There were many auspicious signs when Nigerian womenswear label, Osuare showed it’s debut collection to the Nigerian audience. The label was showing at the main gala of the 2015 African Fashion Week Nigeria, a glitzy event with VVIP million naira tables and Opral Benson in the audience.
Osuare showed a collection filled with many of 2015’s most popular trends and touchstones, all glitzed over with beaded motifs of tribal masks. It was a interesting enough debut collection, but there were too many similarities with collections shown at the 2014 Lagos Fashion and Design Week months before for anyone to properly discern the ‘Osuare’ aesthetic. There was also the worry that Osuare would end up a high-end copycat label, an unfortunate but common phenomenon here.
The label’s Spring 2016 ‘Unbroken’ rests many of our fears.
The label decides to move away from the formal crop-tops and ‘classic’ silhouettes that dominated its debut collection without straying too far from the ideal aesthetic, which judging from this collection seems to be an intersection of the ease of a Chanel piece with the complexity of a Lisa Folawiyo dress.
The label also invests heavily in fabrics this season, creating two distinct motifs, a tribal inspired abstract print that features deliberately primitive impressions of Nigerian culture. To contrast this, are a monochrome swirl print and vibrant kaleidoscope of repetitive geometric prints that separates the collection into three distinct acts.
The label also experiments with artistic nudity, featuring sheer sequinned lace in a good number of pieces. There are bare shoulders and backs, exposed shoulders and high slits. This is definitely a sexier Osuare.
There are some chinks in the armour though. The tailoring on some of the pieces, especially the halterneck dress with a swirl print skirt is atrocious. There are also egregious fit and silhouette problems that should be been noticed and culled out of the look book.
By and large though, Osuare proves that not every label falls to the sophomore curse, and sometimes more skin is better.
Styling & Shoot Direction: Rhoda Ebun (@rhodaebun)
Photography: Emmanuel Oyeleke (@emmanueloyeleke)
Model: Millicent Odife-Martins (@millimocha)
Make up: Nkem Osuagwu (@tkobeautyng)
Hair: Niki O Salon