Cult of Individuality Spring 2022

When a fashion brand looks to music and youth culture as sources of inspiration, one of the difficult challenges is keeping that brand fresh, current, and accessible. Cult of Individuality consistently accomplishes that goal. And its current collection demonstrates how adept Creative Director Ron Poisson is at injecting a special kind of joie de vivre into his collections.

“Authenticity has always been a part of the brand DNA of CULT,” says Poisson. “We never want our collection to seem forced, or mass produced. We work vigilantly to make sure every CULT of Individuality garment looks like it was broken in overtime and got its character by being worn countless times.”

Cult of Individuality’s spring 2022 collection did not spry too far away from the brand’s signature aesthetic which is a comfortable exploration in the many ways you can combine denim looks and fuse those looks into a palatable assemblage that appeals to the modern consumer. The trick is to keep this signature look fresh and correct without looking as though the brand is pandering to consumers or making gimmicky clothes. That is where Ron Poisson’s intelligence comes into play.

Thought this collection is heavily infused with hip hop references and projects toward mostly an 18 to 28-year old demographic, there are looks that can appeal to a very wide demographic be they Gen X, Gen Y, Gen Z or a hip baby boomer. And that inclusivity is front and forward because Poisson taps into a wealth of musical genres and cultures, from grunge to rock n’ roll to hip hop and skateboard slacker culture.

Staying on the trend, the brand’s logo was emblazoned on jackets, tee shirts, sweatshirts, and jeans; however, unlike some similar brands that place a huge emphasis on braggadocio logo placement, Cult of Individuality keeps its focus on design and fashion-forward sensibility. And like many brands Cult of Individuality has incorporated collaborations to expand their audience. For this collection, the brand collaborated with the glam-groove band Pantera.

“We don’t give a $&*# about what is going on in the traditional fashion marketplace. We start each season with a clean slate, a new beginning,” says Ron Poisson. “Our team then looks to music. We find inspiration in all sorts of music in all genres and from that we start designing. Our foundation is always denim. From there, we add in silhouettes, colors, washes, graphics and a bunch of details from traditional Japanese and American work wear and we always end up a collection we are obsessed with!”

Images courtesy of VERY New York

Well said, Ron. And we are obsessed with Cult of Individuality!!

—William S. Gooch

For the Love of Culture and Community—Pyer Moss Couture Fall 2021

The most anticipated runway of Paris’ Fall/Winter 2021 Haute Couture Week was arguably the Pyer Moss show. Haitian-American designer Kerby Jean-Raymond was invited by the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode (the governing body of French fashion) to present his first couture collection as a guest member of the organization. As such, Jean-Raymond became only the third American (and first black American) designer to be designated a true couturier and present a collection as part of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, with Main Bocher in the 1930’s and Ralph Rucci from 2002 to 2009, and again in 2019. But true to form, Jean-Raymond, ever the social activist and creative outlier, did things his way. Rather than take his collection to Paris, he brought Paris to New York. He displayed his first couture collection of 25 looks in an extravaganza that celebrated Black excellence and ingenuity, and highlighted Black culture and community.

Image courtesy of guest ofa guest.com

                             

Black history was incorporated into every element of the presentation, from the venue, to the theme, to the soundtrack, to the after party. The setting was Villa Lewaro, the Hudson River suburban estate of Madame C. J. Walker. Walker is credited as America’s first female self-made millionaire. In the early 1900’s, she amassed her fortune by developing a line of cosmetic and hair care products that were sold across the United States and Central America. In 1916, Walker commissioned Vertner Woodson Tandy, the first African American registered architect in the state of New York, to design her home as an example for her people “to see what could be accomplished, no matter what their background.” After its completion, it served as an intellectual meeting place for prominent figures of the Harlem Renaissance. Today, it is part of the New Voices Foundation, which helps women of color entrepreneurs achieve their vision through innovative leadership initiatives.  As the backdrop to the Pyer Moss couture show, the torch was passed to Jean-Raymond, as the grounds once again served as a host of art, intellect, business, and community.

