Abuja based label Wanger Ayu has been one of the better reveals of the 2015 Lagos Fashion and Design Week Fashion Focus programme. Ayu, the person behind the eponymous brand is actually no novice, and has gained an inimitable amount of influence in the Abuja fashion and lifestyle scene with her event Designer Market Place. With concessions with retailers 41 Luxe and Zazaii, the label obviously has the business savvy to match its creative process so the decision making process that led to its new collection ‘EPOCH‘ mystifies us.
A retro-futuristic celebration of an era; drawing inspiration from current economic shifts, in which we find individuals and society reminiscing and desiring past glories with the hope for the future and all the possibilities it holds
The Epoch collection is supposed to pay homage to the fashion trends of the 70’s which remaning fresh and contemporary. It only succeeds to do one of its two objectives. The collection obviously references the 70’s and the beginnings of the disco era, pleated layers, bare shoulders and high waisted skirts and dresses were a big identifier of the era. But Wanger Ayu leans too heavily on those trends, so much so that there is literally nothing that idenitifies it as part of the brand’s aesthetic, as clearly defined by it’s Spring 16 collection ‘A little Blue Life’. When the fringe is done, it is pervasive and overwrought, the attempts at symmetry in the blouses and dresses come off as construction errors rather than deliberate design quirks.
The best pieces in the collection are incidentally the simplest. A white mini-dress cinched at the waist and jazzed up with simple chiffon pleats, an ashen silk shift with gorgeously lined slip sleeves, a grey pencil skirt with a half done horizontal pleat hem; Ayu is at her best when she is unfussy and not trying to impress.
Epoch could have be genre defining for Ayu, instead it becomes a reminder that even brilliant designers can make missteps.
Contact: call +2348170757060 | visit Wanger Ayu Studios, 35, 4th Avenue, Gwarinpa, Abuja
Photography: Somto Maduka @imagio
Hair Styling: Khenye Gager @khenye @enigma.art
Make up: Mmeka Ronald Chinedu @Ronaldthe7th
Model: Ruth Waziri @Ruddiye
Location: The Cube Cafe @thecubecafe