THE Isham Fashion and Style Fair was held recently at Emerald Gardens, Lekki, Lagos. Isham, which means beauty, has its origin from the Kagoro Language in Kaduna State. It promotes total beauty from within radiating outwards.
Themed Future African, the inaugural fair had bold expression of colours and panache.
Conceived to illustrate the expression that all the exhibitionists, runway designers and models in the fair are part of the emerging generation of fashion icons not only in Nigeria, but in Africa at large, the show featured 20 exhibition stands, all displaying various items ranging from clothes, jewellery and shoes to both traditional and modern make-up and beauty ranges.
According to the organisers, “the Isham Fashion and Style Fair was formed with their desire to promote total beauty. We desire to use fashion as a platform for the exposure, empowerment and promotion of Nigeria’s emerging designers; by developing and supporting creativity and entrepreneurship in young and emerging talent in the Nigerian market and across the continent. We want to strengthen the fundamentals of the Nigerian collection, establish a stronger voice, develop business opportunities, and become the gateway to success for upcoming designers. We intend to strengthen ties between the “creativity” of designers, “craftsmanship” of manufacturers and “trading” of the apparel and retail industry.”
The high point of the evening was a show featuring works of apparel and accessories by seven designers. They are Ahme by Amen Buzunu, a graduate of International Studies and Diplomacy from Ambrose Alli University, whose designs are inspired by everyday independent woman.
Mohamed Oluafunmi Mohammed of Mohani label, whose works replicated the true African woman, infused her own sense of style, which extended to couture. Detailed ion her styles, she showed vintage cuts fresh for the runway,
Gloria Abba, the designer behind the Indigo Flair label showed the beauty in plus size. Abba brought clean structured lines with minimum detailing, Ishben, whose owner, Ishioma Onyebo, is a model, showed edgy and funky styles. She also played with colours. Beautiful Heritage Design Company created designs from beads and semi-precious gemstones, while Kems Style of Kyenpiya Nastu worked with ankara to bring out the versatility in the fabric. Drawing inspiration from the African woman, she has over the years created designs that are detailed and comforting. Firebrand showed cool top class designs for individual who believe that positive self-expression does not have limitations.
The show also had musical entertainment from some of MUSON’s best and solo performances by some very talented artistes and an award ceremony recognising the contributions of some outstanding individuals to the fashion industry in Nigeria.