Image courtesy of townandcountry.com

The runway show was preceded by a rousing speech by activist and former Black Panther Party chairwoman Elaine Brown. Brown is the only woman to have spearheaded a chapter of the Black Panthers. In her speech, she spoke of being a revolutionary. She regaled the audience with stories of the Black Panthers’ deep community involvement and unified resistance alongside other social justice groups. Brown charged the crowd to look beyond their individualities, settle their differences, and come together to fight for freedom—because all power belongs to the people.

Images courtesy of hypebeast.com

Immediately following Brown’s prologue, the runway show began. Twenty-five looks, all inspired by Black inventions and modifications. Some looks had obvious references, like Garrett A. Morgan’s traffic light and Lyda Neman’s synthetic hair brush. Others were more fashionably abstract, like Thomas Martin’s fire extinguisher and Walter Sammons’ hot comb. And others were completely campy, like Amos E. Long & Albert A. Jones’ bottle cap and jar of peanut butter associated with George Washington Carver. But no matter how avant-garde or how traditional the look, each creation was a wearable outfit once the fanciful elements are removed.

Images of hypebeast.com

While the audience was visually entranced by the runway, they show was sonically buoyed by Brooklyn rapper 22Gz. Surrounded by roughly a dozen Black and Brown dancers, accompanied by a string orchestra and bucket drummers comprised of Black musicians and background singers, led by a Black conductor, the music artist performed a string of his songs, ending with his hit “King of NY,” to which Kerby and his team took their bow.

Image courtesy of usatoday.com

And with that, the half-hour presentation came to an end. However, the event itself continued. The entire production was an homage to Black culture, and in keeping with Black traditions, an after-party, in the form of a family cookout, took place. Celebs, journalists, and tastemakers all mingled together as they ate soul food and sipped cocktails while the DJ played.

Images courtesy of hypebeast.com

This was the renewal of the FUBU (For Us By US) concept of the 1990’s. Kerby’s collections are renowned for showcasing the Black experience, the good and the bad (this collections final look was inspired by Frederick McKinley Jones’ refrigerator, with magnets that read “But Who Invented Black Trauma.” And instead of showing his collection in Paris and presenting before what would have presumably been a mostly white audience, Jean-Raymond presented closer to home, on hallowed ground, in front of an audience mostly of Black and Brown faces—faces that may never have otherwise had the opportunity to attend a couture show.

Image courtesy of okayplayer.com

This event, rained out on its original show date and rescheduled for two days later, brought together a true mélange of guests, lifestyles, and experiences—classical music, hardcore rap, Black activism, soul food, and haute couture. Saturday’s show has been added to the list of firsts, but hopefully it won’t be on the list of lasts or onlys. A Brooklyn boy has become a couturier. He has shown what can be accomplished, no matter your background. With this collection, Kerby Jean-Raymond continues to play the role of door opener rather than gate keeper, and continues to be the bridge between the ancestors and the future generations. Both should be pleased. Asè.

—Carl Ayers

Miami Swim Week Spring 2022 Roundup

After a one-year hiatus, the Miami Swim Week shows were back in full force. Fashion Reverie spent two days in sunny Miami viewing the latest swim and resort 2022 collections.  The shows were held at two principal venues, the Paraiso Tents and the Art Hearts Faena Forum, and at a sprinkling of luxury hotel properties near the Tents. Below, the four standout collections of the week.

Mar de Lua images courtesy of Max Flores/Click Magazine

Destination Columbia

Destination Columbia was a group of eight Columbian fashion designers who showed Thursday night at the Paraiso Tents. The brunch at the Ritz allowed for press and buyers to have a closer look at the swim and resort wear. Each of the eight designers had a carefully curated rack and was on hand to answer questions about their respective collection. The Columbian designers all embraced sustainability as an integral part of their creative process.

