Fall 2013 Ready-to-Wear
March 22, 2013 New York
A fashion season can come to feel a lot like the movie Groundhog Day—running from show to show, you find that even very disparate designers will touch on many of the same themes. Not so Lagos-based label Maki Oh, which operates well outside the fashion hive mind. This time out, designer Maki Osakwe's starting point was a Nigerian hairstyling technique called threading, an inspiration she elaborated into her traditional adire prints, including one of a girl with threaded hair, and hairlike fringe embroidery. As is her wont, Osakwe fused her Nigerian references with coolly elegant Western silhouettes, notably pencil-lean dresses; the standout look here was a velour sheath with inserts of sheer material that produced a seemingly magical hang. The circular necklines and seaming on other pieces echoed the effect. Elsewhere, Osakwe explored more laid-back cuts, executing boxy tees, lapel-free jackets, and pajama pants. Still, this was a typically natty affair, relaxed but not casual per se. Likewise, Osakwe's incorporation of heavier fabrics, such as the velour, and items fit for cooler weather, like the jackets, did nothing to diminish or distract from her unique point of view; Osakwe may be conceding to the seasonal needs of her increasingly international clientele, but she's doing it her own way.