Africa, a land of strength, versatility, freedom, style and pride. On this day when many African nations were competing and representing their home countries on the London Olympic grounds there was another display of skill taking place in Spitafields Market in East London.
African Fashion Week much like the Olympic Games gave individual countries and nations the opportunity to showcase "the best in show". Although onlookers weren't glued to the television rooting for their home country favourites, they were glued to the catwalk doing just the same.
The fashion show was complimented by a helpful welcoming committee complete with a number of stalls ranging from food, jewellery, clothing, shoes and even media services.
I attended the closing show following a visit to several stalls. There were a number of great designers to close of the showcase.
With the smooth voice of the late Barry white on loop models emerged from backstage in laced up corsets, full length dresses. The most stunning item was a belly bare midriff top and long skirt decorated in angelic white With pale blue accent.
Brigitte used a pallet of sorbet colours that were made up of lemon and peach hues. One dress in particular was a canary yellow layered evening gown which was partnered with a stunning waist belt of elegant proportion.
This was the first time onlookers saw the presence of the "male model". With striking features and beautiful poise the models grace the stage with vibrant colour of gold,deep reds, bronze and other colours that can be compared to a warm African sunset.
This fabulous jewellery designer paired up necklaces and body chains with olympic inspired uniform.
House of Tayo:
The presentation of this collection appeared to be more of an individual approach rather than a group effort. Each look was separate from the next. My favourite piece was a tribal printed neck shrug worn by one of the male models.
This designer dominated the runway with a pink and blue look that with its attached cape presented as a modern day red riding hood. The designers use of red brought passion to the stage presence. The seventh model to grace the stage was very memorable and had a signature shoulder roll that brought new life to the clothing.
Models wore sexy fabric pieces that provided a sleek presentation. Some pieces were asymmetrical skirts finished with ruffle edges. One outfit in particular was a silver two piece number that captivated the audience.
There was use of black net fabric and metallics complimented by themed logo printed shopping bags. Models stalked the catwalk with shades and attitude which provided an extra fiery feel to the already sexy lounge and beach wear.
And finally a decorated designer that stands out from many creative tyoes that only aspire to fall in line. The talented Mr. Jones oversized floppy hat and treasure chest bodice excited the crowd. The eclectic Nigerian has steered away from acid wash and eye blinding fluorescent and for this show has chosen to take the formal approach. With a collection boasting multi layered gowns with heavy embellishment and an exquisite eye for detail he commands the fashion platform. Old Hollywood glamour that is tastefully orchestrated is the description that comes to mind when observing his work. This was a show closer of sheer perfection.
Overall Africa came to the show and ended up showing out. All colours and nations were represented during a time when London itself is in one of the greatest celebratory periods in history.
By Sherry Tagoe