The designers Fashion Reverie spoke with, Naranja Furcado, Palmacea, Smeralda, and Mar de Lua, delivered luxurious sustainable swim and resort wear at reasonable pricing.  While all were noteworthy, Mar de Lua bears special mention. Designer Carolina Diazgranado was a teacher before founding her brand four years ago. She vowed to be sustainable from the start; at this point, she estimates the brand is 65% sustainable. The collection on display was titled, “Boho Blossom, Resort 2022.” The signature look was a summer blossom and animal print rendered in neon colors that Carolina said made her think of “forever summer days”. Best in show was the look that opened the Thursday night show, a vibrant yellow smocked 70s-style bandeau top with a modest, striped hipster bikini bottom, headscarf, and floral print floor-length caftan. The coverup’s long ruffled sleeves gave it a dressy quality. Carolina suggested adding some chunky gold jewelry and heels to transition the outfit from day to evening.

B FYNE images courtesy of Max Flores/Click Magazine

BFYNE Swimwear

The BFYNE Swimwear presented by Models of Color Matter [runway] show kicked-off with an inspirational video that explained designer Buki Ade’s journey back to her African roots as part of her creative process. The video cited the bright colors and textiles that are an integral part of African culture. Colors stayed in desert palette tones: ochre, earth brown, and the orange of the setting sun. There was a tiger-patterned flowing caftan and a bamboo-patterned skirt and top in a vibrant grass green. The simplicity of the solid-colored swimsuits paired well with the colorful pants, tops, and caftans.

Overall, ease and movement were key points; these are clothes and suits that accommodate all shapes and sizes of beauty. The only disconnect was that none of the vibrant prints in the video appeared in the show, but perhaps it served as a teaser for what is in store for Buki’s next collection.

Leimakani images courtesy of Max Flores/Click Magazine

Leimakani Hawaii

Twenty-three-year-old Kali’a Wasson is the creative talent behind Leimakani Hawaii. This Hawaiian native has already had her designs appear on the pages of Sports Illustrated Swim.  Kali’a debuted her latest collection at the Plymouth Hotel’s pool deck. One of her staple styles is the triangle bikini featuring native Hawaiian flowers. Of special note was the large red and pink rose print which is Hawaii’s state rose. The two-piece suits come with matching semi-opaque pareos that double as head scarves and palazzo pants. There are also caftans to match the suits, all at attractive price points, starting at $60 and topping out around $125.

Like many millennials, Kali’a is keen on size inclusivity. “We are a brand that stands firm in changing the narrative on the social standards of beauty and body image. We strive to make all women feel beautiful and confident.” There were the tiniest of Tarzan style string bikini bottoms as well as high waisted styles that provided more ample coverage. Kali’a is also taking steps to make her work a little more sustainable and is looking for a manufacturer who can help her achieve this goal.

HONEY Birdette WET images courtesy of Max Flores/Click Magazine

Honey Birdette WET

The Honey Birdette WET show was unquestionably the most anticipated event of this Miami Swim Week. This may have been partially due to it recently being acquired by Playboy (PLBY Group Inc.). Australian designer Eloise Monaghan began her brand in 2006 over a glass of champagne with a friend and currently has 60 physical stores, according to The Wall Street Journal. 

Business deal aside, Monaghan delivered the goods at her show. The promo postcards were slick and high gloss, right in line with the show’s theme. The advertising was reminiscent of Tom Ford’s salacious “F—g Fabulous” ads. 

She opened with the brand’s signature three-piece boudoir sets, in black, lime, magenta, and turquoise blue. The pieces fit the models as if they had been made specifically for each girl. HB is a luxury lingerie brand, after all, and retails for $170 for the teeniest bra and thong set to $310 for a pushup bra, garter belt and thong “Waspie” set.

