Lagos Fashion and Design Week 2014


L-R: ROF; Tiffany AmberBridget Awosika

The Guaranty Trust Bank Lagos Fashion and Design Week is the preeminent showcase for Nigerian designers. Over the first week of this month fashion insiders descended upon the burgeoning fashion and creative scene in Lagos to take in the latest talent. The annual event, now in its fourth year, is a launching pad for independent designers, importantly situated in the economic epicenter of the continent. It’s where Nigerian fashion label Maki Oh gained international recognition and a loyal following and it’s no doubt where future visionaries’ careers are being paved this year. Browse all the collections here (psst to the dudes: Adeju Thompson‘s line is especially wicked).


L-R: Ejiro Amos Tafiri; Re BahiaLisa Folawiyo


L-R: Wizdhurm Franklyn; Maki OhMicheal Shumaker


L-R: Sophie Zinga; iamisigoLisa Folawiyo


L-R: iamisigoElla GabbyItuen Basi; Kenneth Ize

LFDW3L-R: Maki Oh; Maki OhTsemaye Binite

(All photos via Lagos Fashion & Design Week)

This Fall: Wear… anything!


Above: No. 21 A/W 2014


Above: Christopher Kane A/W 2014

It’s Fall! Everyone’s favourite cozy layering season and fashion media’s cue to dig deep, back into its collective memory to try and remember what went down the Autumn/Winter 2014 runways way back in early Spring. It used to make sense for the fashion-concerned to take care to follow trends, find It-pieces, and look forward to runway influences eventually trickling down to mass market retailers once the seasons had lapsed. I can remember a time not so long ago when fashion was slower and toed the line of designers’ visions and editors’ seasonal picks. Especially vivid is the stranglehold boho-chic’s particular vapidity  had on the fashion industry — I remember it so well because it coincided with the year I started my first real adult job. I saved a lot of disposable income steering clear of shop after shop filled with the same bland faux-hippie offerings. I remember wishing I had bought more basics during the seasons previous when mod reigned supreme at Club Monaco and on the sales racks at Holt Renfrew Last Call, worrying about the scarcity of miniskirts and turtlenecks in the brave new boho world.


Above: Sharon Wauchob A/W 2014

Then the recession happened and the fashion industry catapulted into a fevered pitch of consumerism. Fast fashion picked up speed, online retailers started making their presence known, streetstyle photography and the proliferation of fashion blogs satiated the fashion-hungry masses, events called Fashion’s Night Out spread across big shopping cities around the globe, and all these moving parts contributed to the massive, churning contemporary fashion industry and what is too often coined its “democratization.”


Above: Emilio de la Morena A/W 2014

Ceding power to mass retailers and hobbyist fashion enthusiasts did not bode well with industry insiders until they learnt to use amateurs to their advantage and made aspects of accessibility through social media and designer collaborations incredibly lucrative. At the height of recession panic, designers were interested in reforming the established fashion week schedule and the timing of retail clothing delivery to better coincide with consumers’ pace of consumption of not only goods, but also information about fashion.


Above: Marchesa A/W 2014

Now half a decade since Donna Karan heralded the fashion industry’s own demise, you can really see the incredible changes that mass retailers have wrought on an unresponsive fashion establishment.  Just today, November 12, 2014, I received an email (that went straight to spam, mind you) from entitled “45 of Spring’s Best Accessories!” Ok, that exclamation was my own addition, but, seriously. 45 accessories for Spring [!]. Are there even enough days in Spring to wear all of the featured accessories? Do readers have enough untold millions to spend on them? Furthermore, unless the accessories you’re trying to hock via email in mid-autumn are keeping my cheeks from getting frostbitten, your content is utterly irrelevant and will be completely forgotten by Spring.


Above: Tod’s A/W 2014

While the fashion industry continues its loopy scheduling, it risks being completely overshadowed by a maniacally efficient fast fashion industry that regurgitates runway looks and has garments in consumers’ hands before designers might even begin mass-producing pieces they’ve just shown. Zara stands out as the most monstrously zealous of all the fast fashion companies – it designs 40,000 new products annually and produces about 10,000 of those in a plethora of colours and sizes. While the fashion chain keeps prices relatively accessible, its constant pushing and pulling of products encourages impulse purchases and drives a kind of exclusivity — shoppers know items won’t be there long and opt to buy runway looks long before their mimicked original even gets to luxury department stores. The pace of fast fashion is what has perhaps most influenced fashion media and the inane “45 Best Summer Heels that go with the Season’s Hottest Hemline” listicles we read in the dead of winter.


