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GFW: Bunmi Olaye

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Sunday June 6th – University of East London graduate Bunmi Olaye‘s collection at Graduate Fashion Week 2010 was entitled “Matriarchy”.

Inspiration: ‘Matriachy’ sets the scene for an Autumn/Winter 2010 collection celebrating female empowerment and domination with a feeling of escapism and culture fusions between Nigeria and Great Britain. A fascination with the leopard masquerade (Ekpe) from the South East of Nigeria, Calabar. A cultural and historical phenomenon that was once the former government in pre-colonial Nigeria. The Ekpe cult was once rumoured to have been a women’s only cult initially but which is run by men today. A cultural icon for empowering women in Calabar, Nigeria, was Scottish missionary Mary Slessor. A matriarchal figure in a revolutionary period of Queen Victoria. Think power, royalty, status and ultimate femininity. This philosophy brings about a collection that is luxurious and feminine, with a wild and untameable spirit influenced by the masquerade.

Style: The feeling of a warrior-like woman in power. The look plays with new proportions and the pairing of very different fabrics, precious materials such as cotton raffia, bells and beads, silks, sheep fur and woven wools with unexpected details. Rich colours and vibrant prints with a hairy look; red, black, white and burnt ochre with a monochrome effect in parts and unusual pom-poms. Power dressing takes a new form with a Victorian silhouette. A contemporary twist, strong shoulders and sleeves, enhanced waist and an exaggerated silhouette.

Contact: bunmi.olaye [at] / Natalie Whorms or Gemma Waters at the Outside Organisation – 0207 436 3633

Written by Jack

June 16th, 2010 at 3:08 pm