Monaghan used her platform as a player in the luxury lingerie space to expand into the swim category. She called her capsule swim collection “Honey Birdette WET.” There were well-cut solid two pieces in punchy red and blue with peek-a-boo detailing on the bras and big Versace-style gold medallion closures that doubled as ornamentation on the bottoms and some of the tops. The most notable models were “RuPaul’s Drag Race” contestants drag Queens Violet Chachki, Naomi Smalls, and Aquaria aka Giovanni Palandrani, who closed the show in a “Sheena of the Jungle” asymmetrical leopard one-piece.

—Vivian Kelly

Jimmy Choo Atelier Couture Bridal Spring 2022

Once upon a time, Jimmy Choo was a little-known bespoke cobbler working in obscurity in London. “Jimmies” were the well-guarded secret of the women who worked at British Vogue —and then, Princess Diana became a client, and the fairytale really began. The Princess’s patronage made Jimmy Choo a household name. Tamara Mellon stepped-in as co-founder in 1996, and strategically grew the house into a mega brand before exiting in 2015. Choo in turn joined Atelier and turned his attention to designing romantic wedding gowns.

The designer is giving his post-Pandemic brides-to-be ample choices for their 2022 walk down the aisle. Unlike many bridal couturiers who elected to show micro-collections of less than ten looks, Choo went big and showed 34 gowns, more in line with a ready-to-wear collection presentation. To appreciate the scope of the collection, one must take the time to watch the video presentation as well as peruse the individual show thumbnail photographs. The video showcases the first eight looks that have a strong “Princess Aurora” feeling. Perhaps Choo and his team were inspired by Walt Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty,” and Disney’s spin on the romantic French fairy tale. There were lovely Art Nouveau details in the form of delicate beading and embroideries evocative of the flowers and branches of a beautiful wild garden.  The video presentation showed a lovely grouping of eight gowns, that were right on point.

The surprise started with (look 9, when Choo took a hard-right turn.  The red-carpet style dress in vermillion red was devoid of embellishment other than a sky-high slit and pussycat bow on the back that gave it a distinctly 80s’ twist. In fact, this shade of red figured prominently in the collection. There was a total of six red gowns, ranging from the former to frothy dresses with plenty of tulle layers (looks 10, 24). Red was not the only color he used liberally. Navy and baby blue made a showing in six looks as well (looks 17,20, 22,28, 30, 31). Choo went back to the fairy tale with (looks 18 and 33), both white strapless gowns with enormous Cinderellastyle ballgown skirts, featuring layer upon layer of tulle and organza.

images courtesy of Jimmy Choo

Overall, the collection could be viewed as a bridal and black-tie collection rolled into one. Alternatively, 2022 brides may decide that they don’t want to walk down the aisle in white and would prefer to embrace color for their big day.

 

—Vivian Kelly

Anne Barge Bridal Spring 2022

There is a plethora of bridal brands on the market that can appeal to a range of different kinds of consumers. If a bridal consumer is in the market for out-of-the-box bridal gowns there are brands—THEIA, PatBO, Rita Visneris, Nordeen, Carol Hannah, and others—that can satisfy that audience. If the bridal consumer is looking for a more traditional fare, there are brands that aptly meet that standard. Anne Barge is one such brand.

For spring 2022, Anne Barge looked to vintage French aesthetic of romance for inspiration for this collection. Though this was quite a small collection—nine looks to be exact—compared to previous outings, this collection contained a variety of clean, architectural silhouettes that fits perfectly into what the modern bride is looking for. And true to form, many of the looks in this almost capsule collection were timeless.

There were a couple of voluminous Cinderella-type ball gowns, as well as a few very simple silhouettes in this collection. What stands out most in this outing was the details in structure and embellishment.  Oversized floral prints bloom on jacquard fabrics, ethereal laces, and satin organza, while minimalistic gowns are draped in stretch crepe, faille, and silk Mikado. 

Standout looks in this collection was Anne Barge’s version of the little white wedding dress. Other standouts for the brand’s micro-pleated velvet-fleeted ballgown with strapless flounced neckline, and beaded Chantilly lace trumpet gown deep V-notched neckline.

