African Designers Shine this Fashion Month
The busiest month in fashion just concluded. It kicked off in New York, swung through London and Milan, and ended in the city of lovers, Paris.
African fashion was well represented at both New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week. There was the ‘Made in Africa’ S/S 2020 showcase which made its debut in New York and other satellite events in both London and Paris.
Here is our roundup of some of the designers that represented our continent proudly during ‘fashion month’.
The British-Nigerian designer showcased for the first time in London. His Spring/Summer 2020 collection delivered a Lagos-cum-London offering for the bold and follows the philosophy that everyone should create and live their individuality.
The strong colour palette of black, yellow, orange, red and white painted a collection that exudes structured military elements with strong sartorial notes. Belting details were heavily dispersed across the collection and graphic print pieces with texture from multi-coloured knits translated a sense of rigidity and fluidity simultaneously.
Studio One Eighty Nine is a fashion social enterprise based in Ghana and the United states founded by Abrima Erwiah and actress Rosario Dawson. Their work informed by the African and African American experience is highlighted by the inclusiveness and diversity of their casting and their thinking.
The Spring Summer 2020 showcase was a compilation of African-inspired clothing made in Africa. The collection was a glorious explosion of mixed prints, bold colours, indigo dyes, embroideries, and patchwork.
Maxi-length romantic ruffled dresses, with lovely sleeve details and full skirts, fluid wide-legged and high-waisted pants for both men and women it was all about movement, fluidity and ease.
“As much as it might seem new to some people, I think what’s so important, and why we wanted to call this show Heritage, is that it’s a reflection and a recognition that so many things—from style influence to actual raw materials—have come from Africa,” said Dawson. “This was a celebration, a recognition of how interconnected we’ve always been. And it’s about time that we recognize that, so it doesn’t seem profound, and it doesn’t seem out of the ordinary, to see all of these different people coming together in celebration of our shared heritage. It is very normal.”
Orange Culture, the brainchild of Lagos based Creative Director Adebayo Oke -Lawal, showcased its Spring Summer 2020 collection for the first time at New York Fashion Week under the Studio one eight nine umbrella.
Oke- Lawal uses fashion to combat stereotypes associated with masculinity. The collection contained whimsical structured organza jackets and graphic t-shirts styled intentionally to confront the way in which men are viewed in our society.
Mozambican fashion designer Eliana Rodrigues Murargy’s showcased her spring-summer 2020 collection, 'Basking in the Osun River’, collection at New York Fashion Week, as part of the “Made in Africa” banner show.
The collection is inspired by the Osun River, which winds and flows from Nigeria to the Atlantic Gulf of Guinea.
Simple with natural fabrics and classic lines with a bit of an edge this collection is for the modern confident woman. The pieces are feminine, simultaneously evoking strength and softness. The colour palette moves effortlessly from soft shades of rosé, beige, blues and greys to striking silver and stark whites and blacks.