Introducing the Nigerian Focus

Ubuntu International Showcase

19 February – 11.30am @Vauxhall Fashion Scout
London Fashion Week – Freemason Hall

It’s always a pleasure to be invited to a catwalk show especially when it is one with International influences. For LFW A/W12 I was invited by a good friend to the Ubuntu International Showcase. Having a busy schedule organising my own event for LFW I didn’t think I would have time to attend any catwalk shows this season but I am glad I made the time for this one. On this chilly but sunny Sunday morning I wore a black jumpsuit from Zara teamed with a new black blazer from French Connection. I kept my accessories minimal with a quilted handbag from Jaeger, chic and matched. I didn’t have time to put together a bright organised ensemble so kept it black on black and left in a hurry. Leaving my diary behind with it being too large and weighty, I took my small leather bound Biba notebook instead

As I entered Freemason Hall in Holborn over 30 minutes delayed with my Photographer, people were still arriving and the queue for the show was still getting bigger. As we waited I logged on to Twitter via my iPhone and searched for Vauxhall Fashion Scout, last tweet was to announce they are running 30 minutes behind schedule. To be expected as with any catwalk show. While I tag my location on Facebook in walks in Beverley Knight my first celeb sighting for this event. The guests look like a good mix of bloggers, buyers and your typical socialites taking shots and posting pics on their phone. It also looked like many had travelled from abroad just to see this showcase.

After a 20 minute wait we entered the room. It was crowded, at maximum capacity with rows of guests sitting down and a lot more standing up. The music was very cultured and heavily drummed the beats had somewhat calming undertones. The music changed for each designer but the style of music was not too different from each other. I didn’t want to assume or imagine what to expect, I wanted to be surprised and embraced by the show to start with a blank canvas to paint my thoughts.

The models looked vicious, the hair styled with a raw edginess, and a stance of conviction oozed from each walk, the makeup was strong around the eyes and kept exceptionally feminine and feline. I usually don’t like to pick favourites based on personal preference but on what I find inspirational and sincere. Clinton Lotter, the first run of designs was the most desired, my photographer who is quite specific in what she likes also approved.  Ayo Van Elmar was for me moving and quite relevant. Fashion always plays a great platform for creating awareness and raising profiles for the marginalised and less fortunate.  And Ayo Van Elmar did this well.

The following designers who showcased:-

Clinton Lotter– The collection is based on the subtle culmination of afro and art deco influences

Jose Hendo– The collection promotes the use of organic, untreated raw and recycled materials to support ethical trading.

Kevin Friedman– An innovative combination of high caratage gemstones and precious metals with ordinary ‘found’ objects.

Ayo Van Elmar– The collection is in tribute to the blast victims and families in Nigeria; a reminder that the voice of humanity and reason will triumph over barbarism.

Samantha Dollar– The collection is inspired mainly by my African and Benue (Tiv) origins

Joan Okorodudu– Collection from the brand, House of Jolla.

After weeks of set backs working towards the next Moon Doll event I arrived strained and tense today, but as I left the show with a mix of evoked emotions, I sensed motivation and a relaxed pose; I knew I was ready to tackle the busy new year ahead. Catwalk shows such as these are refreshing and exude an understated front of glamour and unrefined talent.

The prediction of seasonal fashion and following trends can be achieved every year but to design and construct off the beaten track has to be celebrated.


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