Above: Christian Dior A/W 2014

As a result of not only the current over-saturation of fashion marketing and commerce, but also the incredible lag in time between the presentation of designers’ lines and the seasons they’re meant to be worn in, the idea of any kind of definitive guide to fashion seasons has become obsolete. In my own attempt to look back at my meticulously plotted out Excel spreadsheets tracking trends from A/W 2014 fashion weeks, my efforts to put forth any kind of guide were quashed by fuzzy memories of lines I was surprised to revisit, it’d felt so long ago. Among my neatly kept list of favourites (all of which I’ve captured pictorially in this post) there is no real abiding trend or style. Bulky coats in every fabric under the rainbow is the closest I could come up with. How about “45 Bulky Coats in Every Fabric under the Rainbow for Fall” – damn, I could write content for!


 Above: Anthony Vaccarello A/W 2014

Ultimately, in attempting to survey Fall trends we’ve ended up taking stock of the utter dysfunction embedded in an industry that attempts to court artists, but lets corporations get away with the merciless over-production of copied goods. And ultimately, I’ve surrendered: this Fall (and every season after), wear anything!


Above: Honor A/W 2014

Credit: If you’re interested in the business side of fashion (as well as the history, culture, and theory that envelopes fashion), you would do well to subscribe to Jason Hirschhorn’s FashionREDEF daily newsletter. The impeccably curated links come to your inbox every morning and broach a range of subjects that inspired this post.


Above: Zimmermann A/W 2014

SS15 Trend Watch: Racing Stripes


 L-R: Paco RabanneZDDZ for VFiles; Viktor & RolfReed Krakoff; Apiece Apart


L-R: Lisa Perry; Carven; ZDDZ for VFilesProenza Schouler

 My parents came of age in the seventies and they took me and my little sister to the races pretty regularly when we were growing up. My dad worked in the pits on friends’ cars and sometimes we got to go down there with him and get our eardrums blown by the inconsolable sound of engines and tires all around us. Without any mechanical inclinations myself, but with fierce curiosity and a propensity to put everything into categories, I was always asking and re-asking about the difference between indy car racing, stock car racing, and drag racing. Then there were classic motocross racing and all the varieties of motorcycles. I don’t think I ever figured any of it out, but I can remember the event of going to the races making my nineties upbringing feel a little seventies-tinged, a little gritty and rebellious.


 L-R: Public SchoolReed Krakoff; Tim CoppensCarven


L-R: Louis Vuitton; Heohwan Simulation; Topshop Unique; PradaCarven

As a grown adult I can’t even drive standard, but harbour a special appreciation for Scorpio Rising and a false sense of authority, like I can uniquely gauge designers’ uses of racing stripes, exaggerated seventies leisure suit collars, and brown suede patchwork on the S/S 2015 runways because of my over-exposure to Victory Lane Speedways and classic rock. (let’s roll with it…) That seventies vibe that designers were pushing for this coming Spring falls flat when it’s too polished or precious. Proenza Schouler win this competition handily – their baggy leather midi-length racecar driver dresses are a fucking dream. Carven crosses the finish line second, sending out a crew of Euro racer girls in stiff smocks clutching their leather satchels to their sides like helmets.


L-R: Miu Miu; Lisa Perry; Viktor & RolfCarven


L-R: Paco Rabanne; Proenza Schouler; Sachin & BabiLouis Vuitton


L-R: Prabal Gurung; Miu Miu; Heohwan Simulation; Miu Miu

SS15 Trend Watch: Amoeba Shapes


L-R: Mary Katrantzou; Issa; Helen Lawrence for Fashion East


 L-R: IcebergAdeam; Iceberg


L-R: Thomas Tait; VionnetChristian Wijnants

We spied enough splotchy amoeba shapes adorning S/S 2015 lines to hail them a bit of a Spring micro-trend. Perhaps taking cues from cult-label Jacquemusplayful atomic ameoba fixation over the past few seasons, designers like Adeam and Helen Lawrence plastered dresses with huge amorphous patches. Issa and Mary Katrantzou featured wavy fissures that morphed throughout their designs while Thomas Tait and Christian Wijnants played with inconsistent protozoan patterns. At Iceberg and Vionnet delicate cellular appliqués and lacework were especially astounding.

