While Europe dominates the fashion world, African designers and models are continuing to prove themselves worthy of a spot on the world stage. Heidi Quill takes a look at the annual GTBank ‘FSHN WKND’, an event that showcases emerging African talent.
The second weekend of November this year saw the third edition of the annual GTBank ‘FSHN WKND’ event, celebrating African fashion, models and emerging designers. Held in Lagos this year, the event is a crowning moment in any young designer’s career, giving them the opportunity of a runway watched all over the world – along with the added hope of grasping the attention of fashion-dominant-Europe.
Among the creators whose designs hit the runway, is Adama Amanda Ndiaye, creator of ADAMA PARIS. Influenced by urban and cosmopolitan fashions, Adama is inspired by the cities she has been surrounded by, living between Paris and Dakar. The work she creates is both hyper-feminine but strong and dominant, often featuring a classically effeminate silhouette. She offers what might be perceived as a twist on the expectation of femininity within female fashion.
While her use of ruffling and leg-slits remains true to continuous themes seen on the catwalk both this year and the previous year, it becomes somehow unique in this collection, seemingly indicating a wider message. Using soft materials and even softer silhouettes, it seems that Adama Amanda Ndiaye represents perceptions of women, only to then metaphorically reveal their power, robustness, and stability by using transparent fabrics that literally reveal them as individuals and as women, while also blurring gender boundaries and images
Another notable African designer is the
Smith’s presentation for GTBank FSHN WKND was no exception. Following on from his GTBankcollection the previous year, entitled ‘For the Young, Black & Sexy’, Laquan’s 2018 collection presented his usual combination of hyper-revealing mesh fabrics with tight, short or plunging silhouettes, remaining perfectly on-brand.
However, this year saw more use of accessories than in previous years, with huge fur and faux fur jackets and sparkling coats, as well as an increase in his sense of finding sexiness in something unconventional, such as bodysuits for male models, a look consisting of a huge black overcoat with nothing but a bodysuit underneath with high-cut legs and obscuring the face, as well as some more androgynous looks. The collection as a whole – with its sparkling
As the producers and
Laquan Smith’s collection ‘Laquan Smith x ASOS’ was launched November 1st and is now online, and you can shop from ADAMA PARIS on Adama’s official website here.
Featured image credit: GTBank ‘Africa’s Finest’ publication – https://fashionweekend.gtbank.com/africas-finest/
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