African designers at Fashion Finest – report in

Posted on September 19, 2011

0


image courtesy fashion finest

Fashions Finest is all about fashion, entertainment and creating opportunities within the Fashion Industry. They feature and support emerging, and established designers and creatives and create a platform where they can showcase their brand to a wider audience.

During this seasons London Fashion Week I headed over to the Fashion Finest London Fashion Week off schedule shows to check out collections on the runway by Kiki Clothing who appears in my book ‘Fashion Africa’ as well as Jose Hendo who recently showed at the Uganda Conference and fashion show in London. (see our blog)  This follows on from Fashions Finest inaugural London Fashion Week shows in February 2011 where they were immediately recognised as an official off schedule show.

There experience spans  over 15 years of fashion show production experience, and are renowned for discovering new talent and giving opportunities to those that would not normally be able to afford to participate at London Fashion Week. The shows attract press, buyers and fashionistas from around the world who want to see the new trends that are being developed by the designers that Fashions Finest feature.

image copyright AfricaFashionGuide

Shows on 17th September are aimed at new and emerging and international designers that have been established for more than nine months and have already done at least one fashion show. In particular on this day were shows from designers who have a relation to Africa such as Jose Hendo who uses bark cloth from Uganda and promotes ethical production and sourcing in their design process and from Ghana was KIKI Clothing – founded by fashion designer, Titi Ademola who manufactures all products to a high standard in Ghana with a popular store in Accra, Ghana which I have passed in Accra Mall on various occasions. Titi is one of Ghana’s renowned fashion brands they specialise in unique designs for children and adults. She is a graduate of the London College of Fashion and the American Intercontinental University in Atlanta. She quotes:

The traditional African cultures are a powerful force to be celebrated by all.

All product made by Kiki Clothing is manufactured in Ghana from clothing to footwear and takes pride and passion in promoting Made in Ghana.

Waiting for the Jose Hendo and KikiClothing shows I was anticipating big things. Kiki Clothing was the first designer of evening and a great way to open the show. Kiki Clothing was a fusion of great colours and prints mixed together in a fresh way. It was young funky and exciting. Overall an uncomplicated collection from Titi. My favourite accessories were the cute ankara heels which the models strutted in along to the African beats in the background. Along side this was the introduction of cute, yet very commercial sleeveless tops with matching shorts. This seems to be a hot trend where fabrics are worn in both tops and bottoms together so it puts ‘all over prints’ in a whole new light.

To summarise there was lots of ankara on show, a strong mix of prints and cloths and the use of chiffon too. Cute young pieces from Titi Ademola of Kiki clothing.

Kiki Clothing - image copyright AfricaFashionGuide

Kiki Clothing - image copyright AfricaFashionGuide

Kiki Clothing - image copyright AfricaFashionGuide

Kiki Clothing - image copyright AfricaFashionGuide

Kiki Clothing - image copyright AfricaFashionGuide

Kiki Clothing - image copyright AfricaFashionGuide

Titi Ademola of Kiki Clothing - image copyright AfricaFashionGuide

It was the first time seeing both Josephine and Titi’s clothes live on the runway. I had invited Jose Hendo to show a design at the AfricaFashionGuide launch event and love the construction work of her designs and seeing the new collection realised how different it was but loved it at the same time. This SS12 collection is called “Contact” and is all about the present being intertwined with the past and future. The neutral tones focused on movement to create shape and form and uses positive and negative space to create silhouettes that capture the imagination.

There were some lovely understated pieces with interesting tailoring from Josephine. The Jose Hendo collection was in the coolest summery colours with lots of knots and ties throughout. The surprise with this collection is definitely in the detail – the play on volume, asymmetry, draped panels and distorted silhouettes. It is quoted to be about

‘self expression, getting the wearer to participate in bringing the garment to life’

Jose Hendo was the last show of the night and it closed with my favourite piece of the night the tulle skirt – just for the dramatic effect! Something new from Jose Hendo but I am definitely keeping an eye on this designer going forward!

Jose Hendo - image copyright AfricaFashionGuide

Jose Hendo - image copyright AfricaFashionGuide

Jose Hendo - image copyright AfricaFashionGuide

Posted in: Fashion