Iconic collection as AFWL pre-event pays tribute to Grace Jones
By Yemisi Suleiman
As a prelude to this year’s edition of Africa Fashion Week London (AFWL) and Nigeria, pioneer designers of the yearly AFWLondon took over the Riverside Terrace at Southbank Centre, London, for Meltdown Festival and fashion extravaganza inspired by Grace Jone’s iconic fashion.
Continuing in AFWL’s resolve to promoting and uplifting design graduates of colour, the show started with three mini-collections from the Universities of Northampton and West London. Themes of protest were evident in both universities’ collections. Black Lives Matter and awareness of misogynoir ; the unique discrimination faced by black women, also featured in powerful graphic print.
The main show brought drama, African haute couture and elaborate accessories on display.
Premier designer and AFWL Head Stylist, Soboye, gave his evolving Lagos 54 collection, this time including a fabulous neoprene wedding dress and an experiment with Adire from the Adire Oodua Textile Hub. Sista by Eyoro represented Nigeria by showcasing Adire Oodua Textile Hubs different fabrics. Adire Organza, Adire Alabere, Adire Batik, Adire Aso Oke.
Mary Martin London who always brings drama to the catwalk, thrilled the audience with four new designs from her latest inspiration. It included a dress made entirely of wire, exaggerated neckpieces and headpieces.
Prestige designers: Adebayo Jones, Elfreda Dali, Sista by Eyoro, and Kalikas Armour, showcased glamour and classic tailoring, with an african haute couture masterclass by Adebayo Jones.
Founded by Princess Ronke Ademiluyi, with the sole aim of promoting African creatives and fabrics on the global stage, Africa Fashion Week London is the longest running festival of African fashion in the UK. This year’s Africa Fashion Week in Nigeria which is in partnership with Lagos Fashion Fair is billed to hold on the 7th to 9th of September at the Eko Hotel while Africa Fashion London edition is on the 7 and 8 October 2022, at the Freemasons’ London
Both Fashion Weeks will be showing the best African and African-inspired designs with a seminar of ethically sourced authentic indigenous African textiles, with a focus on Adire as a case study.