Images courtesy of Anne Barge

Since 1999, Anne Barge has always instilled a classic sophistication and elegance to every bridal collection. And though, at times, the brand has slightly veered away from its design aesthetic of classic elegance, Anne Barge has set a standard for sophisticated elegance seen through the lens of modern beauty.

William S. Gooch

Gracy Accad Bridal Spring 2022

Romantic, minimal, bohemian glamour is what comes to mind when one thinks of the spring 2022 bridal collection from Gracy Accad. Known for the embroidered and lace details of her bridal gowns, Gracy hones her talents to portray feminine elegance with a modern, youthful sensibility. A recent bride herself, as of 2020, and having a family that works in the textile and manufacturing business, Gracy has first-hand knowledge of what is needed and wanted in a beautiful wedding gown.

For spring 2022, the Gracy Accad bridal couture collection sticks to the classic color palette of white, off-white, and ivory. The silhouettes range from traditional and modest to Old Hollywood.

The draped bustier and beaded floral appliques of the Greenwich gown conjure up images of a woodland fairy. This sleeveless floor-length gown speaks of youthful innocence. The V-neck Madison gown is adorned with pearls and crystals, giving it a quiet air of sophistication.  The Margherita is a ball gown incorporating hand-embroidery atop the bodice and waistline with the lightest touches of embroidery along the hem.

For the bride who wants something that is more fun and flirty, there is the Soho. With an all-over lace design, full sleeves, and scalloped edges, this dress sounds … mature. But with the plunging V-neckline and thigh-high hemline, this dress is not made for the shy bride. Alternatively, if it’s too daring for the nuptial ceremony, it can be worn as her dress for the post-wedding reception. But for the bride who adores Hollywood glamour, there are the Plaza and Chrysler dresses. The Plaza is a floor-length gown with a hand-embroidered band top, akin to a loose bandeau, accented by sheer cutouts along the side and back.

The Chrysler, which could be another celebrity favorite, is made to stun! This simple shape is draped in a plunging V-neckline with cap sleeves and a slit that comes to mid-thigh.

To accompany the couture collection, Gracy Accad also offers a ready-to-wear (RTW) bridal collection. In contrast to the white aesthetic of the couture arm of the brand, the RTW collection has three gowns in gold brocade, midnight blue, and sky blue. The Colette is a belted full-length, off the shoulder gold brocade gown with a secret element- pockets! The Celeste is a dark blue formal ball gown with asymmetrical beading making it resplendent for a wedding or a night at the opera. True to the inspiration of the collection, the Belle is sky blue belted, long-sleeve, embroidered Bohemian dream.

Images courtesy of Atelier PR

What began eight years ago as creating bespoke pieces for clients in New York, France, Korea, and Japan has morphed into a blossoming brand, helping brides look their most beautiful self on their most special day. From old chic to modern glam, traditional imagery to Bohemian inspiration, you cannot go wrong with a Gracy Accad wedding gown.

—Carl Ayers

Marchesa Bridal Couture Spring 2022

Images courtesy of Marchesa

In a pre-presentation interview with Rachel Leonard, editorial director of The Bridal Council, Georgina Chapman described the collection as “achingly romantic,” which is completely on-brand with her label. This micro-couture collection is her first collaboration with Pronovias Bridal, the leading global luxury bridal brand with subsidiaries in New York, Italy, and Shanghai.

 It’s hard to get more romantic than the breathtaking “White Gardens” at the Elizabethan Sissinghurst Castle located in Kent, England that Chapman and her team drew inspiration from this season. The gardens were a special project of writer, Vita Sackville-West’s, who worked on achieving her vision for her garden over the course of three years spanning from 1950-1953.

