For us at BN, this is the most perfect way to begin our Nigeria at 50 independence celebrations.
We can go on and on about all the shortcomings and struggles – there are many.
However, in the midst of that, we are constantly inspired by the talent, creativity, determination and drive that so many Nigerians all around the world exemplify.
Fashion is one area where Nigeria has excelled and grown tremendously over the last 50 years.
Lagos-based Luxury fashion retailer, Temple Muse sponsored by Veuve Clicquot in collaboration with the ever-talented Omoyemi Akerele (Founder of www.stylehousefiles.com and Fashion Editor of FLAIR Magazine) developed a unique concept – “La Dame, La Muse” to pay tribute to Nigeria at 50 and “celebrate the formidable African woman”.
“La Dame, La Muse” is the unique work of thirteen of Nigeria’s top and emerging fashion designers. Each of these designers has created special one-of-a-kind pieces with which to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the nation’s independence. ‘La Dame, La Muse’ is a celebration of the inspirational artistry and exceptional creative talent that has grown in the world of Nigerian fashion over the years. At the launch event which took place on the September 24th 2010, thirteen special one-off pieces were on display.
Every one of these pieces has been inspired by the story of Nigeria, the history and diversity of the nation, and by the heritage of the formidable African woman.
The sale of these pieces, as well as the champagne dinner, were for the benefit of the latest initiative of the International Women’s Society – The IWS Home For Abandoned Children. The Home, based in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State has been established to house babies and children who are abandoned in streets, dustbins, doorsteps, hospitals and other unimaginable places – Children who would otherwise be labeled State Children with no identity. These children deserve a chance and with careful and monitored physical, emotional and spiritual nurturing, the IWS aims to bring them up to be leaders and models in our society.
Experience the pieces and read all about each designer’s inspiration.
Multi printed silk georgette, silk chiffon and lame bias cut gown with ruffles detail.
“This gown evokes the cacophony of colour and print of clothes worn by the women of Nigeria. The way in which their traditional clothes are worn or mixed with more European pieces is always super stylish. The gown is made to drape and sculpt the body using a modern interpretation of the bias cut couture techniques of the 20’s and 30’s. The colours represent the diversity of shapes and styles of the beautiful women of Nigeria who continue to inspire with their posture
and ultra chic sense of style.”
Rock n Roses
This unique masterpiece carries history, value, characteristics and discovery. The style is inspired by the Benin culture where women are draped in various colourful beads, expressing a whole range of political and social subtleties beyond the merely aesthetic.
The beautiful necklace has 12 strands of gorgeous semi-precious stones in amazing colours that burst out with Nigeria’s spirit where white freshwater pearls represent our desire for peace and unity within the country and beautifully faceted peridot celebrating our lush green land and vegetation.
The ethnicity of our style coupled with an antique coin pendant which dates back to the native 1950s merge into one, to create a wonderfully hand crafted vintage piece.
On the eve of Nigeria’s Golden Jubilee, MOMO presents a royalty worthy dress designed specifically for an African Queen. With 50 years of style and grace, the world is her runway in golden duchess silk and Chantilly lace. A bustier enhances her feminine wiles and accentuates the full strength and beauty of shoulders on which her future rests. Each block of adire eleko personifies the unique individuality of her people and supports the beautiful golden harmony, balance and radiance of her story in 50 years of history.
Tonight we celebrate the distinct, independent beauty of the Nigerian woman…she is our African Queen…she is Nigeria…she is La Dame, La Muse…
Couture, colour and boldness are the signature of my designs. However, there is now an edgy side to my most recent collections. This special dress for Nigeria at 50 is made for a brilliant woman who knows a little bit about the seasons in fashion and bold enough to carry my creativity. I have explored new steps in fashion to create a further evolution of my brand hence my choice of lace and silk fabrics.
Lagos, played a major role for this piece, it’s a city full of hidden treasures, ‘a complete jungle where dreams are made’. It’s a great place to experiment and get carried away with inspiration. The history of Nigeria and her turning 50 is an even bigger inspiration for me, as a country we have been through a lot and changes are beginning to happen, as a people we are all hopeful that the next 50 years will be great!
The past 50 years have seen a meteoric rise in places of worship. To me, the most prolific of these being ‘Africanized’ churches where Christianity and traditional beliefs have combined to produce a deep-rooted fear in the power of God and the malevolence of supernatural entities. No longer has the domain of men, women now played a strong role as keepers of the faith as pastors, prophets, goddesses…
The dress is inspired by these women and symbolizes the lightness of angels and the dark mysticism and rituals of indigenous practices which appear to be locked in a cycle of protection from one against harm from the other.
