Naomi Campbell Wig for The V&A Museum

Bound in Not bound but made in 2024
Private Collection

About the Project:
I was commissioned to make a single wig for the “NAOMI In Fashion” exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum which opened on 22nd June 2024 and runs until 6th April 2025 . The wig for this exhibition was intended to be a representation of a particular hairstyle featured in a reference image that was supplied to me. When wigs are requested for mannequins, they are often made in house at the museum by the Textiles Conservation and Mounting Department, but due to restrictions on time this were outsourced on this occasion.

“Produced in collaboration with Naomi Campbell and foregrounding her voice and perspective, NAOMI in Fashion will be the first exhibition of its kind. The exhibition will draw upon Campbell’s own extensive wardrobe of haute couture and leading ready-to-wear ensembles along with loans from designer archives and objects from V&A collection. In addition to stunning garments and fashion accessories, fashion photography features prominently. Striking images including Ritts’ Naomi Seated, 1991, will form an installation curated by Edward Enninful OBE.”

About:

  • The wig was made to fit onto a fibreglass mannequin head.
  • The hairpiece was based on the iconic image of Naomi Campbell, taken by the renowned photographer Herb Ritts.
  • The wig was constructed onto a frame made of Rigiline boning, covered in black bias-binding.
  • It was made from black crinoline, built up in many layers and shaped using stitches to match the hairstyle in the reference image.
  • The wig had a prop black beret attached to it after being made.

Design Description:
Herb Ritts was born in Los Angeles in 1952. He began his photographic career in the late 1970s and gained a reputation as a master of art and commercial photography. His fine art photography has been the subject of exhibitions worldwide, with works residing in many significant public and private collections including the J. Paul Getty Museum and the MFA Boston, amongst others.

This iconic image of, “Naomi Seated, Hollywood, 1991“, was shot by Ritts at his studio in California. Ritts was renowned for his use of daylight, and at the top of his studio he had a set up with a folding wall and a floor that could rotate towards the sun. This image was shot at high noon, enabling Herb to play with the light and shadows created by the direct sunlight. “You just fell in love with that light. It’s Herb’s light” – Naomi Campbell.

More details about the project as a whole and how I made the wig can be read in a blog post here.

~ NAOMI In Fashion at the V&A, Supported by BOSS © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

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