When #testicleshrinkage met Kenneth Ize at Stranger (Featuring Uju)

One of the questions you must answer when you do what I do is why now. Why not yesterday, why not the other day, why not three days ago... I could go on but I won't because you get the picture, or I hope you get the picture. I don't talk to that many people these days. It's a little bit scary because I'm closer to how I was when I started the blog, and that isn't a good thing.

When did the blog start?

It started in November 2011, but it didn't become what it is now until June 2012, so whenever I'm asked I say it started in June 2012. I can't explain it any better than that. Or, if I tried to explain it any better than that it'd take all night, and I can't do that anymore because I am an adult with responsibilities. Yes, I am an adult with responsibilities like sleeping to escape the tragedies of my reality. First world problems in the third world and stuff. Deep shit. You know what I mean don't you?

If you want to know what my state of mind was when I first declared that I was a madman go and read it for yourself. I'm not bringing all of that up again. 

Anyway, so, why am I just blogging about this now? I don't know. I'm a Rambling Madman. Yes! I'm a free spirit! I read Sophie Kinsella before I go to sleep and listen to 5 Seconds of Summer. The last bit of that is making me cringe harder than my american apparel underwear. Bleurgh. I can't help myself. I really can't. There's something about their faux rock voices and their stiffer than bone hair. 

I have problems.

I'm listening to Little Mix now. There's nothing sweeter than a guilty pleasure you don't feel all that guilty about. Listening to Little Mix does nothing to the man. As Little Mix is popular, I shall not be inserting their picture into this blog post. I shan't! I shan't! I shan't!

As much as I'd like for this blog post to be about Little Mix, and 5 seconds of Summer, and God awful pop (Rita Ora's I will never let you down is doing things to me #testicleshrinkage) it's about Kenneth Ize's Son Souffle collection launch at stranger. Before I talk about the actual collection, I must first tell the lot of you why I am blogging about it. Well, first off, it happened at Stranger Lagos. I've said many about things Stranger Lagos. I've said so many things that I could quote myself when speaking about Stranger Lagos, but because my experience of it changes the more time I spend there, I'll pull up a new description of the place every time I write about it. Stranger Lagos is an Oasis. Those affected by it return time and time again unsure about what it is they are returning for. Some people think it's the Iamisigo resort wear, and the Peir Wu pieces on display, but they soon find that it's more than that. I go there for the company, and the frappe's but I find myself staying for Korean movie night, or sitting on the floor of their infamous magenta room dealing with shit.

The photos by Ada. I'll talk about her later. 
And the second thing is I quite like Kenneth Ize. He's a solid chap, even if he can't take a compliment with a bite.

Okay so let's get on with it shall we?

Kenneth was shooting the lookbook for his 2014 Son Souffle collection and I was there. I can't say how exactly it was that I turned up at Stranger at 10am on a Sunday, but shit happens so we won't dwell on that. The Look Book was being shot by Lakin Ogunbanwo who is perhaps the closest Nigerian photographer to Universal Brilliance. When your work's been in the British edition of GQ you are almost universally brilliant are you not?

Kenneth and Uju

This seems like the perfect place to place an ode to Uju. I have never air brushed her face. I have never had to reduce the size of a pimple or smooth out a rash. I am lucky that she is as comfortable with me as she is, for with her help, I've received a better introduction to human photography than I deserve. Our friendship, too, is privilege. 

Lakin and Uju

Now for the moment of truth. I could put the pictures down and go away, but as the fashion journalism here isn't that great I've got an obligation to say a little bit more than nothing.

The clothes are well made. I know that seems like I'm stating the obvious but believe me it isn't obvious. If you're Nigerian and you're reading this, you know that our designers don't always deliver a well finished garment, but none of that applies here. The seaming is tidy, and the clothes don't look like things you could have the tailor that lives behind your house whip up. There's a lightness to them that can only be said to be climate appropriate.

Another thing that I think is admirable is his play on translucency. At the first glance the jump suit may look a little baggy, but this impression vanishes when you realise that the modesty presented is false. When looked at in the light the line of the body can be seen quite clearly.

It's a unisex collection but I believe that the garments are better suited to women. I think it's interesting because this collection was inspired by Lagos, but it's managed to steer clear of the ankara and lace combinations that several would associate with the city. I like that Kenneth's Africa isn't as literal as the Africa that exists in the media. It's a Lagos for the people that live in Lagos. I would have liked to see him push it a little further. As new as it might seem here, people used to Commes des Garcon and Yohji Yamamoto would not bat an eye lid. If this is the aspect of fashion that Kenneth is most inspired by he will need to do more to compete.

Happy Days,


Ngozi M said...

"people used to Commes des Garcon and Yohji Yamamoto would not bat an eye lid" love that line very ambitious, but in truth that aesthetic actually comes true in the collection. I love that there is no Ankara in view. great work.

Anonymous said...

reading your ramblings just makes me feel good!!!i have a feeling of this person with depth but who tries to not take himself seriously.the discussions we could have Afam!!!i'm dying to pick your brains.

About Us