Mowalola is back. Let's talk about it.
The British based Nigerian designer returned to Paris after a 3 season runway absence to present her collection titled 'Burglarwear'. She did in fact steal the show. If you're not already familiar with Mowalola's work, think of a semi-dystopian, futuristic party with loads of leather & latex. Look to the left and you'll see dramatic punk inspired hair cuts, and to your right, sexy mini mini skirts & psychedelic colours and patterns. This is Mowa's world and we have to insert ourselves into her way of thinking.
It's common to hear that from most that fashion is an artistic reflection of society with the twist of a creative director/designer, however, I just don't see that as true, based on the way the industry is plunging in this money hungry direction. It's hard to produce beautiful, thoughtful collections without that nagging thought of "how will this be profitable?".
This collection was rich in commentary: for women & for men as well as some thoughts on religion. Firstly, we can breeze past the constant Y2K references - we get it. Mowa's ideas for women seem to be ones of liberation and self expression. We see variations of miniature skirts and low rise pants countless times via Mowa's instagram and other social media outlets - it's clear that she has a vision for the future where there's less objectification and more empowerment on women's unique bodily features and differences. We're able to see this through some of the dresses presented with slits in the genital area, as well as spots of red. It's understandable to some that topics such as these can be difficult to unpack but finding a medium to speak about it, is a good start.
There were a few looks scattered throughout the collection depicting forms of restriction, which is quite telling, especially in the times we live in, where people are still trying to find a voice in being themselves and feeling free in their sexuality. Mixing these designs with religious references seem to show a frustration between beliefs of places deemed as "authoritative" and their condescending/unaccepting tones. Laced looks and vine wrapped tanks were uncomfortable to look at, further showing that huge tension and constant wanting to break free.
Male models slid cosily into dresses, a continuation of more accessible products were displayed in the form of "Am I A Mowa Fan?" tank tops as well as Batman emblem inspired "M" logo baby tees, Mowa's iconic bundle bags were sported besides their strutting companions & we were blessed to see a few iterations of new racer jackets in black, red & blue. Overall, it was an energy filled return to the runway and we're definitely excited to see how this direction will thread through to her loyal fanbase and into the streets. If you feel like anything was missed, have a look through some more looks below:
Our Mowalola SS23 offering is available online at https://htown.co.uk/collections/mowalola and in store.
By Luca Allick-Smith