Talking Drums, Mini Models, 007 Moves and More – Highlights of Lagos Fashion Design Week

Another Lagos Fashion Design Week has come and gone, but as always, not without its idiosyncrasies, ingenious street style and of course inspired runway style. The four days of fashion that took Lagos by storm for the fifty year running saw a range of fashion highs – from Tiffany Amber’s delightful collection on Day 1 with models strutting their stuff to the beat of the talking drums to Kiki Kamanu’s playful Kamanusutra collection which saw mini models and bubbly Nigerian media personality Denrele Edun on the runway.

Check out our top ten highlights from Lagos Fashion Design Week.

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Talking Drums and Model Tantrums from Tiffany Amber

We couldn’t have asked for a more upbeat start of to Fashion Week than models strutting down the runway to the beat of the talking drummers pacing alongside. Not so much tantrum but attitude as the girls had no time for the drummers’ advances in a playful choreography. Let it not be said the theatrics overshadowed the fashion: the delightful Tiffany Amber prints with an urban touch and rich hues with a new twist on the nautical took centre stage and as always wowed the audience. The Marina brought the designer’s hometown Lagos alive with high-rise prints and the colours and movements of the ocean from indigo to gunmetal in shimmering fabrics.

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Minimal, Monochrome Menswear Inspired by Eyo from P.O.C.

Lagos was once again the insiration behind the debut collection from artist agent and stylist Papa Omisore. The emerging designer took style cues from Eyo Masquerade takes place only in Lagos Island and is believed to represent the spirits of the ancestors. The runway show kicked of with an Eyo masquerader in full carnival emsemble before the boys marched on in minimal, monochrome looks – this is one menswear wardrobe us girls wouldn’t mind stealing from.

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An Ode to Old Currency from Sophie Zinga

Senegalese designer dazzled on day 1 of LFDW with her SS’16 collection ‘Petaaw’ – on ode to Africa’s foregone currency – the cowry shell, which still holds great significance in culture, fashion and indigenous religious beliefs all throughout Africa. The collection mainly of a pristine white palette with a dash of blue and metallics played with volume, shape and texture with playful fringing, voluminous dresses, flowing skirts and peek-a-boo lace.

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Seventies Spirit with Androgynous Tailoring from Orange Culture

Orange Culture proved it is one of the most exciting menswear labels with a Seventies inspired collection of flares with handlebar ribbons, sheer tops, cinched leather blousons in a burst of earthen shades – beige, brown, deep burgundy and eclectic prints. Another menswear wardrobe we wouldn’t mind stealing from.

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Spring on the Wings of Butterflies from Moofa

Doubtless one of the prettiest and delightful collection of LFDW 2015 was ‘Labalaba’ by Moofa. Taking its name from the Yoruba word for ‘butterfly’, the collection lived up to its name with beautiful custom butterfly prints, flowing movement, feminine silhouettes and soft hues.

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Ladylike Elegance with a touch of French Renaissance from Revamp 

“The Tempest’ collection from Revamp, the label by Peaceful Owoghiri, was a vision of ladylike elegance with a masterful blend of prints and luxe embroidery – exaggerated pussy bows, puff sleeves, lashings of lace, embroidered strips, cute Peter Pan collars and a dark palette of brown and purple created a super chic yet wearable collection with a slight touch of vintage.

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Futility Inspired Fluidity by Maki Oh

It was Nigeria-based designer Amaka Osakwe’s fascination with the futility yet fullness of life which inspired her latest collection – a playful new direction from what the rising star of Nigerian fashion has put out thus far. Feathers, fringing, mesh, distressed denim, graphic appliqué, scalloped sleeves and hems may have made for chaos in any other designer’s hands but Asakwe’s masterful touch creates a playful, poetic and yet a much wearable collection.

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A Ivorian Masquarade by Loza Maléombho

For AW’15, Ivorian designer turned to  Zouli masquerade dancers, Baoulé wedding traditions and the everyday attire of Ivorian men for inspiration to create a series of androgynous pieces, and Spring Summer 2016 once again sees her further inspired by the Zaouli people. In celebration of Djela Lou Zaouli, a Guro princess much desired for her beauty and grace, the collection celebrates the female form with thigh high splits, sweetheart necklines, teasing cut outs.

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Ethereal Spirit of Transcendental Style from Ejiro Amos Tafiri

Ejiro Amos Tafiri cast away the evil spirits of mediocre fashion with an incense filled ritual that was her runway show on day 2 of LFDW. Inspired by stained glass windows of cathedrals and religious styles, her SS’16 collection was a transcendental style experience. Beautiful stained glass prints, flowinf satin, ethereal organza created mesmerising, out-of-this-world looks.

