Building on the momentum generated by Fruche’s collaborative collection with Morafa, Frank Aghuno’s label released images of his Spring 16 collection ‘Nkeiruka’. Right off the bat you’ll recognise a number of the pieces from Aghuno’s showcase as part of ‘Team Meddlelane’, the team with which he won last year’s Fayrouz L’Original competition. With enough time behind him, Aghuno has curated the extensive collection he showed then, culling some of the more questionable/adventurous pieces, and letting his best work speak for him.
Nkeiruka, named after the designer’s mother, plays off the relationship between a mother and son, and how that bond becomes a heavy influence in personal taste and art. And Fruche is very much a family business, Aghuno taps his brother graphic artist, Fred Aghuno to create artistic backdrops for his editorials.
A lot of the elements that have become synonymous with Fruche appear in this collection; high octane neon colours, a sensuality in silhouettes evinced by the vents and cutouts that provide detail for many of the pieces, androgynous menswear. But with this collection, Aghuno hones his skills, mastering the subtle art of creating clothes that are flush on the fence between flirtatious and high powered. His construction has improved so tremendously, allowing him to get away with some of his more whimsical designs.
There are many things to covet in this collection; a white collared neon yellow halterneck jumpsuit layered with an exaggerated bow (a carry on from the collaboration with Morafa maybe), that belongs on a red carpet somewhere. A blouse that is half lingerie-half formal shirt and all marvel of construction. His knit playsuits, so intricate they remind you of vintage Missoni. Then seventies style flared jumpsuits that distill many of the season’s trends (badly executed elsewhere) into a wardrobe staple.
And then there are some pieces that should have stayed on the construction table; the fuschi capri pants with a thigh high slit look like someone had tried to weasel a badly made wrap skirt into the collection, the asymmetric colour blocked wrap skirt that actually looks like a coat on the model. But even these pieces are victims of construction rather than flawed conceptualization. This is a let down that can be only overlooked for so long.
If you need a simple indication of how much growth the Fruche brand has managed since it was first introduced to us at LFDW 2014, look to its menswear, the sleek simplicity of it, the strength of the cuts, the wearability. Aghuno seems eager to show us he can do it all, and by Jove, he can.
Creative direction: Frank Aghuno
Set design: Fred Aghuno [Dricky Stickman] Photography: TheLooktrademark
Make up: Dami ‘Bote
Models: Debby & Betty Shola-ayinde, U.A. Emeka [Emekoviic] Male shoes: King David Shoes
Mail: [email protected]