While in the U.S. Nigerian-born Deola Sagoe might not be as well known as some other designers, she has been recognized internationally for her work since she began her design career in 1989. This season, she presented a collection that drew inspiration from insects—many of the garments had “wings” of one kind or another, be they imprinted with actual creatures or a floating swath of fabric behind them.
At first, I didn’t know what to think of the garments when I saw them backstage—there was just a lot of silk to look at, and I hoped it would be pressed properly before it came down the runway (full disclosure: I went to a show the day before that was a disaster of unpressed garments and now I find it’s one of my greatest fears; the mark of amateurs who are sort of…playing dress up? Surely. But Sagoe in her years of design work knows much better, thankfully). While the literal insect imprints on some of the pieces was a little too much for me—it felt like this was the time in the show where Tim Gunn would say, “Edit!”—I liked blends of patterns and the unique shapes of many of the pieces. Caftans weren’t just for grandma anymore; they were smooth and sexy, and hung away from the body in a way that mysteriously left something to the imagination. A champagne tube dress had a hem that stiffly but stylishly hung away from the body; navy and patterned palazzo pants reigned supreme, and a batik print wove its way in and out of the collection. Overall, it was a charming introduction to a designer with whom I had not yet previously been acquainted.
Makeup featured winged eyeliner and a deep maroon lip, while hair, by Nate Rosenkranz for Alterna Haircare, was inspired by 1940s glamour; swirling curls calmed and collected around the nape of the neck.
For some of my favorite pieces in the collection, see here or check out some images below, all by moi.