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Sizzling Swimwear from Andrea Iyamah

As the lights turned down low and the models appeared from backstage strutting their stuff, we were not too sure whether the cheers from an overly enthusiastic portion of the audience were for the clothes or the curves but we soon found out as sizzling swimwear took centre stage on day 3. Sporty mesh, sexy cut outs, quirky tribal and geometric prints – Andrea Iyamah had all sorts of swimwear trends rolled into one red hot collection which got ladies hot and bothered about the diet they’re likely to get started this week and men, well, just hot under the collar, we suppose.

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Architectural Structures and Fluid Femininity from Meena

A simple colour palette, architectural undertones, feminine tailoring were some of the outstanding elements from Meena by Nigerian designer Uju Offiah. Fringes and fluid fabrics created movement while triangular shapes and circular structures created rigid lines making for a striking contrast blended seamlessly.

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Menwear for Women from Mai Atafo

While Mai Atafo’s skill in menswear in undebatable, as the designer aced the Menswear Designer of the Year at Lagos Fashion and Design Week Awards, we were far more excited to find out what he had in store for women, especially after last season’s delectable androgynous looks inspired by traditional designs. Atafo didn’t disappoint with a range of delectable ‘menswear for women’ in marsala, mustard, white, indigo and prints inspired by Nigerian artist Laolu Shenbanjo.

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Pristine Presentables from Bridget Awosika

SS’16 collection ‘YOU’ from Bridget Awosika was inspired by the idea of something given; a present; and the essence that something “YOU” have done has inspired another person to appreciate “YOU” with a gift as a token of love and appreciation. Thus focusing on precision and purity, the collection strives to present the woman as the gift to whomever she is surrounded by and whatever she is a part of. Made up mainly of whites and off-whites to represent purity and featuirng bows, roses, rose petals, flattened orchids and leaves present “her” as the the most beautiful gift, the collection flirts with a more obvious feminine shift, ladylike silhouettes with a hint of sensuality and sporty chic using the blacks to tie in her strength.

See Also

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Modern Hunters from IamIsigo

A modern take on the traditional was the essence of IamIsigo’s SS’16 ‘Modern Hunters’ collection which saw a range of primary colours and traditional silhouettes mixed with contemporary styles and ethnic fabrics matched with modern textures. Sports luxe was back in a big way in sporty shorts, voluminous vests, utility shapes while traditional aso oke pieces adorned with cowry shells and handwoven baskets were effortlessly side by side PVC visors. The result? Modern huntresses confident in their femininity without flaunting it. The classic IamIsigo woman.

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A Tale of Love, Lust and Intuxication from April by Kunbi

The latest Bond movie Spectre is out and surely it must have inspired April by Kunbi’s LFDW runway which had all the ingredients of an ‘intuxicating’ Bond movie – complete with high drama. Designer Kunbi Oyelese showcased ‘InTuxicated’ –  a range of evening and bridal wear in white, black and red in a spectacular show which culminated in a sizzling grnad finale.

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Denim on Denim take on the Traditional from Nkwo

‘Modernity’ by Nkwo presented a fresh and modern take on the traditional Nigerian iro and buba with denim and mesh accessorised with nautical frayed ropes, sticks as necklaces and brooches and denim head pieces as the designer presented her first ever 100% made in Africa collection after a period of hiatus. The denim on denim affair with a sports luxe touch was one of the quirky showcases of day 4.

 

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Quirky, Cool, Crazy Kamanusutra Collection from Kiki Kamanu

“What’s your Sutra (story)?” Kiki Kmanu seemed to ask while presenting hers from the PatrioticSutra with her signature Lagos dresses to MelloYelloSutra with a range of yellow looks that were everything but mellow. Perhaps the biggest surprise on the last day of LFDW came when Denrele Edun catwalked for Kiki Kamanu -not once but twice modelling pieces from the designer’s latest collection alongside mini models on the runway which drew a collective ‘aaaww’ from the otherwise oft stoic Lagos fashionistas.

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Perfect Geometry and Tie-Dye Fusion from Lanre Da Silva Ajayi

Nigerian designer Da Silva Ajayi showed once again why she is head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to originality and creative vision with her delightful ‘Geometric Fusion’ collection rich in tie-dye prints from Nike Art Gallery and digital images creating hexagon and triangle tessellation prints. The feminine and slinky silhouettes – Da Silva Ajayi’s signature tailoring – were evident from the onset creating an easily wearable collection rich in colours, prints and shapes. The stand-out pieces were those featuring shimmering, mirror-like triangular colours which created a kaleidoscopic effect on the runway. A classy collection well worth the celebration from an enthusiastic LDA who couldn’t help shake a leg with the designer during the final walk.

 

Images: Kola Oshalusi/Insignia for LFDW 2015 

Featured image: Simon Deiner/ SDR Photo

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