In the last few years, Lanre Da Silva Ajayi’s eponymous line has gone through many reinventions. The brand once distinguished by its vintage inspired lace dresses took the risk and moved away from familiar ground, reinventing their image and product to a more nationalistic one. It also abandoned high concept design, putting all its research into fabric creation. A gamble that paid off. By the time this shift came to its climax with Da Silva’s Spring 15 collection ‘Rock Delight’ inspired the UNESCO heritage site Olumo Rock, a L.D.A. dress was instantly recognizable by fabric alone.
So it came with some surprise when whispers started to filter in that some changes were coming in the new L.D.A. collection. It was worrying, the brand had found a formula that worked for then and helped them make the move from emerging brand to major industry player. Why rock the boat if its all smooth sailing. The new spring collection debuted at LFDW 2015 allayed all our fears.
The new collection ‘Geometric Fusion’ is a marriage of both L.D.A aesthetics. It was such a joy to see Da Silva Ajayi revisit Victorian themes, through vintage wide lace collars and puffed sleeves. Then there was that distinctive fabric that has become the L.D.A signature. this time, it was a geometric tie-dye motif done in collaboration with Nike Art Gallery, done in Adire indigo, neon greens and washed out oranges. There were also the printed floral art silks
Then there were the new elements that suggest L.D.A. has her eye firmly on the future. The motif was abstract geometrics done in printed reflective PVC. The cuts were experimental, sometimes even straddling the line on edgy. But with all the experimentation, the tailoring is first rate, and the choice of fabric so sublime that each piece is still demure and flattering to the female form.
While the collection was strong, there were some pieces that stood out; a sleeveless jumpsuit that will find its way into every Lagos Socialite’s wardrobe, an asymmetric shift dress that just pours off the model, a black collared fuschia mini cape dress that works on so many levels. Then there were the misses; brightly coloured interpretation of culottes that end up unflattering on the models and some of the palette choices for the collection seem less than inspired.
But what is most impressive about Geometric Fusion is that Lanre Da Silva has finally distilled the sartorial essence of the Lagos woman.