Yes, it’s all over but people are still talking about all the excitement that took place as we were introduced to just a handful of the excellent designers that Africa has to offer.
My experience with Lagos Fashion and Design Week went into full effect on day three. Designers and stylists were still scuttling through the grounds, for their work never seemed to have an end. Fashion lovers appeared to be upping their game with their outfits, determined to show off their personal styles. And there I was; camera in hand with darting eyes trying to take it all in and fully acknowledge the new heights that fashion in Africa is climbing.
There was the showroom, set up by creative agency AWCA that held vendors and their work. There was Cephas Jewelry, Maybelline, Caven + Etomi and Dark & Lovely. The showroom also carried the designs of the 15 designers of Fashion Focus which was a great way of people to get up close and personal with the clothing. I spent much time in the showroom chatting up folks, touching and criticizing clothes, and finding out just how much Fayrouz I could guzzle by the Fayrouz Bar.
A couple of the shows started a bit late. Models were ready, music was ready, but the guests trickled in slowly. All was well worth the worth for the early-comers. Each show opened with strong energy and although not all the collections were eye-catching, I certainly fell in love with quite a few!
HIGHLIGHTS OF LFDW
(image source: lagosfashionanddesignweek.com)
Day 3 was met with great anticipation to see the latest works of Orange Culture, IAMISIGo and Lisa Folawiyo, among others, whose designs grabbed the attention of those keen on variance.
Orange Culture was nothing but eye candy and genius both carefully intertwined with one another. With the theme H.E.R (clever for menswear!), the models showcased a play of bright fabrics in exciting cuts. The story behind H.E.R is of a man who lost his lover and whose clothing is a reflection of what she loved. Charming.
Folawiyo showed off striped designs and subtle print mixes on seraphic models. No only ‘Jewel By Lisa’, Lisa Folawiyo made a direct statement of the change with this collection of organza and silk.
Then came day four. The end was here! Mai Atafo, Ituen Basi, Sophie Zinga and Ade Bakare were a few of the designers who demanded my attention with their work. I must say that Mai caught me by surprise. His show started off with his men’s tailoring in light pastels, then out paraded his womenswear in designs that took after the South-South traditional-wear of pinstripes and hats. A bold and strong look for the female models
Ituen Basi took us to school with her sprightly collection of playful prints which drew inspiration from a ruler (yes) and different modes of Naija transport such as the danfo and okada. It was refreshing not to see her usual clash of ankara prints that we grew to love.
Meena blew me away. I had spent most of the show silent, looking up from my social media updates on my ipad only to inwardly express admiration (and sometimes distaste) towards a collection, being sure not to wear any expressions on my face. When Meena’s structured collection started walking down the runway, I had to join the ladies sitting by me with murmurs of, “Astounding” and “Flawless” followed by sighs of yearning as each model went by.