After a year of silence from one of Nigeria's most notable brands (last we saw from them was at Arise L'Afrique-A-Porter last March, and they were noticeably absent from the recently concluded Arise Magazine Fashion Week in Lagos), Momo returns with a Spring/Summer 2011 collection as rich in colour, variety and tradition as it is striking and memorable. Momo has always celebrated femininity in their silhouettes, and has always understood what a plausible take on "Africa meets contemporary" might be, so it's no surprise that underlying mood seeps through and sets the direction of this collection. Momo's words offer greater insight:
The backdrop of Momo's Spring/Summer 2011 collection is a graphic black and white canvas explored in plain silks and brocades. Blends of bold, colourful prints add contrast to the stark canvas. Striking prints include the opulent tie-dye on silk gazar, each panel made individually by hand, bringing a popular street technique to the couture level. Additional highlights include a blue and yellow print in silk satin, based on ancient batik techniques developed by the Dutch specifically for the African market, and a batik-like floral print. These pieces add rich, colourful elements to the collection.
A re-working of traditional motifs and techniques has been a strong focus of several Africa-inspired brands (including Lola Faturoti, Eki Orleans, Jewel by Lisa, and Maki Oh) and seems to be one of the most favoured ways to keep the conversation Africa-centred and fresh. Has Momo managed to achieve that and yet not be stifled or restricted by it? Yes -- and with the most gorgeous results.
More photos to come.