“Uncaved”, the Autumn/Winter 2016 collection, forms the latest body of work by Bubu Ogisi, creative director of IAmIsigo. According to the label’s website, the collection “explores how natural fashion can come to anyone with no underlying systems, no mirrors, ones skill of bodily adornment is not based on ones (sic) own reflection. The phenomenon of expression without foresight via reflection, how fashion has become an art from (sic) that elevates and celebrates the body making it the ultimate canvas.”
If you’re not sure what any of that mean. it basically boils down to how you would look if there were no mirrors in your house.
And it seems Bubu delivered.
The collection title hints at being primal and unrefined, like a troglodyte’s choice of clothing, uninfluenced by any sort of modern styling, appropriateness, or – strangely – even practicality. The clothes are done in a variety of muted tones, predominantly browns and blacks, with a few pastels in between. While one might expect this to ease the ‘wearability’ or incorporation into a variety of wardrobes, the sheer ridiculousness of some of the clothes comes as a stumbling block to even the most undiscerning buyer.
The drawstrings, for instance. I’m all for the adaptability that drawstrings give, easily turning any item into a one-size fits all, or ensuring that size changes do not ruin the fit of clothes. But there is such a thing as “overdoing it”. The blouses, the jacket and that blouson which all have drawstrings over the sleeves will take at least five minutes to put on, and that is if you were fortunate to have help. How is one expected to pull and tie the drawstrings with one hand? And I’m not sure what to make of those culottes with the drawstrings at the calves. I suppose they fit with the overall aesthetic but the real world appeal is virtually non-existent. The brown shift dress is way too short to be worn on its own (and requires side slits, for some reason), and the grey weathered fabric chemise dress (which the model displays the waist-high slit) could not have been more unflattering if it tried.
Most of the collection is a compendium of boring, everyday clothes with no evidence of their designer origins (slit-hem trousers, how original), and when you factor in the dull fabrics, poor fits and excess of drawstrings, there is no appeal whatsoever to any of these clothes.
The models do little to sell it. One appears to be camera shy (or is avoiding law enforcement) while the other looks like she would rather not be there. I assume their look was supposed to be “no make-up” but they look like they literally rolled out of bed (or emerged from their caves) and showed up at the photo shoot.
And the shoes… I don’t know why those slippers have their fabric overhanging from the soles, but one stroll through any street in Nigeria would ensure that you are carrying enough dirt to turn your “Uncaved” look from high street to homeless.
IAMISIGO is known for going against general trends and fashion norms, a custom which has formed the brand’s identity. However, this is a step in the wrong direction. This collection needs to go back into the cave and have a stone rolled over it. Permanently.
To see the full collection, go here