This is Babatunde Oyeyemi best collection for Maxivive, period.
Under his label Maxivive, Oyeyemi has put out a series of experiments, all with varying level of success. Obsessed with the idea of deconstructing classical menswear, over the last two years, he has broken menswear into its component pieces and tried to reinvent the wheel, trying out several iterations of menswear. He has created a diffusion line, put out airtex mesh sportswear pieces that while visually interesting would never end up in a buyer’s closet, worked on artistic conceptualized pieces that married art and graffiti work. But until this season, Oyeyemi has not made clothes.
This season Maxivive has simplified, forgoing all the existential explorations of self and menswear and focusing on the unglamorous task of making clothes that fit and flatter.
There is colour, enough colour that at first you do a double take. Burnt reds, bright oranges and iridescent greens form the base on which this collection is built. In many ways, this collection is functional, the pieces are made from tarpaulin, a material perfectly suited to the unpredictability of Lagos’s humid summers, the designer’s home. The beauty is how the tarpaulin pieces are cut; he makes tarp suits with wrap blazers that are cut intelligently enough to pass for regular wear. He makes breathable ankle length trench coats and brightly coloured wind breakers, contrasted by black zipper detailing. Even when Oyeyemi returns to his familiar menswear, it is virtually unrecognizable from his old work. He lets the tailoring do its work, and fights the urge to add some unnecessary flourish. This is ultimately what elevates this collection.
It is hard though to completely shed your past, and some of Maxivive’s ill-thought experiments pop up in the accessories; the baseball bag hat hybrids were particularly distasteful. But the footwear this season are Maxivive’s tour de force. If he decides to focus entirely on accessories, he could quickly gain as much cultural relevance as Shem Ezemma’s Shem Paronelli.
This season’s Maxivive is impressive, we sincerely hope this isn’t a one season fluke.
SA Menswear Week AW 16
Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town, WC, South Africa.