Fashion Meets Art in LFDW’s ‘Identity’ Showcase
Heineken’s Lagos Fashion and Design Week just concluded its inaugural presentation at Red Door Gallery and it was a classic case of fashion meets art meets design in Nigeria’s cultural hub, Lagos. The presentation, entitled ‘Identity’, featured nine designers who “to a greater or lesser extent have previously traversed notions of identity, modernity, heritage and self-expression in their work.” From March 31st to April 2nd, editors, buyers and the general public were treated to a first look at the 2017 Autumn/Winter Collections of such designers as Lisa Folawiyo, Gozel Green, Orange Culture, Maki Oh, AAKS, Post Imperial, Shem Paronelli, Kelechi Odu and Ré. Each designer was designated a space to showcase their designs while effectively communicating their ideas in relation to the working theme of Identity. The AW17 pieces, from Lisa Folawiyo’s signature hand-embellished ankara and Orange Culture’s bold androgynous pieces to Shem Paronelli’s unconventional shoes and AAKS’ intricately handcrafted raffia bags were set against a gorgeous backdrop of artwork provided by exhibiting artists Adewale Fatai, Dennis Osabede and Oma amongst others. This presentation was an exhibition in and of itself and even included multiple screenings of film, Eko for Show: A History of Lagos Fashion which explored the history of Lagos fashion and the historical events that have shaped contemporary Lagos fashion scene.
The three-day event was truly a visual paradise- great art, exquisite designs and interesting concepts (Gozel Green’s ‘web’ and Paronelli’s sand-filled space major talking points). To top it all off, Heineken was on hand with free drinks for the thirsty guests (because who wouldn’t be exhausted after all that?)
LFDW’s inaugural presentation was a roaring success and not only proves the fun to be had in the fusion of fashion and art but also serves as a snapshot of the innovation and creative ambition seen in the Nigerian fashion industry.
By Rita Osakwe