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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Profile: BUKI AKIB – Knitting A Nigerian Tale of Africanism

There’s magic in Africa. It’s the kind the best voodoo in the world is made from.  The amazing kind of voodoo. African designers, especially those from outside South Africa, those still dwelling in countries and cities dominated by black people, they have the capability of clearly creating pieces of art and work that showcase a purely African aesthetic. They conjure images, fabrics, colours and garments that emit electricity straight into your soul.

I’m still on my first step of discovering African designers, and by pure curiosity, Africa itself. It’s quite a journey and I trust you will not feel offended if I continue to update you on each and every gem I find. I hope that you will lead me on to other African designs that I should open my eyes to, as we only grow our own fountain of knowledge through information from other sources other than ourselves.

Without further ado, gentlemen, and some ladies…

BUKI AKIB is a Nigerian born Knitwear designer who graduated from the prestigious Central Saint Martins in London. Her menswear capsule collection ‘FELA’ was inspired by the Nigerian musician, Fela Kuti, and the Afro beat movement that dominated the West and Pan-African music scene of the 1970s.

Sex, drugs and rock n roll was Fela Kuti’s distinctive style and manner, which is captured in the collection such as the bold high waisted trousers, extravagant knitted swimming trunks and virile trousers. A mixture of colours such as orange cotton and purple silk yarns with dusty bronze lurex were an obvious palette as a back drop of the heat and sweat of the Lagos music scene.

The collection shows her signature style of wrapping viscose yarns onto silk and cotton yarns to create a three-dimension pattern as seen on the Cumberbund trousers. The eclectic mix of texture on the heavy multi coloured tasselled jacket captures Fela’s unique African style and grace. BUKI AKIB’s meticulous research on Fela began to be a personal journey on how influential her heritage is in her creative process.

“The way Fela’s music spoke to me with such authority and excitement is the way I want my collection to speak to people” – Buki Akib

As I look through the images of the capsule collection, I begin to understand my underlying motions to always to stay dressed up. And to live in a society where dressing up is as day and normal as putting on some clothes to go buy milk at the corner store. I look at this collection and I can envision guys walking down the streets going about their day-to-day business. Is it too much to ask for?

What ever the case may be, I hope to see more form this designer as the already existing collection is incredible and showcases a talent worth noting.

1 comment:

  1. Pure beauty. The incarnate of "African Rock 'n Roll". ♥ THIS. ♥ BUKI AKIB