“Ochiagha”: How Nationalism and Nsibidi Graphics Influenced Nigerian Label Meena’s SS’16 Collection.
Pushing the envelope of women’s fashion in the country, Uju Offiah, Creative Director of Nigerian womenswear label Meena has produced a series of flawlessly structured pieces for their Spring/Summer 2016 Collection titled ‘Ochiagha’, their first venture into custom-made prints.
From jumpsuits and flared trousers, culottes and cut-out tops, to off-the shoulder blouses and billowy skirts, and various mini, midi and maxi dresses, the garments are all inspired by the logographic elements of “Nsibidi”, a pre-colonial means of communication indigenous to the Ejagham peoples of southeastern Nigeria and southwestern Cameroon in the Cross River region.
“The symbols were arranged in clusters to tell a story of victory, resilience, love and hate, peace and unity of a Nigerian,” Offiah says. “Details are Influenced by strips (ropes) to create a bound effect of unity and peace amidst the challenges and insurgencies (in the Northern part of Nigeria) we are faced with as a nation. Further details are flap layerings of shapes - trapeziums, triangles and rhombus. Hand embroidered Nsibidi symbols also run through the collection. Architectonic undertones which is our core is visible in origami details and sophisticated cuts.”
PHOTOGRAPHY: Lakin Ogunbanwo
ART DIRECTION: Lakin Ogunbanwo & Uju Offiah
MODEL: Aduke of Beth model
MAKE UP: Stella
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