Sunday, August 22, 2010

Ready To Wear: Maki Oh

In an industry that can be exclusive towards faces of ethnicity, it's always refreshing to see talent of color whose skills supersede that of even the most sought after mainstream clothier. Inspired by a strong sense of indigenous culture, Ghanaian designer Maki Oh's line emanates a quality that is self-expressive and modern. By challenging predominate notions of beauty through fashion, Oh aspires to initiate a continuous recognition and appreciation for African culture in the form of unique pieces that fuse traditional techniques with innovative construction. A fashion studies graduate of the Arts University College at Bournemouth, her layered, three-dimensional approach is one that is alluring, complex and eclectic. The combination of art and culture along with classic and unconventional silhouettes is one that speaks volumes.

Oh maintains sustainable and environmentally ethical practices, in addition to creating beautiful work. Her Autumn/Winter debut collection entitled, 'Everything In Proportion', which is the product of a collaboration with award-winning Nigerian artist, Nike Okundaye, incorporates rich fabrics and artisianal textures in conjunction with ancient motifs from the Yoruba tribe of Nigeria. Drawing from this inspiration, the outcome is a melange of couture heritage; illustrious silks juxtaposed with organic raw textiles amid a neutral, earthy color palette in the form of nude, ivory, indigo and carnelian. The collection also involves body-conscious shapes suggestive of nudity, creating a visually stunning and sensual assembly of clothing that is fun, feminine and sexy.

Evocative of high-fashion, Everything In Proportion features artfully draped pencil skirts, voluminous trousers, high-waisted hot pants, and unconventional jumpsuits. It's pieces such as these that showcase Maki Oh's talent for construction and contemporary sensibility. Silk crepe lines and silk jersey mixes are distributed throughout, in conjunction with hand-cut and stitched calabash, and geometric patterns. Mini dresses are adorned with filmy, transparent chiffons and bottoms with nature-inspired embellishments and trim. Cinched empire waists and varying necklines also accompany each piece. It is a signature line that embraces traditional African aesthetics and techniques in an intimate and deeply personal body of work, one that is substantial as well as progressive.

1 comment:

  1. The only word that comes to mind is gauche.