We are in the middle of a recession in a country where the fashionistas would rather by a ton of stuff from Zara or ASOS than invest in a few signature pieces from indigenous luxury brands. Which is understandable considering the tenuous relationship with the Nigerian consumer and made in Nigeria brands, rife with substandard quality clothing, astronomical price points and a general disregard for the consumer. Many brands have sought to counteract this by expanding their repertoires, and launching diffusion lines, targeted at the lower middle class and the bourgeoisie.
Abuja based couture label Style Temple is the latest luxury brand to join this trend by launching it’s diffusion line ‘Og’ (I wonder what that means) and putting out it’s debut ready to wear collection. It would be important at this point to state that globally, international brands are folding in their exclusive diffusion lines into their parent labels, offering a more united front with different price points. But Nigeria is a different kettle of fish, so what has failed there might just end up succeeding here.
Anchored on the Creative Director’s journey to self and her eventual realization of personal strength, will and a constant need to look a ‘certain-way’. The collection tells a fluid story about this using soft cotton and crepe fabrics with the most striking décolletage and form fitting shifts.
That is the press release that is supposed to explain the designer’s motivations and inspirations behind the collection and the line as a whole, but all I get is a ‘journey to self’. What does that even mean anyways? So I guess I’ll just have to let the clothes tell their own story.
The creative team behind OG is quite adventurous, almost too adventurous even. The hallmark of a good diffusion line, is the possibility of pieces fitting right into a pre-existing wardrobe, one of the biggest sells of the H&M collaborations. What Style Temple offers instead is a barely veiled high concept line. There are exaggerated bows, yards and yards of poofing and ruffling, so much fabric that you barely see the model underneath. Everything is high octane, revved to the limit, kitted to the nines. Save for a handful of choice items; an excellently tailored pair of deconstructed capri pants, a gorgeous organza bomber jacket and pleated A-line skirt and a gorgeous pair of high waisted black slacks, the rest of the collection are one-0ff pieces, better suited to the luxury crowd, Style Temple is far more accustomed to courting.
Ipseity is a great collection, it is just not a good or appropriate debut for a diffusion line.
Photography: Dominique Brown @dominiquebrown00
Editing: Terna Iwar @ternaiwar
Creative Direction: Wanger Ayu @wangerayu
Model: Hanet for GI Models