Femi Adeyemi’s Femy Toys gained a lot of press for it’s decision to switch from the highly debated western fashion calendar, joining several other menswear designers to push for a Harmattan/Rainy calendar. His 2015 collection, Geometry by Toys is a visually interesting take on traditional tunics, updated with beautiful applique, embroidery and embellishment techniques.
Clearly the collection draws some of its inspiration from butterflies and the designer takes a very literal hand, appliqueing butterfly wing motifs on his shirts.
But Femy Toys is no Grace Wales Bonner and it shows. What he lacks in innovative design (the entirety of the collection only has three basic silhouettes; slim fit dress shirts, tailored pants and the shrunken dashiki) he makes up for in tailoring. The superior tailoring and the embroidery work is a sight for sore eyes. That and the play on textures make this collection interesting, though a simplistic summary may conclude that Femy Toys is a luxury label with high street design aesthetics.
There are then several points of concern with his new collection, ‘Laba-Laba’ which loosely translates to ‘Butterfly; from Yoruba. Most glaring is that this new collection is called a ‘Summer’ collection. Second, is the also unceremonious addition of women’s wear. It is very unsettling to see designers change fundamental aspects of their brand/business so mercurially with no explanation or immediately discernable motives.
Women’s wear isn’t and shouldn’t an after thought tacked on to a menswear collection, especially when the womenswear pieces are pedestrian at best. Much of the mediocrity we are willing to overlook in menswear (because of the argument that menswear buyers are unwilling to experiment) are simply not acceptable in women’s wear, as is Femy Toy’s pieces. If he wants to be taken seriously as a designer and a label, he will need to put in the work, or limit himself to what he knows.
Designer: Femi Adeyemi. @femytoys
Styling and Creative Direction: @thestyleinfidel
Styling Assistants: @samuelnoon @tomewah
Models: @mannikwen @thelopral