Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Arise...oh compatriots

Just got back from my Lagos trip. I was fortunate enough to cover the Arise Fashion show, better known as the AMFW (thank you very much!) at the Federal Palace Hotel in V.I.
How to describe it? Well, it was many things; colourful, creative, hectic (mad!) and unexpected are some of the better qualifiers. In spite of incredible challenges, the designers worked hard to produce shows good to rival anything you will see in London or New York. Kudos to them all!

My personal take is that it was worth seeing (very much so in fact). Spread over four days, models dripping with attitude trampled across a silvery, sometimes wonky catwalk to showcase designs of not only Africa's best and most promising but also international designers like Gavin Rajah and Petrou/Man.

Most of the designers were Nigerians but their collections were very international, perhaps a reflection of the dichotomy between the realities of living in the country and the outward focus of its upwardly mobile populace. Times are changing. Silk tops, brocade and velvets gowns, transparent lace and chainmail took dominace over the more traditional ankara fabrics.

Oswald Boateng's presence gave the ceremony a sensationalist gloss. It is quite a coup that he should close the show and it says a lot about the importance of showmanship in Nigeria's commercial capital.

Vive la mode!

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