Lagos Nightlife Reimagined at Maki Oh's Fall 2017 Presentation

NEW YORK, United States - A live Fuji beats version of Rihanna's "Work" soothed standing guests awaiting the much-anticipated Maki Oh Fall 2017 presentation, part of New York Fashion Week.

Held at a store front space in partnership with online retailer OXOSI, the show was an ode to Lagos nightlife and its notoriously busy streets. Yellow and black danfo bus stripes adorned the main wall while an okada - a type of motorcycle taxi - flanked the back. The stage was a platform of raised disjointed sidewalks and spiced chicken wings and hot bean fritters were in high demand from passing servers akin to street sellers hawking goods.

Creative director Amaka Osakwe utilized design tropes she had flexed before, including signature hairlike metallic fringing, thoughtful word play on traditional adire dyed pieces, and a healthy dose of depth and spirit in evening ready dresses and informal separates. Nonetheless, Osakwe's tried-and-true motifs did not make this presentation any less welcome.

Her collection was dreamy in its color palette - sparkling mint green, sunburst yellow, and lavender hues - as it was in its textures. Crushed velvet tempered a blazer embroidered with black sequins while silk printed pajamas draped with ease, especially with the accompanying robe atop. A black taffeta jacket received an update with exposed sleeves and ruffled flourishes.

We are certainly in a time of fashion statements, of the written variety. Slogans "No standing" and "No condition is permanent" were hand stitched onto varied blouses; a definite call to action to move forward and forge ahead despite the barriers that might slow one down. In Nigeria where Osakwe is based, those barriers may mean chronic youth unemployment, electricity outages, and rising inflation; or perhaps, it was a global command to those in the West and elsewhere facing governmental frustrations of their own. The models walking back and forth on the rocky platform may have been a metaphor for things of today. Whatever the case, Maki Oh relied on optimism to rule the day in a series of highly wearable pieces. As the Lagosians do on a daily basis, Osakwe put forth a visual reminder to make it work despite the circumstances.

Photos Courtesy of Freddie L. Rankin II for PROTOChic.