American based design eponymous label, Nyorh Agwe, has been the designer’s Rosetta stone, a way for her to process her Cameroonian heritage and translate that into a physical appreciation through clothes. Particularly inspired by one of her trips to Cameroon from the United States Agwe was introduced to Metta, a distinct central African tribe to which her parents were born. Through explorations of the cultures of the Metta tribe, Agwe discovered a vibrant textile and dyeing culture that has survived to this day. Her experiments with updating the ancient Metta techniques resulted in her M’ba M’etta collection.
With a bachelor’s degree in fashion design from the Parson’s School of Design in New York, Agwe knows what she is doing and you can see it in her fabric and construction choices. Choosing to work by hand, Agwe experiments with the Metta dyeing technique, creating special hues that references traditional colours and textures. Agwe’s professional education becomes evident in her construction choices. She chooses to exaggerate with volume and draping, creating pieces that amorphous but opulent. Palazzo pants with cuffed hems, peek out from under a flared tube dress detailed with a crude bow. Even her jackets are layered, each square drape adding flourish without bogging down the silhouette. Cape blouses, woven shawls, elaborate headwraps; Agwe does it all, creating a diverse collection that is strung together into a cohesive whole by her sheer genius.
Through the M’ba M’etta collection, Agwe shows us her interpretation of Metta, and we feel this is the model any young African designer seeking to parse their history for design inspiration needs to emulate.
To contact Nyorh Agwe, go here.