GFW 2010! Bunmi Olaye

Alas! Much to my ever-present shame, I am unable to attend one of my favourite fashion events of the season! (Drat, drat and double drat!) It’s been a case of work stops play with a good solid roundhouse kick to the face and the perpetually waggling finger of authority…

So, for those who didn’t know already, GFW 2010 kicked off yesterday with the Graduate catwalk collections from the University of East London, and with over 1000 students all vying for sartorial acclaim, glory and the River Island £20,000 Gold Award, the competition is (as always) fierce, or maybe – FIERCE. But, as in all things there are frontrunners, and UEL’s frontrunner has got to be – in fact, I’m going to go out on a limb here, ISBunmi Olaye.

With work experience under the late Alexander McQueen, her own label – Bunmi Koko and a celebrity clientèle list longer than your arm, including Mischa Barton, current muse Mel B and Alesha Dixon, the future is already looking blinding for Nigerian designer Bunmi, and with just a quick glance at her collections it’s easy to see why…

Matriarchy, Bunmi’s GFW collection, draws inspiration from a patriarchal Nigerian cult practised by members of the Efik tribe and fuses that with the seemingly antithetical aesthetic principles of Victorian womenswear with its focus on cinched waists, voluminous sleeves and high collars.

Matriarchy, in Bunmi’s own words, is about “[…]power, royalty, status and ultimate femininity […] a collection that is luxurious and feminine, with a wild and untamable spirit influenced by the masquerade.”

Matriarchy is also set for exhibition at the upcoming Africa Fashion Week in Johannesburg from 30th June-3rd July.

Geisha’s Reform, the latest RTW collection from Bunmi Koko with its sumptuously crafted homage to shape and structure in traditional Japanese clothing and Western Art Deco architecture, is quite simply awe-inspiring…

Head over to xolqrcexo for more on this absolutely astounding up-and-coming designer…or check out the Bunmi Koko website &/or the Bunmi Koko Facebook Page.

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The Power & The Glory: Bench 2010 Lookbook

A quick one for the street-style massive…

Bench’s new summer 2010 collection features a tribal take on urban cool for the guys: Native American prints and bold tribal motifs offset against classic-Bench jeans and skater shorts. And for the girls? A retro-rehash of punk and grunge with a pop-tastic colour palette…

Un-freakin’-deniably cool.

Thanks to RWD for the break – head to their site to view the rest of the collection…or head over to Bench for more info (and to shop of course!)

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And the Lord didst say ‘Let there be Prints’

And Lo! From the loud and the lurid to the chi chi and the chintzy, The Powers That Be hath delivered a plethora of punctilious prints unto the people. With more ways to wear than the legendary wrap dress and with clashes all the rage there’s no better opportunity for some gratuitous trend-whoring. Aint life grand.

Reminisce in reworked classics like all-American checks, flirty-fifties polka dots (a personal favourite), preppy-pinstripes or muted Sunday-best florals and relive those nostalgia-tinted daisy chain summers on the school-field in gingham.

Or (not for the faint hearted) make a statement and work seventies-style geometric prints –  remember to balance bold patterns with simple accessories and neutral shoes to avoid optical overkill!

Stand-out abstracts in provocative paint-pot brights provide the perfect foil for a summer sun-kissed glow and how about graphics – the super-brave should look for splashes of neon and futuristic shapes; think electro meets disco meets a stonking techno-rave on acid. If you’re eyes aren’t watering it’s not bright enough.

Something more muted? Try a blousy-boho look and go for the clash in layers of loose-fitting florals, stripes, spots – and whatever-else takes your fancy – keep colours faded and textures interesting.

Go on a global sartorial adventure in extravagant yet earthy tribals, ikat prints and a hotchpotch of cultural references – keep hair sleek, make-up minimal and throw on a pair of gladiator flats. A warrior is born.

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