Maki Oh explores rules that exist in 'sacred ways of dressing' in Nigeria, and ways of circumventing them in an alluring collection of simple shapes that portray a subtle complexity as they play the sensual game of hiding and showing.
The Autumn/Winter 2013 collection expresses a distinct interplay of textures, colours and form. Silhouette and colour are inspired by Nigerian traditional womenswear meets Akira Kurosawa's 'Dreams' and the carnality of Stanley Kubrick's 'Eyes wide shut,' while embellishments take direct inspiration from J.D Okhai Ojeikere's 'Hair Style' photo series. J.D Okhai Ojeikere's series features 'Thread', a West African hairstyle that is achieved by wrapping thread tightly around partitioned hair, popular in the 60s — 80s. Prints and embellishments in Maki Oh's Autumn/Winter 2013 collection highlight 'Thread' in present day Nigeria as being more popular among the extremely prim and proper, and members of some of the stricter Christian denominations.
Slip dresses, 'faux denim jackets', concealed slits and transparent panels come together to play the sly role of evading the austere code of dressing. Traditional Nigerian hand-painted and hand-dyeing technique 'Adire' features again this season in handed-down visual proverbs such as 'Omi' (water) - "the water may dry up by the path remains the same", 'Egungun Eja' (fish bone) - "there is no fish without bones", while bespoke hand-painted 'Oh lines' act as visual expletives.
Blacks, creams and Adire blue tones are paired with pastels - mint, lilac and buttercup, and come to life in brocade dresses, vinyl thread hand embroidery on sequined fabric, scarf print hand-dyed blouses, devoré silk velvet dresses, quilted silk velvets and silk-cotton mix skirts.