Lanre da Silva-Ajayi's pieces always seem to have an effortless innate, elegance about them, and for her showing at Arise, LDA stepped boldly into that core, using luxurious lace as a base, an embellishment, and as colorful layers invoking the sense of an alluring, wild bloom and delicate flapping butterflies. Strong, bold colours were combined with mastery, enhancing - not drowning - clean lines and silhouettes.
A visual treat ensued, as a pink lace skirt was highlighted by yellow undertones and paired with a satin blouse spruced with an embellished white lace bib, alongside a see-through neon green lace blouse, and layered purple lace shorts. For all the deft use colour, black seemed to lurk and eventually infiltrate, showing up as a belt, hem, and then a full-blown blouse. A light powder pink was combined with white and covered in petals and stones, giving the illusion of a creeping bloom contained and turned into a lampshade in one look and a strong bouquet shoulder in another. This was very LDA - art, class, construction (not unlike Italian architecture she used as a reference point this season), and we wished she stayed in this moment a little longer.
LDA offered a variety that ranged from sheath dresses in a more subdued palette of grey, black, and white tweeds, jackets with a slight peplum, and chic pencil maxi skirts, all tailored to fit and dip in all the right places. For several of the separates, the focus was kept on strong, detailed skirts, with blouses acting as tempering contrasts. A word on LDA's statement use of custom prints - sheer layers were combined with highlighter brights toned down with a brown butterfly print breaking through. This was a more adventurous LDA, moving boldly into a more colorful territory and transforming the textile into statement column maxi skirts and playful dresses, all infused with signature lace - same LDA, but also refreshingly different.
(Backstage detail shot courtesy of Style by Queens)
In the end, a keen eye for texture, colour, detail, shape, and layering trumped, co-existed, and resulted in a varied, delightful celebration of Lanre's take on femininity - hardly flimsy or easily subdued; instead, very poised, strong, memorable - a true show stopper.
Images: Getty Images via Bella Naija