1970s (made)


T.72-1994 T&F

Hat (tam), crocheted wool, British, 1970s, part of Rastafarian man's outfit (Streetstyle exhibition)

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

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.

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. Registered File number 1994/113.

Location: In Storage

View this object on the V&A website