FASHION REVIEW: Africa Fashion Week London 2014
A successful show tends to have indicators as to how good it will be prior to the start of the event and is mirrored in the eager anticipation from the audience and Africa Fashion Week London (AFWL) held at Kensington Olympia on the 8th and 9th August definitely did not leave the audience disappointed. Founded by Ronke Ademiluyi, AFWL is the biggest African event of its kind in Europe. With over 40 designers showcasing their garments on the runway, there was a wealth of prints and vibrancy present as each collection showcased standout pieces which represented the designer incredibly well.
Inspirational designers snaked their way down the stairway from the main stage with excited chatter sweeping from audience members. The event attracts thousands of inspired fashionistas every year and because of this, the organisers of AFWL pulled out all the stops. Traditional African food was served, African inspired clothing and accessories were available to purchase and the runway was striking. Rows of pure white chairs aligned a brilliant white runway giving the designers an immaculate stage to present their designs on.
Each collection piece represented the designer incredibly well, with some collections stood out more than others due to their attention to detail and creativity.
Dear Curves - an African inspired line for plus size women, stole the show on Friday’s afternoon session. Shortly afterwards,designer Linda Idegwu ripped the runway with her collection which flatterns the fuller female shape. High waisted mid and full length skirts and dresses slimmed the waist of the models, and the designs were kept interesting by an assortment of prints that adorned each garment.
Due to the modest lengths and coverage that each garment had, the collection retained a mature but feminine quality. The stand out pieces from this collection was a green two piece embellished with printed squares, and a diaphanous blue full length dress with a patterned panel running down the length of it.
Orange was the main focus of Meg Alabi’s line Alabi Couture. She accents her statement colour of orange with black and white to produce a multitude of garments that encompasses elegance and fun all in one collection. Her dresses, especially the floor length gowns, were most impressive.
In complete contrast, the most striking pieces presented within the Kass Kouture collection were mini-skirts and crop tops. Kassii Kandolo’s influences were ‘colour, vibrancy and print’ and the bralets embodied the influence perfectly. The strapless cut and structure of each bralet, coupled with the brightness of the garments alluded to summer fun.
GIBERKY steers away from the overt prints to produce a collection filled with hues of champagne and pink – a very feminine line that excels with its lace pieces. Whilst Gloria Katatumba of Gkat Fashion also gets creative with the fabrics that she uses. She describes her collection as ‘very grand and very couture.' "The fabrics that I use are luxurious with a hint of Africa, a lot of people use plain African fabrics but I use both." Her womenswear line is very formal yet sophisticated and edgy.
Words: Symone keisha