Nigerian evening wear designer, Weizdhurm Franklyn is one of the most polarizing designers working presently in the industry.
Even a cursory glance at any of his collections will tell you that he is evidently a hard worker who puts a lot of time and energy into the actual process of fabrication. He isn’t afraid to experiment with new techniques and alternate designs and draws inspiration from many avant-garde international designers.
Maddeningly, Weizdhurm Franklyn is also easily one of the most lacking design labels in the country when it comes to technical know-how and execution. The label is infamous for it’s substandard fabric choices, sub-par detail work and a general inability to properly execute its many high concept, thematic design ideas.
With each collection, we hope for a Weizdhurm Franklyn collection that shows the designer finally overcome the limitations that has kept him from truly dominating the evening wear industry, and every season we end up disappointed. The Red Light District pre-fall 17 collection clearly isn’t the one that’ll break the jinx.
A red light district is a part of an urban area where a concentration of prostitution and sex oriented businesses, such as sex shops, strip clubs, adult themed shops, etc. is found.
Featuring ace model Bertha Amuga, the collection tries to express the titillation and deviance of the titular concept. But it is devoid of nuance or the complexity that one would expect of a collection that explores the socio-cultural relevance of a place where power, sex and deviance intersect. Prostitution is celebrated and reviled, and is hotly contested from bedrooms to parliament. It is a financial, cultural and socio-politically relevant concept, one that is basically inexhaustible. What we get from the label instead, is gratuitous skin by way of strategic crushed velvet paneling and very literal ‘red’ dresses.
This is not to say that the collection is without great individual pieces.
This is easily one of Franklyn’s better collections construction wise. His olive blouson jacket with exaggerated lapels is a delight, as is his fish tail jacket, the silhouette a throw back to the label’s Spring 16 Baroque collection. There is also a black velvet mini dress with a plunge neckline and pom pom detailing and his gunmetal dress with a high-low skirt, skirted with fringe, both delightful. The rest of the collection, not so much.
Franklyn uses what can only loosely be regarded as ‘fur’ for some pieces, and the end result looks like old teddy bears were skinned and their fur used to create a dress. There is the red PVC and velvet dress with stud detailing that looks inferior in the look book and even worse on the red carpet.
There is also the satin shift dress with embroidered detailing that looks incredibly juvenile, we have seen better embroidery work from the average tailor. As a label that positions itself as a luxury brand, serving a select, high income market, all this inferior work sends the wrong message.
It is obvious the creative director behind the label struggles with illustration and choosing the right fabrics for the right piece and no one expects him to be able to do all these things, he is not Karl Lagerfeld. But we can expect, and even demand that the Weizdhurm Franklyn label hire a proper design team, with a trained/gifted illustrator, a fabric expert and a better pattern cutter.
But even more, the Weizdhurm Franklyn label could do with some reorientation, some kind of mentor or external influence that can help the evening wear designer understand that the design process needn’t be so literal, that there is art to be mined from design.
Email: [email protected]/