Alas! Fashion week has come upon the beautiful city of Lagos and has gone. That season of the year where Lagos played a perfect host like it has always done to thousands of fashion vendors, designers, models, retailers, tailors, enthusiasts, writers, lovers and buyers alike. This particular occasion, fashion week was huge, although an anticipation that one can always relate with annually.
With its 6th edition tagged “connecting the dots”, the 2016 Lagos Fashion and Design Week is a multi-day fashion event platform that is targeted towards driving the Nigerian fashion Industry forward, and in the long run, the African Fashion Industry. A rendezvous aimed at bringing together consumers and the media, both international and local press, to view the recent collections of African designers all on the catwalk in Lagos – Nigeria’s fashion capital. This platform serves as a strong bond of attraction, to both emerging fashion designers as well as their established counterparts, a podium to connect them with and reach out to more customers, vendors, lovers and buyers in the same vein.
LFDW as it is famously known, happened to be an event mix-match of classic, modern and futuristic fashion statement making by the attenders of the fashion week hence “Street Style” being one main category that can,t be missed – everyone looks forward to it. Although, it is by default that the cake of the day usually is the runway showcase; the icing on this cake is the Street Style Fashion – one which has always been a Fashion Yes Yes within fashion journalists and writers alike, fashionistas, style bloggers, photographers, reporters and attending guests in general.
It is professionally advised to put one’s best fashion feet forward as fashion weeks all over the world will humble you with it’s ever edgy, ever-evolving and non-conforming fashion vibes. And talk about humbling one’s fashion pride; the city of Lagos isn’t exempted.
It’s one thing to be fashionable and another to be stylish and permit we say that throughout this 4-day-fashion-event, the Street Style game was well played by those who boldly did without caring whose ox is gored, some in very well put together ensembles and other in whatchamacallit. Though the bar was raised this time around, hence there was no notable weariness from both the fashion observers and fashion statement makers, the later who have sworn to themselves to make stylishly fashionable appearances and outfit choices worthy of making news headlines for weeks to come.
From the Fashion Business Series to Fashion Focus, the LFDW Showrooms, Presentations and Runway shows proper, the 2016 Heineken Lagos Fashion And Design week will go down memories as yet the best fashion week to have held in the history of Lagos as it is safe to say that each day had its significant lasting impressions in our minds.
Just like other fashion week platforms in other parts of the world, Milan, Paris, London, New-York and what have you – expectations weren’t cut off as the Lagos Fashion and Design Week gave attending guests the satisfaction that comes with attending a fashion week, with its impeccable fashion and ingenious style via everyday street-style fashion as well as runway guests playing dress up in many designer and local outfits.
Although the runway shows started later than the organizers had speculated in the invites sent out, it was quite a dramatic series of counteractions, even more, reaching the break limit of seated guests as this year’s runway witnessed a mix-match of intriguing experiences from certain, sometimes expected runway anxieties, VVIPs in sedentary positions right on the runway at some point in time, to witnessing a wedding proposal by a designer whilst showcasing his works on the runway to his girlfriend amidst a tumultuous ovation from hysteric guests. Quite eventful we must say!
It’s typical in any fashion week to look forward to certain designers who are not only raising the bars locally as Nigerians but also making waves gradually on the international scene, with testimonials from Hollywood, the White House and the international celebrity scene at large – and a few caught our eye with their presentations, designs, details and showcase.
We immersed ourselves into certain moments as each day went by and we were saturated with the vivacity of the runway shows and enthusiasm of the fashion week in general, a narrative experience!
A female oriented luxury and unconventional clothing brand, Onalaja clearly embodies the elegant and classy female whose love for edgy femininity and girly vibes are clearly highlighted. The SS 17 collection celebrates culture and women, most especially African who have inspired, challenged the status quo and most important, impacted the world. A true representation of girl power, this collection experiments with influences from these women’s styles, culture, era and ideology.
We are all up for the comfortable style that creative director Papa Omisore brought to the table of showcase with his spring collection. Away from the signature caftans that the menswear brand is by default known for, there was a paradigm shift in this year’s collection as POC got their mojo on with a complacent line up of checkered pattern pieces in hues of poly-chromatic colors. Talk about simplicity but with a twist of elegance, comfort, style and interpretation of class.
Maxivive is an all embracing fashion brand whose creativity explores and defines the misconception of gender representations as it regards fashion in Africa. With its dual runway installment, one can comfortably say that the creative director of this youthful brand bears in mind the consciousness of a contemporary fashion age with a slight influence from fashion antecedents. One can instantaneously perceive a retro cosmic hippie fashion from these collections that subtly reminds you of Yeezy at the New York Fashion Week.
Creating masterpieces and pushing boundaries has always been Orange Culture’s raisons d’être since the brand’s inception as a formidable menswear brand in Nigeria. Its Spring 2017 collection, School Of Rejects, explores fashion not just as a showcase but a way of life. The kaleidoscopic patterned shirts, ripped pantyhose, leather bags, purses, faux mustache nose rings and metallic brows, all came out to play giving Orange Culture its distinctive aesthetics and conscious characteristics as an androgynous menswear brand.
Rayo kept guest glued to their seats as her collection anxiously wrapped around the characteristics of a seductive female. A collection that judiciously appeals to the feminine lot, the ready to wear female brand experiments with floor length gowns with precise cuts and crisp detailing, woven hats and tassel finishes, turbans that hides the characters of the female model seductively strutting the catwalk in all of her glory. These aesthetics instantaneously puts into perspective the matrilineal Tuareg style of the large Berber ethnic confederation.
British-Nigerian designer Tokyo James explores and experiments the relationship between a fashion curios generation and the reservations of the status quo. You’d pronto experience the male figure as a strong sexual representation with a twist as the collection marries the lush details of the double breasted suits with metal grommets, trench coats, see-through fabric, leather sandals, belts, choker leather bands, rings and leather bags.
Sisiano’s collection affiliates the femininity that that comes with girly fashion, with concurrent run of lapels and sizzling patterns of sew. A mix-match of designs that appeals to the unisex lot as showcased on the runway, the Desert Rose themed collection embraces the use of dreamy aesthetics to create silhouette pieces that gets one’s dander up. Sisiano’s rouge artistic taste feels whimsical, a culmination of his explorations with ruffles, whispery hems and an odd flash of linen ornamentation around the neck of models on the catwalk.
There is something striking about Style Temple’s collection that we are trying to wrap our heads around as this collection of high quality women’s wear proves once again the acceptance and due respect of the woman. This collection consciously pays attention to the appetition of a lady’s sex appeal with reference to the slits, off shoulder and amorphous cuts, ruffle sleeves, fringe and tassels, and eclectic details. With a prudish feel, Style Temple was able to convince everyone why it stole the show with its delicate marriage of cotton and silk fabrics, as well as remarkable craft-work.
MaXhosa By Laduma
MaXhosa is a unique knitwear brand that represents the vibrancy and dynamism of a contemporary youth fashion. Talk about a brand endorsed by Beyonce, the South African knitwear label, MaXhosa boldly represents an upscale fashion brand with its hypnotic series of kaleidoscopic fabrics remarkably knitted and radiates conventional ingeniousness. This menswear knit range is inspired by traditional Xhosa bead-work which reminds the designer about the nostalgic rural lifestyle at the old Xhosa homelands.
The 2016 Lagos Fashion and Design Week almost caught us unawares this time as every designer that showcased did with a level of practical fashion wisdom and sheer intelligence. Visit LFDW’s official website to see for more photos and highlights of other awesome designers and collections we didn’t get to talk about from the runway.