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Sunday, September 18, 2011

MBFW: ARISE Magazine "Made in Africa" S/S 12 Designer Collective

I've wanted to attend an ARISE Magazine show during fashion week ever since it started. This was finally my season thanks to Tineey (and also to @GlamReportTV who was going to secure me a ticket too)!! It couldn't have been a better event to end Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. This was its 4th season and the show featured seven African designers, all showing that style has no geographical borders. The show  was at Avery Fisher Hall, and you can tell that this was THE show to be at. The lines were super hectic, but once you got upstairs it was smooth sailing from then on. Supermodel Sessilee Lopez and ANTM model from season 12 Aminat Ayinde graced the runway (and the guests loved it). All seven designers really used a lot of color, prints, patterns, textures, fantasy, and visual graphics to differentiate their collection from the next designer. Each had a distinct voice and a story to tell. The designers featured were Asibelua, Tsemaye Binitie, Bunmi Koko, Lanre Da Silva Ajayi, Pierre-Antoine Vettorello, Jewel by Lisa, and KlûK CGDT.

Asibelua got the show started. She mixed colors and prints like no other. Bold colors with plaids and gingham were made to look effortless. Her collection featured a lot of stylish separates too, this way you can mix and match and look ready for Spring. She made it wearable and offered pieces that would compliment a creative closet easily.

Tsemaye Binitie
Tsemaye Binitie followed, and his collection, called Beautiful People, was inspired by international trips he's taken and the woman who embraces freedom in the way she travels and dresses. I loved how light and airy his designs were. For a woman on the go, she needs something she can grab without thinking and look chic. The last look ended on a dramatic note with a white cotton gown and feathered bottom. But the piece that really stood out for me was the hot pink and orange color-blocked maxi dress number. I cannot get enough of color-blocking.
Bunmi Koko

Now it's time for Allure of the Sirens with Bunmi Koko. Her color palette mainly consisted of navy, yellow, turquoise, and nude. Her silhouettes were easy breezy with draping detail on some of her designs. The collection got me because of its resort-friendly appeal and delicate approach.
Lanre Da Silva Ajayi

Lanre Da Silva Ajayi, whose collection was inspired by 16th century villas, antique markets, hills and beaches of Lucca, Italy, (how luxurious right!) hit the runway next. Ultra-feminine designs and silhouettes were detailed with chantilly lace, silk organzas, sheer fabrics, and floral embellishments. I really loved her last dress, it was dramatic and the shape over-exaggerated. Lady Gaga could totally walk the red carpet in it. [By the way, I don't mention mishaps, but this needs to be said. After the last model walked in the show, Lanre came out for her finale walk, and she fell off the stage. My heart stopped and the whole audience gasped. This woman is a woman after my own heart. She got up, got back up on the stage, and took her final a standing ovation no less. She earned it! Brava Lanre.]
Pierre-Antoine Vettorello

Pierre-Antoine Vettorello gave me a mindscape. He was inspired by movies like Little Shop of Horrors and Jaws (which you could tell). It was very avant-garde from the wire headpieces, to the animal like designs coming out of the tops (actual sculpture-like animal mouths in the shirt), to the last LBD which was accented with bones (or claws). And I think I would wear it too. Definitely fashion art.

Jewel by Lisa
Jewel by Lisa spoke to the girly girl in me. With classic a-line floral dresses, bold print maxi dresses mixed with oversized bold print tops, colorful print sheaths, and short suits embellished with crystals, sequins and beading, you could tell she was bringing the 60's to 2012. An era I always refer to in my style.

Designing duo KlûK CGDT ended the fashion show. Designers Malcom KlûK and Christiaan Gabriel du Toit mixed sharp feminine silhouettes with soft textures like tulle and silk ( I can never get enough tulle too). They opened the show with a menswear inspired two-piece suit and ended on a ethereal bridal note with lots of tulle. The collection went from edgy to soft for the woman who is confident and wants to dress how she feels.

Leona Lewis
Thought that was it? Nope. The party was kept going by Leona Lewis. She didn't just sing one song. She gave us a mini-concert, and believe me, she sounds amazing live. She sang "Collide", "Grenade" (which is sung by Bruno Mars), "Bleeding Love", "Better in Time", and more. She looked gorge with ankle-cropped navy blue pants, a fuchsia top, and sparkly Louboutins. 

Thanks for a fab close to the season! Can't wait to see what they have in store for next season.

Check out my photos of the 7 designers' collection:

Check out my video clip of Leona Lewis performing "Better in Time": [the video was taken on my blackberry.]

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