The past year and a half have shown us how fashion can serve as self-care on monotonous days of self-isolation and dazzle just as well on walks in the park as on runways. This element was FEBEN’s inspiration for her debut on-schedule presentation entitled ‘X-PRESSION’, following the brand’s addition to the BFC’s NewGen initiative. The young designer has facilitated that self-indulgent sense of liberty in fashion and composed a collection of radiating party-ready pieces.
The presentation showcased a diversity of vibrantly coloured garments, modelled on an all-Black cast, including shirred-panelled tailoring in midnight black and hot pink and gold body-baring harness silk dresses. Further, the designer’s first-ever menswear sample offers earthen-hued trousers, made of fused jersey strips, resembling the waves of hair extension packs sold at the designer’s local Afro beauty store, a frequently visited place during her lockdown chapter.
A passion for varying textures ran through the collection, styled by Ib Kamara, newly appointed Editor-in-Chief of Dazed, which was realised through tricolour felted chain motifs and puckered ‘twist’ tops and dresses. In signature fashion, the designer revisited acid-hued satins which had first appeared in her Central Saint Martins’ MA graduate collection. Accessorising the collection were beaded tote bags bearing a world map motif – hand-crocheted by Ghanaian artisans – symbolising the universality of living through a pandemic-overrun world that put our lives on halt. Through months of globally shared confinement that was seemingly tackled comparably, the London-based designer acknowledges and validates our individual resolutions, whether we dressed casually or extravagantly.
While the models were standing regally and elegantly on small platforms, surrounded by huge pink arches first illustrated by artist Shaye Tek, enthralling arabesque melodies composed by Syd Falls were enriching the atmosphere. In complete bewilderment, I observed the glamorous garments come to life once the models rotated around the set until they vanished behind the curtains to change.
In agreement with the spectators’ awe, I was enchanted by FEBEN’s fulfilled imagination of silky fabrics, thrilling tailoring and serene yet fierce creative vision. Exceptionally striking were the mustard ruched ‘twist’ dress indicating the designer’s innovative vision and the black satin harness dress attesting to her poised knack for fine fabrics. Altogether, the various pieces adequately and complimentarily encompassed the spectrum of FEBEN’s versatility and artistry.
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