Asanda Sizani is Cape Town’s go-to girl for all things stylish. The former fashion editor at South African ELLE and Drum magazines is currently a columnist for Grazia, so it’s no wonder that when Solange came to the city last year to shoot her video for Losing You, she invited Sizani to join in the fun. Here the stylist and consultant shares her encounter with Nigeria’s megacity at the third annual Lagos Fashion & Design Week 2013 (LFDW).
Thursday 24th October
South Africa and Nigeria are Africa's fashion capitals and home to some of the most gifted creatives on the continent. I was eager to experience Lagos for the first time, so when I was invited to LFDW by its founder Omoyemi Akerele, I gladly accepted. KISUA Creative Director Danica Lepen also attended and we collaborated during our visit. On the first day I wore a KISUA white cotton maxi dress. Minimalist, cool and restrained, it was the perfect choice for Lagos' humid climate and traffic jams! My first impression of Lagos was that it’s a dynamic, fashion conscious city. Editor in Chief of Mania magazine Dimeji Alara explained to me that Nigerian women have always worn international luxury brands but now are starting to support home-grown designers, which is what LFDW is all about. I was proud to note LFDW attendees wearing African designers such as Ituen Basi and Tiaan Nagel on the front row.
Friday 25th October
On my second day I wore a KISUA relaxed-fit safari suit with oversized pockets, a boxy silhouette and sloping shoulders. It communicated my feeling of being a curious explorer in a modern world. I joined other international journalists and Joan Burstein from famed London boutique Browns at presentations by local talents Bridget Awosika, Odio Mimonet and Tiffany Amber. After the shows, I had a taste of the city’s social scene at Bogobiri House, a boutique hotel where interesting people flock to eat, mingle and enjoy live music, and later joined friends at Skybar on the rooftop of Eko Hotel. The energy of Lagos is unmistakeable, unavoidable and infectious. This city never sleeps.
Saturday 26th October
Today I wore a KISUA samurai inspired shirt and printed trousers – an international look with an African twist. My LFDW highlight was Maki Oh. I loved the sports-influenced midi-skirts, square hats and reworked pinafores. I also enjoyed Lanre da Silva Ajaye’s opulence and Mai Atafo’s printed suits. Jumpsuits and cropped trousers were prominent in many shows and I appreciated designers such as Jewel by Lisa who created their own textiles and prints. South Africa’s fashion industry may be more structured with a stronger retail culture than in Nigeria but what I've witnessed in Lagos is a growing fashion hub. Take for example Temple Muse, a luxury concept store owned by the Wadhwani brothers.
Sunday 27th October
On my last day in Lagos I had the pleasure of shooting with Lakin Ogunbanwo, who CNN calls “one of Africa's most exciting photographers." It was a wonderful experience being in front of his lens and wearing KISUA around this irrepressible city. See you soon, Lagos.
Images: Lakin Ogunbanwo