Woman by Aisha’s debut collection has many bright spots but is ultimately underwhelming

I’ll be the first to admit, I see a fashion campaign/editorial with Tosin Ogundadegbe and Uju Marshall working together and I get very excited. Ogundadegbe is well known for his discretion when handling editorials and Uju’s stellar track record speaks for her. It was especially interesting to me that they were working on a debut collection. They did their magic, but it might not have been enough.

Woman by Aisha, the emerging label by Aisha Abioye is wading into a pool already murky with dozens of emerging labels cloning each other and vying for a small luxury market far more interested in international labels.

From the label’s debut collection for Spring 17 suggests it is choosing to tread worn paths of premium/luxury wear with it’s collection of structural jumpsuits and dresses. The main design quirk are high pigment colour-blocked inserts and panels in a collection that is predominantly black, and Abioye is very good at this, almost too good. A trumpet dress with a keyhole bust slit and wrap skirt is almost too beautiful to bear, partial pleated peplums elevate an evening dress and a tricoloured bib adds much needed colour to a halter dress. Abioye has almost savant abilities to gauge just how much colour is needed to elevate a dress.

Things get dodgy when Abioye tries her hand at jumpsuits. In an effort to push the envelope or  inject some much needed edge (perhaps because the collection is predominantly black) she ends up creating some very unflattering silhouettes. Saggy trouser legs, shifty waistlines; all the rules get broken with her jumpsuits. They’re a huge stain on an otherwise strong debut.

Woman by Aisha’s debut collection reminds me of the Enekwe twins behind Gozel Green, she has a strong point of view and an understanding of colour and silhouette that will take her far, if she stops trying to compete for an overrated luxury market and starts trying to dress all kinds of women.

Photo Credits
Designer: Aisha Abioye @womanbyaisha
Stylist: The Style Infidel @thestyleinfidel
Head of Projects: Samuel Noon
Photography: Laah Photography
Hair: Hair by Sleame
Model: Uju Nwobodoh
Makeup: Beauty by Bellamere

 

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