Sunday, July 22, 2012
Day 1 - [12-7-12] - Ah! Day one of Africa Fashion Week, was not at all what I anticipated it to be. In fact, I barely anticipated it. I arrived at the venue and I was immediately consumed by the energy lingering in the air. I was greeted by the smiles and overwhelmingly beautiful warm words by faces who recognized me from here and there and so on. As I made my way through backstage, I knew immediately hard work and thrilling fun laid ahead. I found myself going from rack to rack, speaking with some designers, commending their work as well offering assistance where needed. In my doing so, I got the opportunity to peruse what each designer had constructed and I was deeply impressed, to say the least. My absolute favorite collection was by Carolyn Long of Fienes Couture. Her brilliant pairing of fur + leather is what captivated me most (the feathered white blouse was part of her collection. Wish I photographed more). In addition to her, the women behind Messanga, Kachi Designs and Kibonen absolutely blew me away with their use of textures and pattern. As showtime drew near, the air grew thick. The ushering of volunteers back and forth, the heightening sense of urgency as models came off the runway and were immediately undressed and redressed for the next collection, the lineup of makeup Artists, eager to retouch and tweak bits of the models prior to unleashing them unto the runway yet again - it was all new to me. I have been a part of fashion shows (nothing of this magnitude, of course) in the past, but I'm usually amid the slew of guests, photographing. Never have I been hands-on with the production of anything so grand. It thrilled me so. Mind you, this was my first major styling-debut. Can you imagine the excitement? Day 2 - [13-7-12] - The second day seemed to progress a bit quicker. I received a list for the collections I was responsible for, in collaboration with my partner, Nneoma. Unfortunately, she could not be present due some family emergency. However, Aisha, one of the other volunteers, stepped in and helped save the day. We worked effectively and was able to conclude our load in good timing. Day 3 - [14-7-12] - I contemplated deeply whether to attend or not. The preceding days had been given its lessons as well as stress. I'm a firm believer in finishing whatever I start, so I went and, boy, am I glad I did. Being the last day, the list of collections showing stretched a bit further than the two preceding days.Meaning, my responsibility took on an increase. This time around, I and my team were responsible for styling the works of MABM Designs, Fikirte Addis (one of my absolute favorites; great use of linen and intricate Ethiopian-inspired embroidery. It seemed like the simpler the piece, the more it spoke), Studio D-Maxsi, Leonche, Peter Walden and Nadir Tati. Fortunately, Peter Walden was strictly menswear, therefore required little-to-no effort. And, Nadir Tati came equipped with the vision she saw for the presentation of her collection through the models, easing up our workload. As for my favorite collection from day 3, Fikirte Addis, as aforementioned, Studio D-Maxsi and Nadir Tati. Nadir Tati, especially; most of each collection featured some African influence, but Nadir is the only one who took it all the way. Each model was adorned with head-wraps, revealing the Queenly quality in each piece. All photos were taken by me, excluding the first one. To see more, click HERE.