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Collection Conversations with Eki and Richard: For the Love of Bare Shoulders



BN Style presents Collection Conversations, a weekly round up of all the collections and look books from African designers featured on BN Style from the previous week. Collection Conversations features Eki Ogunbor & Richard Akuson sharing their individual thoughts on featured collections from the previous week.

So, let’s get started.


Eki: TAE presents Oyinade

Richard: Reading the title of the post I thought, aren’t shirt dresses a little tired? But after looking at each of the pieces (not entirely a remarkable collection), I’m happy that the designer chose to use colourful wax prints for the pieces. They look exuberant fun and stylish. This trench-like shirt dress is my favorite of them all, although I’d have liked to see more interesting necklines than what they have but that’s just me just being me

TAE - BN Style - 02

Eki: Yea they do. I’m all for classic cuts/silhouettes and I liked this collection especially the prints (you know me). I really like the placement of the prints on this blue dress, I’d love to see more things like this when people work with just ankara fabric. Don’t just cut it straight, play around with it. The asymmetric hem helps as well.

For example, compare the blue dress I like to this one in a similar cut, it’s nice but it just looks basic all of a sudden

tae presents oyinade bellanaija

The necklines I think are ok, they’re classic and tie in with the collection’s classic theme of a ‘shirt dress’, but I know you always want more sha.

Richard: Oh yes, I see your point. This here is another favorite of mine

Eki: And I like that this collection is trendy with the bare shoulders trend that’s been all over. Yup that one and this.

The styling was good and the models were as well I just feel like this look was a little out of place with all the Ankara
But a print is a print, ankara or not

tae presents oyinade

Richard: But here’s the thing, are these classics? Do you think they can stand the test of time? Or are will they fade as quickly as the bare shoulder trend? Yes it was. But no, next time, I hope they can be a lot more decisive on what goes and what stays. Also, in the case of these pieces paired with denims, I’d have loved to see them on clashing prints. Who do we have next?

J Reason - BN Style - 02

Eki: JReason

Richard: Because I’ve never been to Tanzania and didn’t know what ‘Matavuvale’ meant, I looked it up on Google. According to what I found, it’s a Fijian word for ‘Family’, that’s when you google meaning of ‘Matavuvale’. And although I don’t see how any of it ties into this collection, especially being the singular inspiration for the collection, I like the collection nonetheless. Without the, how do they say it, serenren. Lol, saying serenren felt so good!!
But when you search for Matavuvale clothings, these come up so I really don’t understand

masai bellanaija

Eki: Yea it’s confusing. Maybe he means the colours scheme? Because it has red white and purple which appear here

J Reason - BN Style - 05

Richard: Maybe, maybe not. But that been said, I like the collection. The purple suit is so JReason and the caftans too I especially like the caftans. These are my favourites

J Reason - BN Style - 04

Eki: Yes I like the collection too, even the shoes. I don’t really have a fave but I like the embellishments on the caftans

Richard: Yes, I like them too. Are the shoes part of the collection too?

Eki: No, it doesn’t say it is, I’m just saying I like them. It’s probably just a styling thing. So next is TAI.LORE

Richard: First of all, I need to fanout about Tosin of The Style Infidel, the stylist behind the collection. I got to work with him on AMAA 2016 and trust me Eki, that guy is such an amazing editorial stylist. 90% of the lookbooks he styles are amazing. He’s good! So, back to the clothes. Take out these two suits and you’ll have me drooling

TAI.LORE bellanaija

Eki: Yup, this lookbook is great as well, the looks and models draw you in especially with that colourful parrot, Love the parrot

Richard: This collection is cohesive, brightly coloured and that parrot Yass!! You’re in the spirit, I do too. And I like how it appears on each of the pieces save for a few

EKO by Tai.Lore - BN Style - 02EKO by Tai.Lore - BN Style - 08

Eki: These suits you want removed, what exactly is wrong with them?

Richard: They look ordinary compared to the rest. Like when ordinary meets extra ordinary

EKO by Tai.Lore - BN Style - 01

Eki: Sometimes a bit of ordinary isn’t a bad thing o Richard, some of their customers may not like the bright coloured suits and the parrot. But as far as tailoring, the pieces look well made which is very important for suits and tuxedos, cuz it’s easy to spot it when it’s been poorly made

Richard: On your last point, I agree! Next is Mabello Clothiers and it has Eki Ogunbor written all over it. Killing it one look at a time

Eki: ? Lol! Thanks Richard

Richard: Haha, how did it feel being in front of the camera and serving faces/poses? This is one of my favourite pieces

Ma'Bello Clothier bellanaija IMG-20160712-WA04772016_

Eki: This is not about me, but about the collection!! It’s was nerve racking but I pulled through because the designer was impressed so that’s good. So back to the collection ?

