Womenswear design label, Fia has been part of the vanguard of alternative women’s wear labels that have made their name not through conventional methods like fashion weeks but through social media interaction and loyal customers who introduce new people to the brand through word of mouth ‘evangelism’. Fia particularly has carved for itself an aesthetic build on mismatching prints, abstract motifs and unconventional shapes. The label recently released its new collection called Falsetto and described the inspiration behind the collection as thus:
“Falsetto is inspired by all the women around us. We keep striving to elevate and rise above whilst navigating functional and feminine pieces.”
A cursory glance through the pieces in this new collection says little or nothing about the inspiration behind the collection; there is no instantly visible story, no proper thematic overture running through all the pieces. We counted at least 29 distinct textural and visual prints in a collection with 19 looks, that is a near ridiculous amount of prints to work into one collection. This dragnet approach to fabric curation might have worked for Fia in the past, but in this collection it is a great detriment.
This frankly needless surplus of prints would have worked in the label’s favor if the collection had a stronger unifying design theme. The creatives behind the brand experimented with design as much as they experimented with fabric. There are cape kaptan ensembles, pinafores, wideleg pants, layered under flared shorts in contrast prints, fringed pastiched onto skirt hems and bustlines, asymmetric blouses in loud hounds tooth, finned shift dresses done in damask. Many of the pieces are superbly made, but we can barely see that, overwhelmed by the label’s lack of self-censoring.
It is overwhelming, confusing even, several collections rammed into one, with the hope that maybe the buyer will find something they like.
Fia’s Falsetto has a few high notes (excellently tailored fringe skirt, finned shift dress), but for what it is trying to achieve, it simply doesn’t have the range.
Photography: Wizi Official | @wiziofficial
Creative Direction: Emmanuel Emeka Offor | @emekanuel
Model: Sinto Diako