We have come to the end of yet another Lagos Fashion Week! And after a year’s break, due to the pandemic and the #endSARS protests in Nigeria, I cannot even begin to tell you how much I missed all the energy that comes with Fashion Week. Even though we did not get to experience all the action as we were used to – what is usually almost a week-long celebration of fashion was pared down this season, with a lot of designers deciding to go virtual and the opening night’s Fashion Business Series Dinner also being held virtually, none the less, LFW 2021 provided plenty highlights. Some staples of course remained; the vibrant street style of show-goers and incredible offerings from front-running designers who have begun to return to normalcy post-2020.
No doubt, the amazing BellaNaija Style team supported by the core BellaNaija team, was on ground to bring you the best coverage. I was definitely happy to return to the busiest and most exciting time for fashion in Nigeria. This year, following personal decisions to be more conscious with my fashion consumption and in line with our latest Declutter and Donate Campaign, I went a different route with my style choices. However one thing did not change, my love and constant desire to spotlight our homegrown brands.
As usual, through my Editor’s diary, I have chosen to highlight some of my favorite collections from the past week now that it’s officially over. Here are my impressions of some of the most memorable shows from LFW Spring/Summer 2022.
This season, Adebayo Oke-Lawal opted for an offsite activation with key industry figures in attendance. For Spring/Summer 2022, Orange Culture presented mixed designs; silk shirts, loose silhouettes, and relaxed shapes, which on one end epitomized the idea of being liberated – merged with strong colours and frenzied prints.
The idea behind the designs was activism through fashion – the designer who was very vocal and active through the pandemic and endSARS protests, encapsulated the emotions of isolation and self-expression through this Peacock Riot collection.
The most remarkable parts for me: the introductory sound for the show which was a voice note of a Nigerian Youth crying out against SARS, models walking down the runway with glittered tears down their faces leading me to remember the sad incidents from the protests and the celebration of diversity with the model lineup which included amputee model Promise Adedeye.
I prepped my feet for the brutal days ahead by wearing 2-inch pumps and a bright design from womenswear brand SandraO. I’m not there yet but I try more to think about how many times I can re-rock a look these days – no more “wear only once” for me. I love that the dress came with a detachable bow and thus giving it unlimited styling options!.
We returned to LFW grounds at the Federal Palace Hotel for a full evening of runway shows. Among my favorites of the day, Mauritanian brand Niuku, Kiko Romeo, and Studio 189 gave me even more reasons to love African fabrics and the traditional dye technique. From practical looks to more avant-garde designs by Ugo Monye, who always reimagines how the modern African man should dress, putting a spin on traditional clothing including the Agbada and Kaftan (refer to the pink layered Agbada set), and Papa Oyeyemi‘s Maxivive with unconventional designs steeped in political messaging.
LFW newcomer BUNMI used their in-house concept of romanticism and elegance for a diverse pageantry-style collection. There was a pleated lime green low cut dress and even a frothy ball gown but the multicoloured asymmetrical layered tassel dress stood out the most for me.
I recycled my two-year-old Badesere (formerly Nathan Cole) suit for Day 2. Paired with pumps from Nigerian shoe brand Ferago. Like I said via my Instagram – Fashion season can sometimes encourage wastefulness and bad fashion consumption. For unknown reasons, there’s a certain feeling around “not repeating clothes”. Let’s get rid of that mindset and be more conscious of our consumption. Went shopping in my wardrobe and pulled out this look – no regrets at all!
The final day was energetic as I flew from an offsite show to the LFW grounds. I was very happy to have made Andrea Iyamah‘s SS22 presentation. After a difficult 2020, the show was inspired by the collective longing to heal and return to a pre-pandemic routine. There were lots of pieces inspired by the beauty of nature, as suggested in the beachside setup for the presentation. Earth tones were prevalent throughout the collection, which was effectively balanced by bubbly AI swimwear staples we’ve all come to know and love.
On the runways onsite, Adama Paris, Emmy Kabit, and Rick Dusi put forward exciting shows that garnered the crowd’s attention. Adama Paris’ manipulation of African woven loincloth and brocade birthed a cheerful collection of skirt sets and day to nighttime looks.
Emmanuel Okoro delivered a show that felt the most like being at a real fashion show again with the upbeat music, eye-catching pieces, and of course lots of energy on the runway. He worked with typical garment construction and relateable designs, offering pieces for the season that would look great in magazine editorials and still fly off the racks at retail stores. My favorite look was a fringed green loungewear set – versatile, on-trend and with a unique twist.
I closed off Lagos Fashion Week in this dress from made-to-order independent brand Lounkeke. My purse was handmade by a crafts artist in Lagos.
Though fashion week this year came with many changes, including virtual presentations, offsite shows, and parties with social distancing – it was great to be back among the fashion flock again enjoying live fashion.
Till next season, stay consciously stylish!