Fashion weeks worldwide set the stage to present culture-shifting designs on and off the runway. In more recent times, it appears that the faces in the front row hold as much weight as the designers and supermodels alike. If you’re part of the lucky few who’ve received a seat right in front of the action, then you know that the clothes you wear are nearly as important as what will be sent down the catwalk. If you’re determined to leave a lasting impression, delve into our FROW style guide and discover the complete ensembles that will leave your peers in awe.
1. Anything but ordinary
Black and white are a tried and tested match, and the monochrome trend permeates the style stratosphere decade after decade. It’s as timeless as the jumpsuit, whose versatility has made it an essential wardrobe item. So, first, invest in an updated classic garment with IAMISIGO’s short sleeve utility jumpsuit that defies convention with interesting cutouts and elaborate tie detailing, made from sustainably produced upcycled cotton twill. Then, play with silhouettes thanks to Viviers Cocoon Cape, a neutral-toned piece with perfectly placed peek-a-boo sleeves that provide complete body coverage. So, whether you’re looking to keep the cold at bay or in the mood to be noticed, kill two birds with this oh-so-stylish stone.
Add a dose of refinement with Jiamini’s Mwala Spine Leather Clutch, a marriage of supple black leather with a unique design element symbolizing the Mung’ung’uti or ‘spine’ in Swahili. And, don’t be afraid to double down on OTT accessories with these handmade Pichulik black teardrop earrings. Finally, not only respected for its comfort factor, open-toe mules like Shekudo’s Agbo, made from decadent Aso Oke cotton, also prove to be a suitable monotone block heel, ideal for dashing in between shows and dancing to dawn at after-parties.
2. Cool, calm and collected
Laid-back doesn’t have to be basic, so if you prefer a more relaxed look, take a cue from the exquisitely woven, mid-rise IAMISIGO culottes handcrafted in Nairobi from cotton and acrylic yarns with a whimsical, raw edge finish. The culotte arrived in the 1960s and continues to be reinvented by contemporary designers for a modern yet familiar look, artfully considered to create new and exciting iterations. Pair with the Japanese-inspired cotton and linen blend Viviers waffle knit top for a requisite touch of minimalist elegance.
The AAKS Baba Berry Bag speaks to elevated artistry with handcrafted and fraying details if you’re in the mood to continue the fringe theme. Whether or not you have a prescription, why not up the cool factor with a pair of Bôhten’s Gold Rosewood spectacles, which lend a welcome air of intellect while remaining bang on trend with their gilded finish. They perfectly tie in the ‘not trying too hard’ look you’re going for while still adding a hint of sophistication. Complete the look with a perfect pair of chunky White Fah Plus Sandals from Loza Maleombho for a look that’s uncomplicated in its delivery but impactful in its message of sustainable components and upcycled luxury.
3. Green with envy
Typically symbolizing tranquillity, environmental awareness, and health, green can add a much-needed touch of calm to any wardrobe. Whether it’s just a hint, like in the iridescent Viviers Alchemical Tee, or as part of a geometric African print like in the Fruché Wanda skirt, a deconstructed approach to the classic midi, there are plenty of opportunities to include this emblematic hue.
Although one can rarely go wrong with an archetypal shirt and skirt combo, throwing Lisa Folawiyo’s psychedelic Batkara coat over one’s shoulder transforms it into something altogether more inventive, radiating an effortless chic that’s utterly timeless in construction while contemporary in delivery. When it comes to accessories, the playing field is vast. Get adventurous with a geometric collar necklace from Ami Doshi Shah, a striking piece that transforms a good outfit into a great one. Complete the look with a round-heeled Adiza Mule from Shekudo, a sculptural style that is at once playful and stylish, and bound to inject some more joy into your FROW ensemble.
4. SENSORY OVERLOAD
With the right pieces, fashion can play on one’s physical senses, creating a multi-sensory experience that is not only a delight to behold but to experience too. For example, the textured Okapi Aja Clutch feels exactly as sumptuous as it looks—expertly handcrafted with the most delicate skins, it embodies the spirit of a female deity who was said to hold mystical secrets of the forest. Invoke your divine feminine with this irresistible pink stonewash piece. Moreover, while the Jiamini beaded earrings serve the purpose of artistic aesthetics, they simultaneously emit a soft jingle that will make your presence known and have all eyes on you as you walk to your seat.
Lisa Folawiyo’s pleated coat dress, a colorful sartorial hybrid, has all the makings of a supreme show-stopper, making sure to command attention as soon as you step into the venue. Match it with a pair of silky Emmy Kasbit cargo trousers and Loza Maleombho’s Inggy Regal sandals that invoke the spirit of royalty with their sophisticated simplicity, and you have the perfectly curated head-to-toe that is both stylish and practical.
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