The Bold Return: How Luxury Fashion Is Taking It Back To Our Roots

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The world of fashion is now drawing inspiration from the greatest parts of nature, art and common human experiences. Along with a showcase of the boldest, most bombastic styles and hottest it-bags of the season, read how to opt in and return to the roots of creativity.

Picture this: A hot summer, you getaway to a private beach with friends. Perhaps, Elegushi in Lagos, Nigeria or Ada in Ghana. The beach quarters are adorned with rustic straw, cloth and hand carved art. Canopies and roofs are draped with rows of fairy lights. Sweet smoked traditional assorted meats and peppers straight off the fire that’s still blazing and crackling. No track of time, no shaking, just good vibes. Traditional boats unattended dancing on the water. The breeze straight off the back of the tide fans you as if you’re a royal. An unending horizon creates a picturesque horizon. Towering palm trees sway and open up to you as if applauding your return. A return to nature’s comforts. A return to your true nature. A return to the unapologetic, almost synchronised movement & flow of life. The return.

Now that the vibe is set, let’s give you some perspective, shall we? Although the scene above would be a perfect time to showcase your best resort wear cops, it has a deeper meaning. Ghana marked this current era as the “Year of Return”, for all new-gen West Africans abroad to return and re-discover their ancestry. And it seems fashion has latched on to this seismic shift. Designers like Simon Jacquemus are empowering their designs and shows through memorable experiences with nature and art. Jacquemus, having been brought up in the French country-side, went as far as hosting his show on a long pink runway right in the middle of the picturesque lavender fields. Virgil Abloh, the busiest man in Fashion Week, had his Off-White models in Picasso-esque abstract art pieces, trailing through rows of neat flower arrangements. He then had his Louis Vuitton SS20 menswear show set in a mock funfair, with endless use of flowers references, from embroidery to fresh stemmed bunches as props. Fendi’s camper-expedition menswear show was set in a public milanese Park, with models like Babacar N’doye donning petals in their hair. All shows, from Milan to Paris, have been nothing short of beautiful nostalgia-triggering experiences. Experience and emotion is becoming so much more important in luxury fashion. Now designers desire to present their designs as framed artwork installations through their shows. And more selfishly, with boldness they are reimagining their favourite memories in design-form – in the hopes that we can relate too!

Try this on for size: Jennifer Malengele wears a Jacquemus Le Grand Baci Woven Straw Bag
The Ideal bag for the riverside (or courtside – *cough cough* Beyonce) date: 
by FAR (Baby Blue) Ball Crocodile Embossed Leather Clutch
Sidenote: Beyonce’s Stylist Zerina Akers gave us a cosign on Instagram

It seems as though the colours this season have been hand picked straight out of a scenic landscape. Vibrant tones are being experimented with in very daring, abstract yet calculated ways. From Dior to Marques Almeida, brands are bringing back gallery-worthy artwork collaborations, hand drawn inscriptions and spray paint graphics. Dip-dye and tie-and-dye have been a big hit this season – almost a nod to the traditional african way. Silhouettes and fits are being taken from the sophisticated staples of our parents wardrobe, but revamped. There’s cinching here, tightening there, print and pattern, wrap-style skirts, power shoulders, new wave aunty heels, a bit of frilly draping and oversized fits being paired with body-clinging styles.  

Step back, Step correct: Owen Edobor wears a Versace Medusa Printed Windbreaker and Alexander McQueen Two-Toned trainers.
Photo-graphic. Jacket: Amiri City & Dragon Printed Jeans Jacket, Trouser Accessory: Alyx Studio, Trainers: A-Cold Wall x Nike collaboration.
Stand up tall: Marcelo Burlon Animated Sketches Jeans Jacket , Off-White High Top Trainers
Handpicked: Self-Portrait Botanical Tiered Midi Dress
Sitting pretty: Dolce and Gabbana Chiffon Pussy Blouse, Chloe leather and suede shoulder bag

Designers are garnering the courage to share their past, personal memories of nature. It’s time we all do the same – start drawing from the well of youthful experience and opting for bold & experimental styles. But, let’s make a conscious decision to make sure it makes sense. It must speak to who we are, where we come from and what we love. Nature, art and personal history aren’t a bad place to start – your roots!

And without being biased, you are 100% safe with our editorial picks!

In Collaboration with Matchesfashion.com

Shot by Philipp Raheem – @philippraheem

Styled by Felicia Brown – @_feliciabrown_

Brands Consultant Jeff Barlon – @jeffbarlon

Makeup Artist Karina Hidalgo – @karinahodalgo

Models: Owen Edobor & Jennifer Malengele – @owenedz & @jennifermalengele

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