Images courtesy of Marchesa

This season, Georgina Chapman also worked with an extremely limited color palette, relying on cut, textural contrasts, and detail work to make this latest collection a stand-out. Chapman showed only seven looks, but here is a case in point where less really is more; each look had a unique personality. (Look 1) was an interesting contrast of a snug ballerina neck lace top paired with an organza bell skirt that resembled whipped meringue. The high slit gave it a saucy spin. (Look 2) has a distinctly ready-to-wear flavor. It’s easy to imagine a colored version of this long sleeve form-fitting lace gown on the red carpet come the next round of award ceremonies. A fairylike V-neck gown with lace overlay and elbow length sleeves pooled beautifully around the ankles (look 4). All of the above were on-brand Marchesa Bridal.

The surprise came in form of (look 7), where Chapman and her team took a departure from their usual figure-hugging silhouettes and created the “Versailles Gown.” The strapless creation had a plunging bodice and massive ball gown skirt, evoking the sumptuous gowns courtesans and royals wore in the 17th and 18th century French courts.  Another nod to the White Gardens came in the form of silk petals meticulously sewn from the bodice all the way to the hemline. A flower head piece completed the reference. Marie Antoinette would have approved!

—Vivian Kelly

 

 

PatBO Spring Bridal 2022

The sand basks in the glow of the sun as bright blue waves rush to shore to greet the lady in white. Her skirt mimics the seashells on the sandy floor, and it moves gracefully as the wind gently breezes by. The lady in white is adored by the sun, and it kisses her skin while she walks down the beach. The sun sets when she leaves and waits in anticipation for her to arrive again the next day. The colorful fish of the sea swim with vigor to be caught in the netted beach skirt that drapes elegantly from her hips, but the current keeps them back. It laps at her feet, beckoning her into the water. She shrugs off her crochet cover up and dives in, the embroidered pink and purple flowers mingling with the white sand. She wades into the refreshing water in her lace up one piece, and the sea sings.

Just as the sea meets the shore, fashion meets comfort in exquisite harmony in PatBO’s spring 2022 Bridal capsule collection. Pat Bonaldi, designer and creator of PatBO, hails from Brazil and her love of vibrant color along with rich embroidery is the signature DNA of her brand. This collection shows her skill for catching our attention and keeping it, even when using a stunning all white palette. Her fine stitching, hand embroidery, cutouts, and intricate details in a form-flattering fit are showcased in this fresh and airy, yet elegant collection.

PatBO brings a light, vibrant touch to an occasion as formal as a wedding and breathes new life into a time-honored tradition, seamlessly blending formal with casual and luxury. Bonaldi aims to “dress the PatBO customer for all of her life moments.” These visions in white can be donned for a playful honeymoon at the beach, then adorned with a crocheted puff sleeve dress for an evening dinner poolside.

This collection is resplendent with options to make the looks versatile, such as seashell hardware at the waist allowing for the attachment of a flowing skirt, and billowy capped sleeves with ties at the elbow to add a touch of romance. One pearl of the collection is a cotton fringed dress with diamond shaped cutouts to emphasize the waist. Crochet embroidery and delicate mesh sleeves counterbalance these cutouts to create a piece dedicated to perfect proportions and true craftsmanship.

Images courtesy of Savannah Engel PR

The cherry on this Caipirinha of a collection is the accent of intricate statement earrings by Ranjana Khan. Sunburst shaped earrings reflect dazzling light from the sunburst on the horizon. All seems right in this world. The capsule collection embodies a spirit of joy, elegance, and freedom.

—Tessa Swantek

Nordeen Bridal Spring 2022

So much has changed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Music concerts are on hold, Broadway theatres are still empty, many hotels are at only 25% reservations and large gatherings are taboo. Still, there are some things that the pandemic cannot stop or eliminate. And one of those things is weddings.

Though big wedding gatherings inside indoor venues are not encouraged, nuptials outside can be a solution to social distancing. And since couples are going to get married despite the pandemic, why not incorporate an outdoor wedding as a viable option.

That said, for the spring 2022 bridal season, Nordeen re-imagines classic weddings attire for outdoor venues. With a commitment to nature and a desire to preserve its beauty, the brand seeks to develop a range of effortlessly luxurious pieces, distinguished by natural materials and subtle yet unexpected details.

