Fashion month round up
Fashion school went back in session in September. It all started in the Big Apple. New York Fashion week gave us everything we needed. From gorgeous models to fabulous clothes, we lived for the glam and did so vicariously not only through the social media of the fashion houses, but also from our beloved international fashion personalities. NYFW was all about Kylie Jenner. She certainly won the style wars. Rocking freshly dyed platinum hair, the youngest member of the Kardashian/ Jenner clan served up different looks ranging from a futuristic Laquan Smith coat, to an urban-glam Balmain ensemble. Kylie proved to us that she has become a style star in her own right.
The New York presentation regulars like Marc Jacobs, Joseph Altuzarra, Oscar De La Renta, Naeem Khan, Michael Kors, Marchesa and DKNY all presented strong collections that received rave reviews and also garnered some controversy. The Marc Jacobs collection, which was inspired by 90’s punk rock and grunge glam, received some criticism and reignited a dialogue about cultural appropriation because the mostly caucasian models donned faux dreadlocks on the runway.
Another show that garnered a lot of attention and criticism was the presentation of Kanye West’s fourth fashion collection; Yeezy Season 4. The show, which held on a warm, sunny afternoon on Roosevelt Island, New York City was described as one of the most hellish, tortuous experiences in fashion week history. Models who were made to stand in the heat for hours were dehydrated , some could barely walk in their heels on the runway. Some of the models even had to be helped ap and out by members of the audience. This was a far cry from West’s highly lauded “Yeezy Season 3” debut at Madison Square Garden earlier in the year. It has been rumored that West has since fired over 30 people due to the numerous kinks in his new show’s production.
The just-concluded Paris Fashion Week started flawlessly. This season in Paris was a seasons of firsts for some of the designers and celebrities. Mega pop star Rihanna , debuted her new collaborative collection line with Puma; Fenty x Puma. The Bajan pop star had significant input into the creative direction and production of the show and received rave reviews on the collection. It was also Anthony Vaccarello’s debut collection for YSL, which recently had a creative direction shakeup, following the departure of longtime creative director; Hedi Slimane. Right in the thick of the glitz and glam, Kim Kardashian West who had made a couple of high-profile, super stylish appearances on the front Row of shows like Balenciaga and Balmain, was held at gunpoint by five gunmen in her Paris apartment. The terrifying ordeal received worldwide coverage and put a dampener on Paris Fashion Week with Kendall Jenner, ‘it girl’ and sister to Kim Kardashian, skipping the runway for Chanel and rushing back stateside to be with her family. The, Miu Miu ,Louis Vuitton and Kenzo shows all went off without a hitch following the super dramatic weekend.
Now that Paris is over, we now shift our eyes to Africa for the upcoming Lagos Fashion and Design Week, which shall take place at the end of October. The four-day event, which will be held at The Federal palace Hotel, has served as an effective platform for Nigerian designers to showcase their work and be given the opportunity to reach an international audience. This year there has been a focus on the Business of Fashion and how to maneuver it. A series of paneled discussions will be held at the venue, before the runway shows begin, to give some insight to the now growing industry. In its sixth year, LFDW still serves as the largest and most recognized fashion event in Nigeria and has received international media attention from the likes of Vogue magazine, The Business Of Fashion publications and Paper magazine. Bloggers, stylists, editors and retailers all flock down to indulge in the chic mania of it all and this year will be no different.
Coming up in November, hot-on-the-heels of Lagos Fashion and Design Week, The Gaurantee Trust Bank (GTBank) Fashion weekend will make its first annual debut. News of a second fashion week caused a stir within the industry especially because GTBank was the titled sponsor of LFDW for a few years. After a lot of speculation about the format the GTBank fashion weekend would take, the organization released an explanation about the initiative behind their fashion weekend. It appears to be quite different from LFDW, as the GTbank fashion weekend is mainly focused on master classes aimed at informing the audience on effective production methods and other aspects of the industry that are intended to aid designers with converting their talent to sales. This format is aligned with the food fiesta the bank also presents annually. They provide informative master classes and give vendors the opportunity to display or sell their products.
The thing I love most about fashion week in Nigeria is that it is always unpredictable. Making predictions about possible new trends this early in the game is not only faux pas but also basically impossible. One prediction that I am confident in is that no matter what happens, the designers in Nigeria shall bringing their A-game and without a doubt will start an international dialogue on what it means to be fashionable and African in this time.