African print, Cut-out patterns and flowing fabrics dominated The Glitz African Fashion Week recently held at the Accra Conference Centre. On a scale of 1-10 i would give this year’s event a 7 in comparison with the Ghana fashion & design week from last year. Being a lover of African print, I was glad to see the incorporation and combination of Vlisco prints and western fabrics strutting and flowing on the runway.
This year’s event started out with a training day with industry leaders in fashion and finance in Ghana, talking about the gracious Nora Bannerman (Sleek Garment) , Mr Charles Mensah (Financial Consultant), Lawyer Nana Asante Bediatuo and Eugenia Tachie-Menson (Vlisco Ambassador 2014) to train fashion designers and entrepreneurs in how to build a sustainable fashion brand. Day 2 had a panel discussion with fashion bloggers, designers and fashion photographers such as Rodney Quarcoo. The music performance by Nana Yaa during the show was splendid and one which kept me from nodding off during the show. Excellent voice from Pat Thomas’s daughter.
What Needs To Work & What Didn’t Work
The panel discussions and all were fine and dandy but I think there is a lot of work of to be done by the organisers of the fashion week. Having been to the Mercedes New York Fashion Week Spring-Summer 2015 and a follower of major fashion weeks in the world, I think this is the time for all the fashion designers in Ghana to start investing in fashion bloggers to make fashion weeks more exciting! The lack of bloggers wearing brands of local designers was a little more than disappointing whilst the insufficient vendors did nothing to lift up my spirits. Where were the bloggers? Is it possible to have local designers partner with fashion bloggers to showcase their designs at events like this?
The event started late and for a VIP invite holder, I had to walk around for almost an hour to be constantly told by a curt woman working at ticket.doug that the place wasnt ready. That message went out to the rest of the crowd standing infront of the entrance. Finally, when i was allowed in, an usher led me to my seat which to chagrin was three seats behind from the front row. I asked if it was a vip seat and she acquiesced. How was this possible? I asked if the front row was reserved and she said yes. I didnt see any reserved notice on the chairs. I signed and sat down. To try and take photos from this side would be tough so I decided to be rebellious and moved to the second row. The show started and I moved again to the first row. I really cant stand discrimination which is too ripe in this country during events. Well, I was asked to get up by another usher for an arriving entourage. Not celebrities, not fashion magazine editors either. sighs! Friends of the designers I found out later. Why werent VIP guests served champagne or something to make them feel like VIP’s? Joselyn Dumas my seat partner even moaned about why drinks were upstairs.
In terms of production, the sound wasnt great and a few models really looked like they were being forced to walk and had on the most sullen looks I have ever seen. Why was the runway tripping up the models? Oh it was torn. Right. I dont know who was controlling the social media promotion of the event but whoever it was should be fired. If the crew of the event are wearing t-shirts with #GAFW2014 to remind the audience to share to instagram and twitter, I think there should have been a more efficient sharing of peoples efforts. None of my tweets were retweeted or favourited. I check back on their profile and there was zero engagement on their tweets because it was just self-promotion timeline. Either that person needs training or firing.
Can we have a fashion week with kids fashion or office wear fashion, perhaps?
Here are my favourite designs from the event.
Sarah Richards Collection.
Stylista was very trendy and modern with a tasteful blend of print fabric and western fabrics.
SEYI JONES Collection
TOTALLY ETHNIK by Marie Kipre
Poqua had a lovely display of flowy skirts, chiffon dresses, cut out and cropped dresses which pleased the crowd and got good applauses.
A flowing collection by Orange culture reminded me of kimonos and lazy days in hammocks sipping on Mojitos.
Christie Brown by Aisha Obuobi
In all, well done to the organisers who managed to pull off the event and hopefully next year will see more improvements.