The light showers that fateful Saturday afternoon nearly doused Atinuke Adelakunâ€™s spirit. She wondered if her event would still hold with the threatening rain, but her fears were allayed when guests turned in earlier than expected for her maiden open house collections. Although they did not arrive in droves, their presence however lifted her spirits. Happily, they feasted their eyes on the apparels and furnishings on display.
For first-time guests, the event was an opportunity to familiarize with Adelakunâ€™s iconic pieces.
It was three years ago that Adelakun, a former business consultant and media strategist decided to expand her creative skills in the needle and thread business. Her late mother, a textile merchant had passed on her aso-oke business to Adelakun. Adelakun recalled golden moments of her childhood when she assisted her mother in creating designs and making outfits. From handling the business, she discovered that she has an uncanny knack for creating designs. All she had to do was turn on her creative tap and the juice flowed endlessly. At first, she ignored the nudge, even when her husband pointed it out to her that her true calling was in the fashion business. However, it was just a matter of time before she realized that her restraints were in vain. She was born to do this.
Gradually, she began to try her hands on a few designs. Her first attempt was to make delicate pieces from aso-oke.
â€œI thought to myself that there are many people who like aso-oke fabric but they canâ€™t take the pieces away in the forms that we do them presently. So I started to look for ways to put aso-oke fabrics into use such that people can then take it away. They can use our stuff abroad in contemporary pieces.â€
The end product was soft furnishings such as throw pillows, table runners, etc. most of these furnishings were on display at her event. Her friends were impressed by her work and patronage grew. Before she knew it, she was taking orders in bulk.
From that humble beginning, Adelakun launched her fashion label known as Patterns&Stitches, a garment manufacturing company that produces adult wear, childrenâ€™s wear and soft furnishings. Its production services cover the entire process from patterns making through to the finished product.
To mark this giant stride, she held her maiden Open House at Playhouse, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos recently. Themed â€˜Tweens & Teens Summer Collectionsâ€™, the event was a display of unique fashion collections for teens and pre-teens, and featured teen models donning pieces on the runway. The collections varied from casual to trendy outfits for the holiday season.
There was also on display unique fabrics such as the aso-oke, tie&dye and corporate souvenirs such as diaries made from these fabrics. But it wasnâ€™t all about the runway. There were vendors like as Zeeeight12, SJPJewelery, Buttermilk Confectioneries and Hally Henna art, who added flair to the event.
Atinuke who is the creative lead of her company has a large clientele but for this event, she decided to focus on the unique fashion sense of teens and pre-teens.
â€œThe teens and pre-teens today want to look good, funky but they are particular about what they wear. It matters to them. We ensure that we do a lot of casuals for them, shorts, dresses, tops in all sorts of fabrics like tie&dye, ankara, chiffon, denim.â€
Atinuke prides her brand for its matchless patterns. Together with her team of creatives, tailors and other professionals, the company is able to meet the bespoke fashion needs of the individual and branding for corporate organisations.