Can I just say I was bursting at the seams with African pride when I attended this show? I was lucky enough to attend with my friend Viviam and it was the best hour of my life! It didn't matter that I could hardly see anything or that someone in my vicinity let one rip.
I've seen Oluchi in person!
It's too much (clutches heart and whimpers).
Yeah, I was ecstatic.
Check out my review of the three lines that were shown at the Arise show : )
Arise magazine’s third runway show took place at the giant tent in Bryant Park on Saturday 8:00 p.m. and I was there to see what three of Africa’s talented designers envisioned for A/W 2010.
Black Coffee: At first glance, the statement coats designers Jacques van der Watt and Danica Lepen of Black Coffee sent down the runway looked like outerwear Lady Gaga would don with a veiled turban while vacationing in Moscow. But another look at the South African designers’ work and those coats were looking more fitting for a daring Park Avenue resident than an outrageous pop superstar. Yes, the duo played with shape using exaggerated ruffles, folds and draping in the majority of their coats. But with subdued neutral colors – matched with equally striking but subdued accessories – the pieces are nowhere near eccentric; the volume could have easily gone into sloppy “hobo” territory if not for the slightly boxy structure. All the same, with the attention grabbing design, these coats definitely are not for everyone. But the woman who believes fashion is wearable art will find much to choose from this collection.
Loins Cloths and Ashes: This line, in my opinion, is most likely to do well commercially. Tanzanian designer, Anisa Mapung’s pieces screamed “wearable” as soon as the models came down the runway. With the collection being made up of basics like pants, skirts, dresses and tops, it seems the designer’s pieces have a good chance of transitioning from the runway to the streets. The colors were fall staples: blacks, greys and browns with some silver thrown in. These neutral colors made for a striking contrast against the cobalt blue accessories the designer paired with the clothes. A nice touch was Mapung’s subtle branding; many of the tops are decorated with her motif in the shape of an origami bird, one of the inspirations behind her collection. It’s unique but understated enough for those who aren’t label whores.
Deola Sagoe: Dripping with attitude. Fierce as hell. Sassy and sexy. Kickass in a glam-rock kind of way. These are just a few of the words and phrases that can be used to describe Deola Sagoe’s fall collection. Shown to a very enthusiastic crowd, the Nigerian designer’s line consisted of rompers, evening dresses, structured jackets and pantless looks. While the designer told The Wall Street Journal she was inspired by the military, her collection felt reminiscent of Michael Jackson’s style circa 1982. The use of gold and black gave the already dramatic silhouettes an almost theatrical look that is definitely not ideal for the day. Yet for the rock-star in all of us, Sagoe designed bold looks that will surely make one feel like a celebrity at the VMAs.