As much as I would have loved for this blog post to be out much earlier, truth is with Lagos, one needs some time to decompress. And if you have travelled there, or live there you will know what I mean.
The New York City of Africa, hustlers paradise or which ever which way you may want to call it Lagos is a city full to the brim of non-stop pulsating energy. It is vibrant and chaotic. Alive. Full of potential.
And the moment you realize that it’s IN the chaos that you can find the magic, then things start making sense.
Just getting to Lagos is a journey within itself, but upon arrival you kinda leave all that behind and a new one begins.
Welcome to Lagos
Heat and Traffic. Even with a late evening arrival you do not escape these two things. Thankfully, once out of the airport it was a smooth drive with my host from Lagos Fashion and Design week (#LFDW ) to Le Maison Fahrenheit, a modern and boutique hotel space that would be home for the next few days.
In the following 24 hours, once I got over my initial slight bewilderment and flat-footed stance, it was a quick transition into Lagosian mode. And No, in case you wondering it’s not my first trip to to this African mega-city of millions.
Point is you have to be nimble in Lagos.
It’s something like this. No matter what time you get to bed, best be in the dining room for breakfast next morning. Early enough.
Otherwise a whole wave of opportunity and people would have rolled past. Stuff is happening ALL the time.
And your day could take a very different turn.
Not only did I ‘meet’ and discover a breakfast option called Egg Sauce (a scrumptiously spicy saucy scrambled egg option) which I ordered every morning I was there (which you would have seen if you followed @refashionafrica on Instagram and Snapchat), but also many interesting, beautiful, creative and fashionable people connected in some way or the other to Fashion and Africa.The conversations, meet ups and connections were priceless.
The choice to carry Thula Sindi dresses with me for Lagos fashion and design week 2016 made my packing life so much simpler as it did when it came time to get dressed.To be honest, in balmy weather all a woman needs is modern simplicity, inspiring sophistication.
During the 4 days of fashion there were as many highlights as there were challenges. I found the fashion business series I attended all useful and relevant.
Launch of Fashionomics by AFDB
Influencers in Fashion
Behind The Scenes.
Backstage is yet another portal into the world of fashion, belonging to a whole set of completely different people, not many of which to you get see but it’s their collective work that comes out onto the runway to be shown to the world. Models, Make Up Artists, Designers, Dressers,Producers, Photographers, Production assistants, Journalists, Racks and plenty clothes and shoes. And of course curious fashion curators like me. I love catching a sneek peak before the shows. For me the images, energy and memories of backstage add another dimension to fashionweek.
Can we just for a moment talk about the FROW?
If I didn’t have to/want to/ need to observe and snap up-close the fashion and runway presentations (which after all is the main ‘raison d’etre’ for me of fashion week) in order to talk and write and showcase and promote African Fashion, then this would be a mute point.
Let’s not ignore the underlying politics and competitiveness that goes with the FROW territory (and I’ve seen some things) Butttttt, a seating plan and proper arrangements for fashion media, fashion influentials and digital influencers orchestrated in the best possible way is a very necessary thing. And designers along with organisers/ producers of shows in my opinion should care about who is invited, and who is positioned where for their shows.
Why? For this reason….A certain kind of social value is created depending on where people sit, who they sit with and the kind of conversations that unfolds….which can impact business. And this is over and above the practical issues which go without saying for fashion media etc.
Anycase, I did get to FROW but admittedly not without some jostling and hissing sounds…. I have to be frank with you.
Fashion reviews with Ebony Life TV
Highlighting the best of the runway shows on Day 1 along with Rio Paul from Tanzania and the wonderful Presenter Mimi Onalaja. Thank you for the opportunity to talk fashion.
My review of #LFDW 2016 runway shows and designers is coming up on Vogue Italia/Vogue Talents (and I’ll give you guys a heads up on that, but also be sure to follow on Instagram).
I would be amiss if I didn’t mention some other memorable parts of the week though like the Marriage proposal …yes I mean a classic ” real- life -get- down-on- one -knee-with-the rock” from designer Johnson Johnson to his girlfriend on the runway during his finale walk. It was seriously romantic. And beautiful to witness. I love LOVE.
And then there was “About that curvy life”… curated by Latasha Nwugbe , which brought the house down, presenting for the first time on the #LFDW 2016 platform, a designer collective of fashion for curvy, full figured woman.
More on this coming up on the blog. The impact and significance of this collaboration for African fashion.
That’s a wrap, for now! Thank You, Lagos. Thank You Lagos fashion and design week 2016!
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