Beaded Mardi Gras costumes by Big Chief Demond Melancon on show at V&A

Beaded costumes designed for the Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans by artist and educator Big Chief Demond Melancon were on show at London’s V&A museum for London Design Festival.

Two heavily beaded suits designed by the artist were installed in the tapestry galleries at the London museum for the duration of the festival.

Each suit depicts actual and imagined events from African and US history, including a portrait of Haile Selassie and slave ships, picked out in millions of tiny coloured beads that are sewn on by hand.

The suits are finished with a trim of colourful ostrich feathers that form a plumed headdress and edging.

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