The piece explores the concept of a ‘national dress’ by incorporating elements from traditional garments worn by various Nigerian tribes.
Each of the 6 items of clothing represents a woman from each decade since Nigeria’s independence who has positively affected the lives of women and society as a whole.
Funmilayo Anikulapo-Kuti, the women’s rights activist. Buchi Emecheta, the influential writer. Frances Kuboye, the philanthropic jazz singer. Rev. Dele George, the charity activist. Nike Okundaye, the artist and women’s empowerment advocate. Ify Aniebo, the malaria researcher.
The works, style and spirit of these women weave together in this piece to encapsulate the essence of the Maki Oh woman.
Ituen Basi’s celebration of the ubiquitous Ankara continues in her new collection titled ‘Independence with the Edidiong 50, designed exclusively for the La Dame La Muse collective.
The Edidiong 50, which belies the intricate craftsmanship synonymous with the label stays true to the essence of the Ituen Basi label and sees Ituen working solely with cotton Ankara. Her fabric treatment creates a textured surface, which echoes the delicate body-skimming silhouette. The simplicity of line and starkness of print enhances experimentation with wispy fun and surprise detailing.
For colour, Ituen opts for the intensity of forest green with slashes of orange evoking the energy and celebration of the Nigerian harvest season.
Jewel by Lisa
Jewel by Lisa (JBL) has since its origin been inspired by the 60’s. That era played a great role in the lives of Nigerians during Post colonialism as British-led dressing forever changed the way they saw clothing and the idea of the local garb.
Based on the fashion of the 60’s and the ‘Space race’, JBL has created for ‘La Dame, La Muse’ a luxurious, timeless piece that evokes a desire to reference the past whilst looking to the future. The dress, a work of art, in an Ankara print, is a celebration of independence and portrays Nigeria’s symbols of peace and vegetation through shades of white and green
To Odio Mimonet, the Nigerian woman represents a beautiful, graceful woman. Much like Nigeria, she represents change; she is ever evolving. The Icon dress was inspired by her vibrant personality. The splashes of green and gold make a bold statement, along with the lace and Ankara fabrics.
This dress is for the Nigerian woman who is bold and fun-loving. She makes fearless fashion choices yet still remains classic and timeless. The structural aspects of the dress like the lines and the flawless construction juxtaposed with flirty aspects like the twisted bubble hem, edgy Ankara sleeve detail and the pearl trimmings brings to mind the many layers of the Nigerian woman; Powerful, diverse, inspiring, optimistic and always, the jewel of Africa.
This dress was inspired by my warrior collection which shows the power, strength and dominance of a woman while at the same time being submissive, this is all portrayed without her loosing her femininity and independence as a woman. I used gold lame to enhance the elements of this dress and to further project the beauty that already exists within her….
“Out Of Many We Rise..”
As we reach the Dawn of yet another decade, 50years, we recognize and appreciate that Nigerians, as a people, have an uncanny ability to overcome challenges they are faced with.
They have been known to overcome and in many instances lead in their fields, regardless of the environment and conditions in which they are placed.
“We as a people will continue to RISE to the occasion”…
This is a 14k gold filled, art deco ring with curved gold stems. Stones incorporated are: phrenite, emeralds, green onyx, gold vermeil beads and green tourmaline.
I have this idea of a perfect Nigerian woman. She is graceful and elegant, she is always unfaithful to fashion and its followers leaving her to remain faithful to that which is most important to her; her own unique style.
Nigeria in all her glory has represented class, elegance, an abundance of resources, has been a mother nurturing her young, protecting her candor and propelling her face on an international platform.
Sunny Rose by Maureen Ikem Okogwu-Ikokwu has depicted Nigeria’s many facets ageless over time, a portrait of the many profiles of the splendour that abounds in the images of our women, young or old. Encased by a frame that immortalizes her into a stamp, the single unit used to carry our words and emotions over borders far and wide, over time immemorial. Immortalized eternally as Nigeria, La Dame, La Muse, L’eternelle.
Photo Credit: Temple Muse
Additional Photo Credit: Kola Oshalusi
The ‘La Dame La Muse’ Collective will then be showcased at Temple Muse for 10 days and will travel around Nigeria throughout October 2010.
For those who love African fashion, we encourage you to drop by Temple Muse and experience these pieces first hand. We rarely have fashion art installations in Nigeria, so this is a treat!
FYI – BN Red Carpet Fab for this event is coming up on Monday!
No. 8 Sanusi Fafunwa Street, (Opp. Toyota Showroom),
Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria