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Haute Couture

Africa Fashion Week

The Africa Fashion Week Nigeria (AFWN) 2017 was a display of bold, edgy designs says FUNKE OSAE-BROWN.

It’s the first time the African Fashion Week Lagos would be held at the National Arts Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos, Nigeria. The entrance to the Cinema Hall was full of people walking through the exhibition. Interesting designs made of bright coloured Ankara fabrics were hanging on the hallway. Da Viva and ABC Wax the event’s main sponsor took a vantage position next to their franchise brand, Swarovski.

No doubt, this edition of the AFWN was well-attended by many fashion vendors. After going on a tour of the pavilion, the commencement of the first show for the first day was announced. We all moved into the hall to witness what could be called entrée of epic designs.

The Designs

Most of the designs showcased at the AFWN were edgy and eclectic, a testament that Nigerian fashion industry has truly come of age. The fashion week offered a genuine platform for new fashion designers to be discovered. And one is not disappointed at the calibre of designers showcased this year. Many bespoke pieces graced the runway at the AFWN 2017. Bespoke traditional outfits, dresses that would bring that dramatic change to the wardrobe were showcased.

Also, most of the designs will dictate the pace for the fashion industry this year. Exaggerated shoulders were some of the drama brought into the dresses on display for women as seen in pieces by Ara Ewa, Bijelly, Maufechi and others. Funnel and bell sleeves also rocked the runway.

Africa Fashion WeekLikewise, frills and patches returned in a big way as designers turned out a pleasant collection of forever chic flowing and mini dresses.

Lemah Hassan’s collection brings back in full force floral Ankara designs which was used to add substance to the pieces making the dresses quite daring.

For lovers of Artwears, handmade clothing with arty designs graced the runway most of which were expressed in very interesting skirts, dresses and pants. Also, the Ankara fabric was used to create tops and pants that made bold statements. Off shoulder dresses which have been strong fashion statement since last season, are still very relevant this season. Designers showed various dresses with off shoulder effect.

Finally, designers like Maufechi returned to the runway Victorian puffy sleeves designs with a touch of modernity using beautiful Da Viva and ABC wax fabrics.

Africa Fashion WeekThe Colours

Bold bright colours in hues of green, yellow, pink, green, blue, purple graced the runway. Nearly all the designers brought these colours to live in a daring and eclectic way. Their interpretation of these colours tells of a new vibe in the fashion industry this era.

Monochrome, black and white, also got a strong showing on the AFWN 2017 runway, especially from Regalia, Marobuk and Asake’s collection. Models strutted the runway in classy and comfy collections all in black and white.

A dramatic twist was also brought to the colour red in all shades. Bright red was huge on the runway, either as dresses, or accessories to break up the all black look.

Colour block aficionados were not left behind in the fashion offering at the AFWN 2017. There were interesting pieces in different colours that were well mixed.


Africa Fashion WeekThe Fabric

Floor-length skirts in silk taffeta, tulle, and organza are paired with everything from lace to colourful Ankara fabrics from Da Viva tops. The African print like ABC wax as we know it was reintroduced in a new way. It is a fabric that is still very much around as designers created sexy pieces with it.

Of course, the Ankara fabric from Da Viva was well showcased and was creatively put together with other fabric using sequins to create dazzling effects. Silk combined with sequined African print was used to create diverse yet interesting dresses. Sequins and metallic added sparks on the runways.

If you missed the 2017 edition don’t miss the next edition in 2018.

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