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Although the Arise Fashion Week is finished, the beautiful chaos it caused will still rock the minds of the few that didn’t miss the show. It started off with a model mutiny but ended in triumph as the designers showcased their best for 2012 after a day of delay and reconfiguration of schedules. The show included a schedule of 77 designers from all over the world.

One of the most anticipated collections was from the talented designer, Bridget Awosika. Termed ‘BA’ for short, Bridget Awosika names the collection “the passage to Nirvana”. The collection shows more femininity in her designs but still keeps the risqué cuts, slits and her creative love for pleats. Another fan favorite was Lanre Da-Silva Ajayi (LDA) who gave us modern design on prints with a splash of retro as well.

KiKi Kamanu

Kiki Kamanu also showed her collection in a unique style. The models were covered in paper which had bold messages written on it like “Ms. must blend in!” and after a couple of steps they tear it off to reveal the fashion underneath. she infused silk and a blend of soft feminine colours. There was a flow to her designs and a sequence to the collections that some other designers lacked.

LaQuan Smith

There were a few collections that deserved a standing ovation  but it may be because most of the people viewing the collection were not as fashion forward or not that into fashion in general. A collection like LaQuan Smith, a New York based designer who took the show by surprise with a fascinating use of futuristic cuts and patterns, splash of that 70s colour code and a lot of chokers and leather fit for a modern day dominatrix. This line showed the unique power a woman has in a sexy but hard way with a caress of class. With this collection, it came as no surprise when he was handed the award for Young designer of the year by the Arise Magazine Team.

Taibo Bacar

Another designer who deserved a standing ovation was Mozambique’s Taibo Bacar. The line was filled with so much movement, flow and a design that accentuate the feminine waist. It included sparkles, belts, shorts and a beautiful array of different shades of brown with bounced of the skin of any model in it.

CLAN’s collection was one of the lines that deserved the standing ovation it received. The line that is owned by Teni, Aba and Tiwa Sagoe used this opportunity to take CLAN from teenage fashion to mature collection. The line was filled with bold shoulders, deep V-neck plunges, ruching, peplum designs and it was as the French with say “Très Chic”.

The Okunoren Twins also gave a beautiful presentation which was the talk of the last day of the fashion show. From the dramatic beginning, the cute crying baby boy and the fantastic pieces shown, the Okunoren twins are starting to look like the Tom Ford of our society and generation. A well deserved standing ovation was given.

Tiffany Amber was the last designer to showcase her line which included flapper designs, flowing chiffon and the incredible debut of the South Sudanese beauty, Alek Wek. Though the line did not get a standing ovation, Alek Wek was embarrassed with an ovation making the supermodel blush through her catwalk.

At the end of the show the Awards were given out with Dudley O’Shaughnessy, the male lead in the Rihanna “We Found Love” Video, winning Male Model of the Year, Oluchi Onweagba-Orlandi winning Style Icon of the year and Ozwald Boateng being honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Also the list of African designers headlining the Arise show at the Spring/Summer Mercedes Benz Fashion Week was revealed. Tiffany Amber, Maki Oh, Ozwald Boateng, Tsemaye Binitie and Gavin Rajah will be showing off their collection in New York as representatives for African Designers for Arise Magazine.


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This article was first published on 15th March 2012 and updated on March 27th, 2012 at 11:11 am


Dami is the editor and business developer for she is an On-Air Personality and also an Artist with a focus in sculpting and pottery.

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