The 2014 GTBank Lagos Fashion & Design Week (LFDW) could rightly be described as an intense display of African fashion’s finest – an event that bustled with the highest of creativity, with both established and new designers sending their Spring/Summer’15 collections down the runway to a crowd of fashion followers, global press and industry insiders.
While over 50 designers showed at the honourable platform, we at SPICE have picked our favourites – the best of the best on the runway, including Ituen Basi’s playful and nostalgic presentation and Mai Atafo’s homage to the South-South. See our rundown of our top 10 collections from LFDW, in no particular order, below;
Having been one of the LVMH finalists, so much was expected from Amaka Osakwe, the designer behind Maki Oh, this season. Did she meet our expectations? Yes – very much so, and to the extent that we’ve already made wardrobe space for her spectacular designs.
Ms Osakwe retained a couple of elements she’s known for with her Spring/Summer’15 collection: the use of ”adire” resurfaced alongside her preferred palette of indigo blue, powder pink and white, and even many of the shapes seemed familiar. New facets included the refreshing mix up of fabrics as the designer fused “adire” with cotton and mesh; the uninhibited details of oversized bows, sharp pleated panels and array of tassels; and the extravagant use of glitter.
In all, Maki Oh’s new collection combined for a femininity that was tough but very much sophisticated, and we at SPICE definitely liked what we saw.
We were a little shocked when we saw female models walking the runway alongside male models for menswear label Kenneth Ize, but it seems the designer was out to blur all lines separating menswear from womenswear with his LFDW showcase. According to the designer, he spontaneously decided to put his clothes on female models at the very last minute – and why not, when peculiarly, plenty of women have voiced their love for his clothes.
And that’s the key factor; there’s something peculiar about Kenneth Ize’s clothes and his latest collection isn’t any different. The colours presented on the ramp were neutral and the finishing was raw – edges frayed and hems reversed. The designer explained his Spring/Summer’15 was inspired by highlife society in the 60s, 70s and 80s, and how the people from these decades were ‘Westernised’ but still very African. We at SPICE describe the range as a brilliant combination of creativity, with one major look we can’t forget being the regal, striped and draped coat worn by model Wale Bello.
Lisa Folawiyo is known as the queen of prints and every season the designer reminds us why she holds such an important title. For Spring/Summer’15, the prints have evolved a little, going all geometrical yet recalling Africa; lines, squares and circles took a modern representation of the ankara cloth in bright, more-ish colours.
According to Ms Foliwayo, the collection is defined by a change characterised by personal growth, and it also depicts strength – a strength that’s evident in her choice of sharp, geometric prints, unlike the cute florals and artsy patterns from Maki Oh’s previous collection.
Team SPICE are particularly in love with the mix of greens, blues, purples and brown in the label’s range for next season, which – with a wardrobe full of Ms Foliwayo’s designs – is something to look forward to.
The Iconic Invanity girls stepped onto the ramp at LFDW like super heroes, all thanks to the beautiful capes they bore, alongside heavy embellishment used to create graphic patterns – the label’s trademark and something it does oh so well.
The designer’s choice of colours – red, blue, orange and white – were absolutely refreshing too, and we can see the looks conquering many red carpets to come, especially where Omatola may be concerned, with the star telling SPICE at last year’s showcase that she is the unofficial brand ambassador, having a real penchant for the label’s pieces.
Sunny Rose sent a brilliant collection down LFDW’s runway but what particularly caught our attention were the alien-style warriors kitted out in green veils.
Tulle was spied meshed with cotton and silk was paired with matching heeled gladiator sandals and fancy masks to give off an edgy yet sophisticated vibe. Other pieces in the collection were simply styled, and all in all, we at SPICE can see ourselves wearing a few of these looks to upcoming cocktail parties – those of Spring/Summer’15 and beyond.
Meena just blew us away with her 16-piece collection. A remarkable growth was seen in the designer’s work as models walked down the ramp in clothes that rebelled against the formal structure of garments, playing with layers and proportion.
The designer opted for dark hues of black, brown, green and blue to mention a few, with a couple of pieces in white and gold thrown in for good measure – some of these accentuated with bold bead detailing that reminded us a little of Miu Miu.
What we can’t wait to get our hands on come Spring/Summer’15 is Meena’s double layering of mini-over-midi/maxi skirts – a trend that’s sure to fly round the SPICE TV office next season…
Mai Atafo Inspired
It was a double show with Mai Atafo, much to Team SPICE’s delight. For Mai’s menswear, male models worked their way down the runway in pastel-hued suits that were perfectly tailored – obviously, as is expected from the brand. Pastel blues matched with cream while peach was paired with grey, and there was also a little contrasting black here and there, but mostly, the models looked like delicious, dapper pieces of candy.
Mai’s womenswear on the other hand took a different direction altogether, with pinstripes in black, blue, white and burgundy hues. Mr Atafo looked to the South-South traditionalwear for style inspiration, creating tunics with chains hanging from buttons to pockets and the models styled in black hats, walking to Omawunmi’s Worri song “Megbele.”
The designer’s take on Iro and Buba was a treat too, but the true highlight of the showcase came when creative director, Mai Atafo had his models end the show by running in heels to take an epic ‘selfie’ with him.
Ituen Basi’s Spring/Summer’15 collection was indeed the most nostalgic of all. Models hopped down the runway to Beyonce’s “Who Run The World,” wearing brightly coloured ensembles and geeky glasses.
The clothes were covered in measuring unit prints and patterns baring yellow Lagos transit vehicles (danfo, taxi and okada), and together with the showcase’s fun, spirited attitude, it all reminded us of our childhood, our girlhood – something that seems to be threatened for those growing up in Nigeria presently, with occurrences like the abduction of the Chibok girls, and the child marriage law.
For political motivations or for a pure love of clothes, we can’t wait to get our hands on Ituen Basi’s garments next season and fashionably push this movement of girl empowerment.
Tiffany Amber sent a collection in luxe jewel tones down the runway at LFDW, mostly showing off easy-breezy styles and silhouettes referencing the ’70s, including maxi dresses, plunging necklines and a matching bold gold suit that had everyone in the tent gasping for air.
The collection contradicted itself though to include demure silhouettes with standout, provocative details; long dresses had sheer panels going almost all the way to models’ bums, showing a long leg the “Angelina Jolie” way. Or perhaps Folake Coker had another lady in mind – one who is beginning to realise she does not necessarily have to adhere to society’s standard of decency; a lady can be a little brazen as long as it’s tastefully done in one of these beautiful garments? A.k.a Who we at SPICE want to be next season, when we’re stepping out in Tiffany Amber’s gorgeous gowns.
I Am Isigo
I am Isigo showcased a Spring/Summer’15 collection titled “Taboo” for the brand’s GTbank Lagos Fashion & Design Week presentation – a strong collection where sports luxe met tribal aesthetics effortlessly to create a simple yet structured lineup of practical, easy-to-wear pieces.
Included was the brand’s sophisticated take on dungarees, shift dresses, capes and crop tops, as well as mesh blouses and bomber jackets. Clean lines were given an extra edge with flirtatious layering, and models rocking pig tales and gold tribal-esque makeup conjured Fulani girl vibes, further reinforced by the models’ ritualistic bouncing for the collection finale.
The range stayed closely to a strict palette of navy blue, nude, black and purple, with each look styled with white platform sandals. Overall, this was very good collection that showcased the designer, Bubu Ogisi’s growth, attention to detail and love of story telling.
Image source: Lagosfashionanddesignweek.com