When Papa Omisore of P.O.C debuted his Zebra collection as part of the showcase last year, he got the most applause. It was obvious he is a charismatic individual with a loyal personal following as many interesting designers wont to be, but P.O.C Lagos wasn’t by any means the most interesting label in the showcase. Kaftans are a menswear look that has had all its possible iterations cut and dried by Nigerian artisanal tailors and while it was fascinating seeing it on a platform that big, it was clear that the tunic was a ruse that could only be used once. So for Spring 17, the label is changing tack, and bringing us what it considers ‘Essentials’.
Following the critical acclaim of his immediate past LFDW 2015 Zebra collection, Papa Omisore upped his creative ante by delivering entirely new designs, while maintaining his brand’s fluid and laidback appeal, and what resulted is the vibrant and colorful ‘Essentials’ collection.
Everything from the intricate mix of art and functionality to P.O.C deliberately opting for a campaign shoot, instead of a look book, featuring the original P.O.C man, Omisore, instead of professional models, is to show the everyday Nigerian man how he too can wear P.O.C on a daily basis.
Also it was important to Omisore to portray his connection and relationship with the pieces, from conception to final execution, in the campaign.
P.O.C’s ‘Essentials’ collection is not just stylish and eye catching; it is also diverse, casual and necessary for the Nigerian man’s wardrobe.
From the label’s press release, it is obvious the creative team behind the label have made a few grossly inaccurate assumptions. It assumes first of all that Papa Omisore is an everyday Nigerian man, (he’s not) and it assumes that you can have a collection of essentials with basic staples like a simple white shirt and a pair of simple, well cut, black trousers. Much of the collection takes the most basic element of construction for women’s wear and tries to pass it off ground breaking menswear. It fails quite soundly at doing so. Omisore tries to pass this mediocrity off as accessibility and minimalism, but we know better. Minimalism means that your clothes are supposed to meld integrally into your daily life, not require that you build your wardrobe. And save for a handful of situations (none of which are formal) there’s no place where a pair of sweeping wide leg pants are functional or permissible. Which kind of begs the question; who is this ‘average Nigerian man’ P.O.C Lagos is hoping to dress.
Maison Martin Margiela is minimalist, Pheobe Philo at Chloe is accessible minimalism, P.O.C Lagos is a man in a pair of women’s palazzo pants and a muscle shirt. Even Yohji Yamamato proves that menswear can be minimalist and still incredibly well constructed and expertly tailored. A collection of very basic looks is what P.O.C Lagos falls back on, hoping we’ll overlook the complete lack of innovation or originality in favor of an excellently shot campaign with a charismatic designer and one of Nigeria’s best fashion photographers. We’re not buying it, and neither should you.
Creative Direction: @ifeanyinwune
Brand: @papaomisore @p.o.c_lagos