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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