By Christy Anyanwu
it was a two-day fashion blast at the 6th edition of Africa Fashion Week London, which held at Olympia West between September 9 and September 10. AFWL is a hub for fashion lovers who grace the show to buy, window shop and watch the catwalk. With over 40 exhibitors, it was an array of exquisite designs from African designers. Trendy beaded luxury handbags, kente and ankara bags, crafted hand made jewelry, danshiki fabric, shoes designed in African prints, skin and hair care products for Africans were on display from Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Togo, Tanzania and of course, the Carribean.
Aside these exhibitors, Bank of Industry (BOI) and Nigeria Export Promotion Council also had a unique stand. Maureen Ideozo representing NEPC addressed the audience on the objectives of the council.
The fashion parade featured about 50 designers. Tina Ugo, creative director, Didi Creations kicked-started the parade with eight collections of exquisite flowing kaftans as well as her bling cocktail purse and handbags. DaViva designers, McStell and Nipo Skin also thrilled the audience with their fabulous designs of evening, casual and formal wear, all designed with DaViva fabrics. Anyo, Elvineohlala, Emporium Line, Sly Monay also captivated the audience.
The climax of 2016 Africa Fashion Week London (AFWL) was the second day of the event. The wife of Nigeria’s Vice President, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo and wife of Ogun State governor, Mrs Olufunsho Amosun got to the venue about 3pm and were ushered into the VIP section of the hall . Princess Ronke Ademiluyi, founder of AFWL led her team to watch the second parade scheduled for 4pm.
Ceaser Couture thrilled the audience with its checkerboard prints jackets. Nigerian designer, Signature Secrets also wowed the audience with her ankara tops jazzed up with stones and multi-coloured patterns. She simply defined the theme of her designs as Fashion against women trafficking. Laura Jane had exquisite ankara shirt dresses suitable for the office and which definitely would make you stand out. Lady Biba’s structured bags also hit the runway and August had on the runway, sexy dresses and pants for upwardly mobile women. Also, the Lead designer for AFWL 2016, Tanzanian Mustafa Hassanali’s designs were spectacular.
This year’s designers played up mostly diverse African prints. Danshiki no doubt is the rave of the moment in the fashion scene abroad and many designers had their designs in this unique print. Chiffon blouses, lycra, floral prints, silk slip dresses, silhouettes, laces, silky dye were highly significant at the show too. Mrs Osinbajo, in the interlude at the end of the second show briefed the audience about her charity, Step-up Skills Acquisition Training Project, which was created to empower women in Nigeria.
Pictures by: Simon Seiner, SDR Photos