The collection dubbed “Free Spirits” was inspired by the works of Solomon Osagie Alonge, the official photographer of the Royal Court of Benin in the 20th Century and the culture and traditions of the Bini people in Nigeria.
The Bini have a myth which says that the world was water and only a tree known as the “Ikhimwin tree” stands on that water. On that tree lives a bird known as the “Owonwon” (a double casque hornbill bird). This long-beaked bird features in a lot of African masks. It is referred to as the bird of creation. The colour palette, textures, fabric and embellishment used in this collection are synonymous with Bini culture. powder blue to represent Water, green to represent the ikhimwin tree, feathers to represent the Owonwon, burgundy from the traditional burgundy coloured velvet wrappers tied by Bini women. The wood grain adire eleko (Nigerian wax dye technique) print represents wood carving which bini is known for, Copper one of Bini’s natural resources and thousands of coral beads (Ivie) have been hand beaded into a dress (Ewu-Ivie) and skirt. King (Oba) and chief heads have been made in bronze Asooke (Hand woven fabric).
Below are the looks from the collection.
Creative Direction & Styling: Frank Aguhono
Photography: Kosol Onwudinjor
Models: Rafiat Bisodun and Tosin Olajire
Shoes made in collaboration with Maliko.