The just concluded Africa Fashion Week Nigeria which like a magnet pulled lovers of all things fashion from all over the continent of Africa and beyond to one spot this past weekend, brought the City of Lagos, Nigeria to a screeching halt as Fashionistas delightfully found their way to the luxurious Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island Lagos which was the venue of the event. The Fashion Week included 5 thrilling catwalk shows showcasing fascinating artisanal creations of 50 African Fashion Designers; both established and upcoming.
Although the glamorous event wasn’t centered on shoes but clothing, the beautifully crafted African prints and styles most definitely gave room for multiple shoe-pairing inspirations.
While going through some of the collections showcased at the event, I came across some really interesting designs, for which I think I know just the right shoes to pair them with.
So let’s take a look at them:
We’ll begin with Ade Bakare Couture, an international London-based Fashion Brand created by Ade Bakare, a Nigerian Fashion Enthusiast who started his fashion line in England in the year 1991. From modern African attires to stunning English-cut designs, Ade Bakare has steadily and continually taken ultra feminine fashion a step further.
His most recent CRUISE LINE COLLECTION was debuted at the AFWN 2016, where he earned the position of Headline Designer for the event. Here’s a piece from his Cruise Line Collection which he featured at the Fashion Week.
Ade Bakare gave a twist to the renowned Nigerian ankara fabric with this gorgeous piece. I love that it’s a two-piece outfit (skirt and blouse), thus can also be paired separately (imagine the top on a pair of navy blue pencil pants! ♥). I also love the style of the blouse which is subtly detailed and free, and would be especially good for ladies with abs that need to be hidden 😉 . Another thing that trips me about the top is the attractive red bow at the neck area which adds a pop to the entire outfit. The models totally pulled it off with the hats and sun shades, giving it a touch of sophistication. It looks very comfy and is a total display of contemporary African Fashion. In my opinion, I think a nude or off-white pair of high-heeled sandals would be just right with this outfit. For more fabulous outfits from Ade Bakare Couture, check here.
NEXT- Latreia Designs, an African inspired and Nigeria-based clothing line whose owner, Ikwo Ndiomu got her fashion-design flame kindled from a friend’s mother’s dress making studio over 20 years ago, started out in its fullness in the year 2015. The Line’s first runway show was at the St. Eve’s West African Fashion Week 2015, where it showcased its first set of beautiful creations. In less than a year, Latreia Designs has gained a lot of traction and recognition in Nigeria, as it continues to committedly cater for the clothing needs of the African Female.
Here’s one piece which the brand showcased at the just concluded AFWN 2016.
It’s a full jump suit with a fascinating front cape detailing. It’s so African and undoubtedly CHIC. It portrays a stylish and fearless African woman who knows her worth! Asides the fact that I love lilac 🙂 , the blue and white combo gives it a perfect and tasteful blend. Black or navy blue heels would totally rock this. Good job Latreia. This is Exceptional! For more on Latreia Designs, check here.
Shoe Suggestion: Zara High-Heel Two-Tone Sandals
NEXT- Cynthia and Angel, a feminine Nigerian brand founded by Cynthia Achama Otiyo-Abila who has always been fascinated by Arts and creative wearable designs, which led her to seek a proper training in garment making from the University of Arts, London, after which she started the Cynthia and Angel brand in 2015.
Since then, the brand has kept up with creating simple, chic and high quality wearable outfits for different classes of women in Nigeria. In her own words, Cynthia says: “At Cynthia and Angel, we marry contemporary designs with a deep respect for African culture and diversity, while paying calculated attention to excellence, details, aesthetics and customer satisfaction aiming towards perfection”. Well here’s one of her designs which certainly portrays her words.
I’m not very sure what fabric this is exactly, but it looks like a type of satin with some faded flowery designs on it, doubled behind with a bit of the famous Nigerian ankara fabric which we see on the stylish front flap. It’s a very smart-looking dress, with clear and precise cuts. The length is just perfect, and with the military buttons on it, I would call it a “military wrap dress” 🙂 . A pair of army-green or black heels (sandals or pumps) would do perfectly well in blending out the cream and bronze colors used on the outfit. To see more great outfits from Cynthia & Angel, click here. If you would also love to get any of the outfits, you could send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org requesting for the brand’s customer service number, through which you could contact them and place your order.
Shoe Suggestion: ALDO Glelian – Khaki Teal
Next- Ekaz Signature is another feminine Nigerian fashion brand, created by Shirley Ukpaka who studied Theater Arts in College, but rather went into another form of arts totally outside the theater! LOL. She’s a promising and an ambitious young designer who hasn’t relented in pursuing her dreams, and has diligently taken steps towards improving on her skills by attending quite a number of indigenous fashion schools and training programmes in Nigeria.
The AFWN 2016 was her very first fashion exhibition, where she excitedly showcased her recently created collection themed Kilibe, which means “start looking or watching”. In her own words,”it’s about that masterpiece attire or outfit where you steal the show or become the centre of attraction”. Well this here didn’t fail to steal the attention of the event’s attendees, and mine most especially 🙂 .
It’s a great combination of a gorgeously printed ankara fabric and a polka-dotted organza material. It’s lovely and eye-catchy, containing a mix of both Afro and Anglo fashion, especially with the peplum which adds another contemporary touch to it. Umm..one thing’s a bit off here though: The bag used by the model doesn’t quite fit. The dress is already very colorful and has detailed patterns on it, so the brown, red and snake-skin addition from the bag doesn’t look right. The bag also looks pretty over-sized for that style of outfit. In my opinion, I think a black clutch purse with some crystal embellishments in front, paired with black high-heeled sandals would promote the elegance and gracefulness which this outfit represents. The bag aside, it’s a skillful and well thought out creation done by Ekaz. For more of Ekaz’s beautiful collections, check here.
Shoe Suggestion: ZARA Leather Strappy Sandals
It’s so inspiring and personally challenging to see Africans doing really big stuff; standing as fashion trend-setters not just within our borders, but also across the globe. It only tells me that I can not only dream big, but also pursue and accomplish my dreams if I set my mind right and channel my energy (intellectual and otherwise) towards the right direction 🙂 .
For more Fashion from Africa, below is a list of some exceptional Nigerian Fashion Designers to be on the look out for:
- Afrik Abaya
- Agatha Moreno
- Ovems Fashion
- T16 World of Fashion
- Apex Clothings
- Nugo’s clothings
- Asake Oge
- Bello Edu
- House of Dabira
- Colour of Cue
- Signature Secret
- Reni Smith
- El Amanah clothings and couture
- Lines By Chaab
- Elawe Couture
- Eminence 1129
- Victoria Grace
- Nipo Skin
- Niki Kay
- Mo’Fari Couture
- Somandra Stitches
- Trish O Couture
- Eve design Online
- Farida’s Atelier
- Veba Textile Mills
- Tasha Gillies
- H.O.T by Yemi Alade
- DNA by Iconic Invanity
- T.i.r Fashion
- JPKouture by Hadassah
- Vivian Bennet
- Morin. O