Lagos Fashion and Design Week

Posted by Irene Ojo-Felix | November 6th, 2015

Lagos Fashion and Design Week:
Show Reviews

Buzzing, bubbling, busy Lagos stands as the axis of Western Africa’s newly developing fashion scene. As Lagos Fashion and Design Week closed last week after its fifth undertaking, there seemed to be a proclaimed positivity about the future support of the designers that chose to show in the city. That positive zeal was contagious despite any hiccups that might have happened and provided a great energy for the talented range of designers declared to the world. Nigeria stands as Africa’s largest economy with over $500 billion (and rising) GDP brought mostly through the oil, telecommunications and banking sectors so it’s no wonder that the mega-city has piqued the interest of investors across the board. What stands true with their economic boom and burgeoning fashion authority is this – you can no longer ignore what is happening there. Models.com traveled to LFDW to discover the talent for ourselves and noted the stand-out collections that should definitely be on your radar.

Reviews by Irene Ojo-Felix

All photos by Lakin Ogunbanwo & Yagazie Emezi
Top image clothing credit: Ejiro Amos Tafiri

Tiffany Amber

For the first show of Lagos Fashion and Design Week, Nigerian supermodel and television personality Oluchi Onweagba opened and closed the Tiffany Amber show to much fanfare. The collection took print inspiration from the marinas of Lagos to New York using distinct architecture from both cities and fluidity of travel. Her interpretation of spring meant looks flowed like waves as models glided down the catwalk.

Maki Oh

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Amaka Osakwe, better known after her nickname Maki Oh, provided a collection that was as loose in silhouette as it was bountiful in lush prints, fabrics, and embroidery. As one of the LVMH Prize 2014 semifinalists, her marked clout within the Nigerian fashion scene has been set in stone and her MO is certainly detectable. Her beloved indigo adire cloth was once again transformed into teardrops and a certain hand gesture for a playful take on a vast cultural identifier.

Loza Maléombho

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Designer Loza Maléombho has been back and forth between the States and Côte d’Ivoire since she was a child and her eponymous collection reflects the duality of those two lands. For Spring/Summer 2016 she named her collection, Zaouli, drawing inspiration from a popular masked dance ritual from the Gouro tribe. Birth or death, celebration or mourning, these dancers perform their fast rhythmical steps all while adorned in brightly, fringed wares. Maléombho incorporated this starting point namely within the organic fabric choices of burlap and linen and the vivid straw fringed embellishments.

Orange Culture

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The Orange Culture man has now found his female counterpart with the latest seasonal offering. Designer, Adebayo Oke-Lawal, debuted womenswear this season although the line was as gender neutral as one could wish for. Focusing on a deep, gemstone palette of ruby, emerald, sapphire, amethyst along with neutral hued looks the nomadic display dived in and out of familiar silhouette construction resulting in a line that felt interestingly new and refreshingly modern.

Mai Atafo

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Designer Mai Atafo flaunted his expertise in traditional Savile Row tailoring swimmingly for the new season. Models looked every bit the dapper gentleman with damask printed suits, fitted trousers with high breaks, and daring crushed velvet lapels. The complementing female line included structured, 70’s flares that looked like they came off the set of Mahogany. With added print inspiration from Brooklyn-Based, Nigerian artist, Laolu Senbanjo, the melding of East and West was seamlessly authentic.

Nkwo

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Nkwo Onwuka marched into modernity with her SS16 collection that featured distressed denim and a brilliant use of the traditional aso-oke fabric. Jeans were literally turned on their head and re-purposed into traditional head wraps. With a penchant for organic textures and voluminous shapes, Nkwo upgraded the familiar to a higher, earthly standard.

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Lagos-based designer Orire Omatsola revamped her line this past year and her latest offering for the Spring/Summer season was a bold declaration of her new arrival. The collection included flamingo ruffled silk organza pieces that seemed to spill and poke out of structured, conservative silhouettes. She made a creepy crawler cute with her Anansi the Spider print that was sprinkled on some key looks. Her candy-hued color palette was certainly an audacious risk that showed her youthful spirit.

Washington Roberts

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Washington Roberts brought his New York based collection to Lagos to show a structured, modern evolution of his woman. The runway became her urban streets as over-sized bomber jackets, tailored, flared trousers, and cocktail dress were presented. A variation of an adinkra symbol was stamped into the turquoise, tangerine, white, and black color palette. He excelled best with the off-the-shoulder, rounded hem pieces that highlighted that bared skin elegantly.

Tsemaye Binitie

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Painterly brush strokes melded together to create fanciful pieces for London-based designer Tsemaye Binitie’s latest collection. His woman was more grown-up and drawn towards below-the-knee hemlines and work wear with a twist. Advanced fringing details, woven jacquards, silk gazaar and tulle a-plenty were intertwined throughout the line that presented impressive craftsmanship. It’s funny how red, yellow, blue, white, and black are the standard colors used to create all that we see in art and nature and here Binitie used them to convey his message of beauty.

Kenneth Ize

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Designer Kenneth Ize was not afraid of “wrong” for his latest collection. Sleeves that went too far past the hand, purposefully shown stitches, a jamming of textile pieces to make them fit, almost like hacking a jigsaw puzzle – all of it was a statement on the designer’s desire to take the idea of fashion in Nigeria to another level. He used an interesting juxtaposition of fabrics whether they were organic or the man-made variety, raw edges, with a motley of stripes throughout. His menswear, oversized silhouette had no gender restrictions as men and women alike bounced down the runway in the transcending collection.

Lanre Da Silva Ajayi

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Titled Geometric Fusion, the latest collection from Lanre Da Silva Ajayi was a major achievement in the golden ratio. The event closer of Lagos Fashion & Design Week, used tie-dyed prints from Nike Art Gallery and digital images to create her seasonal print imagined in shiny metallic, prismatic shards, and bold color. The result was a collection that moved far from timidness and was a further evolution of the fearless LDSA woman.

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4 Comments to “Lagos Fashion and Design Week”

  1. Coco says:

    Beautiful! Love the denim into the headdress (forgotten the name it is called) and the use of traditional pattern/material! Plus the models are gorgeous!

  2. Jude says:

    Nice choice, but I recall a certain Gozel Green. I think they where stand outs too. Their designs where…….different!

  3. ken says:

    The pictures are not to sharp, Awomkenneth

  4. Mofe says:

    Its was a really great show and we wish to see more of next year.
    Everybody was just great, Thank you LFDW Fashion, Ozzy Agu, Figaro wear, Lanre ajayi, Fulosho…… everybody jare

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