Accra Mens Fashion Week 16: Maximalist prints at Reotra

A huge trend at the debut Accra Mens Fashion Week was minimalism. Many of the invited brands from other countries favored neutral palettes for their collection, offering a casual, muted approach to menswear. It seemed the rest of Africa was looking to court an international audience with collections that would fit in anywhere from Bucharest to Marrakech. Ghanaian label Reotra did the exact opposite, leading the troupe of maximalist Ghanaian labels that opted for bright prints and festive silhouettes and distinct, definitive African aesthetic.

Using African inspired wax prints and lacquered cotton (otherwise known as shadda) in a compact, properly curated collection, the label takes athleisure trends like overlong tunics and exaggerated shawls and interpretes them in Ankara and lacquered cotton. Trying its hand on putting colour into classic menswear, the label offers beautiful print suits with a midi length trench jacket that ticks the co-ords trend as well. Also top-notch are the label’s high-lo blouson jackets and sleeveless kaftans. The label eschews fit for function, swapping traditional closures for each distinct style.

However Reotra’s first misstep comes with its decision to incorporate neon-mesh into the collection. Though they only experiment with it for two looks, a largely see- through tunic and a kaftan with mesh midi-sleeves and extended mesh flaps, the mesh proves distracting rather than complementary to the collection’s cohesive aesthetic, throwing us way off.

There has to have been better ways to insert the idea without disrupting the flow. Reotra needs to find it before they start fielding buyers.

Photo Credit; Qwesie Asephua Photography

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