Richard: Oh yes. So, I like that it caters to the plus size market, these are fun and really daring pieces. From bold colours to prints and appliqués. I mean, whoever decided to wear these must have so much chutzpah to last a lifetime. Which is good as we need more designers pushing the boundaries in the plus size market. You both photographed well

Eki: I agree with you and I like that both models are different shapes of curvy/plus size, so there’s something for everyone you know. Reminds me of the BN Body Shape series I did a while ago.

Richard: Oh yes, true!! And these are some of my personal favourites.

Mabello Clothiers

Eki: Yup, mine as well. This too, love the sleeves

Ma'Bello Clothier bellanaija IMG-20160712-WA12272016_

Richard: Next?

Eki: Next is Lady Biba

Richard: FINALLY!!! A formal wear collection that really speaks to the modern 9-5 woman. Who wants to look snatched yet professional. And every single piece is a statement piece and a wardrobe staple and I can see women in the next 10 years wearing these and the colour palette used is soft and feminine. It was hard choosing, but this is one of my favorite pieces

Lady Biba - BN Style - 02 - BellaNaija

Eki: Yes, love the collection, I think it’s my favourite this week. It’s so clean and easy, very stylish as well. They look well made which is important for clean cuts like this, the beauty also comes from the tailoring. I hope they have bigger sizes sha Lol but I love the ones you picked as well.

Richard: Yes, mine too

Eki: My favourite is that cobalt blue dress

Lady Biba - BN Style - 06 - BellaNaija

Richard: That blue is on fire

Eki: Notice the bare shoulder looks as well, it’s trendy too

lady biba bellanaija

Richard: Yes. It is, these are some of my favourites as well.

Eki: OK next is Chechi Arinze presents The Portrait of a Lady

Chechi Arinze - BN Style - 08

Richard: Hmm. So, I feel this shouldn’t have been released. The idea seems to be in development and the fabrics really look cheap as rightly mentioned by the commenters. It looks like a student’s project, and that’s fine, and totally forgivable. But I hope for next time, they really dig deep on ideation and invest on good fabrication

Chechi Arinze - BN Style - 02Chechi Arinze - BN Style - 06

Eki: Yes, some of the fabrication could have been better but I like the designs and I don’t think it so bad. My issue is that the fabric now shows the tailoring issues, so that’s two things that don’t work together but even with that, the collection is not as bad as it could be, we’ve seen worse. Lmao!!! Richard and BellaNaijarians will not kill me o. Do you have a fave? Mine is this blue dress without the extra silver sleeves sha  and I like the styling with the gele too

Chechi Arinze - BN Style - 05

Richard: That’s all I have to say. Lol I thought the gele was really unnecessary


Today’s title was inspired by the current popular trend of bare shoulders with off shoulder necklines and shoulder cut out sleeves.

Eki is the Editor for BellaNaija Style and Lifestyle Editor for She has a Vogue Fashion Certificate from Conde Nast College of Fashion & Design and also attended Central Saint Martins, London College of Fashion and the University of Kent. Eki headed the Design Operations at a top Nigerian womenswear fashion brand before finding love at BellaNaija Style. Eki loves all things creative. Follow her on Instagram @ekiogunbor BellaNaija Style: sty[email protected] | @bellanaijastyle BellaNaija Beauty: @bellanaijabeauty BellaNaija Living: [email protected] | @bellanaijaliving


  1. pauline

    July 18, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    I love your body Eki, slim thick 😀

  2. mide

    July 18, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    I cant even take you guys seriously, you criticize the Tanzanian word inspired collection even though u clearly dont kno d story behind it…. inspiration isnt always translated literally, if u don’t understand that, you’re clearly in d wrong trade….how about let d designer tell his story before u conclude via Google.

    Then u swoon and drool over parrot on a jacket?!!!! Like really!!!

    Tae’s own have you thought of their clientele before forming adventurous on their behalf?….if they’ve been selling for bout a decade or over, best belief they got a working formula and while neckline might matter to you it may not to their clients .

    Then u hail that plus size design with draped net-like napkin and have the nerve to diss cheap fabrics after that.. Chile pls!!! I didn’t see d complaint about trendy cut out shoulder with Eki’s white top – which aged her by d way…. and you want to talk of skill and style…. they styled Eki with wrong shoes or did u miss that!… the all black dress and the first print one was nice and that’s it.

    While I am not a big fan of the Chechi collection cos of d ideas issue Richard raised, I saw some people who liked something’s in there, so I kept my mouth shut…cos my meat might be others’ poison…. On a general note to the public, sometimes u get cheap cos that’s what you’re willing to pay for…don’t be looking for couture on beer budget. It is money that people use to shop, not comments. this economy is harsh and I pray she sellssss well regardless!

    Please speak with clear understanding and objectivity or don’t speak at all.

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