Modern Hunters - IAMISIGO SS16

Constructing an aesthetic for African women in an incredibly Western world without being reductive is no easy feat. Attempts at this range from the use of dutch wax fabrics in foreign aesthetics, to the re-imagining of traditional African silhouettes for modern use. The latter is what Iamisigo's Modern Hunters collection manages to do.

For SS16, the brand's creative director and founder Bubu Ogisi, took inspiration from Ghana where the label began. It used the Akan tribe's concept of "sankofa" where one must "reach back into the past and retrieve it", the literal Mande translation of Ghana: Warrior King, and the "Nwetoma" technique developed by the Akan tribe.

These themes were melded to create a 21st century interpretation of "Yaa Asantewaa", the Ashanti warrior queen who led the rebellion against the British in 1900 known as the War of the Golden Stool.

"The origins of the collection are feminist" said Bubu Ogisi.

"Women are subject to many elements put in place by men. I have always wondered why this is. Why should men tell us that we are weak, and that we cannot live as they do? For me it is all about equality. We may not be the same, but at the end of the day we are human, just as they are." She continued.

Some of the references were literal. The re-creation of the embellished "Nwetoma" smock favoured by the queen is one of them. Red was featured heavily to represent the blood of Ghanaian ancestors past. The collection also skewed itself towards athleticism and comfort. The clothes had an ease about them and were loose without being asexual.
This season introduced Iamisigo's first foray into accessories. They created a range of leather strapped neck pieces, "Bandahene neckpieces", consisting of welded warrior shaded heads in silver, gold, bronze and acid soaked metal.

A collaboration with Nigerian shoe brand Ethniks brought sandals and slips made of pvc and nwentoma.

It is clear that while Iamisigo remains obsessed with Africa's past it is not afraid of charting new territory in African Fashion. 

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