Rhapsody In The Street

A Magazine Curated By onboards Grace Wales Bonner for its 22nd issue, featuring archival and newly commissioned works that respond to the tradition of Black poetry, literature and portrait photography of the 20th century

Anthony Barboza. (1972) Self Portrait Kamoinge

Grace Wales Bonner is a polymath of sorts. After launching the eponymous fashion label Wales Bonner in 2014, the British-Jamaican designer has been actively addressing topics of identity, politics, sexuality and race through a merging of luxury and critical design – that which is informed by research and a hybrid both of European and Afro-Atlantic culture. Her graduate collection Afrique, which debuted in 2014 with a cast of Black male models, received the L’Oréal Professional Talent Award; the AW15 collection Ebonics proceeded and, the same year, she was awarded Emerging Menswear Designer at the British Fashion Awards. It wasn’t long until she was awarded the LVMH Prize of $300,000 for Young Fashion Designers, which was given just after Grace’s SS17 show Ezekiel, featuring a collection of structural works draped in beading and history, drawing inspiration from Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia. Her work often signifies mythology and cultural narratives, and has, since the dawning of her label, continuously challenged expressions of beauty and identity – her recent SS22 collection named Volta Jazz being the latest example.

And now, Grace is wearing a slightly different hat. She was asked to curate the 22nd issue of A Magazine Curated By, entitled Rhapsody In The Street and displaying an academic and visual survey of Grace’s research spanning 200 pages. The Paris-based magazine explores a different fashion designer with each issue, and with this one, Grace responds to the tradition of Black poetry, literature and portrait photography from the 20th century. Within, you’ll find archival work and historical ephemera coupled with newly commissioned essays, poems, paintings and photography from the likes of Ming Smith, Zoë Ghertner, Paul Mpagi Sepuya and Tyler Michell, the latter of whom has captured Wales Bonner’s AW17 collection Ezekiel. It’s a tome to cherish and hold, thought of as a reference point for conversations surrounding topics such as Jamaican dancehall and the Kamoinge photographic group in Harlem, with published archives from previously unseen Ghanaian film photography and poetry by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye to name a few. Grace tells me more about the issue below.

Harley Weir. (2015) Wales Bonner Spring Summer 2015 Ebonics

Curated as a “response to the tradition of Black poetry, literature and portrait photography of the 20th century,” what does this mean exactly? How are you responding to these art forms?

Rhapsody in the Street explores Black style as a lineage and quality of beauty recorded in history by portraiture. I see the issue as a chorus: a hybridity of different voices speaking as one, and an exploration of the archive as a process of recording collective memories.

Talk me through your research process – where did you source your content, who did you seek to include?

I wanted to create a rhythmic and intellectual space underlined with a magical spirit. Starting points for research were Amiri Baraka’s In Our Terribleness and Roy DeCarava & Langston Hughes, The Sweet Flypaper of Life. Both publications explored a mixture of photography and poetry which I wanted to respond to in this issue. 

Zoë Ghertner. (2021) Selena Forrest wears Wales Bonner, Black Sunlight (Autumn Winter 2021) . Adidas x Wales Bonner (Autumn Winter 2021)

Can you pick out a couple of favourite moments from the magazine to look out for? 

I feel honoured to be able to have included Greg Tate’s reflections on Kamoinge, the photographic group from Harlem, in the magazine. A self portrait by Anthony Barboza, a former member of Kamoinge, is featured on the cover of the magazine. 

How do you hope your audience will respond to the magazine? What stories are you hoping to share?

Rhapsody in the Street is an opportunity to experience, honour and revel in a lineage of beauty that unravels and reveals itself over time. With this, I open the door to new possibilities and the continuous unfolding of our story.

Paul Mpagi Sepuya. (2021) Mirror Study for Grace (0X5A4149)

Ming Smith. (2021) Self-Portrait in Wales Bonner, Black Sunlight (Autumn Winter 2021)

Ming Smith. (ca.1977) Acid Rain – White Socks (Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) by Marvin Gaye, Soul Purrfection Version)

Steven Traylor. (2021) Damian Marley wears Wales Bonner (Autumn Winter 2020) Lovers Rock Judah Two-Toned Tailored Jacket

Cover, A Magazine Curated By Grace Wales Bonner


Nicholas Balfe, the founder and head chef of Salon in Brixton, takes Port through a recipe of a foraged herb salad and poached duck egg

Foraging has shot to prominence in recent years with the rise of chefs exploring ancient techniques, ingredients and flavours in their food – but using wild food in cooking is nothing new.

I was introduced to the idea of using wild ingredients by my mum and grandma when I was young. I have vivid memories of picking elder flowers in Dorset and cooking them up in fritters, dusted in icing sugar and served with thick clotted cream.

When I began cooking professionally in my mid-20s, some of the chefs I came into contact with were already using foraged ingredients in their dishes. Back in 2007, the idea of pairing mussels with sea purslane, or pork with fennel pollen and wild herbs seemed mind-bogglingly exotic, yet inherently native at the same time.

