As a prelude to this year’s edition of Africa Fashion Week London (AFWL) and Nigeria, pioneer designers of the yearly AFWL took over the Riverside Terrace at Southbank Centre, London, for Meltdown Festival and fashion extravaganza inspired by Grace Jones’s iconic fashion.
The show started with three mini-collections from the Universities of Northampton and West London. Themes of protest such as Black Lives Matter and awareness of misogynoir — the unique discrimination faced by black women were evident in both universities’ collections.
The main show brought drama, African haute couture and elaborate accessories on display.
Premier designer and AFWL Head Stylist, Soboye, gave his evolving Lagos 54 collection, this time including a fabulous neoprene wedding dress and an experiment with Adire from the Adire Oodua Textile Hub. Sista by Eyoro represented Nigeria by showcasing Adire Oodua Textile Hubs’ different fabrics such as Adire Organza, Adire Alabere, Adire Batik and Adire Aso Oke.
Mary Martin London who always brings drama to the catwalk thrilled the audience with four new designs from her latest inspiration. It included a dress made entirely of wire, exaggerated neckpieces and headpieces.
There was also a masterclass on African haute couture by Adebayo Jones.
Founded by Princess Ronke Ademiluyi, with the sole aim of promoting African creatives and fabrics on the global stage, AFWL is the longest-running festival of African fashion in the UK. This year’s Africa Fashion Week in Nigeria which is in partnership with Lagos Fashion Fair is billed to hold from September 7-9 at Eko Hotels while the Africa Fashion London edition will take place on October 7 and 8, at the Freemasons’ London.
Both fashion shows will showcase the best African and African-inspired designs with a seminar on ethically sourced authentic indigenous African textiles, using Adire as a case study.