[Designer Bunmi Olaye, via Mimi Magazine]
[Bunmi Koko's designs at Graduate Fashion Week via Telegraph]
A new fashion darling is slowly but surely being crowned in London's style circuit. Bunmi Koko's Bunmi Olaye is a 28-year-old Nigerian designer who just participated at Graduate Fashion Week today (Sunday) with this year's graduating class of University of East London (UEL), and a woman with an extraordinary point of view who is destined for great things.
[Efik masquerades: Inspiration for the collection]
Her "Matriarchy" collection touched on powerful women who left their mark and as the Telegraph describes it: "Bunmi's collection, inspired by the mysterious men-only Leopard Masquerade cult of the Efik tribe in the Nigerian province of Calabar, mixed with references to the high-collars, tight waists and voluminous sleeves of the Victorian era, was the "star" of (UEL's) catwalk show today."
[Mood board for the "Matriarchy" collection]
In Bunmi's words, the collection evokes "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."
With work experience at Alexander McQueen under her belt and the creative ingenuity to re-invent herself collection after collection, there's no doubt in our minds that Africa's fashion scene has a new rising star and it's just as well that she's debuting at Africa Fashion Week later this month. From the little we've seen, we're completely enamored of the cultural elements that coalesced in this collection to birth magical pieces that usher the bold arrival of an exceptional talent.
Please stay tuned for more photos from her collection.