Africa Fashion Week Nigeria 2016 has a more lenient approach to showcasing designers, allowing a lot more aspiring designers get their first taste of the runway circuit and connecting them with much needed clientele and buyers. This is a double edged sword. Without the kind of strict censuring common in other showcases, a number of designers either not ready for the big time, or without the necessary creative input or guidance get to showcase, damaging their image prematurely before they are able to truly appreciate the exposure an international showcase can provide, and the fact that a poor collection will always be a part of your catalogue.
Emerging women’s wear label El Amanah clothing was one of the emerging labels that showcased at AFWN 2016, though considering the label has been in operation since 2011 it would be quite unfair to refer to them as emerging. They showed on the first day of runway shows a collection of evening and bridal wear inspired pieces tied together by the colour palette (black and a lemony yellow) and prints (floral). While there is no overarching theme to the collection, much of the collection is salvageable. Staples like the cowl cape and cigarette capri pants were sent down the runway as were decently cut sleeveless cocktail dresses.
The real misstep of this collection was the statement look, a massive mound of gauze and tulle wrapped into what was supposed to be a bow of some sort, the centrepiece detail on a full length evening dress, complete with was supposed to pass for a bustle. But the label’s lack of experience or even technical know-how turned this dress into a nightmare, but the bustle was uneven, the detailing looked distinctly like dyed mosquito netting, the entire contraption was near impossible to walk in, let alone model. This piece was the nail in the coffin for a collection that could have otherwise been average but passable.
El Amanah clothing might want to consider lowering their bar for future collections.
Photo Credit: Mikael B Photography