Dispatch from Kigali, Where the Bags Are Huge and the Bucket Hats Have Veils
If minimal maximalism was on display in Accra, and new ideas to chew on got softer in Nigeria, and South Africa was trying to tell me what to wear again (pls!), then one might assume that Kigali will roll this all together, clean it up and present a finished product to make sense of all the fashion — like the best kind of editor — but, of course, it has not. It never does! Kigali delivers what you least expect it will, taking the themes you think you’re discovering and turning them on their ends not to complete a narrative but to start a new one. Which can get exhausting at times, much the same way trying to group a lot of clothes from different designers who have different identities together is. So forget what I just said, there is no one narrative. Surrender to the mess and enjoy these highlights as informed by days one and two of the end of the band tour. Can you smell summer coming?
During Mercedes Benz’s most fashionable week, I was fortunate to attend Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Kigali for two days and it was everything you could imagine and much more. Although, I didn’t get to see Kalisa Winnie’s show or a glimpse of Jana Roos, I was able to attend other memorable shows.
This show was cool because the clothes presented were of all background, but were modeled by women of all skin types and races. Male and female models showed off avant-garde clothing. The line consisted of black and white articles of clothing with funky designs.
I especially liked this show because of the diversity in body types that were displayed. There was female empowerment all throughout the show with lots of cheering and encouragement to some the models as they strut down the runway, almost falling. This show entailed a series of designers and their works presented in one show. One featured show and probably the highlight of this event was the designer, Jona Roos, who carries matching clothing for dogs and their owners.
Question is…Would I return? Yes, yes I would in a heartbeat.
I was only able to go to MBFWKigali because it was fun and if given the opportunity to go again for fun than staying in my house like the hermit that I am―I would go without question. It was also great to meet new people, designers and make new connections. However, if you’re not up for networking all over Africa, it’s probably not for you.
It is all that it’s hyped up to be and you’ll probably see me covering MBFW in the near future.
Shema Abdoul is a creative currently residing in Kigali, he loves exploring new culture. He is motto is to always be true to yourself and others around you.