Lagos Fashion week has ended and we were very intrigued watching the trends unfold. It seemed like the designers were paying homage to their roots. We saw the infusion of the Edo culture present itself in the illustrations on the the outfits of the models and the corals of their dresses. Another trend that was present was the use of Aso-Oke.

Aso Oke pronounced ah-SHAW-okay is a hand loomed woven cloth, worn by the Yoruba people of western Nigeria. This is fitting, as we are in Lagos, Western Nigeria. Aso-Oke translated to English means top cloth. It is the traditional fabric, typically worn for ceremonies, basically, the Sunday Best.

The fabric is used to make Agbadas – flowing ceremonial robes for men, and matching hats known as Fila. For women, it is used to make wrappers and blouses called iro and buba and matching scarves.

The designers have taken the classic Aso-Oke and have pushed beyond the traditional usage, showcasing pieces with a modern twist.

Demure by Denike

The Fashion Focus finalist dazzled at her Lagos Fashion Week debut, inspired by Queen Moremi of ancient Yoruba culture to create pieces that are sublime, feminine, fun and yet powerful. Models walked the runway in figure hugging skirts and culottes with fringe detail made from dual coloured Aso-Oke.

Cynthia Abila

Nigerian based fashion designer, Cynthia Abila infused interesting aso Oke into structured outfits. Cotton dresses of vibrant red were adorned with lines of vibrant aso oke, which gave way to olive coloured elegant 2-piece sewn completely with Aso-Oke.

House of Deola

Queen of Komole Kandids, Deola Sagoe outdid herself with this one. Using aso Oke as the predominant textile for the collection, Sagoe wowed us with avant- garde cuts on short dresses and an interesting pairing of lace and fringe. An expert using Aso-Oke, Sagoe bended the fabric to her will in more ways than we imagined possible.

Emmy Kasbit

Inspired by Calabar, Cross River state, Emmy Kasbit presented a collection worth remembering. Patterned blue Aso-Oke blazers were paired over solid blue pants, and light blue shirts were embellished with Aso-Oke detailing.

Jermaine Bleu

Fashion Focus finalist, Jermaine Bleu’s SS19 collection was inspired by the beauty and freedom of youth. He presented us with a visual representation of modern African culture which he expressed in Utility waist bags made with Aso-Oke and colorful bottoms.

Ejiro Amos Tafiri

Renowned designer, Ejiro Amos Tafiri’s collection showed her love affair with lace, jewel tones such as Emerald green and Magenta and metallics. Her collection featured emerald green lace dresses with net metallic dual tone Aso-Oke. There was also a sprinkling of head wraps in jewel toned Aso-Oke. The cherry on a very lovely cake.

All Images via Kola Oshalusi.

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