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Realness Corner With Fola Francis: A Review Of Nigerian Student Fashion And Design Week 2018

Hey Starlights, It’s been a minute.

Well I’m back and here to bring you some tea – this time it’s about everything that went down at the “Nigerian Student Fashion and Design Week 2018”(NSFDW) which took place at the Federal Palace hotel and Casinos Victoria Island, on the 8th of September.

I arrived at the venue super early, about 1:30pm to help a friend who also showcased set up her exhibition area, and help take care of other stuff. I must add that the NSFDW platform has grown immensely over the past two years. The last time I attended their fashion show was 2016. It took place then in a hall in University of Lagos, and the entire show screamed low budget and tackiness. Fast forward to now they’re doing their shows at Federal Palace, the same venue LFW used to take place, that’s like dope! I love a good upgrade story.

Well let’s get into the real tea.

The NSFDW is a platform that helps introduce young designers to the fashion market. At the end of their fashion shows there are always prizes for the most creative designer amongst other categories, which means there are obviously going to be judges present at the occasion. This year’s judges were, Jane Michael Ekanem, Sharon Ojong, Akin Faminu, Maryanne Alabi, Adebayo Oke-Lawal, Chidera Muoka and Dipo Adeusi. In my opinion 7 judges is a lot, chilee it’s never that deep.

 

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The first show started late as expected, (cause Nigerians with the “African time” **eyes rolling**)

The first set of designers that showed, I honesty didn’t like any of them. Majority of the pieces shown looked tacky, bad tailoring, some didn’t even bother to iron their pieces, while some you can tell are creative but their execution was just very poor. Aspiring designers need to know that it’s not only about liking fashion, if you want to start a clothing line, you go out and get knowledge about it, don’t just hop on the sewing machine and be cutting clothes and tacking them together. Whew!

After the first show was concluded, there was a 30-minute break to get prepped for the second show. I used the opportunity to go change my outfit. I was in a regular fit throughout the first show because I had to help my friend out with her exhibition area, like I mentioned earlier. (I’m a very good friend). So I changed into a black sheer tee, black pants, black boots, and an orange faux fur I got from “Ell Brand”, I threw the fur over my shoulders. Man I looked like a million bucks, although I felt a little over dressed, because chilee all eyes were on me. Unfortunately I was so tired and couldn’t make any red carpet appearances, so I have no full picture of my outfit. I just went straight to claim my seat at the Frow (front + row = frow) okurrr!

Me!

The first designer to open the second show was my girl “Laurel Maris”, her clothing line is called “Ell brand”. Her pieces were lovely, couture AF! I mean no friend of mine is basic. She made use of different fabrics like, velvet in burgundy colour, lace in burgundy, satin in off-white, organza in off-white, and Ankara prints in multiple colours. I loved the collection, but it wasn’t the best I saw at the entire NSFDW show.

 

I’m just going to highlight the designers that stood out for me the most. I won’t talk about all of them, because if I do I’d have so many negative things to say, and I don’t want to sound bitter in any way, Fola is a sweet boy.

Another designer that stood out for me was Fams Ng. His pieces were so clean, the tailoring were quintessential, I was in love with the clean cuts before I even took time to pay attention to the entire collection, which was mind blowing by the way. His pieces were androgynous, there were lot of cutouts, some came with messages saying “Feminist, men with tits” I wasn’t really sure if it was a misogynistic statement or not. I’d have to find out from him. Oh and he won the best men’s wear designer category. Well deserved!

 

The last designer that stood out for me was “Agwemel”.

Agwemel’s show was a little delayed. I think it had something to do with the organisers messing up her playlist, and boo wasn’t about to let them disrupt her entire show by playing the wrong song, so she didn’t start until they played the song she submitted, even if it meant wasting our time.

Finally her show started, Lawd! her show was so dramatic, and controversial. Three guys came out ahead of the models, wearing black robes like some demons, their faces were studded, two of the demons stood at both sides of the runway, while the third one was dancing and vogueing, I was entertained at the same time thinking to myself ‘this show better be a good one’, and then the first model stepped out in a metallic gold latex jumpsuit, I almost when blind. The illumination was burning my retinas. It was followed by several other metallic latex in black, silver, and blue. There was one with glittery fringes all over, and there were others giving me the heavenly bodies MET GALA theme vibe, because of the fabrics and exaggerated crowns. Her entire show was like something out of a drag race ball, I was here for it.

She went home with the most creative designer prize, which comes with a trip to the United States, and also showcasing at a fashion show there.

Did I think she deserved the win?

Well, since it’s called ‘the most creative award’ she did deserve it, because you have to be creative to pull that kind of show off. But her pieces were not perfect, they were just extra.

Hope you enjoyed reading my piece. Don’t forget to follow me on my social media @fola_xo.

Ciao!

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