When I opened my own restaurant, foraged ingredients became an important part of the food we serve. Being heavily guided by the seasons, it makes sense to look to nature for inspiration. I like to use what’s abundantly available at any given moment, and to source ingredients as locally as possible. If I can pick the ingredients from a local park or hedgerow, then all the better.

There’s no specialist equipment you need to go foraging – just a carrier bag and some rubber gloves if you’re picking nettles. Good foraging etiquette is to never take more than a third of what you see, so there’s some left for the next person, and don’t worry if you don’t recognise everything immediately. Start with one or two types of wild food, keep your eyes peeled, and slowly you’ll build a nice repertoire of things you can pick and use.

Wild herb salad with poached duck egg, pancetta and fennel
Serves four as a light lunch or starter

This recipe is very adaptable, so feel free to add whatever wild herbs or vegetables you come across (or buy in the supermarket, if worst comes to worst).


For the salad

4 handfuls of any of the following: chopped three-cornered garlic, wild leeks, Alexanders leaves, fennel fronds, nettle tips (blanched), wild garlic (blanched), samphire (blanched), sea purslane or sea aster (blanched), wood sorrel

1 bunch of watercress
1 handful chervil
1 handful dill
1 head of fennel, thinly sliced
1 bunch of radishes, thinly sliced
A dozen or so cooked new potatoes (optional) Two thick slices of good quality bread

A clove of garlic
A drizzle of olive oil
4 duck eggs
100g diced pancetta
Sea salt and black pepper

For the dressing

100g crème fraîche
1 dessert spoonful of Dijon mustard
Juice of one lemon
Pinch of salt and black pepper
Handful of nely chopped three-cornered garlic or chives


Pick through the ingredients you’ve foraged to remove twigs, stems, dead leaves and grass. Wash thoroughly and set aside in a large mixing bowl with the watercress, chervil, dill, fennel, radishes and cooked new potatoes.

Prepare the dressing by whisking together all the ingredients and check the seasoning – you might want to add more salt, pepper or lemon juice.

Sauté the pancetta in a drizzle of vegetable oil until nicely crisped. Drain and add to the bowl with the herbs.

Toast the bread, rub with a clove of garlic, drizzle with olive oil and tear into bite-sized pieces. Add to the herb mixture.

To poach the eggs, put a deep pan of water on the stove on a high heat and add a generous slosh of white wine vinegar. Crack the eggs into four separate cups. When the water reaches a rolling boil, swirl it around with a slotted spoon, add the eggs and immediately turn the heat down. Leave to poach for two minutes. Remove from the water and drain on a cloth. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the dressing to the herb mixture and gently toss together until everything is nicely dressed. Season with salt and pepper and divide into four bowls. Top each bowl with a poached egg and serve immediately.

Nicholas Balfe is the founder and head chef of Salon

Photography Suzie Howell

This is an extract from issue 22 of Port. To buy or subscribe, click here.
Port presents the essential outdoor kit for foraging. 

Port Issue 22

The Spring/Summer 2018 issue of Port – featuring writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf and David Hallberg, the greatest male dancer of his generation – is out now

Photography Mamadi Doumbouya

Writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is one of the foremost intellectual voices in the United States today. The author of Half of a Yellow SunPurple Hibiscus and Americanah – as well as of one of the most-viewed Ted talks ever, sampled by Beyoncé, no less – Adichie transcends the barriers between literature, art and music. For the cover story of Port issue 22, she met Catherine Lacey in Washington DC to discuss her extraordinary books, the complexity of recent gender movements and to give a hint at a next big project.

Photography Suzie Howell

Elsewhere in the magazine, we speak to 6a – the most exciting architecture practice in London; discuss Netflix and race with the director of Mudbound, Dee Rees; and travel to rural Netherlands to meet the pioneering Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf. Also featured: The photographer Christopher Payne visits one of the largest flag factories in the US, and we uncover the secrets and beauty of space with astronaut Nicole Stott.

Photography Tereza Cervenova

In the fashion section, celebrated photographer Kalpesh Lathigra and Port‘s fashion director Dan May travel to Mumbai to shoot a 40-page story around the sprawling, seaside city; Scott Stephenson styles this season’s collections and Pari Dukovic shoots the greatest male dancer in the world, David Hallberg, wearing Saint Laurent.

Photography Kalpesh Lathigra

Commentary pieces come courtesy of Will Self, Lisa Halliday and Jesse Ball, as well as Samuel Beckett‘s seminal Three Dialogues with Georges Duthuit. Highlights from the Porter include Tilda Swinton remembering her friend John Berger; an interview with the British artist Gavin Turk; foraging with chef Nicholas Balfe; and ex-director of the Tate Modern, Vicente Todolí, on his passion for citrus fruits.

To buy Port issue 22, click here.