After weeks of anticipation, ARISE Fashion Week finally kicked off in Lagos, Nigeria yesterday and it totally and absolutely lived up to the hype – with only one downer though; late start, because Nigerians…
The event was scheduled to start by 3:30 PM with a meet and greet session, and the fashion shows by 4PM but nothing started until 4 hours later – 8:25 PM to be precise.
By now, I was practically starving and unlike their rival LFDW and GTB Fashion Weekend, there was nowhere to buy “cheap” food. I tried to console myself with the fact that this show promised to be like nothing we’ve ever witnessed in these parts – the Most Beautiful Runway in Africa. Surely, that should be enough to keep my hunger at bay, and surprisingly it did. Because when the show finally opened, I could barely remember how long I had had to wait. It was absolutely breathtaking. The models, the collections, everything was on point!
For the purpose of this post, let’s look at the collections that stood out for me.
The runway was opened by Vonne Coutre and it was one of my favourites of the night. It was colourful, chic and modern. There was a right mix of yellow, green, pitch, orange, and all those bright colours with fluffy footwear, sunshades and flowery designs. This collection was playful and absolutely feminine. It was even made all the more beautiful when Oluchi magically strode out looking very fierce and regal in a frilly red number paired with an elaborate hat.
Latasha Ngwube‘s About That Curvy Life was fab as usual. She brought us three collections; FIA, Sally Brown and Manoshia. The Sally Brown collection got me thinking there were a lot more she could have done but the second was IT for me. Bold completely describes it.
I really loved that the plus-size pieces didn’t cling to the body of the models but at the same time, gave a sexy appeal. Great job!
Tania Omotayo‘s Ziva Lagos made its first ever runway appearance last night too, and it wasn’t a bad outing by a mile. The pieces were fun, vibrant, chic and very wearable.
With Divine Endowment, Ankara was made fun, really fun. The cuts were sharp and smart. It was really experimental. My best was the ‘House of Divas’ collection which brought slits, prints, bow, ballerina, and a fine mix of Ankara and other fabrics.
I also loved the ABAYA collection which was Arabian inspired and sophisticated. They were layered and glittery. Headpieces, robes, and exaggerated sleeves, I would completely wear them. It was also cool how the models paired the outfits with sunshades.
Laurence Airline is arguably my best of them all. I love love them, from the models to the outfits. Straw hats, strap sandals, canvas, short length trousers, blazers, shirts, bold jackets, ankara, checkered fabrics, strips characterised this men’s collections. This collection felt retro and timely at the same time. It is bold and classic.
I’ve come to expect only the best from Lanre DaSilva Ajayi and I wasn’t disappointed. Her collection was a mix of elegance and sophisticated sexiness. It was shimmery, it was flamboyant, it was chic and sheer, giving room for flashes of skin! (The show was opened by the iconic British supermodel Naomi Campbell (which threw the whole hall into turmoil) and closed by Oluchi. Breathtaking doesn’t even begin to describe it.
Kluk CGDT was another fave! And it was also opened by Naomi Campbell who looked regal (of course) in a violet wrap number with fringe details. The collection consisted of pieces with silhouettes designed to flatter the feminine form.
I couldn’t go without writing about Andrea Iyamah! Her bikinis would have you thinking of a sunny, sandy beach somewhere in the Caribbean, even though you have a deadline to meet and a boss sitting on your neck.