It’s no longer news that Nigerian fashion designer Amaka Osakwe of fashion brand Maki Oh was one of the two Nigerian designers the short list for the LVMH Prize, the other being Adebayo Oke-Lawal of Orange Culture fashion brand, one both designers deserve, as they have both continued to stand out from her peers.
Amaka Osakwe always draws inspiration for her collections on a story, and for this Fall 2014 collection presented at the LVMH’s Young Fashion Designer Prize in paris, she explained that the collection came from her imagining a woman at her mirror, reciting the song lyrics, “Tell me I'm the only one, even if you choke.” She went on to say, that vignette presents the question: Is this woman mad or not? And thus the collection toyed with themes of madness and un-madness, love and anti-love, and other states that fluctuate and are a matter of perception. All this was transmitted through her most elevated and accomplished collection yet. This time out, she emphasized relatively easy silhouettes—a pair of track pants, a soft silk blouse, a lean tailored dress with some slouch to it. The clothes felt like clothes rather than looks.
The collection makes use of its signaturetraditional Nigerian Aso-Oke material with Lurex thread; pulling luxe gobs of fringe out of selvedge; and translating prints, such as her Yoruba translation of those song lyrics, into hand-appliquéd lettering. There's a certain naïveté to Osakwe's work and you sense the hand of the artisan, but the intelligence and aesthetic sophistication guiding her process is so keen, the pieces never come off as artsy-craftsy.
**Thumbs up Maki Oh!
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Credits: Style.com |Fashionbombdaily.com
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