The Lagos fashion week A/W or Rain if you want to be extra, presentations for 2018 held over the weekend from Friday till Sunday, and it was quite a show. Featuring a sparse 14 designers, and with this being the second year it’s held since it started the A/W shows last year, it drew quite a number of Nigeria’s fashion elitist and was an absolute intimate visual of the creative genius that are African designers.
According to the theme this year, “Seasons, is an ode to the metamorphosis of the African fashion industry, emerging talents, key industry purveyors, the systems and structures, required to lead it to its promise land, a robust industry gravely impacting lives and the African economic landscape.”
From the simple/stark warehouse setting of open space, with even simpler but chic white benches arranged to match the cosy intimate feel of the showcase, to the preset timing (which was changed without informing attendees BTW) and a guest list of mostly fashion creatives to shine the light more on the fashion rather than ‘show’, I certainly enjoyed every bit of it. Here’s a recap of all the fashion that went down;
Known for their love for easy pastel deconstruction, the duo of Sylvia and Olivia Enekwe came once again this season with a fresh round of deconstructed pastel pieces, but this time with a little more structure and sass. The collection also gave an easy take on African statement street wear so obvious, that one crop top had “Me, My Earth, My Culture” boldly imprinted on it. The usual artsy slip on shoes were the only accessory adorning the models.
Mo Augusto who last season gave us simple teenage chicness, with her little cute dresses seemed to have gone up a notch with the age gap. The dresses are still incredibly feminine and chic, but the Mo girl has grown a little ditching her mini for midi, and her plain simple fabrics for silk (this gives me a lot of Imadeduso vibe though). This Mo Augusto fashion babe is 13 going on 30.
Bubu Ogisi who makes clothes for the stylish and quirky African brought her dose of stylish eccentricity to the LFW A/W stage. From the super messy full hair that the models sported to the single white line on their faces the only attestation to makeup and the pieces themselves. The color scheme which went from pastel/baby blue and green to black hinted at a very minimalist tone, and even if you missed that hint the simple two piece sets and little off the shoulder dresses certainly set you straight. You could also sense the nod towards encouraging diversity, seeing as she was the only designer who used an Albino model in her showcase.
The Sisiano presentation was a fluid showcase of femininity, strength and confidence, from the super girly hair do and makeup, to the soft and solid shiny velvet fabric, to the lukewarm color scheme of beige, green and off-white, everything depicted a woman confident and strong in her femininity. The menswear in usual Sisiano fashion consisted of free-flowing garments in the same color scheme, garments that showed an equally confident man able to wear clothing otherwise regarded as fitting to the feminine form awhile still whole in his masculinity.
The Re` A/W collective showcased lines and color with the use of Aso-Oke, Organza, linen and cotton fabrics. With a cool color mix of yellow, green, pink, purple, green and white in various shades, the brand found a meeting point with line and structure. The monochrome sets, to the two colored minis and the structured jacket dresses with cut outs, this collection showed us the many stylish things that could happen when colors meet lines.
Kenneth Ize, the Aso Oke Maestro came once again with his usual first choice of fabric but this time with batik tie and dye in the mix. There were two piece Aso-oke suits that both sexes would slay in, scarves and rather than the basic plain cotton shirts, purple tie and dye shirts and pants too, which made perfect sense.
OG of Style Temple is already a household name in fashion after a little more than half a dozen years in the industry, because of their complete understanding of the typical Nigerian woman’s taste in style, and she definitely showed this again with this collection. The collection which deviated from the culture infusion which plagued the other presentations, she stuck to her chic and structured aesthetic. Going for an orange, purple and white color scheme, she created beautiful sets and dresses with just the right amount of deconstructed detail.
Orange culture presented us with a collection I’ll like to dub ‘Culture meets Gender Fluidity’. The contemporary menswear design brand, whose designs always challenges the status quo especially as regards masculinity this time, chose to do this with heavy cultural representation (I mean can you look at this picture without whispering Wakanda forever?). The collection which was inspired by rain and according to Adebayo Oke Lawal the brand’s Creative director, depicted his childhood memories of rain as freedom, had the male models in eye makeup, silk shirts and loose pants. The many cut out details, large misshapen buttons, scarves and print were also features that made this collection truly special. Did I mention the music was phenomenal? Not certain who made the opening notes, all I could think of was how soothing the inspiring words of some heavily Indian accented man was, even though ironically he seemed to be venting. I loved everything about this collection.
For many who attended the three-day showcase, the Maxivive presentation was perhaps the most memorable. The pieces in the A/W collective were classic Maxivive street wear albeit with a lot more accessories than usual, and shiny mesh in the mix. But what stayed in your head was the Drag showcase, it was ballsy, inspiring and really quite epic. From the first notes of the theme song when a male model in fully done hair, makeup and nails appeared, you could feel everyone’s expectancy go more than up a notch. We wanted to really see what in the world was happening as the presentation unfolded. The female models themselves all came out sporting beards that a couple guys I know would kill to have, lol. One would have expected the show to overcrowd the pieces themselves, but make no mistake that after the show, just as you pictured the big red drag hair, you also recalled the mesh fanny pack, the silk jackets with pleats all round the back, the denim shirt and the mesh hoodie shirts.
The relatively new label, showcased a collection of sequins -which is very in ATM, lace and the ever recurring Aso-Oke in blue hues. The Aesthetic was chic and a little conservative, but we did see wild sides with the lacy pants which didn’t need any slip and still managed to look non-trashy.
The talented designer who was a part of last year’s fashion focus programme definitely seems to have found a solid niche with this stylish business collective. The collection featured black and white stripped business dresses and sets that would catch the stylish eye. The infusion of Aso-Oke once again in this mix could not be missed, as well as the plastic white tennis shoes, Snake skin suitcase and animal print slides that looked perfect for a business woman/man in Wakanda.
Last but not least was Onalaja with all black chicness filled with strength. Everything, from the Chinese warrior hairdo to the dark eye makeup, the stance and precise, deliberate cut of the pieces, was empowering. Though, Onalaja has always been a minmalist when it comes to color, the all black still came as a surprise seeing as its Autumn/Winter, but she did allude to all the trends as sequin, silk, mono-straps and see through made significant appearances. Nontheless, the statement dresses which constituted the collection sent a strong empowering message.