Inspiration behind my Beaded Batik Sheer Overlay Wedding Dress – Maryam Dopemu, Fashion Designer
Maryam Makanjuola Dopemu, the Founder and Creative Director of Toks Gallery. An upmarket fashion brand has explained the inspiration behind her signature Batik Bridal Dress Collection.
The Oyo State-born Fashion Designer, who posts her creative fashion collection on the Instagram page, @toks_gallery, said: “As an African Fashion Designer, I love using African print in the creation of foreign styles; I was inspired by the vision of brides looking gorgeous on the day of their wedding without having to wear the pure white dresses that have become the convention for Christian nuptials.”
Continuing, she said: “After extensive research, I discovered that African print, known as Ankara, is a constant fabric for wedding garments at home and abroad. On the other hand, Kampala, otherwise known as Batik or Adire, is not recognised as fitting fabric for wedding dresses.”
According to the graduate of Fashion Design and Clothing Technology from Kaduna Polytechnic, Kaduna State, she decided to embark on what she described as “fabric manipulation” to create batik-influenced bridal wear, a process that took her two months to complete the first sample.
“The process includes fabric testing, fabric design (“Batik”), stamping and dye, garment design, pattern drafting, and production in detail,” she recalled.
Today, Maryam Makanjuola Dopemu is famous as the designer of an intricate batik bridal design, which she described as a “Beaded Batik Sheer Overlay Wedding Dress.”
While she has only been a professional fashion designer for five years, Maryam averred that she had always been passionate about the art of fabric design and sewing since she was eight years old.
“I took an interest in sewing and tailoring when I was a kid, seeing my mother using her sewing machine to mend our uniforms for me and my siblings. This aroused my interest in sewing as a kid. And it was only a matter of time before I started amending my school uniforms whenever the need arose. In doing this, I developed a strong interest in sewing,” she recounted.
Her passion for fashion, she avowed, grew stronger as she grew older.
“After my mother’s death, I took her manual sewing machine, and I started attending sewing classes. This inspired me to apply for admission to Kaduna Polytechnic, where I studied and graduated as a fashion designer. After my education at the Polytechnic, I decided to open a fashion store,” she narrated.
About her plans for the brand, the Toks Gallery owner reflected: “I plan to take African attire to the next level by creating luxurious and street fashion with African fabrics and creating room for a variety of designs. These will enable African attire to be widely used both locally and abroad.”