Lagos Fashion and Design Week rolled in on the 28th of October in full force, marking its 5th year of pushing forward the African fashion industry. It also marked my second year working LFDW with my camera – time spent weaving between models backstage, designers and fashion enthusiasts prepping for their grand entrances. Models appeared calm and statuesque in make artists’ chairs and designers looked frazzled, but controlled. Guest appeared in majestic troops daily in various styles hat showcased their individuality and perhaps, a tinge of urgency to stand out from the rest. But hey, that’s what Fashion Week is all about!
The four days showcased the many established designers that Africa has to offer and also revealed our promising. Quite a few stood out from the rest. With all that appeared in the runway, Day 1 was topped (in my opinion) by Ré’s colorful collection that targeted confident and fun demographic. There were flares and fridges, sheer tops and mini-skirts matched with jackets and embroidery that carried the essence of youth.
I patiently waited for Day 2 to arrive, ready to be stunned by the works of Maki Oh and Loza Maléombho in particular. Loza’s pieces were a dynamic statement as usual that played with kente cut-outs and batik. The pieces were boldly structured to enforce what I saw as feminine strength; not overly sensual, but oddly captivating.
Maki Oh awed everyone in attendance with her signature adire prints on her clothing that was coupled with fringes and feathers. Her collection carried a certain lightness; all pieces flowing with sophisticated ease.
It is absolutely necessary to mention the works of Gozel Green. There was something unusual but utterly enchanting about the structured collection.
Day 3 brought in Andrea Iyamah’s swimwear collection with prints and cuts that are sure rise in popularity as last year’s. As usual, the prints were bold and the well-thought cuts-outs were enticing and diverse; aimed to accommodate various body types.
Washington Roberts’ collection had a sophisticated daintiness to it, with sleek dresses and arm-cuffs.
Day 3 was simple incredible with a great line-up of designers that included Meena. Last year, Meena’s collection was met with approving murmurs and this year, eyes lit up as her structured pieces walked down the runway. She simply outdid herself with wearable (and hopefully affordable!) pieces that were so intricate and appealing to the everyday lady.
Day 4 brought in Bridget Awosika and I could not get enough of the pastels and leaf cuts! The collection remained chic and springy and girly through and through.
Iamisgio presented a sporty and wearable mix that appeared to draw inspiration from the designer’s stay in Ghana with kente kaftans, woven baskets and bronze accessories.
The show closed out with the LFDW at 5 Awards, with Amaka Osakwe of Maki Oh winning Womenswear Designer of the Years and Ohimai Atafo of Mai Atafo Inspired for mens. All very well deserved! Looking forward to another year of establishing Lagos and our African designers as a force to be recognized globally!