SS15 Trend Watch: Lattice and Die-Cut Patterns


 L-R: Balenciaga; Whistles; AkrisErmanno ScervinoBalenciaga


 L-R: Isa Arfen; Altuzarra; Custo Barcelona; Peter Som; Darek Lam

Strict grid patterned lattice pieces and geometric die-cut details were by far the biggest trends across all S/S 2015 fashion weeks. From chain-link fabric overlays to caged frocks and intricate die-cut patterns, the Spring runways saw both calculated, architectural takes on the trend as well as more romantic approaches. We’ve loved the look of lattice-cut fabrics since slipping on Toujours x Fidele’s white cage dress this past Spring. As the last days of Paris’ fashion week come to a close we bet you’ll see the trend on a few more runways too. Cut-outs are so in 😉


L-R: Whistles; Timo Weiland; Milly; Threeasfour; Fendi


L-R: Issa; Milly; Rick Owens; Balenciaga; Julien MacdonaldAkris


L-R: Yohji Yamamoto; Proenza Schouler; Roland Mouret; Gabriele ColangeloKenzo; Proenza Schouler


L-R: Isa Arfen; Reed Krakoff; Custo Barcelona; Versus Versace; Altuzarra

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Tessa Edwards

“It seems everyone is saying ‘FYI I’m well dressed and on trend, like a celeb, desirable’.  I think that’s boring as fuck.”TE2
After becoming acquainted with the work of Tessa Edwards through the excellent 1 Granary magazine, I think the designer’s above quote might best translate her creative mantra. Edwards’ treatise on the collapsing state of the consumerist fashion industry sets the context upon which her collections are based. She focuses on breaking down the inflated hollowness of our consumerist selves by creating pieces which serve to enrich one’s true identify; leaving space for a woman to communicate who they really are and what they are really interested in. Each of her designs feature three interchangeable parts: a foundation piece from her ‘Genesis’ line paired with components from her ‘Nexus’ and ‘Astral’ lines. The complexity and interchangeability of her designs serve to elevate her pieces beyond trend-led fashion as she wishes to free women from what she terms the “suffocating grasp of the fast image industry.” Edwards’ work is defiant, political, and rife with mystique. Visit her website (note: music plays automatically, which is usually grrrrr, but here it’s quite good) and read her interview in 1 Granary to creep even further into her creative process.TE1  TE3 TE4.   

Resort Trend Watch: Fringe


Fringe and tassel details gave Resort looks a weird contemporary cowboy influence that falls in line with the wild west styles that designers have been pushing on us for a while now. From long streaming skirts to tasseled accents and fringed arm-spans, the trend might seem best suited to resorts in New Mexico, but I’m excited to see more of it happening here at home. I want that Chloe blouse (pictured above) more than most things right now and need to find a tasseled mini skirt asap.

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Berlin, Copenhagen, & Sydney



1814 15 16 17

The synergistic brand pageantry we’ve come to expect from staged streetstyle snaps during NY, London, and Paris’ fashion weeks seems to not have completely invaded the smaller scale fashion weeks in Copenhagen, Berlin, and Sydney. Each of these cities’ inherent fashion ethos still shines through. Outfits are cute and put together in Copenhagen, trendy in Sydney, and weird and a bit freaky in Berlin. Just way more chill vibes overall. Damn this is not helping my euro nostalgia tripping pangs as of late. 😥

all photos via

Resort Trend Watch: Corset Tie Details


 Raf Simmons’ corset tied blazers at Dior loudly ushered in the micro-trend on the Autumn runways and for Resort 2015, a number of designers were threading grommets and tying up frocks in different ways. At Antonio Berardi, corset details were bold and they adorned both floor-length gowns and miniskirts. Chloe and See by Chloe bore the trend prominently while Tome and Altuzarra kept their tie-up details discreet. At Juan Carlos Obando and Roberto Cavalli, tied up silks were laced and cinched to perfection. *lights cigarette* Do  try these looks at home.

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