LFDW held her inaugural A/W 'Identity' exhibition days ago and it sparked something exciting....
I got to know about this event just in time got interested about the bit that there's opportunity for Nigerian designers to show their works yet again (without the hassles of preparing for a huge fashion show so there's a possibility of putting out well curated and created pieces, boy was I right!) and of course actually showing an Autumn/Winter collection!
Happening for the first time, the LFDW initiative is brilliant! Nigerian designers including Lisa Folawiyo, Adebayo Oke-Lawal, Gozel Green, Post Imperial, AAKS, Re, Shem Paronelli and Kelechi Odu showed their latest A/W collections and chatted with people on the first day.
The exhibition presented the opportunity to interact with designers who gave first hand inspiration behind their presentations. The beauty of the exhibition was in the careful installation of each designer's specially curated (I would think so) pieces done to fit each person's personality/set theme.
Stepping right into Red Door Gallery, you are greeted by the sensual handbeaded gorgeousness that immediately makes you say 'This is Lisa Folawiyo'! This particular dress caught just enough light at intervals and automatically draws you in and next thing you know you going through it all- downstairs; Post Imperial, Lisa Folawiyo, AAKS and upstairs; Re, Shem Paronelli, Orange Culture, Kelechi Odu and Gozel Green,
Now I got a side comment about how "they allow only their own, they never let the new ones shine" which I subtly replied to as with everything I think best foot should be set forward so I would assume that the inaugural edition will feature those who have come into their own (at least to set the ball rolling? At the end of the day it's serious business and the best should come first or No? ).
That aside, I love how people got up close with designers and the inspiration/stories behind designs in the most relaxed way (I was chatting with Deola Adebiyi when a lady met Lisa Folawiyo and after asking questions, taking photos she screamed "Oh My God" for the longest time like she just met her idol- I think she did- and walked away shaking! We thought it was cute and funny) and honestly those opportunities work to push.
The details for each curated collection was also impressive as the essence of each designer's story was captured within their spaces. Shem Paronelli got it perfect with the sand, Orange Culture tells a deep story of hurt to breaking free infusing butterflies on pieces displayed with a floral backdrop that lightens everywhere up.
"A really brilliant idea, very much about time and absolutely needed, especially in a time when Nigerian designers are beginning to step out to show at other platforms during the AW season" fashion editor and head at A Nasty Boy Richard Akuson couldn't hide his excited first impression about the presentation. "I most especially have to commend the nature of the show, quite personal and intimate. It afforded fashion insiders and enthusiasts the opportunity to interact with the clothes and the designers" he tells me.
I'd say that it was beautiful start that can only get better but for a first time, it came together quite impressive. Style House Files' Omoyemi Akerele births another exciting and promising bit for the fashion industry and moving around with her usual grace like the perfect host making sure nothing is out of place at the exhibition while not taking away the spotlight from the designers.
"Instead of waiting for a whole year or eight months designers got the opportunity to showcase, it's a great new idea Fashion photographer; Chinedu Adiele says about the exhibition, "We saw upclose/personal designs from designers who were given the opportunity to explore and birth their ideas, Orange Culture's back drop and Gozel Green's web installation were my major highlights" he says.
The 3-day event done in an installation format aims to bring LFDW in line with what obtains in the global fashion scene giving fashion designers an opportunity to showcase their work as personally and intimately as possible so the essence is retained, which is just brilliant!
So for a first time, I'm definitely impressed!