In 2011, Orange Culture was birthed. Its founder and creative director, Adebayo Oke-Lawal presented two capsule collections that year: Summer quirk and Elusive strength. Elusive strength depicted feminine strength, while summer quirk was a more color robust collection for men. Six years down the line, Orange Culture is an androgynous brand who championed gender fluidity depicted through clothing and a new approach to menswear.
The new collection Pretty was showcased as the brand’s A/W17 collection during the London Fashion Scout. Orange Culture being the only Nigerian sponsored by FETS Nigeria and the first Nigerian to strut the stage, has the collection featuring loose silk fabrics, cotton, satin crepes, leather, and velvet which were picked in bold colors, and adorned with frills.
The collection which perches on the notion of romance is explained:
Romanticism is at the base of the fabrications and shapes. A story of blossoming teenage boys- the full spectrum of what it means to be young, which encompasses the carelessness of love, the angst of failure, and also the delicateness of hurt. The collection begins with that startling moment a teenage boy realises that hurt is part of the journey too. “As a Nigerian boy, you are not necessarily allowed to own hurt, even if it is staring you right in the face. It is a deeply rooted patriarchal system that invalidates pain as an essence to maleness. Mostly you are required to be a man before you are old enough to realise that being a man is overrated.” Oke Lawal tells.
But there is also a progression into recovery, into a subtle acknowledge of self-bravery, and self-love and these teenage boys being able to find themselves despite some of the worst pains of abuse. The collection, as it is titled “pretty” shows there is no anger to it; no form of rebellion or self-pity; no persisting shadow of victimisation. In some sense, it is a collection of rebirths- the moment after, the sense of journeying along, despite it all, and the idea of being broken to become beautiful.
Quilted Parkas, soft crepes, and lamb leathers were layered to express the intensity of the romanticism/vulnerability behind the collection.
The delicate prints, emotional colors and extra frilled detailing were added on to push the story even further.