This post has been on my mind, since the just concluded Lagos Fashion and Design Week (LFDW). LFDW provided the platform for over 50 designers to show a few seating experts, critics and onlookers what they are made of. Thankful for the new digital age, where hashtags have revolutionized viewership, I viewed the whole parade (as I would like to call it) on Instagram and sometimes switched to twitter.

Surprisingly this year was a mix of both emotions but the men reigned supreme. You know how gender gets to play in certain professions, fashion in Nigeria, has in most cases been viewed from the lens of the female gender. I'm gladdened that the male designers who showed this year changed the game and to me they won on that runway.


I decided to create this post to highlight some designers, whose designs are a delight to see. The print, the cut, the structure, the aesthetically pleasing flow, the nonconforming nature their designs took and those who year in year out are the headliners of designers to watch. This year sure did put us on the map, the risk where taken by designers and they were intentional, artsy and thought of home. Perhaps to highlight this years theme; Africa: Shaping Fashion's Future" The names are linked

Meena. 

Y'all know how I'm a big fan of vintage and pieces that are timeless, that tell a story of the person wearing it, and can sometimes translate to what mood, moment and feeling that individual is going through. Yes this designer ticked all that for me, it was refreshing to see a different cut pattern, materials that felt like home and had a feminine finishing. I look at the pictures taken from fashion week every day and i'm satisfied.


Abiola Olusola  
I for one, have always felt that although the concept of ready to wear has been overused, the edge and need for ready to wear has lost its appeal, or perhaps not yet. This designer did her thing. Its easy to overlook what she did on the runway but I see myself in all the minimal designs that rocked that runway. Now I feel the need to travel in one of her alluring numbers, the presentation was so beautiful and aesthetically pleasing. Something about the earth tone colors chosen made the outfit pop.



Christi Brown

This particular designer makes me emotional. I have followed her work for more than four years and every single time, she blows me away. I feel her work should be in a museum somewhere, how does one have this rare unique talent, of being exemplary in her work and unadulterated? Christi Brown in her own way has changed how African fashion is viewed and received. The excellence in her craft is viewed from afar, sometimes you don't find the right words to qualify how her work makes you feel. I think she's making my wedding dress. (Pictures from Christi Brown IG page)




Post Imperial
This designer won fashion week (my personal view). See its not always the finesse things of life that counts, sometimes just create and let the creation speak for itself. I see this design and I see what fashion in Africa should feel and look like, which is unapologetic. We are happy people and sometimes we don't see plain colors and our fathers and those before them would have probably thought and felt the same way I feel by looking at the collections from Post Imperial. I loved the theme and whoever styled the outfits have to be given a nod.  it was an excellent production.



Elie Kwame

His designs sultry, but didn't give up too much for the woman not to be respected. Vintage with every cut and piece, I need to go to a burlesque dance with one of his designs.



Grey:
 Everyone I knew gave a standing ovation for this designer. I can say I've been privileged to meet the person behind this brand. I can tell you why the excellence exudes from her work. I just see uniqueness and royalty looking at this brand.

Orange Culture: A very good friend of mine, year in year out he does not fail to show the reasons why he headlines every years fashion week. Androgynous in his ways, his design fluid and unapologetic. He does his thing and I don't think he is having any competition soon. I always look out for the materials he uses to interpret his designs and this year, I was simply amazed and blown away. Every detail was given attention and it was almost like he (the designer) was giving permission to the wearer to interpret for themselves, what the outfits meant to them.



Titi Bello: This designer makes me so happy. People who remain true to craft and force you to acknowledge their force. I totally loved her presentation, it was mild but achieved its purpose. loved the blend of how recent architecture in the design played out.

 
Emmy Kasbit:
His designs where refreshing on the runway, the blend of modern material and refinement of asoke which was a delight. The colors he chose worked, this one of those designs you can't ignore.




NKWO:

If I lived in the 60's and I had the opportunity to reinvent the word minimalist, with the African fashion scope in perspective and narrative in mind, this designers work would be the first image to pop on my mind. It gives you this breath of fresh air, and a feeling that such an item is needed in your life and existence.
 


Ugo Monye 
Agbada with cape and some other mystical looking designs that are not so familiar to us yet in concept yet they looked amazing. The internet recently went wild, when one of his designs was cited on a popular TV presenter and host Ebuka for his friends wedding. The technique implored is one I just want to be unaware of and appreciate in the finishing.



JZO:
I didn't know much of him, until I started researching for this post. I really loved his collection too. This is my expectation of what a well dressed man should look like on his day off. His designs are your ready to wear for male folks. I loved the colors and patterns and print he chose for this collection. Amazing.




Rich Mnsi: This designer snatched my edges. The play on colors for his designs had me sold. I loved how they had this urban vibe. Like for the teens and young-ins, which the African fashion scene seem to neglect (hopefully the prices are also cut in same way that fits the scope).


At the end of the day this are my own picks, but I did feel every designer put their best foot forward. It is always a delight to see we are pushing and breaking stereotypes that are associated with the African continent. So much better to know that a common ground such as fashion is pushing the frontier. Hopefully Nigeria, will take a cue and revive our textile industry to make things a bit easier to deal with and allow for broad creative process.

© Copyright Lagos Fashion and Design Week.
**Photo Credits: Kola Oshalusi (Insigna).
Who were your favorite designers, and have you adorned any of their piece