Heineken Lagos Fashion and Design Week came to a close with a lot of strong designs from all designers across the continent. From South Africa to Senegal, Ivory Coast to even the United States, the global appeal was captivating, fresh and very much in demand. Of course Nigeria’s finest were not left out as popular brands such as Orange Culture, Lanre Da Silva, Bridget Awosika, Nkwo, Lisa Folawiyo, Kelechi Odu, Apkos Okudu, Maki Oh, Mai Atafo and so many others were highly anticipated and well received. However, there is one show that made history, which no one is ever likely to forget for all the right reasons.
You guessed it… our #AboutThatCurvyLife Collective powered by Intel which was the sixth show on the first day of fashion week featuring 4 womenswear designers and the first ever recorded plus menswear collection on the continent. Tech giant Intel, gave the project its full support as their current campaign slogan “#IamPowerful” went hand in hand with AboutThatCurvyLife’s recurring message of empowerment. Intel has been no stranger to the fashion scene as they have been the tech sponsors of NYFW over the last couple of years. The womenswear designers from the ATCL Collective worked from a unified theme of Black/White/Shapes but chose to express their understanding of the brief quite differently, culminating into 4 similar yet distinct capsule collections with each designer’s aesthetic firmly stamped all over. Elements like fringes, sequins, floral appliques, cold-shoulders, deep-cuts, sparkles and embroidery were ever present motifs which elevated an otherwise monochromatic show, upping their designs and causing each piece to stand out.
Asides from the stunning pieces, the curvy models themselves were definitely part of the night’s spotlight as they hit the runway in a never-before-seen fashion. Their attitude, command of the catwalk and sharp strides in time to the music brought the house down with feverish excitement from the first model to the very last one. The collective was creatively supervised by Godson Ukaegbu, Editor of Style Mania Magazine while the models were trained extensively by veteran model, Andy Ogbechi of A Squared Network.
The Collective show was initiated and executed by media personality/Founder of Aboutthatcurvylife.com Latasha Ngwube, and was opened by Mabello Clolthier, followed by Tosfa, (broken in-between by menswear brand) Assian, Aisha Abu Bakar Luxury Design and Makioba closed the show.
Here’s an in-depth look and report of all the pieces from each designer that showcased on the Heineken Lagos Fashion and Design Week runway for the #AboutThatCurvyLife Collective.
Mabello Clothier opened the #AboutThatCurvyLife Collective presentation. The pieces from her collection served class and style as all the models were seen strutting down the runway wearing dark cat-eye shades and crimson red lips, looking bold and ready to take on the the show. Her collection was very feminine, with a black, open-backed shift dress adorned with black and white tassels on the inner side of the arm, a black sparkly jacket that went appropriately with a black dress that sported a lace hem, a white dress embellished with sequins and black and white fringe in front,doing justice to the outfit as it swayed from side to side as the model sashayed down the runway. There was also a full length dinner dress, complete with a crossover lace bodice, embellished with crystals and had cold shoulders, a black jumpsuit with knitted sleeves and finally another full length black dress with its upper half made from the same knitted pattern.
Tosfa’s collection went from playful chic to uptown fun ending on a high note. Each model walked the runway wearing shoes from the Gbemisoke shoes brand and a pink bow clipped to their hair. The makeup theme was nude with a dewy glow allowing the focus to rest squarely on the design offerings of the brand. A monochrome pant set with organza sleeves attached the top and white vertical lines on both sides of the trouser legs, a flirty red and black fringe dress straight out of the flapper era set pulses racing as well as an embellished white top with dramatically exaggerated sleeves paired with black pants. There was a black dress also fitted with exaggerated sleeves and floral embroidery that everyone agreed would transition perfectly from day to night, while a white organza jacket was paired with a black spaghetti dress. The final piece was a black heavily sequined ball dress with pink embellishments that glittered under the runway spotlight as the model walked.
The only male designer on the collective brought a cool distraction to break the first two female presentations. Hues of pink, grey, navy blue and a few other pastels silk, cotton and wool fabric were a surprise as everyone expected a fellow monochrome theme. Smoky eyes and bandages wrapped around their heads and arms were styled to symbolise the battle fought for plus menswear in fashion. Each model wore striking leather slippers from Nodrog St,- an accessories line by also by Assian’s Creative Director- Matthew Gordon. Bowler bags, folios, backpacks in sharp colours co-ordinating with their footwear made a nice contrast with the clothes. There was a pink satin shirt with long trouser and a navy blue blue jacket draped over the shoulders, a pink satin kimono-inspired top with grey satin trousers sporting a floral design showed that no option was left out of the collection. There was also a grey short sleeve shirt with striped grey shorts, a short sleeved navy blue jacket and baby pink shirt matched neatly with another pair of shorts. The navy blue satin outfit with a long gash down the front was distinctly noticed and finally, a long sleeved navy blue jacket worn with a pink shirt and grey trousers.
Aisha AbuBakr Luxury Designs
Aisha Abubakr Luxury Designs delivered pieces that were made from finely tailored silk and satin fabric with fringes, embroidery and elaborate cutouts cleverly reattached to the body of the garment that gave the collection a distinct feel of womanhood. The models boldly hit the runway also wearing shoes by Gbemisoke with a uniform updo hairstyle and flawless makeup rich in highlights and contours. The collection opened with a white satin dress that had fringe layers at the hem and sleeves, while another black satin dress sported an off shoulder Peter Pan collar and a full skirt cinched tight in the middle with a belt. An embellished organza crop and skirt combination made a stunning entry as did a full length black satin dressed heavily trimmed with white tassels and a surprise back made entirely of black and white tulle cutouts. There was also a cold shoulder black dress with the triangular shaped designs attached around and a lovely knee length black dress which had both the fringe and the triangle shaped attachments added to it.
Makioba collection closed the show with a bang as all the models wore black turbans tightly wrapped around their heads. Some of the turbans featured long feathers while others had white flower brooches added on. The outfits screamed creativity as she played with deep decolletages careful covered in sheer fabrics, sparkle, floral appliques and bold white bands on the outfits. A black jumpsuit piped with a white band at the neckline had a cape at the back giving it a vintage vibe, a criss-crossed black dress which was long on one side and short on the other side had floral embellishments on the waist, a black dress with a sparkly low cut middle and A-shaped short sleeves, a black gown with long sleeves and a slightly off-shoulder neckline. Another black dress with long lace arms and floral embellishments on the sides, an off shoulder black dress with a white bow along the entire length of the neckline and exaggerated bell sleeves and a sparkly peplum top and skirt was a beautiful break from the black and white.
Since the Collective’s debut on th erunway, the reviews have been coming in strong from across th eglobe, lauding the iniative and congratulating Latasha Ngwube on the bold approach towards including plus clothing in an otherwise straight sized show. History was made on the 26th of October at the Heineken Lagos Fashion and Design Week, as Africa saw its first female and male plus fashion collection presented at a major fashion week.
Here are some links below for press coverage of the Intel powered #Aboutthatcurvylife Collective at Heineken Lagos Fashion and Design Week.
Plus-size models strut their stuff on Lagos catwalk http://bbc.in/2eU7d1v via @BBCNews