Day 1 of Lagos Fashion Week Autumn/Winter presentations got off to a promising start. Here’s all the highlights from Day 1 of ‘Seasons’.
The venue, The Wings by Oando, though initially confusing, made sense when we entered the space which was reminiscent of a New York loft. The decoration was kept to a minimal and rows of white benches faced a slightly risen white platform. The entire set-up was distinctly more understated than its September counterpart and it was clear that here the clothes, were the main and the only attraction.
It wasn’t an endless parade of clothes but a small, intimate and thoughtful presentation of collections. It was a space bubbling with anticipation as guests filled it, eagerly waiting to see what the designers had in store for us on Day 1.
The lights flashed and it we were given a 5 minute warning. As guests sat down on white benches, the music pumped through the speakers and the lights dimmed, models filed out and the first presentation was underway.
Colourful deconstruction at Gozel Green
Olivia of Gozel Green’s main aim was to tell a story, the designer aimed to initiate an individual storytelling process in fashion and to accommodate the unconventional and the diverse styles of the different cultural backgrounds in Nigeria.
The twin sisters, Sylvia Enekwe and Olivia Jude-Okoji are the fresh brains behind the label which was founded in 2010. They credited their supportive parents for allowing them the space to explore their creative boundaries.
This creative upbringing provided the blueprint for their education and together, the sisters built a brand that was so innovative and dynamic, it garnered attention from all over and got multiple features into international publications including Vogue Italia,
When asked by Vogue Italia to describe the brand in three words, the sisters replied:
If we had to use three adjectives we’d say Gozel Green is an artistic, timeless and original brand. Out style is alternative, vibrant and outwardly androgynous. Every time we create a garment, we always have clear in our mind these features: eccentric cuts, destructured shapes and eye-catching hues and textures.
On Day 1, Gozel Green stayed true to their deconstructed aesthetic as models filed out in outfits that were not as they initially seemed. Dresses and skirts were layered with unexpected cut-outs and finished off with unusual ruching.
With a palette of green, red, black and beige, the colour combinations were more muted than the usual Gozel Green offerings but worked perfectly nontheless. The separates were very wearable and would be a dream to style.
Each Gozel Green piece tells a story on it’s own which is what makes the label so dynamic. Gozel Green’s identity is so well-established that after 8 years in the industry, you could pick a piece out instantaneously and though the collections change and evolve, the narrative remains the same.
Why Mo Agusto is the new brand for the cool girls
Mo Agusto owes her ‘big break’ to the team behind Lagos Fashion Week, in particular, the Fashion Focus platform which offers designers the opportunity to participate in a program where five participants are chosen.
The lucky individuals are given the opportunity to attend seminars and classes, as well as paired up with mentors who guide them through the journey. The participants are given the chance to showcase their work amongst established designers at the next HLFDW.
Having completed successfully last year, Mo Agusto returns to show us the fruits of her labour. However, in the last year, the Mo Agusto brand has accumulated a decent amount of street cred thanks to the cool girls including PR maven Zara Okpara who regularly rock her clothes.
The Mo Agusto woman, though ladylike, refuses to be confined by it. Mo Agusto manages to strike a delicate balance between the feminine, the flirty and the powerful.
While she initially started off as a “made to measure” designer, after HLFDW fashion focus, Agusto re-launched her brand as a ready-to-wear brand.
Beyonce and Andre 3000’s ‘We like to party’ flowed through the speakers and the scene was set for the models who filed out in a series of party-ready outfits.
Their hair was pulled back and the shock of red lipstick declared that the Mo Agusto girl was here to be noticed. The palette was a combination of dusty pink, wine, white and navy blue, the colours carefully mixed to create elegant yet fun colourblocking.
How IAMISIGO is redefining the sartorial aesthetic of a generation
IAMISIGO is a brand that targets those who dare to stand out, regardless of the consequences.
Founded by Nigerian stylist and creative/art director Bubu Ogisi in 2009, the brand has gone from strength to strength and come to be synonymous with the modern Nigerian girl. The global citizen whose fashion conscious but also very much in touch with her African heritage and draws inspiration from all the places she has been.
Bubu launched her label to show how our deep-rooted African culture can be interwoven with a minimal and modern design aesthetic. Collection to collection she has managed to achieve this and we have watched the IAMISIGO girl grown into a self-assured woman.
IAMISIGO is not just about the clothes, it’s about the message, it’s about the empowerment of the modern Nigerian woman who exists comfortably somewhere between here and everywhere else and wants that to be expressed in every facet of who she is including what she chooses to wear.
The stage was set with 10 chairs, 5 facing towards the crowd, and five facing away. Trust IAMISIGO to break away from the norm and try something different. The spotlight hit the chairs and the models filed out.
Their bouffant hair was back-combed and a thick strip off white paint was boldy painted across their faces. Each model strode out and sat down, then the show began. IAMISIGO had clearly put a lot of thought into the choreography of her presentation and it was as much a moving art installation as it was a fashion presentation.
As the models stood and sat and walked around, we were given a view of the clothes from every single angle conceivable angle and able to see the artistry that went into creating the collection.
The collection was held together, literally and figuratively, by pieces of string which featured in some way or another in every piece. The white bubu was held together by it, the white flares had string dangling from the sides, allowing you to choose just how daring you wanted to be. The green dress was tied both across the chest and at the waist and exaggerated sleeves ruched around the wrists to create THE ultimate day dress.
The models strode around in custom made Shekudo slippers and mules which complimented the collection perfectly.
The collection was quintessential IAMISIGO, every single detail was thought out and each piece was so wearable. With the order forms laying right next to us, it was a wonder we didn’t snap up the entire collection.