June 18, 2019 | 68° F

Lagos Fashion Week introduces bold voices, styles

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Fashion empires have expanded globally with the progression of technology and and connectedness in the world today. Among the notorious Paris, New York and Milan fashion weeks, more cities across the map are debuting their versions of fashion week. Lagos, Nigeria, as of 2011, is recognized as one of the cities that have been emerging from their fashion hiatuses. In fact, Lagos Fashion Week restored all things bright, patterned and multi-dimensional to the realm of streetwear. 

Lagos Fashion Week was texturally experimental, and the designers were loyal to the African culture. Crochet dresses, plush fur spots on denim, silk robes and matted fur were only a select few textures that amplified the African descent of the fashion. 

Aside from the textures, clothing was a pattern playground in Lagos. Geometric patterns were widespread, as were camouflage and floral, but there were instances in which multiple patterns were combined on one article of clothing. Stripes, polka dots, skewed lines and shapes were seen all on a single skirt, and Lagos designers had the ability to harness the untraditional pattern associations as respected streetwear fashion.

Colors were the central point to the Lagos Fashion Week’s eccentricity that allured audiences in the first place. Neon and clashing shades made powerful statements of unconventional expression, rather than abiding by predetermined fashion standards. Streetwear, in this sense, has endless possibilities because there are no such standards. There were outfits featuring every color of the rainbow, some had alternative color pairings, and some made perfect sense in a “normal” realm of one or two tones to an outfit. When all textures, colors and patterns are attainable, leave it to Lagos Fashion Week to experiment with all combinations that can be called everything except boring. 

The trends adapted from styles in Lagos — and in summer fashion — have lead to the rise of exotic textiles and embellishments. Belts wrapped around oversized dress shirts are common, but Lagos set the bar even higher for this style by mixing hues and patterns, creating an artful masterpiece. Graphic tees are another previous trend that Lagos made their own. Men wore graphic tees underneath formal wear, like blazers and jackets, while women wore graphic tees with flowy, geometric-print pants. The geometric patterns and non-traditional use of graphic tees are trends that stand alone, which is a trait that globally-adopted trends also offer.

There was an excessive use of dramatic accessories in Lagos, particularly with headwear, purses, jewelry and sunglasses. Headwear included oversized, florescent-colored wraps, headbands, bows, hats and beanies. Jewelry pieces were also showcased in beaming hues or large silhouettes. For example, there were big hoop earrings and statement necklaces paired with certain outfits. Purses and sunglasses were presented in dramatic fashion as well, and added further color or geometric quantity to the looks. Experimentation with accessories is a foundational aspect of the fashion world, and Lagos clearly favors statement pieces. 

Crochets and transparent articles of clothing were featured in Lagos Fashion Week, and there was textural freedom that exuded from both looks. Transparency has the ability to be left alone or paired with layers, accessories, colors or patterns — there is great freedom that comes with this look. Crochets is a popular feature of African fashion, and is expected to continue to play a role in streetwear.

As for footwear, sneakers were the main focus, which is inevitable when street style is in full swing. Lagos kept sneakers simple to contrast the busy outfits but, hopefully they’re comfortable as well, because the rest of the world is about to take a walk in Lagos’ street style shoes.

Sophia Colitti

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