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*Women in Lagos love shopping and art*

Fashion and art collided in orderly fashion at the launch of the Nabilla collection from Ugoma Adegoke’s fashion line Zebra Living. 

Fashion and art are no strangers to each other. The two often meet on a daily basis from printing designs, colour coordination, concept and design -the two worlds inspire each other. So let’s take a look at how fashion designers are influenced by art in the West and how Nigerian artists are influenced by fashion. 

In Spring 2008 Couture Collection, former Dior Creative Director, John Galliano displayed a collection heavily influenced by the work of Gustav Klimt.

One of the most notable designers influenced by art is the late Yves Saint Laurent, whose 1965 shift dress was inspired by Piet Mondrian, the dutch Avant-Garde artist who worked during the first half of the 20th century. 

Other notable Western fashion houses influenced by art are:

Gianni Versace - His Spring 1991 collection featured outfits printed with Andy Warhol's brightly colored, silk-screened portraits of Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, another other famous icons.

Louis Vuitton’s collaboration with artist Takashi Murakami to create bags in 2009 on the invitation of Creative Director, Marc Jacobs.

Rodarte‘s Spring 2012 collection, paid homage to Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Nightand other works. 

When looking at Nigerian fashion, It is also safe to say that Ankara, Aso Oke, George and Lace are all art works before the designs are printed on material. It’s not as complex, but we await the era where one can say: “This runway collection is heavily influenced by the work of Tolu Aliki”.

Two prominent artists whose works show the heavily influence of fashion and art and vice-versa are Kolade Oshinowo and Nike Davies-Okundaye.

Oshinowo uses strips of material on canvas to create artworks, which are similar to the pointillist technique where up close you see different colours placed next to each other and far away they reveal the image. His work takes the form and combination of art and fashion to another level. He also states the obvious with his work that clothes are meant for display, fashion is for looking and admiring. See more of his works from his exhibition ‘Silhoutte’ at Nonny’s (ART) reVIEWS.

Davies-Okundaye, an artist and textile designer known for her batik technique uses the traditional methods of weaving and dying from her home state of Kogi. Often we see the influences of her designs on her art works as well as the clothes she wears and sells. Hers though is a more traditional and contemporary approach to preserving the forms and techniques of fashion and art. As an Adire textile maker and artist, she too projects the same truths to fashion and art -both are for looking, engaging, questioning and enjoying.

The designs of Adegoke’s Nabilla collection echos the work of minimal art, because she does preserve the ‘essence and identity’ of woman. She does this by not using print on her work, but also shying away foam the heavy architectural forms seen in typical minimalist style. Her designs are heavily reminiscent of the styles worn by Roman and Greek goddess as the clothes cascade and hang loosely on the female form. It’s sensual, romantic, free and fun.

As for the Nabilla revelation at the Nike Art Center (owned by Nike Davies-Okundaye), the paring made sense as both women appreciate art. Fashion and art did collide in orderly fashion. 

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