Mixed reviews have trailed designer, Lanre DaSilva Ajayi new collection for S/S 2017, tagged ‘Artistic Statement’. The collection is described as being heavily influenced by her love for art; where the designer explores an artistic imagery through fashion by collaborating with the renowned artist, Ayoola Gbolahan.
For one critic, simply identified as Fifi, the collection had “some okay pieces like the velvet dress in the collection.” Fifi remarked on Bellanaija that, “I just believe that Nigerian ‘designers’ especially those who didn’t go to fashion school and cant actually sow, don’t know how to work with certain fabrics like raw silk, chiffon etc. It always comes out looking messy.”
Similarly ‘Sul’, in remarks that were slightly praiseworthy wrote, “This collection has a few hits and quite a number of misses. The florals and patterned silks caught my attention. Meanwhile the apron detailed looking ones just made me sad. It felt like two or three different concepts that have no synergy trying to be forced together. I would still wear some of them though, and I still like LDS. As a creative it’s all about perspective, sadly it doesn’t always translate in ways that are appealing to others.”
The collection features an attempt at feminine, bold and edgy pieces in fabrics such as silk, velvet, lace, organza rich in details. Lanre prides herself on challenging the discourse of wearable art; creating a story to the liberties of art and its multifaceted layers that in many ways resonate with the idea of a modern, sophisticated woman.
But does Art and fashion successfully unite in this collection with bold hand-painted images on solid colours?
According to the designer, “From the onset, I visualised an artistic imagery which prompted me to work alongside renowned artist Ayoola Gbolahan who brought my creative thoughts to life. The beauty of imagination is limitless. I could see and analyse the feelings they would evoke in every woman. The feeling of not just pride alone but of strength and renowned dignity.”
While Ayoola said, “Everything is a symbol with meanings. Images don’t just appear in my work as random decorative patterns alone. There’s a thought behind everything, a purpose to communicate.”
According to him, everything is a language form to enhance or catalyse a discussion and fashion has never been more essential in creating a dialogue than now, right here, in this age in which we live in