From Kadiju’s Fulani braids to Tzar Studio’s pageant-inspired make-up, we round up the most exciting looks from Lagos’s rising stars
Since its inception in 2011, Lagos Fashion Week has been showcasing the city’s most exciting upcoming talent in fashion and beauty. At the most recent edition, held last month, organisers enlisted a professional make-up team, who worked with each designer to create beauty looks for each collection. Many of these looks reflected trends that have already been seen at major fashion weeks around the world – for example, designer Emmy Kasbit opted to follow the current minimalist “clean girl” aesthetic, while other designers chose bolder looks, such as Tzar Studio’s reinvented old-school glamour and Kadiju’s Fulani-esque braids.
“Every year, we try to follow trends, what is really in vogue,” says Kayode Wiliams, the make-up lead at Lagos Fashion Week 2023. “This year, we’re actually taking it very low on our make-up artistry. We are not doing so much on the skin, just very clean skin, not so much on the eyes too. We wanted everything to be soft and very clean. The trendsetter is always America, but we came with our own twists and creative techniques in order to give an African concept.”
Here, we round up the biggest beauty moments from the Lagos Fashion Week SS24.
When IAMISIGO named its latest show “Shadows”, it felt natural for the collection to feature designs in delicate silhouettes and soft, neutral colours. To match the collection, the beauty looks saw a blend of shadowy eyelids and mocha blushes, completed with elaborate thin lines of dark eye-pencil drawn in the middle of models’ foreheads, noses and jaws. The lines were reminiscent of old Nollywood films, where similar lines on women’s faces were symbolic of adornment. Elsewhere, the nail art also took inspiration from shadows, with dyed back fingertips.
Back in 2001, Agbani Darego was crowned the Miss World with a crown tilted backwards in adjustment with her cone-shaped braids. In the crowd, creative director Ian Audifferen was sitting with his father watching that memorable day unfold. Now, years later, his latest presentation Nostalgia took inspiration from Darego’s beauty looks, from golden-winged eyes and glitter eyelids to contoured cheeks and face paint.
Mystery and representation were the core of Emmy Kasbit’s beauty looks on the runway this year. Models walked with white lines drawn below the mouth, matching the patterns of the accompanying garments. Aiming to capture the mystery of the Ekpe secret society, a group of powerful people renowned for their influence and politics, Kasbit made references to strong affluence, including well-tailored suits to off-the-shoulder gowns. The looks were aesthetically clean, with little to no jewelry and understated hair.
In Botanical Garden, Desiree Iyamah’s SS24 collection, the focal point of the beauty was all the eyes. Subtle graphic eyeliner and cat eyes were matched with smoky shadow, then complemented by contoured cheeks and nude lips. With mainly natural hairstyles, most models wore cornrows, all of which were neatly styled the same way.
Orange Culture didn’t just serve a show, it gave ballroom. Soundtracked by Nigerian singer Falana, the looks included striking diamond earrings, long beaded pearls, and other starry pieces of jewellery, matched with fluid make-up with peachy blush.
The runway went pink as soon as Lush hair models began to strut – and while the designs were strong, the hair stole the show. Refreshing and Afro-futuristic, the looks were sculptural and widely inspired by tribes across the continent, including the Amasunzu hair of Rwanda, with beaded braids that cover the forehead.
You might not have expected to see an Iris Van Herpen SS22 beauty-inspired jewellery look on the Lagos Fashion Week runway. But it happened, thanks to Geto, who made models strut down the runway in loud, flowery pieces of jewellery. The collection, titled ILoVEHOME, kept the focus on maximalist clothes and jewellery, though the accompanying make-up looks were kept clean, stripped-back and simple.
Nothing beats a vibrant blush. At least not at Kadiju, where models walked down the runway with faces embellished in colour: neon pink blushes, smokey eyes, pale lips. For the hair, stylists chose flat-twisted braids – a reference to the Fulani tribe in Nigeria.