This spring 2022 bridal collection is for the bridal consumer that is looking for classic style with a modern twist. And there is something for every type of bridal for every jointure of her bridal journey.

And though Nodeen is less than two years old, launched by Brenna Simmons in 2020, Simmons has a finger on the pulse of what modern brides would want to wear. Particularly, those brides that are projecting toward bridal wear that is appropriate for an outdoor nuptial.

Because of her love of nature and sustainability, Brenna Simmons has created a spring bridal collection that develops and aptly develops those two themes.  Simmons committed to nature and a desire to preserve its beauty. The brand seeks to develop a range of effortlessly luxurious pieces, distinguished by natural materials and subtle yet unexpected details.

Images courtesy of Nordeen

Standout looks in the collection are the brand’s BRYONY gown which was an A-line white with cowl neck shrug; the ARWYN, a short, white off-shoulder cocktail dress, perfect for bridal brunch, and the FAVEN, a long white skirt with white tube top and statement sleeve embellishments.

William S. Gooch

 

Kosibah Bridal Spring 2022

I wanted to create a collection that elicited an emotion. A pulling sensation of hope with faint echoes of sorrow but leading to a triumphant crescendo. Basically, music that would move people, but leave them hopeful, happy, and optimistic. —Yemi Osunkoya

Around the globe, from his homeland of Ibadan, Nigeria, to his Paris atelier, to his current design headquarters in Brooklyn, New York, Yemi Osunkoya is a designer to be admired. Osunkoya relocated his bridal salon to New York City in 2016, from where he created his spring 2022 bridal collection, Asheyori Eji. “Asheyori” is a Yoruba (Nigerian) name meaning “success through adversity.” “Eji” means “second” or “twice,” and represents the second Kosibah collection that has been presented during the COVID-19 pandemic. The dresses all have variations of Yoruba ‘Cherish’ names which have ‘ké’, which means love/care for/adore, within them as well as other names for joy, precious and gold.

For the traditional bride, there is the Ronke, an off-white ballroom skirt below a sleeveless V-neck bodice adorned with beaded appliques. The Ajoke is a tulle and lace trumpet gown with an integral corset that provides a fitted bodice with shoulder strap sleeves. The Båanke is an off-white ballroom skirt below a sleeveless V-neck bodice adorned with beaded appliques and a keyhole opening on the back.

Not everyone is a traditionalist, and for that consumer, there is the Wura, a light honey-colored tea length dress with ivory lace appliques. The corseted semi-sweetheart neckline bodice is accompanied by off-the-shoulder lace strap sleeves. The Ayo is another tea length skirt, this time in zibeline, with a deep plunging neckline and open back leading to a cinched wide waistband. And for the pant lover, there is the Kemi pantsuit. This two-piece ensemble consists of a wrap peplum jacket and loose fitting, flared pants. The jacket has a built-up collar and false camisole lace insert, accented by slightly flared cuffs, long waist ties, and a scallop lace trim visible beneath the peplum.

This collection is not without its showstoppers. The Ife is an antique white tulle bodice and mermaid skirt, with lace appliques across the bust, shoulder, and upper sleeve. The Akoke is another two-piece ensemble. This time, the outfit is made of a crepe strapless sheath gown with a sweetheart bralette neckline. It is worn under an asymmetrical jacket with one long sleeve and beaded lace appliques matching those on the gown. The crown jewel of the collection is the Ashake, a beaded cape-sleeved gown with a diamante-studded overlay and embellished waistband and appliques.

Images courtesy of Kosibah

With the collection, Yemi Osunkoya demonstrates that he is a thoughtful designer. Ever conscious of the needs of his customers, and keeping the global crisis in mind, the Kosibah brand has created a ready-to-wear collection that adapts its bespoke gown aesthetics and applies them to gowns at a more affordable price point and wider accessibility via bridal salons and online sales.

—Carl Ayers

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