MBNYFW – Maki Oh wows at Arise
For us Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week began with the Arise Magazine presentation African Icons in the big tent. The Guardian wrote “Determined to re-write Africa’s story, five designers by way of Lagos and London lit up the New York catwalk in the Arise African Icons tent with chic women’s and menswear designs. If you thought African fashion was just the odd Accra printed skirt, you couldn’t be more wrong.”
Sustainable label Edun drew everyone’s attention to Africa’s sartorial opportunities when they launched in 2005, and the void since their departure (now producing mostly in China) seems to have left room in the spotlight for amazing emerging designers to shine and show what happens when African designers present “Africa.” Maki Oh was crowned Arise Magazine’s Designer of the Year – and wowed the Arise audience with her SS13 collection of simple and fluid silhouettes on pieces of washed silks, silk chiffon, silk velvets and chantilly lace.
The colour pallette started light – seashell and porcelain and graduated to a more sinister maroon, indigo and ink tones. Prints were ‘adire’ – hand painted and organically dyed using leaves of indigo plants. Maki Oh makes use of traditional Yoruba motifs and produces in her native Nigeria.