Ghanaian evening wear label Nicoline, started it’s Kumasi Fashion Week 2016 showcase with quite the statement. A single male model in an ankle-length satin cape lined with Ankara floats down the runway, his much more demure tunic and pants seeming somewhat underwhelming underneath. This single act aptly foreshadows the rest of the collection.
Nicoline as a brand is primarily concerned with women’s formal, evening and bridal wear, and this collection of nine pieces sees the label make a pitch for itself in the coming African entertainment awards season that began with the 2016 AMVCAs. The entire collection is measured but adventurous, the primary focus is the decolletage and Nicoline emphasizes this with sweet heart necklines and a complete absence of sleeves in the showcase.
Instead we see accessories like elbow length gloves and feathered chokers.
The dresses themselves are at once inspiring and disappointing, There is little experimentation as regards form and silhouette, we get the usual fare of fishtail dresses, high-lo skirts layered over mini-skirts and the staple full skirted evening gown. What keeps things interesting is that the label’s design team overdoses on texture. Bobbinet flares under cotton, contrasted by Satin pieces. Glossy metallic bodices set into matte skirts. Piping, feathering, ruching and panelling all appear repeatedly across the collection.
Eight pieces seem too small a scorecard on which to judge a designer’s creativity, but Nicoline will have to do more than give us a shiny dress to gain that coveted celebrity client.