Nigerian Designers Showing At Africa Fashion Week London
Fashion weeks are the most exciting events in every fashion calendar – its the Grammys, Oscars, Emmys and Nobel prize rolled into one for fasionistas. And the last few days in a certain part of London has been filled(not just amazing summer weather) with the boldest designs, brightest colours and prints – a collection of ideas, style and fashion all influenced by African culture. The event in question has been the successful 3rd edition of Africa Fashion Week London which has been on since the 1st of August at Old Truman Brewery at the fashion capital’s hip and happening district Shoreditch.
Months ahead, tons fabrics have been selected, scissors, pins and needles flying, designers have prepared for their moment on the runway in front of thousands of fashionable Londoners and guests who have come in from across the world and all over Africa as well as celebrities, dignitaries and VIP guests including AFWL2013 patrons, Abuja based business woman and architect Mrs. Fifi Ejindu and London-based Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare MBE.
In this year’s edition of Africa Fashion Week London, showcasing African and African-inspired designs are a good number of Nigerian designers who have travelled from Lagos and Abuja to dazzle the London fashionistas with varied colours, fabrics and textures.
As the event comes to a close at 10pm today, let’s have a look at some of the names showing this afternoon from 4.30pm at the #AFWL2013.
Zizi Cardow (Zizi Cardow would be closing the event today as the last designer on the runway tonight)
One of the forerunners of African fashion with her eponymous label launched in 2000, earning the designer the prestigious Designer of the Year Award at the Nigerian Fashion Show, Zizi Cardow needs to introduction.
Possibly one of the most decorated fashion designers in Nigeria, Cardow also pioneered the use of ethnic Nigerian fabrics in fashion with her works has been featured in all local and some international media including CNN, FTV, SABC and CHANNEL O.
Visit Zizi Cardow’s website for more views of her classic and mature designs at www.zizicardowcollections.com
Ella and Gabby (Showing at 4.30pm – solo show)
The Nigerian brand launched in 2012 by Ada Mgbudem which stole the headlines with the sumptuous Autumn/Winter 2013 Tropical Sophistication this spring will be showcasing at Africa Fashion Week London 2013 with not just any show but a solo show.
Known for their feminine cuts and exquisite print pieces with luxurious embellishments, Ella and Gabby is set to take the AFWL runway by storm.
With Ada Mgbudem’s desire to turn her label into a global brand, where better to showcase but as a solo designer on the Africa Fashion Week London runway? Get ready for 45 minutes of glam and glitz brought to you by Ella and Gabby.
For more on Ella and Gabby visit www.ellaandgabby.com
Elegante by Tiannahstyling (Opening the 6.30pm show)
Launched in 2012 by young entrepreneur Toyin Lawani, one of Nigeria’s number one creative directors and stylists, Elegante by TiannahStyling encapsulates the essence of femininity with designs that flatter the female form.
Having worked as a stylist backstage at last year’s event, styling for a number of designers including the grand finale by Adebayo Jones on Saturday’s gala show, Lawani feels ready to showcase her own designs on the AFWL runway this year.
“My collection is very dramatic and London fashionistas should expect the best my unpredictable and creative mind has to offer,” Lawani says.
For more on Toyin Lawani’s designs visit www.elegantebytiannahstyling.
House of Farrah(Opening the 8.30pm show)
A solo showcase designer last year, Abuja based label House of Farrah returns this year as part of the Saturday evening gala show. Famed for flattering feminine forms, House of Farrah launched under a different name in 2005 by Fatima Aliyu Garba epitomizes luxury and exclusivity.
House of Farrah ready-to-wear, bespoke and bridal creations are known for marrying exquisitely hand-crafted luxurious trimmings, Swarovski crystals with opulent and beautiful fabrics sourced from all over the world.
For more on House of Farrah’s designs vist www.houseoffarrah.com
Mademoiselle Aglaia(Closing the 6.30pm show today)
19-year-old law student at Warwick University and CEO/Creative Director of upcoming fashion label Mademoiselle Aglaia, Mariam Afolabi is one of the many designers for the sole existence of AFWL as a platform to give young designers an opportunity to shine. And shine Afolabi certainly did at last year’s Africa Fashion Week London.
Started in 2009, Mademoiselle Aglaia works with African and contemporary fabrics to create unique, African-inspired looks for contemporary women.
After her AFWL debut in August 2012, Afolabi successfully launched her collection Acanthus and Renaissance Art with a spectacular fashion show in Lagos.
With such consistency and creativity at just the beginning of her career, we are sure it is not long before Mariam makes Mademoiselle Aglaia one of the most celebrated new African labels worldwide.
For more of Mariam Afolabi’s designs visit mademoiselleaglaia.tumblr.com
Yutees(One of the designers showing from 6.30pm)
Back for another year at Africa Fashion Week London is Yutees, Nigeria label launched in 2006 with its first opening in the city of Portharcourt, Rivers State, with a branch in Abuja in 2011.
Working with a range of fabrics such as silk, laces, shivon, Ankara amongst other, Yutees creates lady-like silhouettes for all occasions.
Last year at AFWL, Yutees gave us a kaleidoscopic catwalk playing with primary colours mixed with complementary prints – Paisley and floral prints and geometric patterns in green, red, purple were juxtaposed with colour-blocked primary colours panels in asymmetrical skirts and collars. And we do not expect anything less this year.
For more on Yutees, visit www.yutees.com
Alabi Couture(Showed 2nd of August)
Meg Alabi launched in MD’s Clothing in 2005 in Surulere, Lagos, which proved an instant hit with the Lagos power dressers due to Meg’s eye for fashion and a rich stock. In 2011 Alabi launched the eponymous Alabi Couture, specializing in designing couture, high tempo fashion with an eye for cut and fit.
When asked what the audience at AFWL 2013 can expect from her, Meg describes her collection as a “2-in-1 collection, a combination of Ankara, cotton, silk, chiffon and a combination of a day wear and evening wear with much needed comfort, sassy and trendy class for both men and women.”
For more on Alabi Couture visit www.mdsclothing.com
For a detailed run through of the shows later on today, click here