Friday, February 27, 2009

The Vlisco Fashion Show Review

(Written Feb 22nd 2009)
Celebs on the d.l. (down-low) in the house: Seffi Atta (in town for her new book tour and signings) and Asa (not sure what she’s in town for – love her to bits, but sister needs to hire a stylist to update her look and add some pep to her game! She looks ‘the same’ all the time. *Yawn*. Still love you for life Asa!
So back to the show! It was great! All Lagos fashionistas and recessionistas were in attendance in their JBL (Jewel By Lisa) and Odio Mimonet bests. There was so much weave and hair action going on in that tent, that if collectively monetized would be enough to save Darfur. From Brazilian to Indian to Egyptian hair..only Lord knows.
Now to the actual show. Other than the fact that it started late, as all fashion shows around the world must do, and that there was a bit of designer ‘mis-naming; drama on the part of the MC for which she was duly scolded for, it was very well done and organized. The MC, though slightly annoying in her repertoire (popular television personality Adesuwa Onyenokwe) and presentation style and commentary, she still made for good eye candy in her gorgeous JBL dress.

Seven up and coming designers showcased their talent using the Vlisco Ankara fabric as a recurring theme and I must say how proud I am of the budding – no, simmering raw talent abound in this country. I happened to be seated beside one of my favorite stylish people, Patrick Koshoni, and we were just talking about what a little bit or semblance of democracy has inspired in everyday young Nigerians finding the courage to nurture their talent and voila (see pictures above). My favorite of the lot was a young designer, still in design school at Nobel Afrique, Chineze Araka, who in my opinion should have won the first prize and not second, showcased some of the most beautiful designs of the evening. I met her after the show, had a quick nice chat, and it was evident to me that she wasn’t fully aware of her capacity and potential to become the next big buzz name in fashion in Nigeria. Hopefully she will and I’ll remind her of this someday down the line.
Then to the rest of the show, JBL showcased her lovely designs with her signature bling embellishments, even though I feel that the designer herself wore the best of all the pieces featured. Probably deliberate on her part. Of all the other main designers featured, I think Lisa’s designs were best positioned for the youthful, flirty, chic, social butterfly woman, who will be noticed and turn heads once she walks into a room. That’s the typical profile of the girl or woman that will wear JBL designs. Odio Mimonet’s designs, though she was the most seasoned and mature of the lot and been around the longest, were quite new to me. She’s one designer whose style I’ve never really placed, nor patronized, but I knew that she did have her following. Her designs tonight were the most polished , practical and wearable of them all; with a relational theme flowing through her entire showcase. They were beautiful and one could tell that she put a lot of thought into every piece. In a sense, each of her designs could be a wardrobe builder and essential for the same woman. From a play on a professional skirt suit to a dinner dress to a Sunday brunch outfit. Her display was in my opinion, the best.

Lanre DaSilva’s designs were very simply avant garde in every sense of the word and true to the designer’s style and signature. Her designs could easily have competed with the John Galliano’s of the world, in the sense that her designs have authentic runway and dramatic couture appeal with a style that’s almost difficult to interpret into everyday wear for the average woman. But I think that’s the point. LDA’s designs aren’t for the average woman. They are for the bold authentically-minded woman who is not afraid to be her most outrageous self. One you can’t help but admire as I’ve always done of this particular designer. Literally cut out of a page in Vogue where she really belongs. Her designs tonight though reminded me of an inspiration from Japanese geishas.
Tiffany Amber’s designs tonight were the least original. The showcase overall lacked authenticity and seemed to be suffering a bit of an identity crisis. There was a mix of bling embellishment, a tad of avant garde, though a sliver of the real Tiffany Amber shone through with one of the last pieces which had a mix of lycra with the Ankara.
Overall, great show and I think the beginnings of a LAGOS Fashion week tradition in a small form, may have been born today. Hopefully the industry will develop further with designers supporting each other more, embracing their niches while forming a coalition to make this a formidable reality. One to be reckoned with alongside the other fashion capitals of the world.

And as a total aside, I really must covet the new Nikon D90 that I’ve been salivating over since last year. It would really have been extremely handy on an occasion such as this to capture the multiple runway shots at lightning speed. I really missed not having one tonight :-(.


Anonymous said...

Nice one babes. Keep 'em coming!


Anonymous said...

Saymama, its amazing to see how multitalented and multifaceted you are. This a very good piece and even those of us that are fashion illiterates have not only learnt a thing or two but are tickled by the exceptional wit which you tell your 'stories'. You surely deserve your Nikon D90 - though this camera you took pics with didn't do too bad a job (you should copyright your pics on the web by the way). Welcome back Saymama, we will be holding you to your promise of more you in the blogosphere. You have been missed.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this very honest review..made me feel like i was in attendance as do most of your event recaps!
Meanwhile, i feel you on the lagos 'weave' issue, see a nice head of hair,seen it all...
I'm just wondering if there will ever be a fashion retail industry in Nigeri,Fashion Weeks are great but they do serve a commercial purpose, not merely a night out for the 'weave crew'

For the love of me said...

She"s back,She/s back. Really good to see you are back.Please update often, you are one of the beter writers here.
Yeah, Asha really needs to up her style a bit. I don\t know a lot about fashion as I am almost always in jean but i am glad the show went well.

Anonymous said...

Excellent review and great wit to boot. Made me feel like I should have been there and I am far from being a fashonista!

Papa Ayomide

Saymama said...

@Papa Ayomide: Finally feedback from you! Jah Bless o!

@D.O. & Anon 11.56am: Thanks for kind words & support. Do continue to check back for updates.

@Anon 11.03pm: I tell you, the weave game in this town is outta control. I mean if you're a girl it's really in your face, if you're a guy, I guess what you see is nothing but delectable eye candy.

@For the Love of me: Yes she's back o! Watch out for Saymama 3.0. Thanks for being a fan and trully, you should've been there!