Dream Study

Autumn Winter 2024

ISSTUDIO, dir. Dream Study. 2024; Paris

Dream Study, the Wales Bonner Autumn Winter 2024 collection, emerges from a rich interaction with Howard University’s Moorland-Spingarn Research Center. The collection is an imaginative encounter with the Howard University experience, a celebration of a shining lineage. In yearbooks from the 1990s, depictions of homecoming resound: hip-hop performances, readings from the poets, international gatherings on the campus green.

“I said; one, two, three 

Black Star shine eternally”

Consciousness and opulence come together in an original take on MC style. Athletic silhouettes reflect Howard’s sporting legacy, while Nappa leather aviator jackets, corduroy varsity blousons, and satin baseball jerseys enliven the academic wardrobe. Collegiate tailoring is issued with utility pockets; relaxed knitwear comes in cashmere yarns with gold fastenings. Worlds of influence come together through refned compositions: utility denim, smart shirting alongside dresses and suiting embroidered with crocheted mirrors handmade in India. Soulful exuberance continues in parkas and blousons crafted from vintage Kantha quilts. Eyewear from Jacques Marie Mage, handcrafted in Japan, adds to the expressive individual.

Heritage checks and wool dufle coats meet hip-hop icons: silver-embellished Timberland boots and a reprise of the adidas Originals Superstar in exotic crocodile-embossed leather. Meanwhile, the ongoing partnership with Savile Row tailors Anderson and Sheppard produces silk-trimmed tuxedos, melange cashmere double breasted coats, and cropped trousers in bouclé tweed. Feather brooches and necklaces crafted from artisanal beads,freshwater pearls, lapis lazuli and amethyst lovingly accentuate the evening procession.

“The stark, trimmed phrases of the Occident seem too bare for the voluptuous child of the sun, hence the adornment. It arises out of the same impulse as the wearing of jewelry and the making of sculpture - the urge to adorn.”

Zora Neale Hurston, Howard University Class of 1920.

The show soundtrack features original work from musicians Rashad Ringo Smith and yasiin bey, luminaries now and forever. Inspired by the evolution of cosmic and conscious expression, it shines a light on the hip-hop sample as sounds are transposed through time and tradition. Above the beat, golden lyrics soar.

The orator — insignia-adorned, draped in amulets — walks the shining runway:

“We travel the spaceways from planet to planet

We travel the spaceways from planet to planet”

(Sun Ra, 1967)




Baraka, Amiri. “The Changing Same (R&B and the New Black Music) .” Essay in Black Music. New York: William Morrow, 1968. 

Eshun, Kodwo. More Brilliant Than The Sun: Adventures in Sonic Fiction. London: Verso, 2018. 

Giovanni, Nikki. The collected poetry of Nikki Giovanni, 1968-1998. New York: William Morrow, 2007. 

Hurston, Zora Neale. “Characteristics of Negro Expression”. In Anthology ed. Nancy Cunard. London: Wishart & Co, 1934.  

McKay, Claude. Amiable With Big Teeth. London: Penguin Classics, 2018. 

Neal, Larry. Hoodoo Hollerin’ Bebop Ghosts. Washington, DC: Howard University Press, 1974. 

Tate, Greg. “Yabba Dabba Doo-Wop: De La Soul .” Essay. In Flyboy in the Buttermilk: Essays on Contemporary America. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2016. 

Williams, Justin A. “The Construction of Jazz Rap as High Art in Hip-Hop Music.” Journal of Musicology 27, no. 4 (2010): 435–59. 

Wolf, James L., and Hartmut Geerken. Sun Ra: The immeasurable equation: The collected poetry and prose. Norderstedt: Books on Demand, 2005. 

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