GTBank Fashion Weekend: More Than Just A Fashion Showcase
With over twenty international models, 14 exclusive designers across Africa, Europe and America, a swarm of fashion enthusiasts and the mass media, Lagos, the commercial nerve centre of Africa, was agog with fashion at its finest as the much anticipated GTBank Fashion Weekend took centre stage last Saturday and Sunday.
Organized with overall vision of promoting enterprise and enriching the lives of its customers, the two-day event, held at Water Corporation Drive, Oniru, Victoria Island, Lagos, was an ultimate fashion experience, where the best and most sought after fashion houses as well as the most promising and talented retail brands showcased latest fashion trends, accessories and beauty products to a large and diverse audience of consumers, fashion aficionados and industry professionals.
Attendees were treated to a series of fashion events, including fashion exhibition, entrepreneurial and fashion masterclasses where participants had the unique opportunity to learn from global industry leaders and experienced brands.
As was the case in previous years, the highlight of the event was the runway show. With top dignitaries, designers and celebrities taking their place on the front row, designers presented everything – from casual work wear to evening looks – to thousands of fashion enthusiasts.
Day One kicked off on a vibrant note with a dance performance which was closely followed with the presentation of Ituen Bassey’s collection. The designer played with beach wear and casual looks in different ways, covering the models’ heads in hair nets; there were inscriptions on t-shirts, tassels, skirts and more.
Next was Sukeina who showcased one of the best looks of the day, with a gothic-inspired line. It featured black dresses made with scuba fabric with ruffle hems and extravagant layers; sometimes, incorporating some amount of punk.
Then, there were net and lycra fringe dresses in red, showing lots of skin as the designer gave us an adult perspective on ruffles.
For New York’s Romeo Hunt, Nigeria’s Gozel Green and South Africa’s Clive Rundle, casual is the new cool. While Hunt sent models down the runway in rain coat and dramatic fall jackets with furs; for Green, it was an eccentric line of loose, non-fitting dresses and overalls with asymmetric cuts. Rundle gave an Africa-inspired look with the natick in chiffon, batik jackets, dresses and more.
From Adama Paris’s free-flowing pastel dresses to David Tlale’s wearable works of art and sequin dresses, Day One was all about femininity and the beauty of women in different forms.
Day Two opened with lots of shimmer and sparks from Nigeria’s Lanre Da-Silva Ajayi who also gave one of the best collections of the fashion weekend. Her line of functional fashion made up of sequin jump suits, dresses with asymmetric cuts, statement sleeves, pencil skirts, printed straight-cut pants and jackets were all accessorised with matching fascinators.
Her collection was smart, beautiful and made women happy that they were women.
Designers everywhere get inspiration from the culture around them. Chinese designer, Ji Won Choi, is no different. The designer showed the joy and beauty of her country with the traditional Chinese robe; upgrading it with stripes, artistic designs, hoodie and cowboy hats.
Taibo Barca returned this year with a glamorous collection of chic wedding dresses, casual shorts and beach wear accessorised with sunglasses, sparkly beaded head bands and more.
For Gert-Johan Coetzee, it was a return of 1960s glamour with the gothic look, sparkly sequin dresses, printed flowy wearable art forms, straight-cut pants, ruffle dresses and sporty casual chic.
‘Sexy’ is something you know you will get at a Laquan Smith show and he delivered with glittering dresses, thigh-high slits, asymmetric sleeves, sequin pant suits, double-slit dresses, plunging neckline and sexy fur coats.
Laquan Smith closed the show, this year, with his sensual line, probably inspired by his interactions with some of the world’s sexiest women.
The two-day event, which described as fun by some attendees, was definitely an improvement on the last. For many, the event is fast becoming one of Africa’s most important fashion events and, definitely, the best fashion event in Nigeria today.
Away from the glamour and memorable runway show, the main focus of the event, according to GT bank, is to enrich the lives of their customers while providing a critical meeting place for everyone involved in and passionate about African fashion in a bid to unlock greater growth opportunities for small businesses in the industry and to build capacity across the entire fashion value-chain.
By Yemisi Suleiman