Fashion & Art On The Red Carpet
It’s red carpet season, and what better way to kick-off the season than with the much-anticipated 8th edition of the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards, known for bold fashion statements.
While celebrities strutted down the red carpet in many fabulous outfits, a few designs caught our eye. This week, we will look at the fashion on the red carpet, focusing on designs by Toyin Lawani.
This year, while we cannot ignore the fact that fashion designer Toyin Lawani’s creatively outrageous attire with a bull’s head captured the night, there were even more head-turning outfits that she designed for other celebrities on the red carpet.
From Pretty Mike’s awe-inspiring Eko Story Elegance to Ifu Ennada’s eccentric outfit, there’s no doubt that Toyin Lawani is ahead of her time.
So what inspired the creative juices behind those outfits to come bubbling up? She chats with DOWNTOWN’s Abdul Auwal.
Let’s start with your outfit, what was the inspiration behind it?
My outfit was actually from a zodiac sign sketch I saw for Taurus by a sketch artist. I was googling something online —I was checking my star sign— and I was like, wow, I like this bull head, you can actually incorporate this to an outfit. It just came to my mind. I wanted to do something outstanding for the AMVCAs because I feel the AMVCAs is our Met Gala, it’s like the biggest movie awards; they celebrate fashion, culture, and every year, I bring a statement to the AMVCAs.
Two years ago, when I designed the skull head and face mask for Omashola, and a face mask for Ifu Ennada as well, people trolled me for two to three days straight up. Three days later, the outbreak of the coronavirus spread out, and everybody had to wear masks. My pieces are always fashion-forward, I pick on things on time, I’m ahead of the story. The skulls were supposed to represent the deaths happening around us. I am a trendsetter, and I do things ahead, and I feel travelling far and wide helps a lot.
What inspired Ifu Ennade’s outfit this year?
So, Ifu Ennada came back and said, you know what? This year I want us to do something extraordinary that will beat the last one. So I sat and thought about what we could do this year to beat the last AMVCA. You know I am very artistic, and so the thought that ‘you really don’t know people’ came to my mind. You think you know them but people actually have many faces. And how you see me is different from how another person sees me. What social media even tells you that I am might be different from my real personality.
People are different from what they sell, my personality might be different. So, I had this idea of a man with many faces and people with different behaviours. At the end of the day, it is like bringing people together, the dress had a 100 faces and people with different characters. And that was what inspired me.
I called one of my artists and asked if he could recreate the masks, and he said yes, but we would have to mould them. So, we started moulding the masks from scratch. The masks were so heavy the baskets could not carry the weight, and they kept sinking in; we had to build an iron cage that would hold the pieces together. It was a lot of effort you know; it took almost 50 hands to get this don
So, what was your inspiration behind Pretty Mike’s Outfit?
To be very honest, I’m a designer that gives credit when I should; the same way I told you about my bull head inspiration that came from the zodiac sign guy, Pretty Mike’s outfit, was from the Met Gala.
Alicia Keys, by, I think, Ralph Lauren. Immediately I saw that, I was like, wow! And so it Ifu Ennada at the 2022 AMVCA hit me to redsign Pretty Mike’s outfit. I got rid of what I was already designing as soon as inspiration came. Obviously, the designs are different.
Pretty Mike was a suit and a jacket. It was far from it. The New York City skyline inspired me to create the Lagos scenery with the yellow danfo buses, the Lekki-Ikoyi link bridge, etc. It took 10 guys to paint it, and we had just three days to the AMVCAs can you imagine that?