>> I may have ended the last post on Arise Magazine Fashion Week on a bit of a bum note. No, I'm not saying being inspired by your own culture is in any way a bad thing but sometimes, it can feel like a designers of minority ethnicity are shackled to that and see it as a way of standing out against Caucasian peers. Relating your own work to personal experience and heritage though obviously yields great things. When a collection reflects a reality that is genuine and exuberant and feels like it's shaking things up a bit, then I duly approve. I'm a bit late to Kezia Frederick's Central Saint Martins BA collection but these images are the perfect Friday pick-me-up, that segues into a vaguely clunky mode of dressing that I've personally been enjoying – trainers, socks, multiple shirts/jumpers tied around the waist and of course the formidable print/colour clashing that you're so very used to whenever you zoom over to Style Bubble. Anybody familiar with the 55 bus route in London or if you live in any multi-cultural city, will get where Frederick is coming from. She explored the idea of "dual citizenship" with her energetic collection that combines photographs of style observed in London as well as of Nigerian women coming out of church (something that I've personally been fascinated as I grew up seeing people come out of Methodist/Baptist churches in Willesden and Hackney on a Sunday, wondering why their outfits were so fancy). There's something about Frederick's combination of traditional Nigerian dress with more familiar street-derived elements that come together quite beautifully here. Frederick took her collection out to Arise Fashion Week and the folks at Patternity singled her out as one of their personal faves from the week. Hopefully she'll be finding her own design niche soon enough.
March 16, 2012