Lagos Fashion and Design Week continued in fine form this season, as the fashion savvy traipsed to Lagos, Nigeria, to witness yet another stellar production. Fashion is truly showing its global influence and this injection of a more diverse culture is just what the industry needs. There was a variety of wonderful things to be seen, it moved beyond that old cliche of the traditional with some designers truly showing their range and talent. It was not all ankara or other traditional cloths, matter of fact I don’t think I saw a collection solely made from ankara, rather, it was a healthy mix that showed the great strengths of the African Fashion Industry.
Jewel By Lisa is always exciting to see, having long established herself and one of the most talented and sought after designers in the continent, she turned out her signature collection of über ladylike pieces with a slant of quirk and a nineties throwback. Most of the pieces were made with bicycle print motifs and mesh, models had on trucker caps to give it that sporty vibe, but worn apart or together, these pieces will give your wardrobe much needed oomph.
A firm favourite of mine is Grey, theirs is a fashion forward and fun collection that every wardrobe needs. The infectiousness is apparent through out, with a punch of effervescence and energy, as if you are in your happy place when you wear one of their pieces. The colours are bright, the silhouette is right and the overall look is pitched so perfectly. This was a collection of their signature everyday pieces but with an extra special element; it’ll fit all around for your life for all occasions. I am literally on the floor for that Lace maxi. On the floor.
Meena. Always has a collection of sharp pieces but this season she turned the feminine up several notches, tossed it an element of cool and doused it with quirk so it was not all tailored and blocked tones, but fun and adventurous, again, in sharp colours and modern funkadelic prints, lace and sheers, it was all together very strong and well edited. I especially adore that seventies shift mini with the leather hem inserts.
Mai Atafo and his Dandy and Dandettes…if I can call them that. Mai Atafo knows how to work a mean silhouette, easily one of the stand out collections, he took a new spin on the dashing Dandy with his collection of exquisitely tailored pieces. The power woman in her pretty power suit took centre stage and the man about town who knows a thing or two about style proudly showed off his chops. It was bold and beautiful, done in the most luscious colours. Stand outs was the double breasted sleeveless jacket shorts suits and the superbly juxtaposed suits in ditzy prints…the boys didn’t look bad either.
Tae, prints, prints and more prints. Pucci-esque prints were given a remix, worked with other prints, billowing dresses, palazzo pants, this much print should’t work but the laid back approach worked wonders, it was exciting. One to watch out for, Tae made the daily wardrobe just that bit more romantic without a boring piece in sight.
Lanre Da Silva Ajayi (LDA) another established designer who shows us how its done with each collection of most lust worthy pieces. Her signature remains unique and using the very best of fabrics, she merges tradition with modernity in an inexplicably refined manner. There is a relatable kind of glamour about it, fresh and inviting.
Arguably the best designer in Africa right now, certainly my favourite, Maki Oh is a designer the world needs to know about. She’s in a class of her own with a formula so particular to her, its damn special. Her hand is unforced and her collection is unusually extraordinary, even in the simplest of pieces. I love everything about this collection because it felt so relatable and adaptable, and fresh and new without feeling strange, This was a collections heralding confidence and celebrating her customer…She gets it, she really, really gets it. She’s one of those designers that gives us what we want even before we know we want it.
Image Credit-Kola Oshalusi