• editorinchief8

Windrush Women’s Journey Through Fashion: Photo Exhibit

Photos and Fashion by: Jana Ally


Jana is a mixed Indo-Guyanese and Egyptian Muslim and is breaking barriers through the intersection of her art and research. From sharing the underrepresentation of the Indo-Caribbean Windrush generation to depicting the journey of Indo-Caribbean womxn through fashion to her family’s contributions to establishing the first Indo-Caribbean mosque in the UK, we are so honoured to present our first ever virtual photo exhibit featuring Jana's extraordinary work.


Artist Statement:


The shoot took place in an 1800 inspired building with various influences of both western and Asian culture. Pictures of both white men and brown men hung side by side as if perfectly alluding to the topic of the shoot itself. The collection was for and about the brave women who continuously uprooted their lives in hopes for a better tomorrow. With historical context these were extremely brave acts. With this collection I hoped that I successfully drew influence to all the environments our ancestors came into contact with whilst also revealing a telling experience about my life as a Muslim Indo-Caribbean woman, looking into the past, the present, my perception of India and what it means to be Indo-Caribbean.


Leather body suit worn in reverse- Colour pallet taken from the vibrant colours seen in Indian culture. Boxy cropped shape inspired by 60’s western fashion along with knit balloon sleeves. Knit is not typically worn in the Caribbean or India due to hot climates, however upon research one of the common reactions once migrating to Britain was the harsh contrast in weather which dampened their view of a new exciting atmosphere where “the streets were paved in gold”. Both the scarf top (worn in back) and inside lining of the piece is printed with a pattern made from the certificate that released my ancestors from indentureship. This was put in all the linings of each piece as a representation that we will always keep that with us, close to our hearts. Surface embellishments are made from traditional Indian goldwork (Zardozi). The makeup is reminiscent of Bollywood, one of the only personal references I have to India.


Boxy bag inspired by 60’s shapes with traditional Zardozi embellishments on both sides. Inside lining made from certificates that released my ancestors from indentureship.


Boxy bag inspired by 60’s shapes with traditional Zardozi embellishments on both sides. Inside lining made from certificates that released my ancestors from indentureship.

Scarf made from 100% silk. Pattern created from a certificate that released my ancestors from indentureship.


Sari corset inspired by 1800 western wear with traditional Zardozi embellishments and knit sari drape. Worn over traditional vintage Syrian coats as a nod to the other ethnicities that reside in the place we all call home.

Sari corset inspired by 1800 western wear with traditional Zardozi embellishments and knit sari drape. Worn over traditional vintage Syrian coats as a nod to the other ethnicities that reside in the place we all call home.


Sari corset inspired by 1800 western wear with traditional Zardozi embellishments and knit sari drape. Worn over traditional vintage Syrian coats as a nod to the other ethnicities that reside in the place we all call home.

Sari corset inspired by 1800 western wear with traditional Zardozi embellishments and knit sari drape. Worn over traditional vintage Syrian coats as a nod to the other ethnicities that reside in the place we all call home.


Scarf made from 100% silk. Pattern created from a certificate that released my ancestors from indentureship.

Leather body suit worn in reverse- Colour pallet taken from the vibrant colours seen in Indian culture. Boxy cropped shape inspired by 60’s western fashion along with knit balloon sleeves. Knit is not typically worn in the Caribbean or India due to hot climates, however upon research one of the common reactions once migrating to Britain was the harsh contrast in weather which dampened their view of a new exciting atmosphere where “the streets were paved in gold”. Both the scarf top (worn in back) and inside lining of the piece is printed with a pattern made from the certificate that released my ancestors from indentureship. This was put in all the linings of each piece as a representation that we will always keep that with us, close to our hearts. Surface embellishments are made from traditional Indian goldwork (Zardozi). The makeup is reminiscent of Bollywood, one of the only personal references I have to India.


Leather body suit worn in reverse- Colour pallet taken from the vibrant colours seen in Indian culture. Boxy cropped shape inspired by 60’s western fashion along with knit balloon sleeves. Knit is not typically worn in the Caribbean or India due to hot climates, however upon research one of the common reactions once migrating to Britain was the harsh contrast in weather which dampened their view of a new exciting atmosphere where “the streets were paved in gold”. Both the scarf top (worn in back) and inside lining of the piece is printed with a pattern made from the certificate that released my ancestors from indentureship. This was put in all the linings of each piece as a representation that we will always keep that with us, close to our hearts. Surface embellishments are made from traditional Indian goldwork (Zardozi). The makeup is reminiscent of Bollywood, one of the only personal references I have to India.

Leather body suit worn in reverse- Colour pallet taken from the vibrant colours seen in Indian culture. Boxy cropped shape inspired by 60’s western fashion along with knit balloon sleeves. Knit is not typically worn in the Caribbean or India due to hot climates, however upon research one of the common reactions once migrating to Britain was the harsh contrast in weather which dampened their view of a new exciting atmosphere where “the streets were paved in gold”. Both the scarf top (worn in back) and inside lining of the piece is printed with a pattern made from the certificate that released my ancestors from indentureship. This was put in all the linings of each piece as a representation that we will always keep that with us, close to our hearts. Surface embellishments are made from traditional Indian goldwork (Zardozi). The makeup is reminiscent of Bollywood, one of the only personal references I have to India.

About the Artist:


Jana is a twenty-three-year-old designer that believes fashion and clothing should be a reflection of our current social and political environment, a means of how we self-identify.


“Identity is a subject that I have struggled a lot with growing up in multicultural London. I am half Indo-Guyanese and if you’re familiar with the Indo-Caribbean ethnic group, you’ll probably understand why this is a struggle.”

Jana has been featured in Sukeban Magazine, Reader's Digest and on a mixed-race platform, Halu Halo. In 2019 she was presented the award for Excellence In Leather by Stuart Weitzman due to her graduate collection based on Indo-Caribbean heritage at London College of Fashion. Since then she has started her podcast 'Sae' which looks to explore and educate her audience on different experiences. Lastly, Jana is the founder of the soon-to-be affordable, sustainable and ethical accessories brand, Holda. Holda uses design to talk about social and political topics and allows women to consciously wear their morals on their sleeves.


100 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All