an army surplus camouflage jacket; a cotton shirt; a printed cotton t-shirt; army surplus wool trousers; a nylon belt; a terracotta, coconut and rubber bong; an elastic towelling sweatband and Ellesse leather boots. 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

Machine-knitted crochet wool hat (tam) in black, green, yellow and red.

Place of Origin

Jamaica (possibly, made)

Date

1980s (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Machine-knitted wool

Object history note

Purchased. Registered File number 1994/516.

Historical context note

This hat were purchased 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, machine-knitted wool tam, Jamaican, 1980s, part of Rastafarian man's outfit (Streetstyle exhibition)

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

De la Haye, Amy and Cathie Dingwall. Surfers Soulies Skinheads & Skaters, Subcultural style from the forties to the nineties. London: Victoria & Albert Museum, 1996

Materials

Wool yarn

Techniques

Machine knitted

Categories

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

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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