Words by Lesly Abegunde for Bo Young Creatives (BOYC)
The sky terrace on the 4th floor of Oriental Hotel was the venue of the Maxivive Dry ’19 presentation by Papa Oyeyemi, which introduced another view of fashion to many. The show was to start at 12:45 pm but due to the late arrival of guests, which could be blamed on Lagos traffic, it finally started at 2 pm. But before then, a carton brown leaflet was given to each guest as they strolled onto the sky terrace. Written on it was a short story, demystifying the whole vibe of the presentation.
Passing away time, there were groups of people chitchatting and some taking in the view of the ocean that surrounded the venue. But there was one thing that was mysterious- The Runway. In an expanded rectangular shape, laid heaps of sand, as in form of a demarcation…or not. I for one thought it was a demarcation for the models to catwalk by the side, and then through the other side but little did I know the sandy rectangle will be the runway.
A scary soul deep song played in the background as the show started. The models came in one after the other and arranged themselves asymmetrically. Some carried edibles like watermelon, large yam tubers, plantain/banana bunches, some were empty-handed and one carried a large ass basket, like those you see at the market.
The model with the basket opened the runway, with a long white robe outfit and a side waist purse. His haircut made him look like a monk but overall, he looked priestly. And as he stood at the end of the runway, facing the start of the runway, he dropped the basket and stood still. Then the others began strutting in, one after the other.
Noticing the color hues of each design, from white to cream, from mint greens to grey and then from carton shades to dark tones of brown. The designs screamed simple silhouettes with flattering fabrics which portrayed the garments to its best. The hues reflected the minimalist side to the brand and as a minimalist enthusiast, I was immediately captivated. Those that carried the edibles emptied them into the basket and strutted back to the zone they were at, with emotions on their faces that translated to nothing, literally.
The models comprised of 2 females amongst many males and as the show came to an end, the heavily filled basket was lifted by one model at first, and then he staggered. Then another model approached to help and they just couldn’t. Then came another then another and after channeling their strength to lift it up, they carried it to the end of the runway, lifted it up and dropped it with a loud thud. At first, I pondered on the whole scenario and then it all came to me. Remember the carton brown leaflet that was distributed earlier? Yes, that one. The whole vibe I was talking about came through with the presentation.
The OKITI collection reflects on burdens carried physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, and after series of running through, they fall off one after the other into an unknowing case. But with resilience and unknown bravery, the carrier of the burdens, and with the help of spirited known beings, lifted the burden and dumped it so hard, it’s cast out forever.
OKITI is the brave warrior who has a past but fought the demons of the past to become a king in the present. OKITI represents climbing back up to resurface, exist, live and never fade out.
OKITI is a Yoruba word that translates to Hill or Heap in English.
Writer: Lesly Abegunde for Bo Young Creatives (BOYC)
Models/Agency: @xa_models Nelson, Ali, David, Mayowa, Kent, Matt, Qowiyat, Muyiz, @himodels_ng Chibuzor, @kimmie, @bolu_zeus
Click on the gallery below to see the full showcase